In order for a student to successfully attend this course, knowledge of macromolecular chemistry is required, which is offered by the respective course. Also, since this is mainly a laboratory course, general knowledge and skills of using laboratory equipment are required, as well as the necessary familiarity with a chemical laboratory.
Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. synthesize a polymer by various techniques, such as mass polymerization, solution, suspension, or emulsion.
2. Understand the peculiarities that exist in polymer synthesis either by the step or chain polymerization mechanism.
3. Distinguish by simple chemical processes different types of polymers as well as different types of fibers.
4. Carry out laboratory measurements of properties of polymers, such as their average molecular weight, etc.
Course Content (Syllabus)
Perform the following laboratory exercises:
1. Preparation of nylon-6,10 (with interphase polymerization and the cord technique).
2. Preparation of polyurethane foam (use of commercial products from construction materials).
3. Synthesis of poly(methyl methacrylate) by emulsion polymerization technique and free radical mechanism.
4. Synthesis of Thiokol-A synthetic elastomer by suspension polymerization technique and step polymerization.
5. Preparation of urea-formaldehyde resin. Preparation of thermosetting resin and its use as an adhesive.
6. Identification of textile fibers. Identification by chemical tests and by burning different types of natural and synthetic fibers.
7. Determination of the number average molecular weight in a linear polyether. Analysis of end groups (hydroxyl) and their use in the calculation of the average molecular weight of a polymer.
8. Determination of the viscosity average molecular weight of the polymer. Use of capillary tube viscometers to measure the intrinsic viscosity of the polymer and then determine the average molecular weight.
9. Bibliographic exercise. Familiarity with bibliographic search sources for a polymer. Presentation of its preparation methods, properties and applications.