27581 - Chemistry and Technology of Polymeric Materials

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Chemistry and Materials Chemistry (cod. 8006)

Learning outcomes

At the end of this Course the student is able to evaluate the main parameters that influence the performance of polymeric materials during use and during processing: The student has gained knowledge of the principles of melt rheology, of the main industrial polymer processing technologies and of the environmental impact and recycling of plastics. In particular the student will be able to design and to characterize polymeric objects through the choice of the useful processing technology. In additon the student will have practical knowledge of the most common solid-state characterization techniques of polymeric materials.

Course contents

Pre-requirements: the student must have knowledge of macromolecular chemistry, polymer synthesis, solid-state properties of the main polymeric classes.

The following topics will be part of this course:

1) Introduction and review of the main concepts of macromolecular chemistry

2) Thermal and oxidative degradation processes. 

2) Additives (plasticizers, heat stabilizers, flame retardants) for polymeric materials. 

3) Melt rheology: molecular and technological aspects. Viscoelasticity of polymer melts. Viscosity dependence on temperature, pressure, structural parameters and test conditions. 

4) Industrial processing technologies of synthetic polymers (extrusion, forming, injection, etc.). 

5) Plastics and environment. Recycling (mechanical, chemical, incineration) of heterogeneous and homogeneous plastics.

6) Solid-state characterization techniques of polymeric materials: thermogravimetry, differential scanning calorimetry, mechanical tests. Exrcises on thermogravimetric and calorimetric analysesof polymers; isothermal crystallization of polymers in the hot-stage of optical microscope; stress-strain mechanical tests.

7) Power point presentation of the life cycle of plastic objects by the students

8) visit to a company


Chapters relative to the different subjects of the course in:

- “Fondamenti di Scienza dei polimeri” M.Guaita et al. Ed. Pacini, Pisa,1998

- “Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali Polimerici” S. Brukner et al. Ed. Edises, Napoli, 2001

Moodle platform will be used to deposit power point documents and reading materials. prepared by the teacher.

Teaching methods

The course consists in room lessons.

It is requested the preparation of a power point presentation, by a group of two-three students that will be given to the whole class.

Attendance to course lessons is strongly recommended to understand the most fundamental aspects of the subject and the correlations among the different parts of the programme

The students will be provided with copy of the material shown during lecturing. Presentations will be available for the students through the Moodle platform.

Room exercises on characterization techniques will be performed.

A visit to a industrial company working in relation to the topic of the course. 

Assessment methods

Learning assessment is based on:

- a power point presentation, during the lessons, on the life cycle of a material

oral examination at the end of the course.The oral examination will last around 30-40 minutes.

The oral examination will be based on three questions: (i) a question on chemical-physical and rheological properties of polymeric materials, (ii) a question concerning one of the processing technology, (iii) a question on the recycling of polymeric materials.

To pass the examination the student is requested to answer in a correct and complete way to the 3 questions, if one of the 3 questions is not answered the examination fails.

Good language properties and the ability to make connections among the different parts of the programme will involve a higher score.

Teaching tools

Lectures with the aid of PC, projector.

Office hours

See the website of Maria Letizia Focarete


Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.