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Polymer Science and Technology, Third Edition by Joel R. Fried

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Chapter 8. Biopolymers, Natural Polymers, and Fibers

Early efforts during the growth of the plastics industry focused on the development of synthetic materials having comparable or superior properties to those of natural polymers. The first important advance was the development of nylon (synthetic silk) by Wallace Carothers at DuPont in 1938. In the commercial fiber industry, natural polymers such as cotton and silk, some chemically-modified natural polymers including regenerated (e.g., viscose) cellulose and acetate, and synthetic polymers such as nylon are all important. With recent achievements in the mapping of the human genome and the beginning of the immense task of identifying and studying the function of many thousands of cellular proteins, ...

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