Polymers and Plastics

Polymers are a vital part of contemporary life and a brief one page pdf introduction to polymers is given in;

An introduction to the world of polymers.

The polymers section of the web page has been divided into specific areas where I have had first hand experience.

This first  section is organised with two powerpoint presentations and then my Cambridge Polymer lecture notes. The first presentation is a brief visual summary of Polymer Crystallisation. In the 1970s I was fortunate enough to study for a PhD at Bristol University under the supervision of Prof Andrew Keller. Andrew was the “co discoverer” of polymer chain folding and his research group was almost entirely dedicated to polymer crystallisation both from solution and the melt.

Polyethylene Crystallisation

The second presentation is about Liquid Crystal Polymers (LCPs). This area of polymer science was very active in the 1980s and at one point it looked as though LCPs were going to become as  important as semi crystalline polymers. LCPs currently (2019) have  niche application areas but have not achieved the “hype” for them that was present in the 1980s. 

Liquid crystal polymers

Liquid Crystal Polymers

My polymer lecture notes were given in the  1990s and so they appear rather basic compared to more modern presentations. Also at the time I used the notes as a basis to the course and filled in certain sections and areas on the overhead projector as I went along. So, in some cases you will need to be able to read between the lines!



Polymers-3-Stepwise polynmerisation


Polymers-5-Chain config





Polymers-examples4-chain config


Finally there is a presentation on “Five brilliant Polymer Scientist.” I gave this presentation in 2011 to I suspect a bewildered set of undergraduate students at an Engineering School in Nantes. Individuals  are at the heart of science and innovation and in my  opinion it is important to recognise the contributions that they have made!