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Introduction to Polymer Materials (short course)

Why study this course?

This one-day hands-on experience course is designed to provide you with a coherent and logical guide to the different types of polymer materials available commercially. Supported by the British Plastics Federation (BPF), the course covers everything from how to interpret material data sheets to making informed environmental and design choices, and places emphasis on polymer properties and applications.


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Polymer materials are extremely versatile and are becoming increasingly popular in all areas of modern life. Supported by the BPF, this one-day hands-on experience course is designed to provide you with a coherent and logical guide to the different types of polymer materials available commercially, with particular emphasis on their properties and applications.

There are many types and grades of plastics available to today’s designers, and new formulations are being developed daily. You'll be introduced to the main material selection techniques to enhance your understanding and interpretation of the complex technical information provided by material suppliers. The beneficial environmental impact of different polymers will also be covered.

The course is designed to provide:

  • a comprehensive overview of polymer materials
  • an insight into their structure/properties relationship
  • an introduction to material selection techniques
  • an awareness of design considerations for plastics
  • an awareness of the beneficial environmental impact and sustainable design principles
  • the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience in testing and characterisation of different types of plastics

Professional accreditation

The course does not provide accreditation, but it is supported by the BPF.

This course is intended for those who would benefit from a comprehensive introduction to different types of polymer materials (plastics, rubbers, thermosetting resins and polymer-based composites) and their properties to successfully manage material selection for a wide range of applications (eg designers, product development engineers and architects).

It is also suitable for non-technical staff employed in industrial support areas such as sales and marketing, buying, costing, and warehouse and distribution departments who require detailed knowledge of different types of polymer materials and their properties.

This course does not require any prior knowledge and is suitable for those with little or no experience of the subject.

The course is based around a series of lectures and practical sessions with opportunities for discussion, covering the following topics:

  • thermoplastics, including their properties and applications
  • rubbers and thermosetting resins, including their properties and applications
  • polymer-based composites, including their properties and applications
  • sources of information and material selection
  • effective design
  • environmental impact including polymer recycling and re-use
  • practical sessions in polymer testing (mechanical properties) and polymer characterisation (thermal and spectroscopic techniques)

On successful completion of our Introduction to Polymer Materials short course you will:

  • be able to differentiate between a wide range of polymer materials, including their properties and applications
  • be able to interpret technical information provided by material suppliers (material data sheets)
  • appreciate the importance of material selection in effective design
  • appreciate the environmental benefits of plastics
  • have gained practical experience of working with different types of plastics
Course dates Not currently available
Length One day
Day and time Thursday, 10am to 5pm 
Maximum class size 10
Contact hours 6

A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department of Social Security (DSS) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University Alumni Association members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

The course fee includes the cost of materials.

Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

How to apply

Booking for this course isn't open at this time as the dates of the next intake are not yet confirmed. Please get in touch for further information or register your interest to receive notification as soon as booking opens.

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Fees and key information

Short Course
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