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Polymer International 42 (1997) 127È128
Book Reviews
enced, contains a list of commonly used abbreviations, and
has a reasonably comprehensive subject index.
In its general approach the book is similar to several that
have gone before (most notably BrydsonÏs Plastics materials),
but is more up-to-date in many important respects. For
example, in the Ðrst chapter, attention is paid to some of the
latest, still exploratory, methods for preparing polyoleÐns of
precisely controlled structures using metallocene catalysts, and
in Chapter Four (on polyesters) there is considerable discussion of thermotropic liquid crystalline materials.
However, there are some notable omissions, the most surprising of which (given the emphasis in other places on high
performance polymers, e.g. aromatic polyesters and
polyamides) is the absence of any signiÐcant mention of
poly(ether ketone)s and poly(ether sulphone)s. It is true that
poly(ether ketone)s have not enjoyed widespread use
(although applications of PEEK are slowly increasing), but
poly(ether sulphone)s are extensively employed in a variety of
relatively “high-techÏ applications. There is also no mention of
crosslinked polystyrenes, nor of hydrogels.
Despite the omissions, the book is to be recommended as a
useful and reasonably comprehensive primer on polymer
materials, and should appeal both to teachers of courses on
polymer science and to students. The quality of writing and
presentation is generally good, although there are some
abrupt changes in style between several of the sections
(presumably marking the points where one author handed
over to the other). The section on PVC, for example, contains
some rather inelegant examples of the possessive case, e.g.
“grainÏs porosityÏ and “processesÏs kineticsÏ. Also, benzoyl peroxide is abbreviated to PB in one section and to BP in others ;
the use of PB in this context could be confusing to students
since this abbreviation is used elsewhere to mean polybutadiene. A handy feature of the book is its relative slimness
(as it is printed on thin paper) so it can be slipped easily even
into the average teacherÏs (or studentÏs) over-stu†ed briefcase.
Synthetic polymers. Technology, properties, applications
D. Feldman and A. Barbalata.
Chapman & Hall, London, 1996.
pp. xv ] 370, price £49.00.
ISBN 0-412-71040-4
It is difficult for those working outside the polymer manufacturing industry, and especially those in academia, to keep up
to date with developments in commercial processes for the
synthesis of polymer-based materials and with the myriad
of important properties and applications of such materials.
This textbook by Feldman, a Professor of Engineering at
Concordia University, Montreal, and Barbalata, a Professor
of Chemistry at the University of Moncton at Edmonton,
sets out to ease this predicament.
It is presented in two main parts : the Ðrst deals with chaingrowth polymers and the second with step-growth polymers.
The Ðrst part consists of three chapters covering polyoleÐns,
vinyl polymers and diene polymers, respectively. The second
part contains a further seven chapters covering polyesters
(both thermoplastic and thermosetting), polyamides and polyimides, silicones, polyurethanes, epoxy polymers, phenolics,
and aminoplasts. Plastics and rubbers are given equal prominence.
Each chapter is further subdivided, where appropriate, to
deal with individual types of polymer. Thus the Ðrst chapter
(on polyoleÐns) deals successively with polyethylene (various
grades), polypropylene, polyisobutene, poly(1-butene) and
poly(4-methyl-1-pentene), whilst Chapter Two (on vinyl
polymers) covers polystyrene, poly(vinyl chloride), poly(vinyl
acetate), Ñuoropolymers and polyacrylics. Each subsection
provides a brief historical introduction to the type of polymer
considered, gives an indication of current importance and
usage, and then outlines the industrial chemistry of its manufacture (often, of necessity, considering more than one
process), the chemical, physical and mechanical properties of
the material, and some of its more important applications.
The methods by which polymers are processed are indicated,
but without detailed discussion. The book is extensively refer-
J. R. Ebdon
Polymer International 0959-8103/97/$09.00 ( 1997 SCI. Printed in Great Britain
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