SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF POLYMERIC MATERIALS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course is divided in two parts: the first one aims to provide the basic knowledges concerning the preparation, the characterization and the properties of polymers; the second one deals with the formulation and the processing technologies of plastics, particularly of those involved in the packaging field.
Course contents summary
Polymers: definition and nomenclature, functionality.
Characterization of macromolecules: molecular masses, degree of polymerization, polydispersity index.
Experimental methods for the determination of average molecular masses: Osmometry, Viscometry, Light Scattering, Gel Permeation Chromatography.
Step-growth polymerizations: mechanism, distribution of products, functionality effects, kinetics.
Chain-growth polymerizations: mechanism and kinetics of polymerization via free radicals, cationic polymerization, anionic polymerization, coordination polymerization.
Structure and properties of polymers: degree of cristallinity, thermal properties, mechanical and rheological properties.
Introduction to plastic materials: thermoplastics and thermosettings, plastics for packaging.
Formulation of plastics.
Plasticizers. The mechanism of plasticizer action. Internal and external plasticizers. Lubricant additives.
Thermal degradation of polymers. Heat stabilizers. The prevention of PVC degradation.
Autoxidation of polymers. Antioxidants and their mechanism of action.
Photooxidation and stabilization mechanisms. UV stabilizers.
Biodegradation of polymers. Biologically degradable materials.
The recycling of plastic materials.
Fillers and reinforcing additives. Manufacture of reinforced plastics.
Foaming additives. Manufacture of foamed plastics.
Duplicated lecture notes.
I.M. CAMPBELL, Introduction to synthetic polymers, Oxford Science Pub.
P.C. PAINTER, M.M. COLEMAN, Fundamentals of polymer science, 2nd Ed., Technomic Pub. 1997.