Commodity Polymers Manufacturing


Who should attend?

  • This course provides a comprehensive information on polymers and polymerization processes used to produce polyethylenes, polypropylenes, polyvinylchloride and polystyrene.
Audience :
  • Professionals interested in polymers production.

Level : Foundation

Course Content


      • Polymer constitution: monomers, macromolecules, building blocks.
      • Various kinds of polymer: fibers, elastomers, plastics.
      • Plastic types: thermoplastics and thermosets.
      • Main commodity plastics: polyethylenes, polypropylenes, polystyrenes and polyvinylchloride.
      • Economical aspects relating to these commodity plastics.

      • Main polymerization reactions: polyaddition, polycondensation.
      • Basic characteristics of polymer reactions: heat of reaction, activation mode, etc.
      • Different arrangements of monomer building blocks in polyaddition: atactic, syndiotactic or isotactic polymers; random block; graft; alternate polymers.
      • Relationship between end uses implementation and main polymer properties. Impact on properties.
      • Main tests used to get polymer characterization: melt index, viscosity index, etc. Test signification, relationship with polymer structure.
      • Consequences regarding polymer implementation techniques (extrusion, injection, etc.).

      • Techniques implemented to produce polymers: solution, bulk emulsion, suspension, gas phase techniques.
      • Advantages and drawbacks of those different techniques consequences on processes implementation.
      • Examples applied to main processes used to manufacture major thermoplastics: polyethylenes (PE), polypropylenes (PP), polystyrenes (PS) and polyvinylchloride (PVC).
      • Flow charts and principles of processes. Some common and average operating conditions.
      • Influence of operating parameters (temperatures, pressures, monomers ratio and proportion of any chemicals involved in the reaction) regarding the quality of polymer obtained.
      • Some pretreatments of polymers outside the reactor before the transformation step.

Learning Objectives

  • Upon completion of the course, the participants will be able to:
  • explain the principles of polymerization techniques and the main characteristics of manufactured polymers,
  • describe the operating conditions of polymerization processes,
  • grasp the essence of plastics manufacturing and outlets.

Ways & Means

  • Presentation of plastics sample from plants.
  • Presentation of end uses application samples.