The amazing scope of wartime applications accelerated the development and growth of polymers to meet the diverse needs of special materials in different fields of activity.
Polyurethanes were developed in 1937, polyepoxides in 1947 and acryolonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) terpolymer in 1948.
The discovery of the Zeigler-Natta catalyst in the 1950s brought about the development of linear polyethylene and stereoregular polypropylene.
Thereafter, the emergence of polyacetal, polyethylene terephthalate, polycarbonate, and many new copolymers, was noted. Commercial requirements paved the way for the development of highly temperature-resistant materials, which include polyphenylene oxides, polysulphones, polyimides, poly(amide-imide)s and polybenzimidazoles. These high performance polymers to which standard metal engineering equations can be applied are widely commercialized now. Polymers with properties of strength, heat-resistance or flame-resistance or chemical-resistance that far exceed those of more conventional polymers are termed “High Performance Polymers”. They are capable of sustaining high loads and stresses and are dimensionally stable.