Polymeric Materials Laboratory--Characterization (1) Principles and practices involved in determination of properties, structure and morphology, employing thermal, mechanical, spectroscopic, viscometric and computer techniques.
MATSE 474 Polymeric Materials Laboratory--Characterization (1)
Prerequisite for the course is MATSE 443. This course introduces the student to a series of simple physical and physical-chemistry tests on polymers that are the basis for a wide range of more complex tests routinely carried out in industry. In addition to the tests listed below students are also instructed in preparation of lab reports and in some of the typical problems associated with presenting data. A final report utilizes data collected by a number of different student teams throughout the course of the lab. Finally, students are demonstrated a number of state-of-the-art characterization tools used specifically to determine properties of interest in the polymer area. Grading is based on written lab reports (10% for each of 8 separate reports and 20%) for a final comprehensive report using data from other groups as well as the student's own group.
Injection Molding - students work with a simple injection molder to find optimum molding conditions to prepare sample bars for mechanical testing.
Static Mechanical Testing - an Instron is used to determine modulus, yield, and elongation to break for samples prepared above and for other materials.
Izod Impact Test - injection molded samples are used to measure notched impact tests on what are typically tough materials.
Dilute Solution Viscometer - standard solution viscosity tests are used to measure intrinsic viscosity of polymer solutions and (viscosity average) molecular weight.
Melt Viscometer - melt index and 'die swell' are easily measured with a simple ram and die 'melt indexer' as a measure of processibility.
Optical Microscopy - some semi-crystallizable polymers produce large enough spherulities that rate of crystallization can be followed optically.
Elasticity - a simple experiment measuring the retractive force of an elastic band as a function of temperature shows the entropic origin of elasticity.
A computer program (VI) allows students to try a wide variety of 'what if' experiments to measure the effects of a range of copolymerization parameters.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.