Polymers are materials of very high molecular weight that are found to have
multifarious applications in our modern society. They usually consist of several
structural units bound together by covalent bonds [1,2]. For example, polyethy-
lene is a long-chain polymer and is represented by
During the last ten to fifteen years the developments in polymer science has been striking attention and undergone important changes. From rather specialized subject intended for engineers interested in certain definite fields, it has developed into one of the fundamental disciplines common to several branches of engineering and science. To serve this purpose, the subject materials have been prepared to treat a comprehensive aspects of polymer science.
New approaches to tailor-made cellulose/starch/lignin-synthetic polymer graft copolymers with precise control over molecular weight, degree of substitution, backbone-graft linkage, and the overall grafting process are being studied. Cross-linked graft copolymers with exactly defined polymer chain segments between crosslink points have been prepared. The graft copolymers exhibit a two-phase morphology and can function effectively as compatibilizers/interfacial agents to alloy cellulosic and lignocellulosic materials with synthetic polymers.
The feature of polyimides and other heterocyclic polymers are now well-established and used for long term temperature durability in the range of 250 - 350'C. This book will review synthesis, mechanisms, ultimate properties, physico-chemical properties, processing and applications of such high performance materials needed in advanced technologies. It presents interdisciplinary papers on the state of knowledge of each topic under consideration through a combination of overviews and original unpublished research.