Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Structure, Properties and Applications of Polymers A

Module aims

This module aims to develop an understanding of the mechanical properties, processing characteristics and failure modes of the principal classes of polymers, in terms of their structure and to use such data for material selection.The module develops familiarity with available processing technologies, and how they influence the design and properties of plastic components. The module also develops understanding of the viscoelastic nature of polymers, and to account for time- and temperature-dependent behaviour. This is a level 6 version of the enhanced level 7 SPAP module and students cannot take both for credit towards their final degree.

ECTS units:  5   

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to: 

1. Explain the relationship between structure, processing and properties of engineering polymers. 

2. Select a polymer for given service conditions, accounting for processing and recycling limitations. 

3. Propose a method for processing a specified polymer to a given shape. 

4. Explain viscoelastic behaviour in terms of simple spring-dashpot models. 

5. Explain the failure mechanisms of polymers in given service conditions.

Module syllabus

Structure-property relationships. 
Selection of polymers. 
Design for injection moulding. 
Recovery, recycling and disposal. 
Processing of polymers. 
Polymer melt properties. 
Stress analysis of polymers, spring-dashpot models.
Use of creep and relaxation data.
Failure of polymers. 
Strengthening and toughening of plastics.

Teaching methods

Students will be introduced to the main topics through lectures, supported by technology (PowerPoint, Panapto and Blackboard). Students will be provided with problem sheets and should complete these as part of their independent study. Tutorials sessions will provide an opportunity for interaction with teaching staff where you can discuss specific problems. 


Assessment details        
      Pass mark   
Grading method Numeric   40%
Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Pass mark Must pass?
Examination 3 Hour exam 100% 40% Y

Reading list


Module leaders

Professor Ambrose Taylor