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
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
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
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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Many students are confused about selecting a category or sub category in their education and career. We can see lot of such queries asked by students and freshers in various magazines, TV channels and internet web sites.
This article answers one such specific doubt as revealed by the self explanatory title "How to become a Polymer Engineer in petro-chemical plants or plastic industries".
Polymers have much significance and use in modern life style. The issue of 'plastic pollution or plastic waste' has all the more increased the responsibility and research capability of polymer scientists to find remedial ways. The major source of polymers is in the oil refining. So there is a direct connection and relevance between Petrochemical Engineering and polymer engineering.
The article could have been more valuable if it would have dealt with more specifics and avoided the generalisation in the latter paragraphs. Still, the article gives some good information and lead to the students and career seekers.