Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology


Greetings from Istanbul! The Polymer Division and its Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology met in Istanbul on 12-17 July 2016. The meetings were organized jointly with MACRO2016.





[link to parent Division IV]

In the late 1960s, IUPAC formally established the Commission on Macromolecular Nomenclature (Commission IV.1), which subsequently became the leading nomenclature body in the polymer field. In 1999 it was superseded by the Subcommittee on Macromolecular Terminology, later renamed as the Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology. As well as being tasked with establishing terminological rules and definitions, the Subcommittee also advises the Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation Division (VIII) on the development of polymer nomenclature.

As the former Commission, rules were developed for naming regular single-strand macromolecules, copolymer molecules, irregular macromolecules, ladder and spiro macromolecules, and nonlinear and network polymers. Rules for representing the structures of macromolecules were also developed. Latterly, while still addressing issues of polymer nomenclature, the Subcommittee has worked to standardize the terminology used in polymer science. Amongst other topics, it has developed a glossary of basic terms, and made recommendations concerning the terminology of assemblies of polymer molecules and non-linear macromolecules, polymer solutions, polymer crystals, types of polymerization, kinetics and thermodynamics of polymerization, degradation and aging of polymers, and the mechanical behavior of polymers.

Since its inception, the Subcommittee has attracted the participation of scientists from academia, the publishing houses, and the polymer industry. (View History of the Macromolecular Nomenclature and Terminology in IUPAC, including membership and references of the original publications).

Meeting Minutes

  • Sao Paul, Brazil, 10-13 July 2017 – full text DRAFT (pdf – 1 MB)
  • Istanbul, Turkey, 12-15 July 2016 – full text (pdf – 1.1 MB)
  • Busan, Korea, 10-14 August 2015 – full text (pdf – 1.5 MB)
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand, 29 June – 3 July 2014 – full text (pdf – 1.1 MB)
  • Istanbul, Turkey, 11-14 August 2013 – full text (pdf – 433 KB)
  • Roanoke, USA, 18-21 June 2012 – full text (pdf – 2.8 MB)
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico, 31 July – 3 August 2011 – full text (pdf – 1.85 MB)
  • Glasgow, Scotland, 6-9 July 2010 – full text (pdf – 677 KB)

Activity Reports

Key publications

  • – Compendium of Polymer Terminology and Nomenclature (Purple book) — The second edition of the IUPAC Compendium of Polymer Terminology and Nomenclature (IUPAC Recommendations 2008) is an expansion and revision of the 1991 edition and contains 22 chapters. This new edition continues the significant contribution to clear and precise communication in polymer science made by its predecessor.
  • – A Brief guide to polymer nomenclature has been published in PAC 84(10), pp 2167-2169 (2012). A two-sided document readily available for reprint is available from project 2008-032-1-400.