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Modern plastics are long chains of atoms, mainly so-called polymers. They can be put together in a similar way to a construction kit. This makes the variety of plastic applications known today possible. Four chemical elements form the main basis: carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. These elements can be combined in almost any way.

Polymers can therefore be apparent as chains, networks or in three-dimensional structures. These structures repeat themselves regularly and provide a wide variety of properties. Polymers can be obtained synthetically, but can also arise naturally.