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Online Course

Polymers: concepts, properties, uses and sustainability

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and NPTEL via Swayam


Polymers in solar cells, rubbers in soft robot, polymer composite in ISRO launch vehicle –these are some examples of cutting edge applications of polymeric materials. On the other hand, we see other examples of polymeric materials such as plastics and fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) all around us. What is so special about polymers, and why/how can they be used in such diverse applications? This course will introduce basic concepts related to polymeric materials; engineering estimations about their properties; various applications;and their impact on sustainability.
PREREQUISITES :First year courses in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, and Engineering Thermodynamics
INDUSTRIES SUPPORT :Plastics processors, FMCG companies,Automotive companies, Biotech firms



Week 1: Why are polymers so common?;Polymers: Molecular structure and synthesis;Polymers: basic terms,Biopolymers;Molecular weight and distribution;Polymerization;Renewable sourcesWeek 2: Macromolecular nature;Depolymerization;States: solution, melt, rubbery, glassy;Terms: plastic, FRP, rubber, gel;Reuse;Recycle;Molecular picture: solution, melt, rubber, gel;Size, flexibility and mobility of macromoleculesWeek 3: Polyelectrolytes 1;Polyelectrolytes 2;Amorphous, semi-crystalline and liquid crystalline 1;Amorphous, semi-crystalline and liquid crystalline 2;Orientation and stretching;Interactions in polymers 1;Interactions in polymers 2Week 4: Optical applications;Glass transition 1;Glass transition 2;States in environment 1;States in environment 2;Copolymers 1;Copolymers 2Week 5: Blends 1;Blends 2;Microstructure in blends and copolymers;Composites;Properties of blends, copolymers and composites 1;Polymer additives;Blending and composites in recycling 1;Blending and composites in recycling 2Week 6: Mechanical properties of polymers 1;Mechanical properties of polymers 2;Physical and chemical aging 1;Physical and chemical aging 2;Conducting polymers;Dielectric and conducting properties 1;Dielectric and conducting properties 2Week 7: Properties of blends, copolymers and composites 2;Properties of blends, copolymers and composites 3;Polymers at different temperatures 1;Polymers at different temperatures 2;Viscoelasticity in polymers 1;Viscoelasticity in polymers 2;Viscoelasticity in polymers 3;DampingWeek 8: Impact and energy absorption;Polymer packaging;Diffusion in polymers 1;Diffusion in polymers 2;Foams / porous materials 1;Foams / porous materials 2;Recycle, Value addition, Upcycle, downcycle 1;Recycle,Value addition, Upcycle, downcycle 2;Recycle, Value addition, Upcycle, downcycle 3Week 9: Polymer interfaces 1;Polymer interfaces 2;Compatibilizers in blends and composites;Polymer processing 1;Polymer processing 2;Polymer processing 3;Cutting, crushing and grinding 1;Cutting, crushing and grinding 2Week 10:Paints and coatings;Adhesives;Solubilization and recovery;Polymer dispersions 1;Polymer dispersions 2;Polymeric materials in nature 1;Polymeric materials in nature 2;Polymeric materials in nature 3Week 11:Absorption and leaching 1;Absorption and leaching 2;Aerosols 1;Aerosols 2;Microplastics 1;Microplastics 2Week 12:Thermal charaterization of polymers;Mechanical characterization of polymers;Biodegradation 1;Biodegradable polymers 1;Biodegradable polymers 2;Combustion of polymers 1;Combustion of polymers 2

Taught by

Prof. Abhijit P Deshpande

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