MANUAL Published: 1998

The Basics of Testing Plastics: Mechanical Properties, Flame Exposure, and General Guidelines

Editor(s): Stephen Burke Driscoll

This manual is the first in a planned series of volumes addressing the challenges and problems associated with testing plastics. Future manuals will focus on electrical characteristics, optical and chemical properties, rheological behavior, as well as global concerns for international testing harmonization, recycling, and other important analytical techniques.

Provides basic information for persons who are not well-experienced in the testing of plastics: chemists, materials engineers, technicians, salesmen, purchasing personnel, newly-appointed laboratory supervisors, quality control personnel, shop foremen, order correspondents, and many others who may work with test data.

Chapter 1- Classification and Definitions, by Stephen Burke Driscoll -- Explains briefly some of the more important characteristics of plastics and how these relate to end-use performance. The various classification schemes illustrate the unique versatility of the polymer industry and how simple changes in the composition or structure of the polymer can significantly influence its processability and how it is used. This chapter also includes an abbreviated glossary of terms, definitions, and explanations of those important chemical additives used to modify the performance of many polymers.

Chapter 2- General Guidelines for Conducting Tests and Evaluating Data, by Alvin J. Flint, Jr.-- Avoid losing money through "false facts" from test data. Includes standard deviation, coefficient of variation, range, Least Significant Differences, and outliers. Discusses the most important aspects of ASTM test methods and specifications.

Chapter 3- Measuring Mechanical Properties of Plastics, by Alvin J. Flint, Jr. -- Three kinds of modulus, viscoelastic behavior. Important aspects of tensile, compressive, flexural, shear, impact, creep, fatigue, HDT, and weathering tests. Test equipment and how data is obtained (including computerization and automation).

Chapter 4- Responses to Flame Exposure, by Alvin J. Flint, Jr. -- Tests for ignition, flame spread, fuel contribution, smoke generation, and toxicity. Small-scale, medium-scale, and large-scale tests and their usefulness, including case studies.

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Developed by Committee: D20
Pages: 64
DOI: 10.1520/MNL35-EB
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4540-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2079-2