Processing of Plastics and Rubber

NAME OF THE COURSE Processing of Plastics and Rubber



Year of study


Course teacher

Prof Matko Erceg

Credits (ECTS)


Associate teachers

Type of instruction (number of hours)






Status of the course


Percentage of application of e-learning

0 %


Course objectives

- Understanding the modern methods of plastics and rubber processing
- Understanding the modern methods of recovery of plastic and rubber waste
- Implementation of the adopted basic knowledge in finding optimal solutions in the processing and recycling of plastics and rubber

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course

Enrolled in or passed the cours Exercises in Processing of Plastics and Rubber

Learning outcomes expected at the level of the course (4 to 10 learning outcomes)

After passing the exam, the student is expected to be able to:
- identify and compare the properties and behavior of the polymers during processing and application
- explain the importance of polymer additives
- explain the most important methods of polymer processing
- explain the difference between plastic and rubber
- choose the optimal method for recovery of plastic and rubber waste

Course content broken down in detail by weekly class schedule (syllabus)

1st week: Historical development plastics and rubber processing methods. The nomenclature of the polymer. Introduction to the structure and processing of polymers.
2nd week: Types of polymers: thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers, thermoplastic elastomers.
3rd week: Mechanical and thermal properties of polymers.
4th week: The rheological properties of the polymers.
5th week: Additives to polymers. Processing procedures.
6th week: Primary shaping procedures. Continuous processes: calendering, continuous coating.
7th week: Primary shaping procedures. Continuous processes: extrusion. coextrusion.
8th week: Primary shaping processes. Discontinuous: casting, sintering, compression molding, transfer molding.
9th week: Primary shaping processes. Discontinuous: injection molding. Specific injection molding procedures (gas assisted injection moulding, inserts in plastic mouldings, structural foam, pultrusion).
10th week: Secondary shaping procedures: warm and cold secondary shaping, blowing, drawing, shrinkage.
11th week: Bonding, welding. Surface improvement of plastics.
12th week: Production of foamed and reinforced (composite) plastics.
13th week: Methods of recovery of plastic waste: material (mechanical, chemical, a solvent) and energy. Disposal of plastic waste.
14th week: Rubber, elastomeric material, vulcanisate. Natural and synthetic rubber. Methods of rubber processing: mastication, vulcanization.
15th week: Design and manufacture of rubber tires. Recycling of tires and rubber regeneration.

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Attending lectures in the 80% amount of the total number of lessons.

Screening student work (name the proportion of ECTS credits for eachactivity so that the total number of ECTS credits is equal to the ECTS value of the course):

Class attendance




Practical training


Experimental work








Seminar essay






Oral exam




Written exam






Grading and evaluating student work in class and at the final exam

Continuous evaluation:
The entire exam can be passed over two colloquium during the semester. Pass threshold for each colloquium is 50%. Each colloquium participates with 45% in a final grade while attending lectures in 80-100% amount is 10% of a final grade.
Final evaluation:
One passed colloquium (previous activity) is recognized as 10% of a final grade. The remaining part is taken on written and oral exam at prescribed examination terms. Written exam accounts for 40% and oral exam for 50%, respectively.
Students who did not take or pass colloquiums take written and oral exam at prescribed examination terms. Passing threshold is 50%. Written exam accounts for 50% and oral exam for 50% of a final grade, respectively.
Grades definitions and percentages: sufficient (50-61%), good (62-74%), very good (75-87%), excellent (88-100%).

Required literature (available in the library and via other media)


Number of copies in the library

Availability via other media

A. Rogić, I. Čatić, D. Godec, Polimeri i polimerne tvorevine, Društvo za plastiku i gumu, Zagreb, 2008.


I. Čatić, Uvod u proizvodnju polimernih tvorevina, Društvo plastičara i gumaraca, Zagreb, 1990.


M. Šercer, D. Opsenica, G. Barić, Oporaba plastike i gume, mtg topograf d.o.o., Zagreb, 2000.


A. Azapagic, A. Emsley, I. Hamerton, Polymers, The Environment and Sustainable Development, Wiley, 2003.


Optional literature (at the time of submission of study programme proposal)

H. F. Gilles, Jr., J. R. Wagner, Jr., E. M. Mount, III., Extrusion: The Definitive Processing Guide and Handbook, William Andrew, Inc., New York, 2005.; I. Čatić, F. Johannaber, Injekcijsko prešanje polimera i ostalih materijala, DPG i Katedra za preradu polimera Fakulteta strojarstva i brodogradnje Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, 2004.; Z. Janović, Polimerizacije i polimeri, Hrvatsko društvo kemijskih inženjera i tehnologa, Zagreb, 1997.

Quality assurance methods that ensure the acquisition of exit competences

Quality assurance will be performed at three levels: (1) University Level, (2) Faculty Level by Quality Control Committee, (3) Lecturer’s Level.

Other (as the proposer wishes to add)