8 Difference Between Organic Polymers And Inorganic Polymers (With Examples)

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Polymers are linearly chained large molecules composed of sequences of repeating monomer units connected by covalent bonds. Polymers can be classified as organic or inorganic polymers.  Polymer as a chemical compound has high molecular weight consisting of a number of structural units linked together by covalent bonds. (A structural unit is a group having two or more bonding sites).polymers containing inorganic and organic components are sometimes called hybrid polymers.

The Differences

Definition

Organic polymers are materials that essentially contain carbon atoms in the backbone whereas; Inorganic polymers are polymers with a skeletal structure that does not include carbon atoms in their backbone.

Bonding

Inorganic polymers have ionic and hydrocarbon bonds in their backbone along with some heteroatom such as oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur whereas the backbones of organic polymers have carbon-carbon bonds along with heterochain of atoms such as oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur inserted along the backbone.

Electrical Conductivity

In most of the aqueous solutions, organic Polymers are typically poor conductors of electricity and heat. Inorganic polymers in aqueous solutions are good conductors of electricity, this is because they have high ability to ionize and this makes them better conductors.

Flammability

Organic polymers are flammable whereas inorganic polymers are nonflammable.

Boiling and Melting Points

There are greater intermolecular forces between the long chains of organic polymers when compared to those of inorganic polymers. In this regard, the melting and boiling points of organic polymers is higher than that of inorganic polymers.

Solubility

Inorganic polymers are highly soluble in common organic solvents and water. This is because they have ionic bonds between molecules. Ionic bonds easily dissociate into positive and negative ions in water. On the other hand, most organic polymers have carbon-carbon bonds between molecules and hence are insoluble in water, though they are soluble in other organic solvents.

Examples

Examples of inorganic polymers include silicone rubber (polydimethylsiloxane), polysiloxanes, polyphosphazenes, and polysilanes. On the other hand, examples of organic polymers include low density polyethylene, high density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, nylon, Tefon and thermoplastic polyurethane.

Uses

Inorganic polymers are widely used in petrochemical industries while others such as silicone rubber are used in construction for window and door seals. Also in electrical engineering inorganic polymers such as silicon rubber is used in wire and cable jacketing and in electrical safety stinger covers. Other inorganic polymers such as polydimethylsiloxane are widely used as a versatile ingredient in many skin care and beauty products because of its ability to serve as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant and conditioner.

Organic polymers have wide variety of uses, for example: polystyrene resins are used in the production of home electronics and appliances; nylon-6 is used in textile and plastic industries. Organic polymers such as polyethylene terephthalate are in the manufacture of popular PET bottles. Others such as neoprene are used in shoe soles and wet suits, polyvinyl chloride in pipes and Teflon in non-stick pans.

Also Read: Difference Between Organic And Inorganic Compounds

Difference Between Organic And Inorganic Polymers in Tabular Form

Points of Comparison Organic Polymers Inorganic Polymers
Definition Organic polymers are materials that essentially contain carbon atoms in the backbone. Inorganic polymers are polymers with a skeletal structure that does not include carbon atoms in their backbone.
Bonding Have ionic and hydrocarbon bonds in their backbone along with some heteroatom such as oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur. The backbones of organic polymers have carbon-carbon bonds along with heterochain of atoms such as oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur inserted along the backbone.  
Electrical Conductivity In most of the aqueous solutions, organic Polymers are typically poor conductors of electricity and heat. Inorganic polymers in aqueous solutions are good conductors of electricity, this is because they have high ability to ionize and this makes them better conductors.
Flammability  Flammable. Nonflammable  
Melting and Boiling Points The melting and boiling points of organic polymers is higher than that of inorganic polymers.   The melting and boiling points of inorganic polymers is lower than that of organic polymers.  
Solubility Most organic polymers have carbon-carbon bonds between molecules and hence are insoluble in water, though they are soluble in other organic solvents.   Inorganic polymers are highly soluble in common organic solvents and water.
Examples Examples of organic polymers include low density polyethylene, high density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, nylon, Tefon and thermoplastic polyurethane.   Examples of inorganic polymers include silicone rubber (polydimethylsiloxane), polysiloxanes, polyphosphazenes, and  polysilanes.
Uses Polystyrene resins are used in the production of home electronics and appliances.   Nylon-6 is used in textile and plastic industries.   Polyethylene terephthalate are in the manufacture of popular PET bottles. Others such as neoprene are used in shoe soles and wet suits.   Polyvinyl chloride in pipes and Teflon in non-stick pans.   Used in petrochemical industries.Silicone rubber is used in construction for window and door seals. Also silicon rubber is used in wire and cable jacketing and in electrical safety stinger covers.   Polydimethylsiloxane are widely used as a versatile ingredient in many skin care and beauty products because of its ability to serve as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant and conditioner.  

Summary

Also Read: Difference Between Organic And Inorganic Chemistry

Organic polymers are materials that essentially contain carbon atoms in the backbone whereas; Inorganic polymers are polymers with a skeletal structure that does not include carbon atoms in their backbone.