Chapter 5. Polyether Plastics

5.1. Background

This chapter covers polymers in which the most important linking group is the ether moiety, which is –O–.

5.1.1. Polyoxymethylene (or Acetal Homopolymer)

Acetal polymers, also known as polyoxymethylene (POM) or polyacetal, are formaldehyde-based thermoplastics that have been commercially available since the 1960s. Polyformaldehyde is thermally unstable. It decomposes on heating to yield formaldehyde gas. Two methods of stabilizing polyformaldehyde for use as an engineering polymer were developed and introduced by DuPont in 1959 and Celanese in 1962 (now Ticona).
DuPont’s method for making polyacetal yields a homopolymer through the condensation reaction of polyformaldehyde and acetic acid (or acetic anhydride). ...

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