Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Department of Materials

Plastics processing technology

Injection moulding

Frequency: Once per Year

Duration: One Week

Date of next course:  23 – 27 March 2015

Venue: Loughborough University, Keith Green Building

Cost: £1320 (£1220 for IOM3 and BPF members)

Accommodation:  Not included.

Recommended convenient hotels: Burleigh Court or The Link

Other Information:
Lunches for short course delegates are included, however short course delegates study alongside full-time MSc students and need to organise their own light refreshments outside of lunchtime.


An intensive one week course comprising lectures, practicals complete with an up to date, comprehensive course book and all supporting lecture notes.
The course is particularly relevant to people working in polymer processing or related sectors who need a broad knowledge of the principles and operating procedures of polymer conversion and powder mixing processes.  This includes a wide range of processing technologies, Extrusion, Injection/Blow/Rotational Moulding, Thermoforming and Compounding.  The course also covers in-depth key aspects of such polymer processing methods (both in theory and in practice) and offers the opportunity to develop practical skills through the use of industrial and laboratory scale processing equipment.

For further information:

Anne Courtenay-Smith
Telephone: (0) 1509 227220
Email: A.C.Courtenay-Smith@lboro.ac.uk

David Hitt
Telephone: (0) 1509 223341
Email: D.J.Hitt@lboro.ac.uk

This event has been recognised by the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining for PD.

‘Professional development is the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skill, and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional, managerial and technical duties throughout the practitioner’s working life.’

Disclaimer - Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the details of this course are accurate, Loughborough University Department of Materials reserves the right to alter the course content and/or lecturers if the need arises.

iom3 pd approved  


The course is ideal if you are employed in a role in the plastics industry related to processing, formulating, supply of fillers and other additives.  The course provides a broad understanding of the principles and operating procedures of polymer conversion and powder mixing processes.  It aims to impart knowledge and understanding of;

  • a wide range of processing methods for thermoplastics, thermosets and composites;
  • machine components in terms of their design, function and specification;
  • process parameters that influence product manufacture, quality and microstructure;
  • factors affecting flow properties of powders such as particle size, shape and size distribution.

In addition there are regular laboratory sessions.  These are designed to complement the lecture content and will be selected from injection moulding, single screw extrusion, twin screw compounding, mixing (/torque rheometry), thermoforming, blown film.  This presents an opportunity to develop practical skills, in relation to a selection of manufacturing processes, through the use of industrial and laboratory scale equipment.

On completion of this course, you (and your company) will benefit from your ability to;

  • Discuss operating principles and process conditions for plastics processing methods
  • Analyse different phases of a process and identify - appropriate material properties / key process parameters / appropriate process conditions
  • Apply theoretical knowledge to practical applications in a manufacturing environment.
  • Evaluate possible manufacturing methods for a range of plastic product types.
  • Appreciate the value of computer simulation software for plastics process design.
  • Work effectively as part of a small team in a polymer processing environment.
  • Operate process equipment (effectively and safely) to perform experimental investigations in regard to the collection of relevant process and product data.
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret (with reference to theoretical concepts) practical data, including recognition of sources of data variation;

Thermoplastics processing techniques: introduction (thermal and rheological properties), extrusion processes, injection moulding, blow moulding techniques, rotational moulding, sintering, thermoforming and polymer foams. Effects of processing, orientation, flow-induced defects, residual stress.

Thermoset processes: compression, transfer and thermosetting injection moulding methods. Dual component processing (e.g. polyurethane materials); comparison with thermoplastic moulding. Reaction injection moulding (RIM). Types of thermosetting and dual component moulding compositions. Processing & properties of thermosetting and composite materials.

Powders and melt mixing: Particle size, shape and distribution. Factors affecting interparticulate interaction and bulk properties, storage and transportation of particulate solids. Mixing of different powders and powders with melts.  (Powder Technology 1 to 5)

Laboratory classes chosen from: injection moulding, single screw extrusion, twin screw compounding, mixing (/torque rheometry), thermoforming, blown film.

DAY  1

  • Thermal properties of plastics
  • Extrusion - 1 (single screw) and Extrusion - 2 (twin screw)
  • Powder Technology - 1
  • Laboratory session 1 - Processing of plastics


  • Flow properties of plastics
  • Powder Technology - 2 & 3
  • Injection Moulding
  • Blow Moulding - 1
  • Thermosets -1 and 2


  • Blow Moulding - 2
  • Rheology, Extrusion and Process Modelling
  • Thermoforming
  • Laboratory session 2 - Processing of plastics


  • Powder Technology - 4
  • Rigid PVC foam
  • Thermosets 3
  • Rotational Moulding
  • Laboratory session 3 - Processing of plastics


  • Structural Effects 1 and 2
  • Thermosets 4
  • Composites
  • Powder Technology - 5

Note:  Course information subject to change due to unavoidable circumstances.

The lectures are Loughborough University and industry based.

Barry Haworth - Head of Department of Materials and Reader in Polymer Engineering.  Specialises in practical and simulative polymer processing, advanced polymer rheology, and properties of thermoplastics that govern processing, structure and product performance.

Don Fleming - Proprietor of Fleming Polymer testing and Consultancy. Over 25 years of experience of rheology and process modelling in the polymer industry.

Ali Ansarifar - Senior Lecturer. Main research interests are bonding of elastomers to polymers and other substrates (adhesion enhancement and failure), reinforcement of rubbers with nanofillers.

Dick Heath - Senior Lecturer. Over a long career in both industry and academia has developed expertise in environmental issues, materials recycling, surface technology, composites and reactive polymer processing (thermosets and polyurethanes).

Simon Martin - Senior Lecturer. Particular research interests include semiconducting polymer devices, morphology of thin films (and their interfaces) and polymer brushes.  In relation to these topics very knowledgeable on the experimental techniques used; neutron scattering, AFM and ellipsometry.

Noreen Thomas - Reader in Polymer Science and Technology. A background of wide ranging research work, in both academia and industry, has led to broad current interests in polymer science and technology (recycling, biodegradable materials, weathering and nanocomposites) and specific interests in PVC applications and sustainability.

David Hitt - Course Leader / Research Fellow. Current research interests are focussed on the use of additives to improve the processing and properties of PVC.  In addition, as Manager of the Polymer Processing Laboratory coordinates the use of its facilities in short term projects for industry.

Jane Clarke - Research Fellow. Main areas of research relate to rubber compounds and thermoplastic elastomers (processing-microstructure-property relationships, recycling, use of renewable additives) and polymer rheology in relation to processing (viscoelastic effects and simulation of flow).

Carole Raymond - Visiting Research Fellow. Specialises in the application of optical microscopy and spectroscopy to resolve problems in polymer processing and to analyse (unexpected/premature) failures of polymer products.


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+44 (0)1509 222527

+44 (0)1509 223949

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Research Day 2014

15th July 2014
Sir Dennis Rooke Building
Holywell Park
Loughborough University, UK