Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Chemistry of Polymers

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course




   1. Classification of polymers:
       Classification of polymers by origin, chain structure, thermal behaviour, monomer composition, polymerization
       mechanism, configurations and application.

   2. Polymerisability:
       Functionality, reactivity and purity of monomers. Thermodynamics of polymerisation.

   3. Reactivity of polymer molecules:
       Flory’s principle of equal reactivity. Influence of viscosity on reactivity. The functional group approach.

   4. Condensation polymerization:
       Extent of reaction and average degree of polymerization. Kinetics of condensation polymerization. Limits to
       the degree of polymerization; Stoichiometric imbalance and impurity, polycondensation polymers. Important
       condensation polymers eg: polyesters, polyamides, epoxy resins and new condensation polymers.

   5. Addition polymerization:
       Classification. Radical addition polymerization. Kinetics of radical addition polymerization. Cationic
       polymerization. xAnionic polymerization. Coordination polymerization; Ziegler-Natta polymerization, ring
       opening metathesis polymerization.

   6. Copolymerization:
       The copolymer equation. Random, block and graft copolymers.

   7. Polymerization techniques:
       Polymerization systems; bulk polymerization, solutions polymerization, suspension polymerization, emulsion
       polymerization. Polymerization reactors; condensation polymerization, radical addition polymerization.

   8. Inorganic polymers:
       Some important ‘inorganic’ polymerization reactions; condensation polymerization, addition polymerization, ring
       opening polymerization.

   9. Polymer solutions:
       Solubility of polymers. Shape of long chain molecules in solution. Viscosity of polymer solutions. Thermodynamics
       of polymer solutions.

 10. Measurements of molar masses and molar mass distribution:
       Determination of average molar masses; end group analysis, membrane, osmometry, vapour pressure
       osmometry, light scattering, viscometry on dilute polymer solutions. Determination of the molar mass
       distribution; introduction, turbidimetric titration, fractionation, gel permeation chromatography, MALDI.

 11. Physical properties:
       Thermal behaviour of polymers; glass transition temperature, crystallization, relation between structure and
       thermal properties; Mechanical properties. Methods of studying the physical properties of polymers.

 12. Flow properties of polymeric systems.

 13. Role of polymers in the stability of colloidal systems

 14. Biopolymers

Recommended Text

  -  Walton D. & Lorimer P., Polymers. Oxford University Press


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Progress Test SEM1 No 15%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 85%

LECTURER/S Emmanuel Sinagra

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.