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University of Massachusetts Lowell Course: Product Design for Elastomers (PLAS 5490)

January 17 - May 6

University of Massachusetts Lowell Course: Product Design for Elastomers
(PLAS 5490)
Spring Semester 2023 (January 17 – May 6), 3 credit hours
Location: This is an asynchronous online course that is delivered in
pre-recorded video lectures and supported by live online (Zoom) office
hours with instructor Dr. Chris Robertson for one hour each week. The
weekly lectures can be viewed remotely on your computer, tablet or mobile
phone at convenient times from the comfort of your home or office.
Format: The online course takes place in weekly installments across the
15-week semester (3 credit hours). The course is delivered in pre-recorded
video lectures with closed captioning and supported by live online office
hours with the instructor (Zoom; one hour each week). Course activities
include interactive discussion board participation, homework assignments,
design project and final exam.
Course Description: This course covers the basics of thermoset and
thermoplastic elastomer product design. Topics include mechanical behavior,
large deformation structural analysis, design for manufacturability,
performance limitations and end use applications for elastomers and
assembly considerations.
The course includes a design project in which an elastomer product will be
designed by addressing the following areas: (1) raw materials selection and
compound formulation development (if thermoset elastomer); (2) product
engineering including mold design; and (3) testing and analysis plan for
material and product toward meeting specifications. The personalized design
project will include aspects of all three areas, but each course
participant will select one area on which to principally concentrate.
This is a continuing education online offering of Product Design for
Elastomers (PLAS 5490) which is a graduate-level course in the Department
of Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell. This course can be combined with
three additional courses to earn a graduate certificate from the
Course Objectives: This course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of
design for elastomer components. By the end of the course, you should be
able to:
* Select elastomer type based on application temperature range and oil
resistance requirements and show general understanding of how to
adjust properties (stiffness, damping, etc.) through compound
formulation for thermoset materials
* Know the nonlinear mechanical response of elastomers and the basics
of structural analysis in elastomer product design
* Understand failure behavior of elastomers and use this knowledge to
guide materials selection and product design geometry
* Apply mold design principles for both thermoset and thermoplastic
classes of elastomers and explain how changes in molding conditions
can resolve processing and performance issues
* Demonstrate the above by designing an elastomer product to meet
service requirements
Topics Covered:
* Overview of elastomer applications/products and general requirements:
automobile tires, mechanical rubber goods, seals, healthcare
products, footwear, sporting goods
* Elastomer selection and main compound formulation effects (filler
reinforcement; crosslink density)
* Mechanical behavior: small-, medium-, and large-strain regions;
deformation modes; cyclic softening effects; modeling hyperelastic
* Viscoelasticity and dynamic mechanical behavior, including impact on
heat build-up and predicting long-term deformation
* Fracture mechanics and durability: ultimate strength, fatigue, crack
growth and tear, abrasion
* Material changes due to environment: thermal oxidative aging, ozone
cracking, exposure to liquids
* Fiber and steel cord reinforcements: type, orientation effects,
rubber-cord bonding
* Component design and assembly considerations: rubber-metal bonding,
shape factors, etc.
* Introduction to finite element analysis for modeling deformation
(structural analysis), thermal effects and durability
* Polymer processing and component manufacturing, with focus on molding
operations and mold design
* Developing a testing and analysis plan to measure or predict
performance relative to desired product specifications/service
Additional Information:
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is offering four courses (listed
below). You can take them individually or all four together, and if you
complete all four you will earn your Elastomeric Materials Certificate.
Through our partnership with the university, Rubber Division, ACS members
can receive a discount on any of these four courses. The cost per course
for members is $1,700 and $1,800 for non-members.
* Rubber Technology – weekly September – December 2022
* Thermoplastic Elastomers – weekly September – December 2022
* Product Design for Elastomers – weekly January – April 2023
* Processing of Elastomers – weekly January – April 2023
Price per Course: $1,700 Member / $1,800 Non-member
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. https://account.rubber.org/welcome
Christopher G. Robertson, PhD
Adjunct Professor, UMass Lowell, Plastics Engineering Dept.
Principal R&D Consultant, Polymer Technology Services LLC
Dr. Chris Robertson joined the Department of Plastics Engineering at UMass
Lowell in 2022 as part-time faculty to teach elastomer-related online
courses. Chris is the founder and principal R&D consultant at Polymer
Technology Services LLC which offers technical consulting and training for
the tire and rubber industry (and the polymer technology field in general).
Chris received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering (polymer materials focus)
from Virginia Tech and was a postdoctoral research associate in polymer
physics at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory before starting his
industrial career. He has more than 20 years of research and product
development experience in the tire, synthetic rubber, rubber additives and
plastics industries. The companies that Chris worked for include
Bridgestone Americas, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, ExxonMobil Chemical,
Eastman Chemical and Endurica LLC. Chris is co-inventor of 34 patents and
co-author of 68 publications in peer-reviewed journals with a citation
h-index of 34. Since 2020, Chris is serving as the editor-in-chief of the
scientific journal Rubber Chemistry and Technology and was an associate
editor for 10 years prior.


January 17
May 6