Polymer Science Fundamentals Online Course & Certificate

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20 contact hours
Used For:
2 Continuing Education Units
Course and Certificate:

Polymers are all around us– from medical products, to paper products, to polyvinyl chloride blood pressure cuffs, to polyester and nylon clothing materials. “Polymer Science” is a course that investigates these natural and man-made materials. We explore how these materials are synthesized, evaluated, and their commercial applications. We also review important properties that these materials possess, including their molecular, physical, chemical, thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties. 

After completing Polymer Science Fundamentals, students will be equipped with a basic understanding of the following:

  • polymers and materials
  • polymer mechanical properties
  • analytical methods for material characterization


his course is designed for students who possess a basic understanding of chemistry, and an interest in learning about polymer and material science. Professionals are also encouraged to register for this course, either as a means of professional development or as a broadening experience. 

 Students will be assigned 5 homework assignments, and 1 final exam. 

Polymer structures
Organic chemistry basics- carbon, hydrogen, oxygen
Chemical bonds- covalent, hydrogen, ionic, van der waals
Functional end groups- R-CH3
Nomenclature- naming of polymers 

Polymer reactions

Molecular weight
Number average
Weight average
Measurement systems- Gel Permeation Chromotagraphy (GPC), Solution and Melt (Intrinsic) Viscosity
Molecular weight distribution- polydispersity index 

Polymer morphology
Intermolecular forces
Amorphous phase
Crystalline phase
Chemical cross linking
Physical cross linking
Copolymers- homopolymer, random copolymer, alternating copolymer, and graft copolymers 

Polymer properties
Thermal properties- glass transition temperature (Tg), melting point (Tm), crystallization, degradation
Mechanical properties- stress, strain, modulus, toughness
Chemical resistance- hydrophobic, hydrophilic properties
Electrical properties

Characterization techniques
Surface and identification analyses- Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Infrared (FTIR)
Thermal properties- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), and DTA
Mechanical properties- Thermo mechanical analysis (TMA), Instron (tensile strength)
Chemical resistance
Electrical- insulation, volume and surface resistivity, dielectric strength 


 This course is Instructor-led and delivered through our award-winning online Learning Management System. 

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