This course is structured around current and future technologies in the use of polymeric materials in transportation. The basis of the course is the current technology used in e.g. cars, and in particular parts made from plastics or elastomers. The course is divided into 11 different lectures, each 1.5 h long. Main topics covered are a general introduction to polymers and their history, short fibre reinforcement of plastics, composite material, the time-superposition principle, rubber formulations, rheology and mixing, in-rubber properties, reinforcement, long term performance of elastomers and degradation.


Illustrate the importance of thermoplastics, composites and elastomers in complex systems such as cars or airplanes at present and define trends in utilization of these materials for the future.

After the course the student is able to:

  1. Characterize polymeric materials (thermoplastics, composites, elastomers and short fibre reinforced thermoplastics) in terms of processing, properties, degradation and failure;
  2. Point out the differences between a plastic and a rubber material;
  3. Define (material) specifications for the applications under combined thermal, mechanical, physical, chemical and/or dynamic loading conditions;
  4. Identify the polymeric material (including a specification of fillers/grade) that suits the defined specifications best;
  5. (Re)design a product/part with this material, taking its production process and service life conditions into account;
  6. Understand the basics of rubber formulations, compounding and processing.


The assessment of the course is done via 2 written assignments including oral presentations of the results. In the first part of the assignments, the design and material choice of a part such as engine mounts, sealing, hoses etc., has to be analysed according to their design, material choice, property profile and endurance in correlation to their functionality. In the second part of the  assignments the influence of the conditions whilst in service on the (mechanical) performance of part has to be analysed. In the final part of the assignments  the students have to (re)design a complete part of a car component, with a focus on the right choice of polymeric material choice. The basic knowledge will be transferred during classes on processing, dynamic, mechanical failure properties of thermoplastic and elastomeric materials.  Besides classes the course consists of two assignments, during which the students have to elaborate more on the topics covered and the design and improvement of (industrial) polymeric parts. The students will have to transfer their knowledge via written report, oral presentation and discussion.


Course: 201400044 - Plastic and Elastomer Engineering

Semester: 1B

ECTS-credits: 5

Prior knowledge: Module 6 Productontwerpen; equivalent courses (for foreign students)

Contact person: dr. F. Grunert (


· R. Akkerman (PT)

·         dr. Li Pei (PT)

·         dr. F. Grunert (ETE)

Language of instruction: English

Participating programme(s): M-ME


Required materials:

Course material, lecture notes, digital contents supplied via Canvas


Recommended materials:

BookRubber basics, R.B. Simpson (ed.), RAPRA Technology Ltd, Shawbury, United Kingdom, 2002