New AIP course: The New World of Plastics Technology – Polymers and recycling

Today, there are hundreds of identified ‘species’ of synthetic polymers. Any of these are available in a range of molecular masses, most can be influenced by processing conditions.? Therefore the choice in plastics is almost limitless. Polymer science is the subfield of materials science concerned with polymers, primarily synthetic polymers such as plastics. The field of polymer science includes researchers in multiple disciplines including chemistry, physics, and engineering.

This course is intended for those that have spent a number of years in some related plastics industry. This course is intended to extend those attending to new levels of understanding the complex world of polymer science. Every attendee will learn new aspects of polymers, test themselves and their ability of remembering what they know. All those wanting to know more about the complex world of polymer science are welcome. The course will cover certain aspects of organic chemistry, revisit the raw materials, syntheses, and applications, only touching on the manufacturing and moulding aspects. It will ensure that those attending are reminded of the main classes of plastic materials as a function of the molecular properties of polymers used in the plastics industry.

It will discuss the molecular structure of plastics in relation to the two main families of plastics, namely thermosets and thermoplastics. In addition we explore plastics recycling. Plastic is versatile and very cheap to produce, it’s no surprise that it’s used so much, but it doesn’t belong in our environment forever. Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products. Since the majority of plastic is non-biodegradable, recycling is a part of global efforts to reduce plastic in the waste stream, especially the approximately 8 million metric tonnes of waste plastic that enters the Earth’s ocean every year. We will learn how and what we can do about attaining a better environment with less plastics around.

Course objectives

  • Revisit the basic knowledge of polymer chemistry
  • Know how to quickly identify the mainstream plastics
  • Learn why we use plastics as much as we do, and what are the alternatives
  • The future of plastics and its correlation to recycling of plastics
  • Learning collection systems for recycled plastics
  • What do recyclers do with the plastics
  • What valuable products can be created from recycled plastics
  • Environmental considerations

Who should attend?

This course is  suited to anyone who has limited knowledge on polymers and plastics as a material. In addition, packaging technologists and designers, product developers, marketing personal, technical and production staff using packaging, sales and marketing reps will benefit from this course.