Materials Science and Engineering/polymers
Polymers is an ever expanding field of engineering. Polymer engineering is generally an engineering field that studies everything about polymers. This field covers every aspect of polymers from chemical and physical analysis of the material to research of modifying current polymer materials for usage in various application. Polymer engineering is an important branch of engineering when it comes to material selection of a product as it provides knowledge regarding chemical nature of the substance to enable understanding of the nature of this material. Since polymer has replaced many conventional materials like woods and metals in various applications nowadays, moreover it is a broad field of studies with endless possible alteration in the material itself, polymer engineering is getting more important and prominent in engineering fields today.
Polymer can be broken into two words. Poly and mer. Poly means many and mer means unit. So a Polymer is many units. In Polymer science a unit is called a monomer or one-unit. Monomers are chemical compounds that have the capacity to bond with other similar or dissimilar chemical compounds. The molecular weights of polymers therefore are extremely large compared to other chemical compounds.
There are a number of classifications of polymeric materials: Thermoplastics - Polyethylene Thermosets - Styrofoam Elastomers - Rubber Thermoplastic Elastomer (Block copolymer)
There are a number of methods for forming polymers: Extrusion - pipes Injection molding - model car parts Blow molding - bottles Thermoforming - Hot tubs etc.