Carothers, W(allace) H(ume)

Carothers, W(allace) H(ume)

biographical name

(born April 27, 1896, Burlington, Iowa, U.S.—died April 29, 1937, Philadelphia, Pa.) U.S. chemist. He became director of organic chemical research at DuPont in 1928. There he first worked on polymerization of acetylene and derivatives, leading to the development of neoprene. His outstanding achievement involved the theory of linear polymerization; he tested it by synthesizing polymers structurally resembling cellulose and silk, culminating in the production of nylon. The first synthetic polymer fibre to be produced commercially (1938), it laid the foundation of the synthetic fibre industry.

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