Don't just imagine your future at University, experience it first-hand!

Step into the shoes of an undergraduate student and join us for our upcoming on-campus Discover Days in Science, Engineering and Fashion. These days are tailored exclusively for Year 12s who are interested in taking their academic journey to the next level. Find your favourite subject now!

Find out more about our Discover Days in Science, Engineering and Fashion

MEng Materials Science and Engineering with Biomaterials

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Multiphase Polymers & Nanocomposites

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS32402
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

The unit provides comprehensive coverage of multiphase polymer systems, in particular blends, block copolymers and nanocomposites (larger-scale fibre reinforced composites are covered in MATS 31301). 

Aims

The unit aims to:

  • Provide the student with an understanding of the structure-property relationships of multiphase polymer systems, the theories that underpin their formation, structure and properties and how applications for these materials stem from their behaviour.
     

Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Blended learning programme: Including asynchronous activities (including video lectures, self-test quizzes, directed reading) and (live) synchronous activities (including Q&A sessions, quizzes and tutorials).

Blackboard – All asynchronous activities, lecture notes, questions sheets and handouts will be available electronically.  Synchronous activities will be recorded and will also be available electronically
 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Describe the range of multiphase polymers and their advantages relative to single-phase polymers.
  • Explain the principles and theory of phase separation in polymer blends and block copolymers.
  • Evaluate the beneficial effects of nanoscale reinforcements.
  • Justify of the applications of multiphase polymers and explain their environmental issues.
  • Describe the types of nanoparticle fillers.
  • Understand the main factors determining the mechanical and functional properties of polymer nanocomposites.
  • Give examples of current applications of polymer nanocomposites.

Intellectual skills

  • Assess and interpret data from DMTA in order to determine polymer structure.
  • Apply simple models to predict the modulus of polymer blends and polymer nanocomposites.
  • Apply simple models to evaluate functional properties of polymer nanocomposites.
  • Evaluate X-Ray diffraction data, Scanning and Transmission
  • Electron Microscopy images to characterise the structural properties of polymer nanocomposites.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Solve problems utilising appropriate methods.
  • Assess results critically.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Written assignment (inc essay) 30%

Feedback methods

Verbal and written

Recommended reading

  • "Polymer Alloys and Blends”, LA Utracki, Hanser Gardner, 1990.
  • “Polymer Blends and Alloys”, MJ Folkes and PS Hope, Springer, 2012
  • “Polymeric Multicomponent Materials”, LH Sperling, Wiley, 1997
  • “Thermoplastic Elastomers”, G Holden et al (Eds), Hanser, 1996.
  • “Polyurethane Elastomers”, CPE Scortanu, S Coseri, Springer, 2011.
  • “Polymer Nanocomposites”, Y-W Mai, Z-Z Yu, Woodhead 2006.
  • “Polymer-Clay nanocomposites”, TJ Pinnavaia and GW Beall (eds), Wiley, 2000.
     

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 6
Tutorials 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 69

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Cristina Valles Unit coordinator

Return to course details