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  3. Polymers and Composites

Polymers and Composites (MREN90001)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeMREN90001
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Students are introduced to Polymer Chemistry. The influence of chemical constituents on structure–property relationships is explained. Polymerisation reactions including free radical and ion are covered including initiation, step and chain growth and termination steps. The physical properties of polymers including MW and how to measure it with viscosity and GPC are described. Chemical characterisation including spectroscopy and NMR is elucidated. Polymer properties such as Tg, Tm and viscoelasticityare are described. The influence of polymer architecture including co-polymers and crystalline domains is discussed. Students are also introduced to other topics covering elastomers and rubbers. Description of polymers in solution including solubility parameter and chi are presented. The role of chain entanglement in polymer melts on viscoelasticity is described. Polymers as solids particularly mechanical behaviour is covered including thermoplastic and thermoset polymers. Polymer processing including injection moulding, compression moulding, blowing, extrusion, fibre and film formation is discussed. Students will be introduced to composites including all material classes. Particular detailed focus is on polymer matrix composites including particle and fibre reinforced materials. Mechanical properties of composites including, elastic modulus, strength and toughening mechanisms are covered.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Relate polymer physio-chemical properties to polymer behaviour
  • Evaluate and select polymers for specific applications
  • Compare and contrast behaviour of polymers in solutions, melts and solids
  • Link processing technologies to types of polymers and shape capabilities
  • Design composite microstructures to produce materials with tailored properties

Generic skills

  • Capacity for independent thought. Awareness of advanced technologies in the discipline. Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals. Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution. The ability to comprehend complex concepts and communicate lucidly this understanding. The ability to confront unfamiliar problems. In-depth technical competence in at least one engineering discipline. Ability to plan work and to use time effectively. Ability to apply engineering methods to solve complex problems.

Last updated: 5 May 2019