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Course Postgraduate
Semester Electives
Subject Code CHM872
Subject Title Fundamentals of Polymer Science


Basic concepts, General mechanisms of polymerization reactions- synthesis, kinetics, techniques, Structure- property relationships of polymers.Copolymerization-mechanism-kinetics.Thermodynamics of polymer solutions, Crystal morphologies-Thermal transitions in polymers--Characterization and Testing-Molecular weight determination- Spectroscopy techniques, Thermal properties. Polymer degradation. Production, properties and applications of industrial polymers and general purpose rubbers.  Applications of polymers in materials processing(ceramic, semiconductors and metals).


Detailed version

Basic concepts - Molecular forces - chemical bonding - Molecular weight studies - molecular weight distribution-configuration-conformation-Tacticity-Transitions in polymers-viscoelasticity-types of macromolecules-classification of polymers.

Structure and property relationships:  Crystalline nature of polymers, factors affecting crystallization, crystallization and melting, melting: factors affecting. The glassy state and glass transition.

Mechanistic aspects: General characteristics of chain growth polymerisation, initiators, generation of initiators, free radical, anionic and cationic polymerization, ring opening polymerization,General characteristics of step growth polymerization, mechanism of step growth polymerization, coordination polymerization.  Kinetics of addition, condensation and coordination  polymerization. Copolymerization mechanism, kinetics.

Polymerization techniques: Homogeneous polymerization techniques- Bulk, Solution, Heterogeneous polymerization techniques- Emulsion, Suspension, solid phase polymerisation.

Polymer solutions: Thermodynamics of polymer solutions, Solution properties of polymers, Solubility parameter, Conformation of polymer chains in polymer solutions, Flory-Huggins theory, Flory-Krigbaum theory, Solution viscosity, Osmotic pressure, Molecular size and molecular weight.

Characterization: End group analysis, colligative property measurement, ultra centrifugation, light scattering, gel permeation chromatography, Viscosity methods, IR, NMR etc. Thermal characterization,

Mechanical properties: Tensile, flexural, compressive, abrasion, endurance, fatigue, hardness, tear, resilience, impact, toughness.

Polymer degradation : Types of degradation: Thermal, mechanical, ultrasonic and photodegradation, oxidative and hydrolytic degradation, Biodegradable polymers

Industrial Polymers: Production, properties and applications of industrial polymers; PP, PE,PVC, PS, polyamide, polyacrylates, polyester (PET, PBT). General purpose rubbers: NR, SBR, NPR, EPDM etc

Text Books

1.      F. W. Billmeyer, Textbook of polymer science, 3rd ed., John Wiley & Sons, Asia, New Delhi, 1994.

2.      G. Odian, Principles of Polymerization, 4th ed., Wiley-Interscience, 2004

3.      R. J Young and P. A. Lovell, Introduction to Polymers, 2nd ed., 2004


1.      M. Rubinstein, R.H. Colby, Polymer Physics, Oxford University Press, 2003.

2.      P. Gosh, Polymer Science and Technology, Mc-Graw Hill, 2002.