It is relatively rare for an article to be made from polymer alone. Most are polymer compounds , consisting of a mixture of polymer and various additives. These include:
Fillers: solid additives used to modify physical properties.
Dilution - talc
Reinforcing - carbon black in tires
Toughening - rubber in ABS plastic
Plasticizers: non-volatile solvents added to improve flexibility
Dialkyl phthalates in poly(vinylchloride)
Colourants: additives used to change product aesthetics
Pigments - soluble colourants
Dyestuffs - insoluble additives
Antioxidants: compounds that reduce polymer degradation through
intervention in free radical reactions
Chain-A linear polymer formed by covalent linking of monomeric units. Backbone-Used in graft copolymer nomenclature to describe the chain onto which the graft is formed. Side chain-The grafted chain in a graft copolymer. Cross-link-A structure bonding two or more chains together. Network-A three-dimensional polymer structure, where (ideally) all of the chains are connected through cross-links. Multicomponent polymer, multipolymer, and multicomponent molecule-General terms describing intimate solutions, blends, or bonded combinations of two or more polymers. Copolymer-Polymers that are derived from more than one species of monomer. Block-A portion of a polymer molecule in which the monomeric units have at least one constitutional or configurational feature absent from the adjacent portions. Block copolymer-A combination of two or more chains of constitutionally or configurationally different features linked in a linear fashion. Graft copolymer-A combination of two or more chains of constitutionally or configurationally different features, one of which serves as a backbone main chain, and at least one of which is bonded at some point(s) along the backbone and constitutes a side chain. Polymer blend-An intimate combination of two or more polymer chains of constitutionally or configurationally different features which are not bonded to each other. Interpenetrating polymer network-An intimate combination of two polymers both in network form, at least one of which is synthesized and/or cross-linked in the immediate presence of the other. Semi-interpenetrating polymer network -A combination of two polymers, one crosslinked and one linear, at least one of which was synthesized and/or cross-linked in the immediate presence of the other. Star polymer-Three or more chains linked at one end through a central moiety. Star block copolymer-Three or more chains of different constitutional or configurational features linked at one end through a central moiety.