Polimeric Materials Processing


The main objective of this course is to provide students with knowledge about different methods of processing and recycling of polymers, their equipment and procedures. At the end of the course the student should be able to choose the most appropriate method for the manufacture of a given object, and choose the most appropriate procedure in each case. It should also be able to choose the most appropriate method for valuation of a given polymeric solid waste and implement it.


General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria do Carmo Henriques Lança


Weekly - 4

Total - 63

Teaching language



There are no mandatory precedents. However, it is recommended that students attend the CUs dedicated to polymeric materials, as well as the CU Rheology of Materials.


“Plastics Engineering”, R.J. Crawford, Pergamon Press, 1987.

Matiéres Plástiques II”, Jean Bost, Technique & Documentation, 1986.

“Tecnologia de Transformação de Plásticos – Texto de Apoio”, M. T. Cidade, FCT/UNL, 1995.


“Recycling and Recovery of Plastics” J. Brandrup (Ed.), Hanser Publishers, 1995.

“Polymer, The Environment and Sustainable Development”, A. Azapagia, A. Emsley, I. Hamerton, John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

Teaching method

Part I - Processing

With regard to the theoretical contents, exposure of matter will be taken resourting to data show. The slides will be made available to students on the course page. This page will contain all elements relating to the discipline: objectives, program content, scheduling of different types of classes, methods of assessment, problems, scripts of practical work, methods and assessment results, recommended bibliography and summaries.

Concerning problems, students will be asked to solve them previously, the classes serving for correction and clarification of doubts. At the end of the classes of problems, all students, whether they have done, or not, prior resolution of the proposed exercises, will be aware of the resolution, which will be made in the chalkboard, whenever possible by the students themselves.

For practical content, a  laboratory class will be given concerning where an extruded plastic tape will be prepared and there will be a field trip in which students will take contact with different technologies, such as injection molding, thermoforming and calendering

Part II-Recycling

The theoretical concepts will be taught in a manner analogous to Part I.

A study visit will also be performed, to a polymer recycling facility.  Some case studies will be undertaken.

Evaluation method

To pass:

FREQUENCY: NP≥ 9.5  and mandatory attendance  of   Lab classes and field trips

CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT (Tests): NT ≥ 9.5 e   NF ≥ 9.5 and exempt from examination

EXAM: NT ≥ 9.5 e   NF ≥ 9.5

FINAL GRADE:  NF = 70% NT + 25% NP + 5% X                                                 

NT – weighted average grade of 2 tests or exam grade;

70% for test 1 (processing) and 30% for test 2 (recycling)

NP – Quizz grade for field trips and Lab classes

70% for processing e 30% for recycling

X – students participation in the classes and call to solve exercices during Practical class               (-1 £ 5%X £ +1):

The TE(working) students are obliged to attend the lab classes and field trips.

If requested the students may be subject to further oral examination

Subject matter

Introduction: batch and continuous processes, techniques and examples of final articles manufactured by these two types of processes.

Extrusion (plates, sheets and films, fibers and monofilaments, extrusion-blowing, extrusion-coating of electric wires and granulation-extrusion), injection molding, injection blow molding, calendering and thermoforming: process steps, equipment and procedures: materials and applications. Processing including composite laminates. Particular case of thermoset processing: compression molding, transfer and injection molding: equipment, procedure.

Brief reference to other technologies: reaction injection molding (RIM), rotational molding, cast thermoplastics, coatings, co-injection, pultrusion, SMC, manufacturing of foams, machining, additive manufacturing.

Valorization of Polymeric Waste. Life cycle of a polymeric material. Waste sources. Solid waste recovery techniques. Valorization technologies. Sustainable development and life cycle analysis. Assessment of Environmental Impacts and identification of “hot-spots” in the life cycle of products.

Mechanical recycling: reduction, classification/separation, washing, decontamination, drying, automatic intensive decontamination methods, selection/separation. Additivation of recycled and recycled polymer processing techniques.


Programs where the course is taught: