CY1050 : Macromolecules as Engineering Materials

Concepts – Small molecules to macromolecules.  Definitions and nomenclature.  Classification of polymers, types of polymerizations (chain growth, step growth and living), molecular weights and distribution.  An elementary tour of physical methods of determining molecular weights and distribution. (6 hours)

Synthesis of Macromolecules – Thermodynamics and kinetics of chain polymerization with reference to industrially important polymers such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, poly(vinyl chloride).  Thermodynamics and kinetics of step polymerization with reference to specialty polymers such as PET, Nylon, PC, and PU.  Step growth polymerizations involving crosslinking (gelation) or formation of insoluble polymer mass.  Determination of polymer structure via IR and NMR spectroscopies.    (12 hours)

Characterization of polymer structure in the solid state – Characteristics of Amorphous and semicrystalline polymers.  Viscoelasticity.  Glass transition temperature and elementary theories of glass transition.  Rubber elasticity and thermodynamic theory of rubber elasticity.  (9 hours)

Applications – Engineering and specialty polymers, high performance fibres (Kevlar), Composite materials (BMC and SMC), conducting plastics.  Polymers for separation science, biomedical devices, electronics and photonics.      (9 hours)


  1. Polymer Science and Technology by Joel R. Fried, Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd. 1999.
  2. Textbook of Polymer Science, by Fred W. Billmeyer Jr. Fourth Edition, 1999. Wiley-Interscience, New York.
  3. Principle of Polymerization by George Odian, Fourth Edition, Wiley-Interscience, New York 1999.
  4. Polymer Science, By V.R. Gowarikar, N.V. Viswanathan and S. Jayadev.