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The methodology necessary for selecting physical test procedures relevant to end-use applications is discussed. Emphasis is placed on the complex behavior of plastics and the fact that the physical properties of polymers cannot be presented as unchanging “typical values” that universally describe material behavior.
A basic rationale necessary to develop a sound philosophy of testing is first developed. An integrated approach of describing all physical tests simply as input/output measurements under given boundary conditions is presented. Three classes of test methods, that is, fundamental tests, component or practical tests, and hybrid tests are defined. The importance of avoiding hybrid types of tests is illustrated. An assessment of standard ASTM test methods is presented. Guidelines are established for selecting relevant physical testing procedures.
physical testing, evaluation, end-use performance, methodology, fundamental test, boundary conditions, environment, relevancy
Group leader, American Cyanamid Co., Stamford, Conn.