Difference Between Homopolymer and Copolymer

Main Difference

The main difference between homopolymer and copolymer is that homopolymer is the polymer that is made up of only one kind of monomer, whereas the copolymer is the polymer that is made up of two different kinds of monomers.

Homopolymer vs. Copolymer

Homopolymer is the polymer that is made up of one kind of monomer, whereas the copolymer is the polymer that is made up of two different kinds of monomers. Homopolymer usually has a simple structure, whereas the copolymer usually has a complex structure. Homopolymer produces through the addition of polymerization, whereas the copolymer produces through condensation polymerization. Homopolymer produced by the repetition of one kind of monomer, whereas the copolymer produced by the copolymerization of two different kinds of monomers. Homopolymer is the single polymer, whereas the copolymer is the bipolymer. Homopolymer has high crystallinity levels, whereas the copolymer has low crystallinity levels. Homopolymer has less good mechanical properties, whereas the copolymer has better mechanical properties. Homopolymer has short term stability, whereas the copolymer has long term stability. Homopolymer’s grades are less attractive, whereas the copolymer’s grades are more attractive. Homopolymer has less good oxidation resistance, whereas the copolymer has better oxidation resistance. Homopolymer has less good dimensional properties, whereas the copolymer has better dimensional properties. Homopolymer grades have an uptake of low moisture, whereas the copolymer is less vulnerable to hydrolysis in hot water. During the formation of homopolymer, monomers must have a single or double bond, whereas the copolymer it is not necessary that it must have an unsaturation in a compound. Homopolymer is not further divided into different classes, whereas the copolymer has divided into several classes.

Comparison Chart

HomopolymerCopolymer
Homopolymer is the polymer that is made up of only one kind of monomer.A copolymer is a polymer that is made up of two different kinds of monomers.
Polymerization Process
It produces through the addition of polymerization.It produces through the condensation polymerization.
Number of Monomers
Only one kind of monomerTwo different kinds of monomers.
Structure
It has a simple structure.It has a complex structure.
Mechanical Properties
It has less good mechanical properties.It has better mechanical properties.
Oxidation Resistance
It has less good oxidation resistanceIt has better oxidation resistance.
Example
Polyethene, PVC, polystyrene, etcPolyvinyl acetate, polyethylene oxide, etc

What is Homopolymer?

Homopolymer is the polymer that is made up of only one kind of monomer. It produces by the addition of polymerization. The monomer must have a single or double bond. Homopolymer has a simple structure. Homopolymer has less good mechanical properties. Homopolymer has less good oxidation resistance. Homopolymer has less good dimensional properties. It also has high crystallinity levels. Homopolymer grades are less attractive. Homopolymer grades have an uptake of moisture. Homopolymer has short-term stability. Homopolymer has a different chemical structure than copolymer. Homopolymer has less good mechanical properties such as tensile strength, stiffness, initial creep resistance, and impact resistance. Homopolymer is opaque and poor UV resistance, easily attack by alkali and acids, prone to thermal degradation and has poor fire performance. Homopolymer has attractive grades. Homopolymer also has a higher heat distortion temperature. Homopolymer is more susceptible to hydrolysis in hot water. Homopolymer has the higher possibility of getting the interaction of polymer chains and therefore gets the crystalline structure. This process also gets higher melting points. Homopolymer also has low melting points. Homopolymer also made up of a single repeating unit.

Examples

Polyethene, PVC, Polystyrene, Delrin, Polypropylene,

What is Copolymer?

The copolymer is the polymer that is made up of two different kinds of monomers. It produces by condensation polymer. Monomers should have unsaturation. The copolymer has a complicated structure. The copolymer has better mechanical properties. The copolymer has better oxidation resistance. The copolymer has good dimensional stability. The copolymer has low crystallinity levels. Copolymer grades are more attractive. It has long-term stability. Homopolymer must have better mechanical properties such as stiffness, high tensile strength, impact resistance, initial creep resistance. The copolymer is opaque and has poor UV resistance. It can easily attack by alkali and acids and has poor fire performance. It has prone to thermal degradation. It also has higher melting points. The copolymer is less vulnerable to hydrolysis in hot water. It is made up of two different species of monomer. The copolymer has low heat distortion.

Classifications of Copolymers

  • Statistical Copolymer: Polymer made up of repeating units which obey statistical law.
  • Alternating Copolymer: Polymer made up of two types of repeating monomers which are arranged alternatively in the chain.
  • Block Copolymer: Polymer in which repeating units exists in blocks.

Examples

Polyvinyl acetate, Polyethylene oxide, etc.

Key Differences

  1. Homopolymer is the polymer that is made up of one kind of monomer, whereas the copolymer is the polymer that is made up of two different kinds of monomers.
  2. Homopolymer produces through the addition of polymerization, whereas the copolymer produces through condensation polymerization.
  3. Homopolymer usually has a simple structure, whereas the copolymer usually has the multifaceted structure.
  4. Homopolymer’s rankings are less attractive, whereas the copolymer’s rankings are more attractive.
  5. Homopolymer frequently has high crystallinity levels, whereas the copolymer frequently has low crystallinity levels.
  6. Homopolymer has short term dimensional stability, whereas the copolymer has long term dimensional stability.
  7. Homopolymer grades have an acceptance of low moisture, whereas the copolymer is less vulnerable to hydrolysis in hot water.
  8. Homopolymer has less good mechanical properties, whereas the copolymer has better mechanical properties.
  9. Homopolymer is not further classified into different classes, whereas the copolymer has classified into several classes.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that homopolymer and copolymer both are types of macromolecules. Homopolymer is the polymer made up of one kind of repeating unit, whereas the copolymer is made up of two different kinds of repeating units.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

View all posts by Harlon Moss