Polymerization Simulator for Introductory Polymer and Material Science Courses


  • William M. Chirdon University of Louisiana at Lafayette


This work describes how molecular simulation of polymerization reactions can be used to enrich introductory polymer or material science courses to give students a deeper understanding of free-radical chain and stepwise growth polymerization reactions. These simulations have proven to be effective media for instruction that do not require material cost, significant preparation time, safety considerations, or laboratory space. The simulators are free for academic instruction or research and are available online.

Author Biography

William M. Chirdon, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

William M. Chirdon is an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the Chemical Engineering Department. He received his Ph.D. in macromolecular science and engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Chirdon also serves as the faculty advisor for the local chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. His research interests include the modeling of heat generation and transfer in cementitious composites, simultaneous thermal property determination in exothermic solids, thermal analysis of polymers, appearance properties of translucent composite materials, and nanoscratch modeling for polymer surfaces.