WEBINAR: Polymer Molecular Weight: A Key Factor in Plastic Performance

March 31, 2022 at 11:00am-Noon EST
Webinar via Zoom

FREE for SPE Members
Non-Members: $199

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The characteristic properties exhibited by plastics are the direct result of their unique molecular structure. Plastics are polymers of very high molecular mass. To enhance their properties, they often contain additives, however, the underlying attributes of a plastic material are determined by the polymer. The molecular weight of the base polymer is a fundamental factor in the characteristics of plastic materials. This includes the mechanical, thermal, chemical, and environmental properties of the material, and ultimately the formed part.

Through the polymerization process, polymers - materials of relatively high molecular weight, macromolecules - are produced. Higher molecular weights are associated with longer molecular chains, and this results in a greater level of entanglement. This has important implications, as higher-molecular-weight grades of plastics will have superior mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance properties compared with lower molecular-weight grades of the same material.

Through this webinar, the viewers will:

  • Gain an appreciation of the criticality of Molecular Weight on the performance of polymeric materials
  • Get insight as to how Molecular Weight can be altered during life cycle of the polymer
  • Identify different analytical tools to measure Molecular Weight, and recognize which is best in different circumstances


  • Polymerization
  • Molecular Weight and Its Relationship with Plastic Properties
  • Molecular Weight Distribution
  • Molecular Degradation
  • Molecular Weight Measurement
  • Complementary Methods for Assessing Molecular Degradation

About Speaker

Jeffrey A. Jansen is the Engineering Manager and a Partner at The Madison Group, an independent plastics engineering and consulting firm. Jeff is a proven plastic professional with more than 30 years of experience solving problems and addressing opportunities related to polymeric materials. Jeff specializes in failure analysis, material identification and selection, as well as compatibility, aging, and lifetime prediction studies for thermoplastic materials. Jeff has performed over 5,000 investigations, both for industrial clients and as a part of litigation. Jeff is a regular presenter on the SPE webinar series, covering a wide range of topics related to plastics failure, material performance, testing, and polymer technology. Jeff is a graduate of Carroll College and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

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