Difference WikiChemistry

Difference Between Polymer and Elastomer

Main Difference

The main difference between Polymer and Elastomer is that Polymer is the large organic compound that is built up by a large number of smaller subunits, which are called monomers whereas, the Elastomer is defined as the unique property of polymers that contains the property of elasticity.

Polymer vs. Elastomer

The Polymer is defined as the macromolecule of organic compounds that are made up of many smaller subunits called monomers; on the other hand, elastomers are defined as the type of polymers that have the property of elasticity. Polymers structure confines its physical properties, and polymers have different structures so as the physical properties; on the flip side, elastomers have a uniqueness in their physical properties of elasticity.

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Polymers structure varies in morphology from amorphous structure to crystalline structure, whereas elastomers are the polymers that are amorphous in structure. Polymers are the pressure-dependent when we apply some force; its shapes are changed when we apply more than a limit; it ruptures; on the other hand, elastomers are the polymers that can bear any pressure.

Polymers are hard and stiff and don’t change their shape; on the flip side, elastomers are polymers that are flexible in their structure. Polymers are the compounds that give rise to the elastomers; on the flip side, elastomers are derived from polymers. Polymers are less comprehensive than elastomers and have low molecular weight; on the other hand, elastomers are wider than polymers and have high molecular weight.

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The application of polymer is; it is used to form many useful compounds like plastic bags and many other compounds, while elastomers are the polymers that are used to form the rubber for many useful purposes. Polymers example is plastic, whereas elastomers examples are the rubber. Polymers are mostly used in commercial and domestic purposes; on the other hand, elastomers are mostly used on industrial scales also.

Comparison Chart

PolymerElastomer
Polymers are defined as the abundant organic compounds that are composed combination of a large number of subunits.Elastomers are the polymers that are having particular properties like elasticity.
Properties
Polymers are the compounds that have different structures, and their properties also vary with the structure.Elastomers are the polymers that are having the uniqueness in their properties; elasticity.
Structure
The polymers are the compounds whose structure varies from amorphous structure to the crystalline structure.Elastomers are the polymers that contain only one structure are amorphous structures.
Pressure Dependent
Polymers did not bear much pressure and ruptures when we applied pressure more than a limit.Elastomers are flexible, so due to this property, they can bear much pressure without rupturing.
Nature
Polymers have a rigid structure except for those polymers that are elastomers.Elastomers are those polymers having flexible and can change their body shape.
Applications
Polymers are mostly used to form a rigid structure, i.e., plastic.Elastomers are mostly used to form flexible compounds, i.e., rubber.
Uses
Polymers are mostly used in domestic and commercial purposes like plastic bags.Elastomers are mostly used on an industrial scale for producing rubber widely.
Derived
Polymers are derived through smaller subunits called monomers.Elastomers are a particular type of polymers, so they are derived from polymers.
Molecular Weight
Polymers have less molecular weight than elastomers.Elastomers are more comprehensive than polymers and having a high molecular weight.
Example
Polymer’s examples are plates, dishes, and other plastic items.Elastomer’s examples are rubber tubes, pipes, and other rubber items.
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What is a Polymer?

Polymers are defined as the large group of organic compounds that are made up of smaller subunits called monomers. Polymers are compounds that have variable properties as their structure varies; their mostly properties depend upon the structure. Their body structure varies from the amorphous structure to the crystalline structure.

Polymers are compounds that cannot bear much pressure and ruptures and structure is completely lost. Polymers are the compounds that give rise to the elastomers, some of them that are flexible in structure. Polymers are rigid in structure and are stiff compounds that do not change their structure when pressure is applied.

Polymers are of different types depending upon the different properties, i.e., structure, molecular weight, and depend upon the sources from where it is derived. Polymers have different properties, i.e., Most polymers are thermal insulators; most are nonconductors of electricity. Polymers contain high strength than its molecular weight.

Polymers are obtained through natural resources like petroleum and natural gas, but now they can be prepared artificially in laboratories. The best example of polymers is the plastics that are rigid in structure and do not change their shape except when we apply pressure on them.

What is Elastomer?

Elastomers are defined as polymers that have some unique properties like flexibility. Due to this property, it can distinguish from other polymers. Elastomers are having the property of elasticity. The most structures of elastomers are amorphous, without any shape. Elastomers can bear high pressure due to its unique property of elasticity.

The nature of the elastomers is flexible. Flexibility is the property of elastomers that can regain their shape. The flexibility in elastomers is due to the weak forces between their chains. If the elastomers have a disorganized arrangement, it consents it to be extra bendable. The order of flexibility is due to some degree of cross-linkage.

Elastomers are of two types; thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers. The best example of elastomers is rubber. The natural rubber is obtained through the excretion of trees. It can bear much pressure, and due to flexibility, it changes its structure without destroying its structure. The elastomers are naturally obtained through trees or artificially obtained through fractional distillation of petroleum in the laboratory.

Key Differences

  1. The polymer is defined as the sizeable organic compound that is made up through smaller subunits called monomers; on the other hand, elastomers are defined as the type of polymers that have some unique properties, i.e., elasticity.
  2. Polymers structure defines its physical properties that always vary; on the flip side, elastomers have one unique property that is; elasticity.
  3. Polymers cannot bear much pressure and ruptures, whereas elastomers can bear much pressure due to its unique property.
  4. Polymers are rigid in structure and are stiff in shape; on the other hand, elastomers are flexible in structure.
  5. Polymers are useful in making plastic; on the flip side, elastomers are useful in synthesizing of rubbers.
  6. Polymers are derived from smaller subunits called monomers, whereas elastomers are derived through polymers that have unique properties.
  7. Polymers are rigid and stiff in nature; on the flip side, elastomers are flexible in nature.
  8. Polymers are used for domestic and commercial purposes; on the other hand, elastomers are used for industrial purposes for making rubber tubes, etc.

Conclusion

Polymer and elastomer both are organic molecules. The main difference between them is that polymers are derived through a combination of many monomers, whereas elastomers are the polymers derivatives that are unique in the property. Polymers are rigid in structure, and elastomers are flexible in structure.

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