Polymers are very unique material. It like solution for lack of nature materials like timber, steel and others. But not all people know when we said polymers; the only significant that they know is plastic. Sometimes they also not know that most of product materials were changed to polymers. Most of the products materials were change to polymers because their long durability. It was done to reduce maintenance cost.
The purpose of polymers usage as raw material is because their properties that can be manipulated to follow product requirement. Polymers can be modified to become very strong, tough, flexible, elastic, heat resistant, weather resistant, and many more. All of the properties can be improved or reduced depend on the product requirement.
The ways to modified all this properties are by adding type of fillers. Fillers can be divided by functional and not functional. For functional filler they have active functional group such as OH, Cl, COOH, SO3 and many more. This type of filler will be reacting with polymer chain to improve their properties. For not functional group, they will not react with polymers chain. They way they improved polymer properties by fill empty space in polymer chain to cover polymer week point. Usually their molecule sizes are much smaller than polymers molecule. This two type filler have similar function to reduce polymers cost.
One of common type of fillers that always use in industries is extender filler. Extender filler type of filler that will not interact with polymers chain. The functions of these extender fillers are to improve polymer strength and to reduce cost. So the polymers will become much cheaper. Example of extender fillers are calcium carbonate, talc, silica, empty fruit bunch, rice husk and many more type of mineral and organic fillers.
The other type of common filler is crosslink agent. Crosslink agent will be using to improve strength of polymer. The common product using crosslink agent is tire. Crosslink agent will improve polymer bond by create new bond with other polymers chain. If we want to imagine, crosslink agent will make polymer chain will for ladder shape. So the polymer will become more strength. But the disadvantage of using crosslink agent is polymers cannot be recycled. The examples of crosslink agent are sulfur, carbon black and much more.
There were many several types of fillers with different functions. The other common types of filler are impact modifier, pigment, coupling agent, and many more. All of this fillers are using with specific ratio and process condition to make sure the effectiveness of fillers.
More advantages of polymers are the much lighter, easy to handle, cheaper, and easy to process. There are more advantages when we compared with other materials. Other material cannot be improved from their original properties unlike polymers. That still much more properties can be improved. Recently many researches have been conduct to improved polymers properties. Still many products can be creating from this unique material.