Major Testing Techniques for Plastics: An Introduction

    Price: $1,599.00

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    West Conshohocken, PA

    10/12/2021 - 10/14/2021

    ASTM Headquarters
    100 Barr Harbor Drive
    West Conshohocken, PA 19428


    Number of Attendees

    Virtual Event

    In light of rising concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and calls to contain the virus, ASTM will be offering this in-person training as a live streamed virtual event.

    Early Bird Discount

    ASTM automatically applies a discount of 10% when participants register 60 days prior to the start of the class.
    *After the early bird period expires, registrations are subject to standard pricing.

    About the Course

    This extensive three-day covers basic principles, techniques, and equipment for commonly-used mechanical and analytical tests on polymeric materials. You'll learn about mechanical properties, chemical analysis, flammability, combustibility, instrumental analysis, thermal aging, and much more.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this course you will be able to:

    • Determine what types of tests you need
    • Explain what is needed to perform the tests
    • Discuss what affects the tests
    • Describe basic principles, techniques, and equipment for mechanical and analytical tests
    • Define mechanical properties, chemical analysis, combustibility, instrumental analysis, and thermal aging.

    Please note: This course emphasizes fundamentals rather than advanced theory.

    Who Should Attend

    • Technicians
    • Shop foremen
    • Sales representatives
    • Technical liaisons
    • Professionals new to testing of plastics
    • Process engineers
    • Laboratory supervisors and managers accountable for quality assurance or product development
    • Anyone who needs knowledge of test methods.

    Course Description

    Virtual Sessions will begin at 8:00 AM on all three days and end at approximately 4:30 PM on days one and two. Working through lunch, class ends at approximately 2:00 PM on day three.


    • Basic Polymer Structure & Explanation of Terms
    • Use of SQC Charts, Collaborative Testing and Analyzing Test Data
    • ASTM Organization and Developing ASTM Standards

    Introduction to Mechanical Properties and Tests

    • Viscoelastic Behavior: Effects of time, temperature & speed of testing
    • Force/Deformation Curves
    • Static Tests: Stress/strain relationships, terminology, instruments (tensile, compression flex)
    • Impact Tests: Izod, Charpy, film tests
    • Measuring Yield Point, Strain, 4 Kinds of Modulus, etc.
    • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
    • Computerization & Automation
    • Surface Properties, Tear Tests, Thermal Tests (heat deflection, coefficient of expansion, Vicat)

    Introduction to Analytical Techniques

    • Spectroscopy: Infrared, Raman nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray, UV/visible, mass spectrometry
    • Chromatography: Gas, liquid, headspace GC, pyrolysis GC
    • Microscopy
    • Permeation Methods: Oxygen and water vapor transmission
    • Thermal Methods: DSC, TGA, TMA
    • Molecular Weight Characterization: Viscosity, size exclusion, etc.

    Application of Analytical & Mechanical Methods

    • Additives: Types, sample preparation, methods of analysis
    • Foreign Materials in Plastics
    • Polymer Residuals: Headspace analysis by GC, LC
    • Polymer: Spectroscopy, molecular characterization
    • Literature and instructor's examples related to product failure; use of multiple analytical and/or mechanical tests

    Aging (Plastics)

    • Aging Mechanisms and Rates
    • Exposure Conditions
    • Failure Examples

    Flammability/Combustibility Testing

    • Flame Spread: Small-, medium-, and large-scale tests
    • Heat Release; Smoke; Toxicity; Corrosion

    Referenced Documents

    Test Methods:

    • D882 Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting
    • D3895 Oxidative Induction Time of Polyolefins by Differential Scanning Calorimetry
    • D5296 Molecular Weight Averages and Molecular Weight Distribution of Polystyrene by High Performance Size-Exclusion Chromatography


    • D2103 Polyethylene Film and Sheeting

    Fee Includes

    • Referenced ASTM standards
    • Course notes
    • Coffee breaks
    • A Certificate of Completion
    • 2.1 CEUs (Continuing Education Units).

    About the Instructors

    Charles G. Smith, a consultant, retired after 28 years in the analytical sciences laboratory of The Dow Chemical Co. There he developed methods, and applied chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques to the analysis of polymeric systems, including the application of pyrolysis techniques for the identification and characterization of polymers. He has published over 15 technical papers and is an active member of ASTM. Smith received a B.S degree from Allegheny College and an M.S. in analytical chemistry from the Univ. of Michigan.

    Fred Boldt, a consultant, has worked in the plastics industry for over 50 years and retired after 25 years with LyondellBasell in 2009. In the course of his career, he was involved with a number of companies working in technical service, product and process development, manufacturing, and technology licensing. He has actively participated in ASTM for many years, serving as a main committee officer and as chair of ASTM D20.15.01 (Polyethylene) and D20.19 (Film and Sheeting). He was named an ASTM Fellow in 2009. He is a graduate (BSChE) of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark College of Engineering).

    About Sponsoring Committee

    Established in 1898, ASTM is one of the world's largest voluntary standards development organizations. ASTM standards have grown to be among the world's most widely used and accepted documents. The 82-volume Annual Book of ASTM Standards contain over 13,000 standards written by 34,000 members on 140 technical committees. These standards are widely used throughout the world as the basis of purchasing and other contracts, codes, laws and regulations. The standards referenced in this course were developed by ASTM Committee D20 on Plastics. For information on Committee D20, contact Alyson Fick at (610) 832-9640 or go to our D20 technical committee page.

    Attention: Professional Engineers

    If your state has a continuing education requirement for license renewal, ASTM training courses and ASTM membership can help you meet that requirement.

    On-Site Training Available

    ASTM can bring this course to your site! On-site training courses can also be tailored to meet your specific needs. For more information, please contact sales here or call 1-877-909-ASTM.

    How Learning Will Be Assessed

    Learning will be assessed through a series of question and answer sessions.

    Questions About the Training Course

    For information on this training course, please contact Training

    Attendee Praise

    Praise from recent attendees of the course:

    "Great variety of info."

    "Instructors were great."

    "Great course ... I was pleased with how well it was presented for my understanding."

    "I enjoyed learning how all of the tests are run, and then seeing real life examples of how to put the tests to use."

    "All topics are valuable. Even though we don't do our own testing, it is important to know how material data is generated to better evaluate them."

    "Both mechanical and chemistry side were of great value to me."

    "I appreciate how comprehensive the class was. I can't say enough good things about the instructors. They were informative, kind and funny."

    ASTM In-Person Event COVID Guidelines

    To view ASTM's In-Person Event COVID Guidelinesplease click here.

    Class materials will be provided digitally. Personal devices are recommended when attending in person training events.