Materials for Sports: Polymers

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Polymers consist of compounds. The polymers are made from smaller units called . Polymers can either be natural or . They can have a linear chain structure or have a cross-linked structure.

Linear polymers consist of chains of molecules. They are held together by weak intermolecular forces. Some polymers have coiled fibres. These are called . When a force is applied the folded chains of unwind and the material . When the force is removed, the molecules return to their original .

Sports equipment

Sports equipment in a triathlon event


Polymers share common properties. They have low , so they are light to wear. The low density is also an advantage in the construction of high performance sports eqiuipment.

Polymers are flexible, and they are good of heat. They are also poor of electricity.

Examples of polymers are cotton, rubber and wool.

A range of synthetic polymers are available for sports equipment and clothing. The choice of material depends on the properties required for the equipment or clothing.


Sports equipment gear

Polymers used in mountain equipment


Polymers are used by mountain climbers. The applications include includes footwear, climbing ropes, clothing and protective gear.

Silicone is often used for balls, tyres and soles of sports . Lycra is an elastomer and is used extensively for sports .

Kevlar is a high strength, low density material. It is used in the production of tennis, badminton and squash . It is also used in the manufacture of hockey and lacrosse .

Polyester (PET) is used extensively in the manaufacture of clothing and bottles.