Polymer laboratory: teaching polymer chemistry Conference Paper uri icon


  • Ciência Viva (Project CV/PVI/1386)
  • This work aims to present the results achieved within the science communication project CV/PVI/1386-Laboratório de Polímeros (Polymer Laboratory), financed by Ciência Viva - Agência Nacional para a Cultura Científica e Tecnológica (2006-2008). Several demonstration/experimental kits were developed concerning three main thematics: (1) Polymer concepts; (2) Polymer synthesis and (3) Polymer properties. Additionally, a fourth module entitled “Technological aspects” was also put into practice by taking advantage from the LSRE-IPB installed capacity in the area of Polymer Chemistry. The various modules were designed to reach a wide target public, including students from primary and secondary schools to undergraduate levels, and general society. Polymer architecture (linear, branched and crosslinked) and polymer synthesis procedures (step versus chain growth polymerization) can be demonstrated by using the “Kit-models” to construct simplified molecular models that illustrate those concepts. Synthesis examples include the preparation of linear polymers and networks. In the first case, Nylon 6,6 synthesis is proposed and, in the second one, a polyurethane foam and a PVA polymer slime can be experienced. Among polymer properties, several demonstrations can be mentioned: (1) Dissolution versus swelling, (2) Swelling volume versus crosslinking degree and (3) Hydrophobic versus hydrophilic polymers.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012