Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
The substantial rapid growth of synthetic polymers - plastics, man-made fibers, films, rubbers, and coatings - which continued unabated over many years, suffered a severe setback for the first time in 1973-1974 followed by another in 1980. A major cause of these reverses was the changed situation with respect to raw materials and energy. For industrial polymer research, in particular, this presents a fresh challenge with considerably changed priorities. The individual ways of meeting this challenge are highlighted and illustrated by examples: the search for alternative raw material sources for monomers; the development of economic methods for production and processing of polymers; the recycling of polymers; and finally the development of new raw material-saving and energy-saving technologies based on the use of polymers. In the future, the applications of polymers to new technologies such as communication- and information-systems or biotechnology will join the traditional uses. But the efforts required in research and development to achieve this demand wide-ranging interdisciplinary cooperation on an even greater scale than hitherto.
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