2016 Advanced Polymer Properties II

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Graduate major in Chemical Science and Engineering
Tokita Masatoshi 
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Course description and aims

This course deals with the properties of polymer solids, in particular their mechanical properties. After describing the properties of polymer solid structures, a general theory of their mechanical properties is given. The instructor explains based on thermodynamics the elasticity of a chain molecule, which is the source of a polymer's elasticity, as well as the network's elasticity. After covering linear viscoelasticity, the instructor explains experimental data on the viscoelasticity of solid polymers and composite materials, as well as viscoelastic relaxation mechanism.
The viscoelasticity of polymers is related to their structure and molecular movements, and forms an important field of polymer science. Solid polymers have countless applications, and understanding their mechanical properties is important from an industry perspective.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to
1) Explain viscoelasticity of solid polymers phenomenologically and in molecular theory (polymer structures).
2) Explain linear viscoelasticity using models and analyze it mathematically.
3) Have an understanding of mechanical properties of polymer composites.


viscoelasticity, rubber elasticity, creep, stress relaxation, polymer composites

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

In each class, the instructor starts with explanations of the basic contents and comes to present the solutions of each issue. To cultivate a solid understanding of the lecture content and the skills to apply it, exercises will be assigned as necessary.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Structure and mechanical properties of solid polymers Review structure of solid polymers to recognize the aims of this course.
Class 2 Stress and strain Consider the stress and strain in a deformed body to derive the generalized Hooke's law.
Class 3 Rubber Elasticity Calculate the tension of rubber and the modulus of a polymer chain. Consider the deviation of stress from the calculated value at high elongation ratio.
Class 4 Linear viscoelasticity I Explain the phenomenological theory on linear viscoelasticity using models and mathematics.
Class 5 Linear viscoelasticity II Calculate modulus and compliance on applying dynamic strain to a sample.
Class 6 Linear viscoelasticity III Consider the time/frequency dependence of viscoelastic behavior of polymers. Derive time-temperature superposition principle and Williams-Landel-Ferry (WLF) equation.
Class 7 Polymer composites Analyze mechanical properties of polymer composites and semicrystalline polymer solids.
Class 8 Relaxation transitions / Review Consider the effects of chemical structure, crystallinity, molecular weight and molecular orientation on relaxation behavior of solid polymers.


The Society of Polymer Science, Japan, ed., Kiso Kobunshi Kagaku (Introduction to Polymer Science), 2006, Tokyo: Tokyo Kagaku Dojin, ISBN :978-4-8079-0635-2 (Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

I.M. Ward, J. Sweemey, Mechanical Properties of Solid Polymers (3rd Ed.) Wiley, 2013 ISBN978-1-444-31950-7

Assessment criteria and methods

Learning achievement is evaluated by the final examination.

Related courses

  • CAP.P321 : Polymer Physics III (Rheology)
  • CAP.T402 : Introduction to Polymer Physics II
  • CAP.T404 : Introduction to Polymer Physics II

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students must have successfully completed Introduction to Polymer Physics I and II,or have equivalent knowledge. It is desirable that students have successfully completed Polymer Physics III (Rheology), or have equivalent knowledge.

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