Polymers are materials that are made of long, repeating chains of molecules, holding unique properties that depend on the type of molecules being bonded and how they are bonded. Some polymers bend and stretch, like rubber and polyester. Others are hard and tough, like epoxies.
The term polymer is often used to describe plastics, which are synthetic polymers. However, natural polymers also exist; rubber and cellulose, for example, are natural polymers as well as wool, cotton and silk. Polymers make up many of the materials in living organisms, including proteins, cellulose, and nucleic acids.
There is a near infinite selection of polymers, with properties such as colour, texture, opacity and function continually being adjusted depending on the desired application. These materials are therefore useful across all industries, including medicine, engineering, design and architecture.