CHEMISTRY AND POLYMER TECHNOLOGY AND LABORATORY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding
Polymeric materials are one of the most advanced fields of research in chemistry. Polymer science is an highly multidisciplinary field, spanning from organic chemistry to mechanical engineering, which cannot be treated extensively in a single course. Object of the present course is the general introduction to the field of polymer chemistry.
Applying knowledge and understanding.
The student will be able to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge in
the day to day practice in the field of polymer chemistry.
The students will have to be able to:
a) correlate the concepts (making judgements);
b) use them as theoretical background to tackle topics on polymer sciernce not necessarily handled during the course, but connected with it;
c) explain them in an organize way using a proper scientific language.
Proficiency in basic organic chemistry and basic physical chemistry.
Course contents summary
Definitions and nomenclature; average molecular weight; isomerism and stereoisomerism; main classes of polymers, thermodynamic conditions for polymerization.
Step-growth polymerization: statistical treatment, theory of gelation.
Free radical polymerization, anionic and coordination polymerization.
Structure of polymers
Conformations and configurations of polymer chains, polymer morphology.
Crystallization, melting and glass transition.
Methods for the determination of the average molecular weight: Spectroscopic methods for structural analysis: NMR.
Mechanical and reological properties
Introduction to viscoelasticity, mechanical and theoretical models of viscoelastic behaviour.
Laboratory experiences: Polyesters, Nylon, Polystyrene, Emulsion polymerization of PMMA, Polyuretane, Epoxy resins, Silicones, Mechanical tests.
See the content part.
Handsout furnished by the teacher, available online.
The course is organized in 32 teaching hours in which the students are guided to learn and understand the basic concepts of polymer chemistry. These theoretical part is integrated by 10 lab experiences for additional 30 hours, where the student learn how to synthetize the most basic classes of polymers.
The handsout are available on Elly at the beginning of the course. The attendance of the labs is mandatory.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written and oral examination
To verify the level of learning achieved, written tests with open questions will be employed. The questions will span all the topics treated during the course. This type of examination allows to determine in an absolute and comparative fashion: 1) the competence on the different subjects; 2) the ability in giving precise answers to specific questions; 3) the presentation skills; 4) the exactness of the scientific language employed.
Two partial written exams, weigthing respectively 1/£ and 2/3 of the written grade. Each question will be given a mark from 0 to 5. The marks of the two written exams will be summed up and scaled to yield a grade in the 30/30 range. Then the oral examination will determine the ability of the student to discuss and correlate the topics learned. The oral will add 0 to 3 points to the grade of the written examination.
The handsout are available online. The teacher is available for questions upon appointment. Over 5 exams per session.