6 credits during the 2nd year of 10375 CHEMICAL AND PROCESSES ENGINEERING (L-9) GENOVA
2° Semester
Teaching materials



The course aims to provide students with the basic notions on metal extraction processes, on the classification and rheology of polymers, on the microstructural properties of metals and polymers.


Attendance and active participation in the proposed training activities (lectures, exercises and drafting of a report in a group) and individual study will allow the student to:

  • know the ways for:
    • production of cast iron and steel
    • extraction of aluminum
    • electrolytic refining of copper.
  • have in-depth knowledge on the characteristics of polymeric materials, such as protective organic coatings
  • evaluate the consumption parameters of organic protective coatings
  • identify correlations between the microstructure and the properties of metallic, polymeric and crystalline oxide materials.
  • optionally, do a research, in groups of at least of three units, deriving from activities such as the study, updating or application of topics related to the program carried out during the lesson, and draw up a technical report on the developed  activities.


For a successful learning, basic knowledge of mathematics, chemistry and physics is required, but no formal prerequisites are foreseen.

Teaching methods

Lectures in the classroom. The presentation of theoretical contents alternates exercises aimed at favoring the learning and application of theoretical arguments to specific applications.


The program develops the following topics:

  • Introduction to metallic and polymeric materials for engineering (2 hours)
  • Metal production (15 hours)

• Metal extraction: preliminary phases. Pyrometallurgy: Ellingham diagram
• The blast furnace: structure, functioning and main reactions. Scheme of a steel plant.
• Steel thermodynamics and kinetics: symbology and conventions.
• Principles of selective refining of cast iron and steel. Role of the slag. Breakdown balances.
• Classification of cast irons.
• Steels: classification and characteristics. Manufacturing processes: oxidizing refining and deoxidation.
• Conversion processes: Linz-Donawitz, LD, process and electric ovens (induction and arc). Charge characteristics and process control.
• Overview on solidification of steel products.
• Electrometallurgy: industrial production of aluminum.
• Introduction to the electrolytic refining of metals: copper case.

  • The metallic bond (5 hours)

• The perfect crystal: elements of symmetry and crystalline systems.
• Crystalline structures in metals.
• Packing factor. Exercises.
• Atomic coordinates in compact unit cells. Exercises.
• Interstitial sites in metal structures.

  • The ionic bond and the ionic crystals (5 hours)

• Reticular energy; Madelung's constant and the repulsive term.
• Rigid ball model and coordination number. The rules of Pauling.
• Main crystalline structures: rock salt, sphalerite, antifluorite, fluorite, perovskite.
• Overview of defects in crystalline solids.

  • The corrosive phenomenon: parameters that influence the process; attack morphologies (4 hours)
  • Bibliographic research and drafting of a report (5 hours)
  • Polymers (15 hours)

• Classification
• Average molecular weights
• Methods for determining molecular weight
• Amorphous polymers, Tg
• Semi-crystalline polymers
• Mechanical behavior of polymers
• Elasticity, viscoelasticity.
• Traction test: fragile, ductile, elastomeric behavior.
• Elements of rheology.

  • Organic coatings (9 hours)

• Composition
• Classification based on the the type of action, cycle and binder
• Coatings for special uses
• Degradation of coatings
• Hints of defects in coatings
• DFT, WFT, dilution, practical consumption, dead volume
• The technical sheet, examples of calculations on organic coatings (exercises)


The didactic material used during the lessons will be available in Aulaweb. The notes taken during the lessons and the material in aulaweb are sufficient for the preparation of the exam.


Ricevimento: Contact me by email:

Ricevimento: The teacher is available to students every Thursday and Friday from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm for any clarification and/or deepening and, by appointment via email, on any other occasion consistently with other institutional commitments.

Ricevimento: On appointment

Exam Board





Teaching methods

Lectures in the classroom. The presentation of theoretical contents alternates exercises aimed at favoring the learning and application of theoretical arguments to specific applications.


As indicated in the calendar of the University


Exam description

The final test of the module consists in passing a written test, composed of 4 questions, which may require a theoretical answer or a numerical sequence. Each question can be evaluated at most 8 points based on the correctness and completeness of the answer.
Students who have passed the written test with a minimum grade of 18/30 will be able to:
• accept the vote obtained
• take an oral test: in the oral exam one can increase the evaluation, but one can also be rejected, in this case losing the vote of the written exam and therefore having to re-take the written exam in the subsequent sessions
• freeze the vote: whoever obtains a vote that he does not consider adequate for her/his preparation, may decide to repeat the exam in subsequent sessions. Attention: whoever evaluates the new written exam, definitively loses the vote of the previous exam.
The students who have chosen to perform the technical report will be able to choose to answer 3 questions of their choice on the 4 proposals. The written test will be considered sufficient if passed with a minimum score of 14. The report can be evaluated up to a maximum of 8 points.
Three exam sessions will be available for the 'winter' session (January, February and during the educational break provided by the Scuola Politenica at Easter) and 4 calls for the 'summer' session (June, July, September and during the autumn break provided by the Polytechnic School). No extraordinary appeals will be granted outside the periods indicated by the Polytechnic School, except for students who have not included in the study plan training activities in the current academic year.

Assessment methods

Details on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of depth of each topic will be given during the lessons. The written test focuses on 3 theoretical questions, on the topics of the program, and 1 application calculation similar to the exercises done in class. The oral exam includes theoretical questions (not exercises) on the topics indicated in the program. The exam aims to ascertain the knowledge of the teaching and the ability to apply the theoretical bases to general or specific cases of practical interest. The quality of the writing/speaking, the correct use of the technical terminology, the schematic and the synthesis capacity will also be evaluated.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
16/09/2020 09:30 GENOVA Orale