1. We discussed how polymer linking and structure contribute to its properties. How would you expect the density, elasticity, and rigidity of a polymer that is branched to compare to one that is linear?
My answer: Branched polymers feature a primary chain of atoms with additional, diverging chains. For this reason, a branched polymer is typically stronger and denser than a linear polymer. Branched polymers with erratic chains, however, can be weaker than their linear counterparts. Branched polymers also tend to be more elastic and less rigid. This is because of the altered intermolecular forces between polymer chains that are branched rather than linear.
I'm confused though since initially I thought linear is stronger and more dense? I'm not sure at all.