Feature Article: September 1, 2000

What is Polymer Processing?

Chris E. Scott
Associate Professor of Polymer Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Definition

There are many potential definitions of polymer processing. One of my favorites is that given by Tadmor and Gogos in their classic textbook: polymer processing concerns "operations carried out on polymeric materials or systems to increase their utility." [1] Personally, I prefer the use of the word "value" in place of "utility." The goal of polymer processing is to increase the value of the polymer or formulation. I view polymer processing as a tool to achieve the desired shape, properties, and performance for a polymer article. It has broad applicability from packaging to aerospace.


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1.   Z. Tadmor and C.G. Gogos, Principles of Polymer Processing, John Wiley and Sons (1979).


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