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Fall 2014 Page 1

MTLE-4050, Introduction to Polymers


Instructor Teaching Assistant
Rahmi Ozisik Richard Hutchison
MRC-205 MRC-233
ozisik@rpi.edu hutchr2@rpi.edu
Office hours: Mondays 11:2012:00 Office hours: Tuesdays 4:006:00 @ MRC Lounge
Description
Introduction to Polymers is a first course on polymer physics and structure-property relationships. Topics
include chemical and molecular structure; morphology (structure) of amorphous and crystalline polymers;
crystallization phenomena; polymer solutions and blends; physical properties of polymers in relation to
structure, including rubber elasticity, viscoelasticity, and glass transition; and mechanical and rheological
properties and testing.
Course Objectives
The objective of this course is to familiarize the student with polymer terminology, structure of polymeric
materials, their properties, means of examining these properties and finally, give the student the necessary
background for further studies on polymers.
Upon successful completion of the course, the students are expected to:
! Describe the chemical structure of polymers,
! Distinguish and describe the crystalline and amorphous structure of polymers,
! Distinguish and derive the different forms of molecular weight averages,
! Evaluate the chemical structure and morphology via experimental techniques,
! Relate the structure of polymers to their mechanical and rheological properties.
To achieve these objectives, we will resort to lecture style instructions comprising of the introduction of
new concepts, derivation of formulas, and solutions of sample problems. Lectures will, for the most part,
follow the order of the text, although not always on a page-by-page basis.
Required Text
Essentials of Polymer Science and Engineering, Paul C. Painter and Michael M. Coleman, DEStech
Publications, 2009
Prerequisites
There are no prerequisites for this course. This is a companion course to CHEM-4620, Introduction to
Polymer Chemistry.
Course Assessment
Homework assignments contribute to the final grade. In your solutions, the method of calculation must be
shown clearly. When physical properties are involved, all units and their cancellations must be shown
clearly in at least one step of the problem. If homework assignment contains creation of plots, then all
plots must be generated on a computer using an appropriate computer program of the students choice. No
hand drawn plots or drawings will be accepted. The class TA will be responsible for homework collection
and grading.
There will be 4 laboratory assignments. The deliverables for each assignment will be defined in the
assignment. All laboratory assignments must be typed. No hand written assignments will be accepted.
The class TA will be responsible for grading these assignments.
Examinations: There will be two 80-minute examinations given during regular lecture periods.
Exam 1: Covers material from chapters 2, 7, 8, and 9.
Exam 2: Covers material from chapters 10, 11.
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A final examination covering all the material in the course will be given at the end of the course during
final exam period.
The graded lecture examinations will be returned to students, while the instructor will keep the final
exam. However, students can review the grading of the final exam in the instructors office.
Grading Criteria
Homework 18%
Laboratory 12%
Exams 40%
Final 25%
Participation 5%
A: 90100%
B: 8089%
C: 6579%
D: 5064%
F: 049%

These are only approximate guidelines. For example, students, whose performance is continually
improving, will likely get a better grade than their numerical performance indicates. In cases where the
student is close to the next grade threshold, particular attention will be paid to the final exam
performance.
Attendance
Attendance will be not taken during the lecture, but is strongly recommended. Diligent note taking and
questioning the instructor is one of the most effective learning techniques. Students are responsible for
any homework or other material presented/assigned during the lecture period. Attendance at lecture
exams is required. No make-up examinations will be given. A student who misses a lecture examination
will be excused from it only for compelling reasons. The excuse must be rendered to the instructor in
writing and, if the absence was foreseeable, before the examination. A student who is absent from the
final examination will be given a grade of F unless excused by the Dean of Students. Early final
examinations will not be given, therefore do not make any travel plans until the date of the final exam is
announced by the institute.
Academic Integrity
The relationship between students and faculty is based upon trust, and the continued maintenance of this
trust is necessary for education to be successful. Students need to trust faculty to make appropriate
judgments as to the content and structure of the course. Faculty members need to trust that the work
turned in by students represents their own effort. Violation of this trust undermines the educational
process. As a result, there is no tolerance for breach of academic integrity such as cheating or
plagiarizing. Anyone caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive an F in this course. Cheating can
include sharing answers, as well as stealing answers. Plagiarism means copying words from someones
work, even if you change the sentence a bit.
Students may discuss homework and help each other in understanding particular difficulties, however,
students cannot simply copy solutions from each other. All assignments submitted to the instructor have
to be the work of the individual.
Examination work is strictly individual.
Disabilities Statement
Any student with a disability that may affect their performance in this class is encouraged to speak to the
instructor or the Office of Disabled Student Services at 276-2746 or http://www.rpi.edu/doso/dss/ to
arrange for suitable accommodation.
Syllabus Change Policy
This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change by the instructor.

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Course Schedule
Week Date Topic Reading Assigned Problems DUE
1 8/25 Microstructure and Molecular Weight 139 2.12.8 9/4
8/28 Microstructure and Molecular Weight 4043
2 9/1 NO CLASS
9/4 Spectroscopy and the Characterization of Chain
Microstructure
167174 7.1,7.4,7.5,7.7 9/11
3 9/8 Spectroscopy and the Characterization of Chain
Microstructure
175202
9/11 Structure and Morphology 205222 8.1,8.2(A,B),8.48.7 9/25
4 9/15 Structure and Morphology 223235
9/18 Structure and Morphology 235237
5 9/22 Structure and Morphology
9/25 Natural Polymers 243252 9.2 9/29
6 9/29 Crystallization, Melting and the Glass Transition 298308 10.310.13 10/16
10/2 EXAM I (Chapters 2, 7, 8, 9)
7 10/6 Crystallization, Melting and the Glass Transition 309317
10/9 Crystallization, Melting and the Glass Transition 318328
8 10/14 Crystallization, Melting and the Glass Transition
10/16 Polymer Solutions and Blends 331339 11.1,11.3,11.611.8 10/27
9 10/20 Polymer Solutions and Blends 340352
10/23 Polymer Solutions and Blends 345354
10 10/27 Molecular Weight and Branching 361365 LAB 1: 12.1 11/3
10/30 Molecular Weight and Branching 366375 LAB 2: 12.2,12.3,12.5 11/6
11 11/3 Molecular Weight and Branching 376382 LAB 3: 12.4 11/10
11/6 Molecular Weight and Branching 383388 LAB 4: 12.6 (A and B) 11/13
12 11/10 Mechanical and Rheological Properties 399419 13.113.4,13.613.10* 12/4
11/13 Mechanical and Rheological Properties 408425
13 11/17 Mechanical and Rheological Properties 426434
11/20 EXAM II (Chapters 10, 11, 12)
14 11/24 Mechanical and Rheological Properties 435444
11/27 NO CLASS
15 12/1 Mechanical and Rheological Properties 445469
12/4 Review

IMPORTANT NOTES:
* Chapter 13, Question 7 has mistakes and cannot be solved in the way it is written in the book. The
correct version is as follows:
Consider a piece of rubber subjected to a shear stress such that !
x
= !, !
y
= 1, and !
z
= 1/ !.
Derive an equation relating the shear stress, ", to the shear strain, #. Assume # = ! 1/ !.
Comment on the difference between this stress/strain behavior and the one for simple
elongation.