Many common classes of polymers are composed of hydrocarbons, compounds of carbon and hydrogen. These polymers are specifically made of carbon atoms bonded together, one to the next, into long chains that are called the backbone of the polymer. Because of the nature of carbon, one or more other atoms can be attached to each carbon atom in the backbone.
There are polymers that contain only carbon and hydrogen atoms. Polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene, polystyrene and polymethylpentene are examples of these. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has chlorine attached to the all-carbon backbone. Teflon has fluorine attached to the all-carbon backbone.
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