Live Training

Major Testing Techniques for Plastics: An Introduction

Price: $1599

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Virtual Event, VE

10/22/2024 - 10/24/2024

About the Course

This extensive three-day covers basic principles, techniques, and equipment for commonly-used mechanical and analytical tests on plastic 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.

Attendees are invited to bring product samples (e.g. good, bad, failures) for consultation with instructors regarding testing options to evaluate product problems or failures

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

Fee Includes

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

This course also includes access to two free ASTM course:

About the Instructors

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.

Group Sessions

Do you have a group of 5 or more people interested in this course? Save time and money by bringing this course to your site. On-site training courses, either in person or virtual, 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