cod. 1001427

Academic year 2021/22
3° year of course - First semester
- Enrico DALCANALE - Alessandro PEDRINI
Academic discipline
Chimica industriale (CHIM/04)
Discipline chimiche industriali e tecnologiche
Type of training activity
62 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding
Polymeric materials are one of the most advanced fields of research in chemistry. Polymer science is an highly multidisciplinary field, spanning from organic chemistry to mechanical engineering, which cannot be treated extensively in a single course. Object of the present course is the general introduction to the field of polymer chemistry.
Applying knowledge and understanding.
The student will be able to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge in
the day to day practice in the field of polymer chemistry.
The students will have to be able to:
a) correlate the concepts (making judgements);
b) use them as theoretical background to tackle topics on polymer science not necessarily handled during the course, but connected with it;
c) explain them in an organize way using a proper scientific language.


Proficiency in basic organic chemistry and basic physical chemistry.

Course unit content

Introductory concepts
Definitions and nomenclature; average molecular weight; isomerism and stereoisomerism; main classes of polymers, thermodynamic conditions for polymerization.
Polymer synthesis
Step-growth polymerization: statistical treatment, theory of gelation.
Free radical polymerization, anionic and coordination polymerization.
Polymerization processes
Structure of polymers
Conformations and configurations of polymer chains, polymer morphology.
Crystallization, melting and glass transition.
Polymer characterization
Methods for the determination of the average molecular weight: Spectroscopic methods for structural analysis: NMR.
Mechanical and reological properties
Introduction to viscoelasticity, mechanical and theoretical models of viscoelastic behaviour.
Laboratory experiences: Polyesters, Nylon, Polystyrene, Emulsion polymerization of PMMA, Polyuretane, Epoxy resins, Silicones, Mechanical tests.

Full programme

See the content part.


Handouts furnished by the teacher, available on Elly.

Teaching methods

The course is organized in 32 teaching hours in which the students are guided to learn and understand the basic concepts of polymer chemistry.
This theoretical part is integrated by 10 lab experiences for additional 30 hours, where the student learn how to synthetize the most basic classes of polymers.
The handouts are available on Elly at the beginning of the course.
The attendance of the labs is mandatory.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written and oral examination
To verify the level of learning achieved, written tests with open questions will be employed. The questions will span all the topics treated during the course. This type of examination allows to determine in an absolute and comparative fashion: 1) the competence on the different subjects; 2) the ability in giving precise answers to specific questions; 3) the presentation skills; 4) the exactness of the scientific language employed.
Two partial written exams, weighting respectively 1/3 and 2/3 of the written grade. Each question will be given a mark from 0 to 5. The marks of the two written exams will be summed up and scaled to yield a grade in the 30/30 range. Then the oral examination will determine the ability of the student to discuss and correlate the topics learned. The oral will add 0 to 3 points to the grade of the written examination.
With the persistence of the Covid-19 emergency, the exam can be carried out remotely at the motivated request of the student.

Other information

The handouts are available on Elly. The teacher is available for questions upon appointment. Over 5 exam dates per session.