Part 1: Polymerization
Classification of monomers and polyreactions, correlation with polymer microstructure.
Step polyreactions, kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of polycondensations, most probable distribution of molecular weights, control of polymerization.
Chain polyreactions, phases of free-radical poyadditions, kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of free radical polyadditions, distribution of molecular weights, chain transfer and control of molecular weight, effect of temperature.
Chain polyreactions, ionic processes, phases of cationic and anionic polymerizations, living anionic polymerizations and block copolymers. Ziegler-Natta catalysis and stereospecific polymerization. Control of the polymer microstructure.
Copolymerization, derivation of the kinetic model, reactivity ratios and Lewis-Mayo equation, F1-f1 diagrams, Alfrey-Price parameters, yield and control of compositional drift in copolymerization. Determination of composition in copolymers.
Crosslinking ad thermoset polymers. Carothers and Flory's statistical models for the estimation of the gel point in crosslinking processes. Experimental monitoring of the gel time.
Industrial production of polymers: batch and continuous processes, homogeneous and heterogeneous processes. Bulk polymerization, suspesnsion polymerization, emulsion polymerization. Production of PET, PA6, PVC, SBR.
Part 2: Rubber science and technology
Structural requirements of elastomeric materials, correlation with intra and intermolecular parameters. Definition of entropic elasticity.
Classical thermodynamics of rubber elasticity, derivation of the equation of state of elasticity at constant pressure and constant volume; thermoelastic inversion.
Molecular (statistical) theory of rubber elasticity; gaussian chain and elastic retraction force, Kuhn model and ideal rubber, affine deformation and derivation of the constitutive law for ideal rubber.
Behavior of real elastomers; hysteresis and dissipation, strain-induced crystallization of stereoregular rubbers, Mooney-Rivlin plot.
Vulcanization of rubbers; sulfur, peroxy and ionic vulcanization processes. Process monitoring by rheological and thermal methods. Isothermal kinetic modelling of rubber vulcanization.
Mechanical reinforcement of real elastomers; reinforcing fillers, small deformation behavior and Payne effect; large deformation behavior.
Expected final competencies
Good knowledge of the main industrial polymerization processes including: step polycondensation, chain polyaddition (free-radical and ionic), copolymerization.
Good knowledge of the theoretical and practical process control methods including control of molecular weight and molecular weight distribution, conversion, polymer microstucture, composition.
Good knowledge of polymer crosslinking methods, including designing of formulations and process monitoring.
Good knowledge of entropic-elastic mechanical behavior, and correlation with polymer microstructure.
Good knowledge of rubber vulcanization chemistry and process control.