How to become a Polymer Engineer in petro-chemical plants or plastic industries


Are you interested in Polymer Technology? Want to work in petrochemical plants/plastic processing company? This article provides you information about the various aspects of polymers and its production. It helps you to get an insight about polymer technology & the career path to become a Polymer Engineer.

Introduction to Polymers

The Polymer industry has grown over the years and has emerged as a major industry sector. Due to vast usage of polymers in every day life, new products are designed and innovated for the benefit of the mankind. This has led to numerous job opportunities for polymer technologists.

Polymers are organic compounds that can be molded into various shapes. The word 'poly' means many and 'meros' means parts. They find their uses in producing natural and synthetic rubber, fibres, terylene, polythene, nylon, PVC, PET and a vast number of products. Polymers are synthesized by using naturally available materials.

Polymers and types of Polymers

Polymers are formed by a combination of very large number of molecules of simple compounds joined together repeatedly. When two or more molecules of a simple compound unite together to form a new compound then, the process is called as polymerization.

Polymers are found in nature too, all polymers are not synthetic. Some of the natural polymers are proteins, carbohydrates, fats and nucleic acids. Polymers are classified into;
1. Addition polymerization: In this process, several molecules are joined together to form a giant molecule during the reaction ex. Polythene and Polyvinyl Chlodride (PVC).
2. Condensation polymers: In this process this several monomers form a polymer by eliminating some molecules during the reaction for example; Ex. Nylon-66, Terylene.

Plastics: Polymers that posses plasticity at a particular stage are called plastics, They find vast usage in our daily life. They are more durable, strong and are less corrosive. They are easily shaped and multicolored. Plastics can be molded into desired shapes. The plastics that lose their shapes on heating are called thermoplastics; ex polyvinyl chloride and plastics can be set on heating, but become hard on cooling are called thermo setting ex Bakelite, silicones. Plastics can be recycled.

Polymers and its Uses

  • Polythene are used in making bags and films

  • Nylon-6 is used in making of fibres, brushes, ropes

  • Polyesters are used for making synthetic fibres

  • Poly vinyl chloride in making PVC tubes

  • Teflon used in manufacturing of electrical parts/devices, coating vessels

  • Neoprene are used in making household and medical instruments

  • Thiokol is used in making gaskets, seals, hard rubber articles

  • Eligibility Criteria & overview of Polymer Engineering course

    The candidate should have completed 10+2/PUC with physics, chemistry and Mathematics from a recognized university. Admission is based on the entrance test and interview.

    Polymer Engineering is a graduate degree program of four years course duration. The course imparts knowledge in engineering designs, analysis and modification of polymer materials. It also covers the aspects of polymers, its types, properties, polymerization, petrochemicals, plastics, structures, property relations and its application in the daily life.

    Requirements for becoming a Polymer Engineer

    1. Should possess creativity or innovation skills

    2. Have good grasping power for equipping with knowledge

    3. Have strong communication skills to interact with employees

    4. Should possess leadership qualities for leading a team

    5. Should possess logical and problem solving skills

    6. Should be self motivated and motivate others for team work

    7. Should be disciplined to manage time

    Role of a Polymer Engineer

    Polymer Engineer jobs involves identifying the materials that are required for product processing, designing the products, testing the products for its quality and durability.

    The engineers have to monitor the production of the products, supervise the employees, maintain the laboratory, address the issues concerning the manufacturing the products. They need to possess strong foundation of polymer technology concepts in theory and practical. They should be equipped with the applied knowledge in present situations. They should be able to design and develop new products using CAD. They should be able to process, parts for usage in different sectors such as electrical equipment's, automobiles, computer sectors etc. They should also market the finished products and promote the sales.

    Colleges and Institutes that offers Polymer Technology Course

  • Anna University of Technology Chennai

  • Hindustan College of Engineering, Chennai

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

  • Kamaraj College of Engineeering Virudhunagar

  • The Central Insitute of Plastic Engineering and Technology, Ahmedabad

  • B S Abdur Rahman Crescent University, Chennai

  • Indian Plastics Institute , Delhi

  • Department of Chemical Technology,Bombay

  • University of Calcutta, Kolkata

  • Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune

  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

  • Cochin University, Cochin

  • Sant Longwal Institute of Engineering and Technology Sangrur

  • Job Opportunities for the Polymer Engineer

    They can pursue their higher studies with post graduation or in the research field. They find jobs in academic institutions, electrical, computer automobile, aircraft parts manufacturing companies, product designing laboratories, public and private sector engineering units, in research and development sectors, engineering plants, petroleum and natural gas sectors & petrochemicals.

    The job profiles includes polymer engineer, quality control inspectors, polymer specialists, marketing executive, sales executive/officer, professor, researcher, writer, material engineer/executive, new product development engineer, scientist, Research and development engineer, technical product engineer, associate product engineer etc.


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