Plastics & Polymer Technology Courses
The Plastics Industry
Overview of the plastics industry, including materials and processes. Topics include the many types of career opportunities in the industry, inviting individual interest-based exploration. Discussion also covers the nature of plastic product manufacturers, including size, work environment, and typical processes used. 2 Credits (2 Lecture) Fall Only.
Polymer Processing Survey - Lecture
Introduction to polymer processing techniques, including injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding, and thermoforming. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Fall Only.
Polymer Processing Survey - Lab
Hands-on exposure to plastics processing equipment and procedures. Processes covered include injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding, and thermoforming. 1 Credit (0 Lecture - 3 Lab) Fall Only.
Plastics and Elastomers
Principles of the structure, properties and applications of polymer materials. Topics include the nature of polymers, synthesis, formulation, and structure property relationships. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Fall Only.
Polymer Testing Lab
Application of polymer testing methods and procedures. Topics include mechanical testing, rheological testing, and material identification. ASTM test methods are used as the basis for test procedures. 1 Credit (0 Lecture - 3 Lab) Fall Only.
Introduction to sustainable materials. The interrelation between the material science, processing technology, and impact on society is covered. 3 Credits (3 Lecture)
Composites and Nanocomposites
Introduction to thermoset and thermoplastic composite materials, polymers, reinforcements, processing techniques, tooling, properties, and emerging nanocomposite materials with applications in various markets such as sports, automotive, marine, construction, aircraft, medical, and electronics. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT128 and PPT129. Spring Only.
Hands-on skill application, performing maintenance on molds and dies used in plastics processing based on established procedures. Skills developed include proper techniques for mold maintenance, print reading, documentation of wear, and the proper use of measuring and metrology equipment. (Formerly lab portion of PPT245) 1 Credit (0 Lecture - 3 Lab) Spring Only.
Theory and application of injection molding of consumer goods. Topics include development of part microstructure, the molecular level process from pellet to part, and the analysis of current trends in technology and consumer preference. Lab topics include set up and operation of injection molding machines and, troubleshooting of part defects and dimensional problems. 4 Credits (2 Lecture - 6 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT118 and PPT119. Spring Only.
Detailed study of plastics extrusion processing, including the fundamentals of extruder hardware and operation. Additionally, different extrusion types such as profile, pipe/tubing, blown film, co-extrusion, and twin-screw extrusion are covered. Topics also include downstream equipment for take-off, cooling and calibration. Laboratories include work with extrusion equipment. 4 Credits (3 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT118. Fall Only.
Detailed study of the plastics blow molding processes. Different molding methods such as extrusion, stretch blow, injection, and co-extrusion are detailed. Additional hands-on study includes process and parison control, mold design, automation controls, and auxiliary equipment. The majority of laboratory time is used to make quality plastic parts with extrusion and injection stretch blow molding equipment. 4 Credits (3 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT118. Corequisite(s): PPT248. Fall Only.
Theory and application of rotational molding technology. Topics include rotational molding equipment, materials, part design, molds and tooling, and processing. Applied skills developed include set-up and basic troubleshooting of rotational molding process equipment. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Spring Only.
Theory and application of thermoforming technology. Topics include thermoforming equipment, materials, part design, and processing. Applied skills developed by students in this course include set-up and basic troubleshooting of thermoforming process equipment. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Spring Only.
Plastics Internship I
Industry-based, operator level or higher work experience that applies the knowledge and skills developed during the first year of Plastics and Polymer Technology instruction. The experience also provides a functional understanding of the work environment hones interpersonal and technical communication skills, and enhances social and civic competencies. Conducted in accordance with explicitly defined guidelines and procedures. (formerly PPT190) 3 Credits (0 Lecture - 15 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PPT118.
Study of advanced concepts related to polymer extrusion. Emphasis on mathematical analysis of single and twin screw systems, including models related to extruder output, energy consumption, and polymer rheology. Other topics include screw design, die design, and process/structure/property relationships. Laboratories include work with both extrusion equipment and computers. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT248. Fall Only.
Mechanical Properties and Testing
Overview of industry tests performed to characterize the properties and performance characteristics of plastic and polymeric materials. Course work includes preparing and conditioning test specimens as well as conducting several physical, mechanical, rheological, electrical, thermal, flammability, optical, and environmental tests. Methods for determining the chemical composition of plastic materials and polymer molecular morphology are studied. 4 Credits (3 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT128. Fall Only.
Advanced Blow Molding
Study of extrusion, stretch, injection and co-extrusion blow molding processes and their variations in relation to product, process, and design innovations in the industrial and packaging markets. Special attention is given to multi-layer barrier materials and constructions for improved barrier properties, extruder head and die designs, laboratory experimentation with bio-derived and engineering grade polymers, nanotechnology, and blow molded product performance testing. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT251. Spring Only.
Plastic Part Design
Design of plastics parts for consumer applications. Topics include proper design rules for plastic parts, the unique nature of plastic part design, and viscoelastic material considerations in plastic part design. Lab topics include part views and design principles, design application using CAD software. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Spring Only.
CIM and Automation in Plastics Processing
Study and experience in computer-integrated manufacturing and automated equipment as they are applied to plastics processing. Topics covered include human machine interfaces (HMIs), data acquisition and signal processing equipment, and robotics. Laboratory exercises utilize both computers and plastics processing equipment. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Spring Only.
Polymer Synthesis and Formulation
Overview of the synthesis of polymeric materials. Study includes the monomers, prepolymers, polymerization reactions, and processes employed to produce many different polymers used in the plastics industry. Additionally, fillers and reinforcements, including nano and other types of additives, to improve plastic material and part performance are studied. Students may elect to take a lab component with emphasis on polymer synthesis or formulation and compounding. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): CHM111 and PPT128. Fall Only.
Polymer Synthesis Lab
Hands-on study emphasizing the preparation of polymers from starting monomer reactants using the appropriate chemical initiators and polymerization procedures. Course work includes preparing polymers using a variety of laboratory equipment and methods, as well as characterizing the key properties of those polymers. 1 Credit (0 Lecture - 3 Lab) Corequisite(s): PPT370. Fall Only.
Plastics Formulation Lab
Hands-on study emphasizing the formulation and preparation of plastic materials using the appropriate fillers, colorants, reinforcements, and other functional additives. Course work includes using twin-screw compounding operations to prepare polymer composite and nanocomposite molding and extrusion compounds using both traditional and bio-derived polymers as well as employing various characterization techniques to assess whether formulation performance objectives were achieved. 1 Credit (0 Lecture - 3 Lab) Corequisite(s): PPT370. Fall Only.
Project Management and Capstone Planning
Theory and practice of defining, planning, and cost estimating engineering projects. Emphasis is placed on solving problems using the tools, techniques, and practices common to industry project management. Each student will use these project management tools to plan a capstone project under the guidance of a faculty member. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Spring Only.
International Plastics Experience
Opportunity to study plastics engineering technology in another country. Dual emphases include learning technologies that are not emphasized in the Penn College plastics department and gaining new cultural experiences abroad. Participants are encouraged to initiate professional relationships that can be further cultivated after graduation. 3 Credits (3 Lecture)
Plastics Internship II
Industry-based, technician level or higher work experience that applies the knowledge and skills developed during the first two years of Plastics and Polymer Technology instruction. The experience also provides a functional understanding of the work environment, hones interpersonal and technical communication skills, and enhances social and civic competencies. Conducted in accordance with explicitly defined guidelines and procedures. (formerly PPT290) 3 Credits (0 Lecture - 15 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PPT248.
Advanced Injection Molding
Advanced study of injection molding as a manufacturing process for consumer goods. Topics include new product development, new process development, processing optimization, and troubleshooting. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT235. Spring Only.
Advanced Thermoforming and Rotational Molding
Study and application of the skills needed to develop and assess complete manufacturing processes for thermoforming and rotational molding applications. Topics include the development of new part applications and adapting new parts to industrial processes. Customer interfacing and teamwork in project management are emphasized. Applied skills include cycle development and advanced problem solving techniques. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT260 and PPT270. Spring Only.
Mold and Die Design
Design of molds and dies for plastic processing applications. Topics include basic design principles; the mold die design sequence; design application software; optimization of melt flow; optimization of cooling, prediction, and control of dimensions; and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): PPT340. Fall Only.
Designing Molds and Dies
Design application of molds and dies for plastic processing applications. Topics include use of design (CAD) software to produce engineering drawings for plastic processing molds and dies. Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) of these drawings is covered. 1 Credit (0 Lecture - 3 Lab) Corequisite(s): PPT450. Fall Only.
Building Molds and Dies
Building of molds and dies for plastic processing applications. Topics include construction of prototypes tooling, production tooling components and assembly into full production tooling. 1 Credit (0 Lecture - 3 Lab) Corequisite(s): PPT450. Fall Only.
In-depth study of injection molding design and filling processes. An overview of polymer rheology flow and thermal properties introduces the concepts associated with filling an injection mold with plastic materials. Significant time is devoted to application of mold filling simulation software, primarily Moldflow , which is used to perform detailed flow analyses and design. (Previously offered as PPT347; students with credit for PPT347 are not eligible to take this course.) 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT450. Spring Only.
Plastics Internship III
Industry-based, engineering level work experience that applies the knowledge and skills developed during the first three years of Plastics and Polymer Technology instruction. The experience also provides a functional understanding of the work environment, hones interpersonal and technical communication skills, and enhances social and civic competencies. Conducted in accordance with explicitly defined guidelines and procedures. (formerly 390) 3 Credits (0 Lecture - 15 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PPT385.
Plastics Engineering Technology Senior Project
Application of the science, project management, business practices, and technology associated with plastics engineering technology to a single capstone project. Designed to showcase all the skills and knowledge accumulated during the Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology degree. Emphasis on successful completion of a capstone project with moderate oversight by a faculty mentor. 3 Credits (0 Lecture - 9 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PPT385. Fall Only.