TKP4130 - Polymer Chemistry


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Polymer Design Group Report
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Polymer Design Group Report 100/100

Course content

The course provides an introduction to polymer chemistry based on synthesis mechanisms associated with chain-growth and step-growth polymerization, including advanced mechanisms such as ATRP (atom transfer radical polymerization), living polymerization, and coordination polymerization. Basic knowledge is provided with regards to polymerization kinetics, network formation, and gelation. Industrial polymerization processes are considered in light of production rates as well as the form and properties of the reaction mass and final product. Polymer structure/conformation and transitions from liquid (melt) to solid (polymer crystal or glass) states are discussed using equilibrium thermodynamics, kinetics and free volume considerations. Polymer solubility/miscibility and phase diagrams are determined based on Flory Huggin's theory. Knowledge is conveyed of molecular weight determination via osmotic pressure, viscometry and SEC (size exclusion chromatography). A cursory introduction is provided into the mechanical and rheological properties of polymers. A recurring theme in the course is applications of polymers pursuant to the global sustainable development goals.

Learning outcome

At the end of the course the students should be able to:

- Explain (1) step-growth and chain-growth polymerization, with respect to synthesis mechanisms and kinetics, (2) crystalline melting temperature and glass transition temperature, including the influence of kinetics, and (3) the flow properties of polymer melts and polymer solutions, with respect to both temperature and molecular weight.

- Derive gelation conditions in systems containing a mixture of binary and multi-functional monomers, and thereby designate the experimental conditions resulting in gelation for a given system.

- Distinguish between enthalpic and entropic contributions to polymer crystallization, and evaluate factors such as polymer structure, molecular weight, branching, and dilution on crystallinity.

- Interpret experimental data and determine parameters such as polymerization rates, reactivity ratios, and co-polymer composition, as well as predict changes with time in produced product composition and characteristics for a given co-polymerization process, based on these parameters.

- Calculate the solubility of a given polymer in a given solvent, as well as the mutual miscibility of various polymer types.

- Plan experiments and analyze the experimental data for polymer molecular weight determination via viscometry, osmotic pressure and SEC.

- Critically review polymer research reports and assess the technical utility and implications of the documented results, also with respect to environmental considerations and sustainability.

- Show an understanding of the fact that polymer-related problems can be complex and incomplete and contain contradictory conditions, also with respect to mechanical and rheological properties.

- Demonstrate an ability to quickly acquire knowledge in new polymer-related applications and to acquire new knowledge for the innovation and development of polymer materials and related processes, also with respect to sustainability considerations.

- Communicate challenges, analysis, and conclusions related to polymer chemistry, both orally and textually, also with respect to the global sustainable development goals.

Learning methods and activities

Mini-lectures, group-based discussions with subsequent summarizing in plenum, digital quizzes, group-based student-active problem solving, self-study, group-based literature review, and group project work.

Expected workload per week is 4 hours of student-active lectures, 4 hours of self-study and 4 hours of group work.

Further on evaluation

Assessment consists of a 60 page polymer design group report (3 or 4 students per group).

Course materials

P. C. Painter and M. M. Coleman: Fundamentals of Polymer Science, 2. ed.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIK2043 7.5
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2023

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Chemical Engineering


Examination arrangement: Polymer Design Group Report

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Polymer Design Group Report 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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