Polymers: Science, Engineering and Applications

TBC for 2019

For queries about this course

Short Course Administrator
Tel: +44 (0)1483 686122

Course overview

This intensive short course will be given over a period of five days and is designed to provide an analysis of the science and engineering of polymers, and an up-to-date appreciation of the development and application of polymers in engineering and other fields. The emphasis will be on the newer and more advanced materials. The first part of the course will consist of an overview of the underlying science of polymeric materials and will provide a useful introduction to those new to the field (or a refresher for those who have been in it for some time). This will lead in to a detailed discussion of mechanical and physical properties, processing of polymers, characterisation techniques, and development of different types of polymers including both common and advanced polymers. There will also be lectures on some of the more important newer materials for structural, optoelectronic and biomedical applications, and the course will conclude with a discussion of trends of polymer utilisation in leading industries.

Provisional syllabus

Please note that we reserve the right to alter the syllabus. Any major changes will be notified to delegates before the course starts.

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for scientists and technologists in the manufacturing industries, graduates undertaking research and development in academic institutions or research organisations and MSc students. It will serve as an introduction or an update. No specific previous qualifications will be assumed but the level is set to appeal to those of graduate status with some industrial experience. A basic understanding of the structure of polymers will be useful but detailed chemical and mathematical arguments will be avoided. By the conclusion of the course, delegates will have received a sound review of the basic principles of science and engineering of polymers and advanced polymeric materials, and have an overview of current developments relevant to most industrial requirements.

Module aims

This course aims to:

  • Provide an up-to-date appreciation of the developments and applications of polymers in   
  • Provide students with important background and conceptual on the structure and properties of
    polymers with the focus on:
    (i) recent developments in
    (a)        the chemical and physical structure
    (b)        processing
    (c)        and production of new classes of polymers
    that lead to a new range of properties or significant improvement of existing properties;
    (ii) novel applications for polymers or applications where the polymers have found recent expansion in novel areas due to their enhanced or novel properties.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students will:

  • Have a knowledge of the properties, processing and applications of thermoplastics and thermosets, both bulk and specialised materials, latest developments and new or advanced applications for polymers,
  • Be able to use this knowledge in a critical manner to make justified choices of polymeric materials and processes, plan and design the product and manufacturing route for a given application

Module content

  • Synthesis of Polymers
  • The Amorphous State
  • The Crystalline State
  • Mechanical Behaviour
  • Elastomers
  • Thermosets
  • Thermoplastics
  • Chemical Characterisation of Polymers
  • Physical Characterisation of Polymers
  • Processing of Plastics I & II
  • Toughening and Toughening Mechanisms in Polymers
  • Design with Polymers
  • Adhesives and Coatings
  • Polymer Blends and Alloys
  • Conjugated Polymers for Optoelectronic Applications
  • Degradation of polymers
  • Recycling of Polymers
  • Polymers in Microelectronics
  • Polymers in Automotive Applications

Recommended background reading

Extensive course notes are supplied.   

The library has a wide range of textbooks that support the Polymer curriculum, including:

Young RJ & Lovell PA, Introduction to Polymers, 3rd edition, Boca Raton 2011

Brazel, CS & Rosen, SL, Fundamental principles of polymeric materials,e-book, 3rd edition, Wiley, 2012

Pethrick, RA, Polymer science and technology for scientists and engineers, e-book, Whittles, 2010

Erman, Burak, The science and techology of rubber, e-book, 4th edition, Elsevier, 2013

Mittal, Vikas, High performance polymers and engineering plastics, e-book, Wiley, 2011
The Library has also a wide range of relevant journals with the latest research and developments, including Polymer, Polymer Science & Engineering, and Materials World.
Websites of interest include www.azom.com

Course Director

The Course Director is Dr Constantina Lekakou.

Contact us

Find us

Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences
University of Surrey