ME 417 Introduction to Polymer Processing

3 graduate credits

Instructor: Professor A. Jeffrey Giacomin
Phone: 608/262-7473

Course objective:
To provide a fundamental understanding of polymer processing.

Course description:
Description of the physical, thermal, mechanical, and rheological properties of polymeric materials relevant to their processing behavior. Review of the basic transport phenomena equations: mass, momentum, and energy. Analysis of various processing operations for the manufacture of polymeric articles, with particular emphasis on extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming, and compression molding. Discussion of plastics recycling issues.

Topics covered:

  • Continuum mechanics
  • Energy and heat transfer
  • Pressure driven flow
  • Calendaring
  • Extrusion dies
  • Mold flow
  • Extrusion
  • Wire coating
  • Pipe extrusion
  • Fiber spinning
  • Film casting
  • Film blowing
  • Viscoelasticity
  • Flow instabilities

Basic understanding of fluid mechanics

Weekly homework assignments; answers provided, not required to be turned in.

Two exams plus a final.

Fundamentals of Polymer Processing, S. Middleman, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1977. Out-of-print; contact the Department of Engineering Professional Development.

Course notes:

Associated web site:
Rheology Research Center


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