Addition polymers

[This topic is common to bothAlkenes (AS)‘ and ‘Polymers (A2)and links to GCSE topics of ‘Polymers from oil’ andPolymer structure and intermolecular forces]


Addition polymers are formed from alkenes and substituted alkenes.

Poly(alkenes) like alkanes are unreactive (chemically inert and therefore non-biodegradable).

Appreciate that knowledge and understanding of the production and properties of polymers has developed over time.

Typical uses of poly(ethene) and poly(propene)  and know that poly(propene) is recycled

[New syllabus from 2015] Typical uses of poly(chloroethene), commonly known as PVC, and how its properties can be modified using a plasticiser.


Students should be able to:
• draw the repeating unit from a monomer structure

• draw the repeating unit from a section of the polymer chain
• draw the structure of the monomer from a section of the polymer.

Assessment and practical opportunities

Making poly(phenylethene) from phenylethene.