Project Details Recommendations on the Abbreviated Terms of Polymers

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 May 2006
End Date: 
01 June 2014
Division Name: 


To provide recommendations or guidelines regarding the use of abbreviations and abbreviated terms for the names of polymers and polymeric materials.


Abbreviated terms for polymers are very important to avoid repetition of lengthy polymer names, not only for the authors of articles, but also for the readers and the editors of journals. Industrial people use a well-established ISO list of abbreviated terms, but it contains only about a hundred items (116 in ISO 1043-1, the third edition in 2001), selected on the basis of the scale of production mainly. On the other hand, the academic journals in the polymer field treat several hundreds of polymers annually, including new polymers, some with complicated structures. Thus, it is almost impossible to derive a systematic and unique abbreviated term from a polymer name while maintaining one-to-one correspondence between the two (as observed in the ISO list) in order to make the abbreviation self-standing.

In the present project, which aims at the use of abbreviated terms in academic journals, it will be suggested to authors that in the first instance they use their own abbreviated terms and define them when they appear for the first time in their articles. However, in order to minimize any difference of the abbreviated terms of the same polymer from one author to another, a small number of rules, recommendations and suggestions will be proposed for making an abbreviated term from an authentic polymer name. Typically, in the case of homopolymers, many of the abbreviations that will be recommended are those given by ISO but in the case of copolymers, an abbreviated term such as P(A/B/S) is recommended instead of ABS used by ISO. It shows that the polymer is a copolymer consisting of three monomers and keeps a good correspondence with the polymer name poly(acrylonitrile-co-butadiene-co-styrene). As reference, a complete list of abbreviated terms in ISO 1043-1 will be attached in our document.


Feb 2011 – The seventh draft is being commented and revised by group members. The completion time will be discussed in July 2011.

Jan 2013 – the provisional recommendations titled “Abbreviations of Polymer Names and Guidelines for Abbreviating Polymer Names” was made available for public review until 31 May 2013.

June 2014 – the recommendations are published in Pure and Applied Chemistry, Volume 86, Issue 6, Pages 1003-1015, DOI:10.1515/pac-2012-1203

Project completed

Page last updated 22 August 2014