MATL07003 2009 Materials for the Polymer Industry

General Details

Full Title
Materials for the Polymer Industry
Transcript Title
Polymer Materials
N/A %
Subject Area
MATL - Materials
MENG - Mech. and Electronic Eng.
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2009 - Full Academic Year 2009-10
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Donal Lyons, Frank Carter, Michael Moffatt, Stephen Reid, Declan Sheridan

This module will enable the student to examine the relationship between structures and properties of the main commodity plastics, examine the relationship between structure and properties of elastomers and to study the different types of polymerisation techniques

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the various methods of polymerisation available.


Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the structure and properties of a range of commodity polymers.


Demonstrate a broad understanding of the structure and main properties of elastomers.


Demnonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the differences between the amorphous and crystalline state of polymers.


Demonstrate an understanding of compounding and the use of additives in both thermoplastics and elastomers.


Demonstrate an ability to carry out and interpret stress strain analysis.


Demonstrate an ability to carry out and interpret thermal transition analysis.

Indicative Syllabus

Introduction to Polymeric Materials:

Configuration of polymer chains, dependence of polymer structure, mechanical and thermal properties upon chemical nature of polymer molecules, stereoregularity and molecular interaction

Amorphous state, glass transition temperature, its relationship to physical and mechanical properties, factors affecting Tg; molecular weight, diluents, presence of comonomer.Crystalline state, formation of spherulites chain folding, lamellae and related structures. Factors affecting crystallisation, supercooling and annealing, additives Effect of crystallinity on polymer properties.

Polymerisation: methods of polymerisation, mass, suspension, solution and emulsion, and  types of polymerisation, formation of free radicals, free radical addition polymerisation, the kinetics of free radical polymerisation,  copolymerisation reactions

Ionic Polymerisation: Anionic and cationic. Ring opening polymerisation

Stepwise Polymerisation: importance of functionality

Polymer Materials:  Polymer Compounds:  Analysis of the major constituents in polymer compounds, introduction to the use of compounding additives with examples of each

Thermoplastic Materials:  Analysis of the relationships between properties, processing and applications of: polyolefins ; styrenic and acrylic polymers; vinyl polymers; polyamides and polyacetals; cellulosics, fluorinated polymers; polyesters

Thermosetting Materials:  Properties and applications of phenolics, aminoplastics, epoxies, polyester resins

Elastomers:  Properties and major applications of: natural rubber; synthetic crosslinkable elastomers

Indicativce Practical:

Stress-strain behaviour in tension and flexure.

Fracture toughness properties-Charpy and Izod modes of deformation.

Determination of Tg and Tm and enthalpy of fusion using DSC.

Creep and stress relaxation studies of amorphous polymers.

Temperature and frequency dependence of dynamic mechanical properties.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous Assessment Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 20 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
2 Practical Evaluation Practical / Oral Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 20 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Written Examination Final Exam UNKNOWN 60 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Distance Learning Suite Online lecture 1.5 Weekly 1.50
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Preparation for online lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Completion of continous assessment 1.5 Weekly 1.50
Directed Learning Not Specified Reading / Assignment 2 Weekly 2.00
Practical Not Specified Practical 8 Twice Per Semester 1.07
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.57 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Plastics Materials, Brydson, Butterworth 7th ed,2001

Principles of Polymerisation, Odian, Wiley 4th Ed,2004

Introduction to Mechanical Properties of Solid Polymers, Ward and Hadley Wiley, 2004

Plastics materials and processes : A concise encyclopedia, Harper Petrie Wiley, 2003

Rubber Technology Handbook, Hofmann Hanser, 1996

Physical Polymer Science Sperling, L.H., Wiley Interscience (4th Ed), 2006

Plastics additives : an A-Z reference, Geoffrey Pritchard, Chapman & Hall (1st Ed),1998

Other Resources