Jennifer Weiser

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

ChE 411: Polymer Technology and Engineering

Polymer Technology and Engineering


Ch231 (Organic Chemistry I)
Or permission of instructor

Text and other requirements

Required textbook: Introduction to Polymers by Young and Lovell (3rd recommended, but 2nd is acceptable as well) ISBN-13: 978-0849339295. It can be found new or used on amazon, the book store, or the CRC website. Furthermore, I will be using material from Principles of Polymer Systems by Rodriguez, Cohen, Ober, and Archer (6th edition, but 5th is acceptable as well). ISBN-13: 978-1560329398. These books will be the main resource for this class and I highly recommend you at least purchase a copy of Introduction to Polymers.

Course overview:

This course is designed to introduce the basic principles of polymerization. The course provides the scientific foundation for an understanding of how polymers are named, how they are synthesized, and how their microstructure influences their behavior. Students will develop a vocabulary for the description of polymers and explore how atomistic properties influence larger scale morphology and macroscopic behavior in the scale up of polymer technologies.

This course will a portion of each topic. However, due to time, we may not cover every topic:

Introduction to Polymers (3rd edition)

  • Chapter 1 - Concepts and Nomenclature
  • Chapter 2 - Principles of Polymerization
  • Chapter 3 - Step Polymerization
  • Chapter 4 – Radical Polymerization
  • Chapter 5 – Ionic Polymerization
  • Chapter 6 – Stereochemistry and Coordination Polymerization
  • Chapter 10 – Theoretical Description of Polymers in Solution
  • Chapter 13 – Frictional Properties of Polymers in Solution
  • Chapter 16 – The Amorphous State
  • Chapter 17 – The Crystalline State

Selected topics in

  • Chapter 11 – Number-average molar mass
  • Chapter 12 – Scattering Methods
  • Chapter 14 – Molar Mass Distribution
  • Chapter 19 – Elastic Deformation
  • Chapter 20 – Viscoelasticity

Principles of Polymer Systems (6th edition)

  • Chapter 7 – Viscous Flow
  • Chapter 13 – Fabrication Processes
  • Chapter 14 – Fabrication Processes: Extrusion and Molding

Course goals and objectives:

 By the end of this course, you should be able to: 

  • Draw the structure and name common polymers
  • Define key vocabulary used in describing polymers
  • Explain the difference between step and chain growth polymerization
    • Describe the differences in various types of chain growth polymerization
  • Derive kinetic equations associated with step and chain growth polymerizations
  • Calculate the molar mass of different polymers
  • Describe how polymers behave in different solvents and the importance of a theta solvent
  • Explain the importance of viscosity in polymer solutions and describe how to determine these values
  • Compare and contrast the difference in the amorphous state vs. the crystalline state.
  • Explain how stereochemistry affects different material properties of the same polymer structure.
  • Identify equipment types for many common polymer processes
    • Explain why certain equipment is more appropriate than others in different applications