Structure and Properties of Polymers

NAME OF THE COURSE Structure and Properties of Polymers



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

- acquire knowledge about the structural properties of the polymer
- ability to connect the structure with properties of polymers
- understanding the mechanisms of polymer degradation
- ability to analyze polymers using modern instrumental techniques

Course enrolment requirements and entry competences required for the course


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:
- distinguish different types of polymers
- explain the specific structure of the polymer
- argue correlation of structure and properties of polymers
- describe the basic properties of polymers (mechanical, thermal, optical, electrical)
- carry out tests of thermal, mechanical and structural properties of polymers
- describe the mechanisms of polymer degradation
- dse the acquired knowledge in engineering practice

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

1st week: Introduction. Basic concepts and terminology. Types of polymers: thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers, thermoplastic elastomers.
2nd week: The structure of polymers: the size of macromolecules, molecular weight, homopolymers, copolymers, the configuration of macromolecules.
3rd week: The conformation of macromolecules. Morphology of macromeolecular systems.
4th week: Phase states and physical states of polymers. Thermomechanical curve. Polymer liquid crystals.
5th week: Differential scanning calorimetry. Transition temperatures: the glass transition temperature, the melting temperature, the crystallization temperature.
6th week: Thermal degradation of polymers. Thermogravimetric analysis.
7th week: UV/VIS spectroscopy. Oxidative degradation. Ozonation.
8th week: Photochemical and photooxidative degradation. Ionizing degradation.
9th week: Chemical and mechanical degradation. Aging. Biodegradation.
10th week: The thermal stability and combustibility of polymers.
11th week: The permeability of polymers. Thermal properties of polymers.
12th week: The mechanical properties of polymers.
13th week: The optical properties of polymers. The solubility of polymers.
14th week: Electrical properties of polymers. Conductive polymers.
15th week: Infrared Spectroscopy.
Exercises: Identification of polymers by primary tests, Viscometric determination of molecular weight of polymers, Identification of polymers and additives by infrared spectroscopy, Determination of glass transition temperature by thermomechanical method, Determination of the glass transition and the melting temperature by differential scanning calorimetry, Analysis of structure of degraded poly(vinyl chloride) by UV/VIS spectroscopy, Thermogravimetric analysis of polymers, Determination of hardness - Shore hardness.

Format of instruction:

Student responsibilities

Attending lectures in the 80% amount and laboratory exercises in the 100% 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 35% in a final grade. Laboratory exercises (50-100% success) participate with 20% 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 30%, oral exam for 40%, while laboratory exercises account for 20% of a final grade, 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 40%, oral exam for 40%, while laboratory exercises account for 20% 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

T. Kovačić, Struktura i svojstva polimera, Kemijsko-tehnološki fakultet Split, Split, 2010.


Web knjižnica KTF-a

C. E. Carraher, Jr., Seymour/Carracher’s Polymer Chemistry, 4thEdition, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, 1996.


I. M. Campbel, Introduction to Synthetic polymers, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000.


D. J. David, A. Misra, Relating Materials Properties to Structure, Technomic Publishing Co., Lancaster, 1999.


P. J. Haines, Thermal Methods of Analysis, Principles, Application and Problems, Blackie Academic &Professional, Glasgow, 1995.


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

Z. Janović, Polimerizacije i polimeri, Hrvatsko društvo kemijskih inženjera i tehnologa, Zagreb, 1997.
D. W. van Krevelen, Properties of Polymers, Elsevier Science B. V., Amsterdam, 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)