66200 - Polymer Technology M

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

The students will achieve knowledge of polymers as materials. Physico-chemical and mechanical properties are focussed to polymer processing. The last part of the course deals with polymer recycle.

Course contents


 Knowledge of polymeric materials science


1- Introduction
Plastic materials in the past, plastics today, automotive application of plastics, environmental considerations.

2- Structure of macromolecules
Addition polymers, condensation polymers, copolymers, cross-linked polymers, molecular symmetry and the tendency to form crystals, distribution of relative molecular mass.
3- Structure of polymeric solids
Sructure of the crystals, crystal shape, crystallinity degree, crystallization and melting, the glass transition temperature, molecular conformation in the amorphous polymers, the freely jointed chain, the Gaussian chain, molecular orientation.
4- Viscoelasticity
The nature of viscoelasticity, creep, stress relaxation, dynamic properties.
5- Reinforced polymers
Reinforced plastics, polymer matrices, fibrous reinforcement, platelet reinforcement. Forming of reinforced plastics by poltrusion, filament winding, hand lay-up, hand spray-up, compression moulding, reinforced reaction injection moulding (RRIM), reinforced thermoplastics.
6- Forming:
The flow properties of polymer melt, bulk deformation, elongational flow, shear flow. Cooling and solidification. Extrusion, extruder barrel, extruder screw, die and calibration equipment. Injection moulding, hot runner mould, the gate, control of pressure, temperature and time, thermosets. Reaction injection moulding (RIM). Thermoforming. Blow moulding. Compression moulding.
7- Polymer recycle
Examples of PET recycle, PET synthesis, problem deriving from the presence of contaminants, PET separation and its washing processes, PET reprocessing by fusion, properties of PET mechanically recycled, application of mechanically recycled PET, application of PET in contact with foods and beverages, chemical recycle of PET, different chemolysis processes, energy recovery from PET.


N.G. McCrum, C.P. Buckley, C.B. Bucknall, Principles of Polymer Engineering , Oxford University Press (1997)

Teaching methods

Lectures and  exercises carried out in the classroom

Assessment methods

Assessment of the course will be via an oral exam.

During the examination the concepts learned will be verified  by means of a critical discussion of a forming process as well as the physical-chemical characteristics of  polymeric materials.

Teaching tools

Videoprojection of the lessons is used in classroom.
The students are also able to obtain directly the above material form the Univeristy Digital Library Service.

Office hours

See the website of Daniele Caretti