Polymer and Materials Chemistry

Module code: CH2207

Why is your frying pan non-stick? What makes a bulletproof vest bulletproof? What links the frame of a Glock pistol with a pack of tights?

Teflon, Kevlar and Nylon; materials and polymers created through material chemistry, which is the design and synthesis of materials with interesting or potentially useful physical characteristics. This module will introduce you to the exciting and ever-developing field of polymer and materials chemistry, an area with countless real-world applications.

Topics covered

  • Materials mechanics and the strength of materials in relation to their molecular structure
  • The formation of composites; the chemical and physical properties of composites based upon the knowledge of their components and their properties
  • The methods for production of polymers and characterisation of their properties (e.g. glass transition temperature), and how polymer structure affects physical properties
  • Polymer classification on the basis of their structure, properties or origin
  • The applications of polymers and their relation to their structure and properties
  • The key mechanisms for polymerisation (radical, cationic and anionic) and for cross-linking
  • Repeat units of polymers and appropriate routes for their synthesis
  • How kinetic & thermodynamic factors affect polymerisation reactions

Learning

  • 33 hours of lectures
  • 2 hours of practical classes/workshops
  • 115 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Coursework (25%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (75%)