Mechanics of Polymers and Composites

Holders: Assist. Prof. Slemenik Perše Lidija

Subject description


In order to pass and successfully execute the study obligations and participate in study work, the students are advised to regularly attend the lectures, do additional homework assignments of greater complexity, study additional theoretical teaching aids for an in-depth comprehension, as well as to prepare adequately for laboratory exercises and actively participate at exercises.

Content (Syllabus outline):

Introduction. The concept of time dependency. Viscoelastic material functions. Viscoelastic material constants.

Rheological models: Maxwell model. Voigt model. Standard solid model. Standard melt model. Wiechert model. Kelvin model.

Mechanical spectrum: Continuous mechanical spectrum. Discrete mechanical spectrum. The Emri-Tschoegl algorithm for numerical determination of the discrete mechanical spectrum. Algorithm for calculating the spectrum in the time domain. Algorithm for calculating the spectrum in the frequency domain.

Experimental determination of material functions: Excitation with the step load. Excitation with harmonic loading. Hysteresis experiment.

Relations between material functions: Mathematical relations. Approximate relations.

The influence of pressure and humidity: Doolittle equation. Williams-Landel-Ferry (WLF) model. Fillers-Moonan-Tschoegl (FMT) model.

Specialities of time-dependent composite behaviour: Strength of orthothropic composites, testing methods and modes of failure. The behaviour of polymers and composites under quick loads.

Discussion and summary

Objectives and competences:

Goals: The course objective is to acquaint the students with the time-dependent behaviour of polymer materials and their composites, and with the material functions describing their behaviour in the time and frequency domains.


  • understanding the time-dependent behaviour of polymers and composites,
  • mastering the research methods, procedures and processes, development of ability to do critical and self-critical evaluations,
  • the ability to use the knowledge in the practice,
  • the development of communication skills, especially for communication in the international environment,
  • cooperativeness, teamwork (in the international environment).

Intended learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding

The students attain the knowledge on the behaviour of synthetic and bio-polymeric materials. They understand the specialties of time-dependent behaviour of polymeric structural materials and the advantages offered by these materials in science and engineering. They master the mathematical approaches used to describe the behaviour of time-dependent materials in the time and frequency domain, as well as the prediction of life of products made from these materials.


The knowledge assimilated in the course will benefit the students in all disciplines of engineering using polymeric materials and corresponding composites. This knowledge is of special importance to technologists and design engineers.


The theoretical knowledge acquired in the course and the experience gained in experimental practicum executed in the laboratory environment and partially on real objects in the industrial environment can be transferred directly and used for various research and development and practical purposes in the field of design and processing technologies.

Transferrable skills – related to more than one course

Using the modern professional literature and practical work with modern laboratory, measuring and software equipment.

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