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Dr J H Gwynne and Prof R E Cameron

This aim of the first part of this course is to build on and complement the polymer topics covered in IA, IB and part II. We will begin by covering models for single polymer chains (partly revision from previous years) and methods for experimentally determining chain dimensions, before considering polymers in solution and polymer phase diagrams. We will then move on to look at polymeric adhesive systems and electronic properties of polymers, and will finish by considering the physical and chemical performance limits of polymers.

The second half of the course covers polymer processing, which concerns the efficient control of polymer manufacturing, harnessing and controlling the intrinsic properties of macromolecules to achieve desired end products. Its ongoing importance stems from the need to control existing processes to make new objects, use different materials, reduce wastage and energy costs, make lighter products, improve properties and lower the price. We will begin by covering the basics of polymer melt rheology and will then cover the consequences of material behaviour during the processing stages, with a consideration of the unique behaviours seen with macromolecular melt flow. We will conclude with an overview of industrial processing methods and processing design.

The first part of this lecture course will cover:

  • Models for single polymer chains and experimental determination of chain dimensions
  • Polymers in solution: Flory-Huggins theory and solubility parameters
  • Phase diagrams: polymer/solvent mixtures, polymer blends, block copolymers
  • Measurement of phase separation
  • Polymer adhesive systems: pressure-sensitive adhesives, liquid adhesives, measurement of bond strength of adhesion
  • Electronic properties of polymers: composites, ionic conduction, electronic conduction in conjugated polymers
  • Physical and chemical performance limits: glass transition, melting, degradation

The second part of this lecture course will cover:

  • Basics of Polymer Melt Rheology
  • Materials Behaviour During Processing
  • Industrial Processing Methods
  • Processing Design