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Bayer Corporation 100 Bayer Road Pittsburgh, PA 15205-9741 1-800-622-6004

Sales Offices:

California: 9 Corporate Park Drive, Suite 240, lrvine, CA 92714-5113

714 833-2351 Fax: 714 752-1306

Michigan: 1150 Stephenson Highway, Troy, Ml 48083-1187

Engineering Polymers
810 583-9700 Fax: 810 583-9701

New Jersey: Raritan Plaza III, Edison, NJ 08837-3605

908 225-1030 Fax: 908 225-2571
Material Selection
Illinois: 9801 W. Higgins Road, Suite 560, Rosemont, IL 60018-4704
708 692-5560 Fax: 708 692-7408 THERMOPLASTICS
Georgia: 380 Interstate N. Parkway, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30339-2267 AND
404 955-4326 Fax: 404 956-7484
Tennessee: 2505 Hillsboro Road, Suite 203, Nashville, TN 37212-5317
(Plastics) 615 298-3566 Fax: 615 298-2641

Canadian Affiliate:

Ontario: Bayer Inc. A Design Guide

77 Belfield Road, Etobicoke, Ontario M9W 1G6
416 248-0771 Fax: 416 248-4496

Quebec: Bayer Inc.

7600 Trans Canada Highway, Pointe Claire, Quebec H9R 1C8
514 697-5550 Fax: 514 697-5334

Printed on recycled paper KU-F3024 Copyright 1995, Bayer Corporation 541 (20M) 12/95

Because of improved quality and cost The growing number of thermoplastics conditions. This brochure does not cover
competitiveness, plastic materials are and thermosets with their combinations part design. While design and material
displacing traditional materials in a of physical and mechanical properties selection are interrelated, we have
myriad of diverse and demanding indus- makes the proper material selection diffi- chosen to discuss part and mold design
tries. Today, engineering plastics can cult. A resin is judged by any number of in separate manuals, Engineering
be found in virtually every aspect of our criteria strength, toughness, aesthetics, Thermoplastics: Part and Mold Design
lives. From food containers to automo- etc. depending upon a parts final use. Guide and Engineering Polymers:
biles, appliances, toys, office equip- Any particular plastics performance RIM Part and Mold Design Guide.
ment, and life-saving medical devices, across these criteria can vary widely. Throughout this manual, relevant tests
plastics affect each and every one of us. from the American Society for Testing
Product designers and consumers alike This manual is designed to help you and Measurement (ASTM), the
acknowledge that todays advanced the design engineer, product engineer, International Standards Organization
plastics, in tandem with proper design, process engineer, and others who work (ISO), Underwriters Laboratories (UL),
add to product value and versatility. with plastic materials select materials German Standards Institute (DIN), and
for your specific application. It begins the International Electro-Technical Com-
with a basic overview of the nature of mission (IEC) are given where possible.
plastics, then explains the specific tests Efforts were made to include the perti-
used to compare and evaluate engineering nent tests specified in ISO 10350 the
plastics. We hope this information helps emerging international standard for poly-
you develop parameters to consider when mer properties and test procedures.
selecting a group of plastics for further
investigation. Many rules of thumb appear While providing a good overview of the
in the text. Naturally, there may be some topics you should consider when selecting
exceptions to these rules of thumb or a plastic, this manual does not provide
times when one conflicts with another. all the information youll need to make a
If this happens, talk with your mold final resin choice. Final material selection
maker/designer and Bayer Corporation must be based upon prototype testing
personnel for appropriate action. information and final part testing in actu-
al, in-use settings prior to commercializa-
Specific resin data and typical property tion. Published data should be used only
information have not been included in to screen potential candidate materials.
this manual except as examples for gen-
eral information. All values that appear Bayer Corporation and our parent com-
in this manual are approximate and are pany, Bayer AG (Germany), offer a wide
not part of the product specifications. range of engineering thermoplastics, as
Do not use this data for product specifi- well as many polyurethane systems, for
cation. For more specific information on engineering end uses. As a service to our
a particular resin, please read the appro- customers, we also have technical ser-
priate Bayer Product Information vice engineers ready to help you with
Bulletin (PIB) as a preliminary step for part design and production. Please feel
material selection. Ultimately, material free to contact us with specific questions.
selection must be based upon your
prototype testing under actual, end-use


Chapter 1 Chapter 3

5 Plastics: Origins and Definitions 23 Short-Term Mechanical Properties

6 Thermoplastics and Thermosets 23 Tensile Properties
7 RIM Polyurethane Systems 25 Tensile Modulus
8 Crystalline and Amorphous Polymers 25 Tensile Stress at Yield
9 Blends 26 Elongation at Yield
10 Copolymers and Terpolymers 26 Tensile Stress at Break
10 Elastomers 26 Elongation at Break
10 Molecular Weight 26 Ultimate Strength
10 Fillers and Reinforcements 26 Ultimate Elongation
11 Shrinkage 27 Poissons Ratio
12 Additives 27 Flexural Properties
12 Combustion Modifiers 27 Flexural Modulus
12 Release Agents 27 Ultimate Flexural Stress
12 Blowing Agents 28 Cut-Growth Resistance
12 Catalysts 28 Compressive Properties
28 Compressive Strength
29 Compressive Set
Chapter 2 29 Shear Strength
29 Tear Strength
13 Viscoelasticity 29 Impact Properties
14 Creep 32 Hardness Properties
15 Stress Relaxation 34 Miscellaneous Mechanical Properties
15 Recovery 34 Coefficient of Friction
16 Loading Rate 34 Abrasion and Scratch Resistance
16 Factors Affecting Mechanical Properties 35 Long-Term Mechanical Properties
17 Processing 36 Creep Properties
17 Thermoplastic Regrind 37 Stress Relaxation
17 Polyurethane Recycling 38 Fatigue Properties
18 Weld Lines
19 Residual Stress
20 Orientation
21 Water Absorption
22 Chemical Exposure
22 Weathering

Chapter 4 Chapter 6

40 Deflection Temperature Under Load (DTUL) 51 Water Absorption

41 Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion (CLTE) 51 Hydrolytic Degradation
41 Thermal Conductivity 52 Thermal and Humid Aging
42 Specific Heat 53 Chemical Resistance
42 Relative Temperature Index (RTI) 54 Weatherability
42 Vicat Softening Temperature 55 Gas Permeability
43 Torsional Pendulum
44 Thermal Transmission Properties
44 Open-Cell Content: Foamed Polyurethane Materials Chapter 7
45 Heat (High-Temperature) Sag
56 Density
56 Specific Gravity
Chapter 5 56 Specific Volume
57 Haze and Luminous Transmittance
46 Volume Resistivity 57 Refractive Index
46 Surface Resistivity 57 Oxygen Index
47 Dielectric Strength 57 Flammability Class
48 Dielectric Constant 59 Flash Point
48 Dissipation Factor
48 Arc Resistance
49 Comparative Tracking Index (CTI)
50 Hot-Wire Ignition (HWI)
50 High-Current Arc Ignition (HAI)
50 High-Voltage Arc-Tracking Rate (HVTR)

Chapter 8 Chapter 9

60 General Processing Parameters 69 Cost Considerations

60 Mold Shrinkage 70 Environmental Considerations
60 Viscosity 70 Load
60 Solution Viscosity 70 Temperature
61 Viscosity Versus Shear Rate Curves 70 Chemical Resistance
62 Polyol and Isocyanate Viscosity 71 Weather Resistance
62 Rotary Viscosity (Brookfield Viscosity) 71 Material Properties
62 Thermoplastics 72 Processing
62 Melt Strength 73 Appearance
63 Spiral Flow 73 Agency Approvals
64 Polyurethanes 74 Actual Requirements
64 Hydroxyl Number 74 Prototype Testing
65 Percentage NCO and Amine Equivalent 74 Resin Suppliers
65 Acidity 74 Systems Approach
67 Free-Rise Density
67 Cream Time
67 Gel Time Chapter 10
67 Tack-Free Time
67 Water (Weight Percent) 75 Health and Safety Information
75 Design and Engineering Expertise
76 Technical Support
76 Design Review Assistance
76 Application Development Assistance
76 Product Support Assistance
76 Regulatory Compliance
77 Regrind Usage
77 For More Information


78 List of Figures and Tables

80 Index
83 Related ISO-ASTM-IEC Test Methods


Bayer Materials Properties Guide

Chapter 1

Although plastics appear in nearly Addition polymeri- Figure 1-1

every industry and market, few people zation of ethylene
into polyethylene.
have training in polymer chemistry and H H H H H H
The growing
structure. Understanding this basic molecules become R + C=C R C C + C=C
information will help you select the commercial-quality H H H H H H
right resin. This section explains the polyethylene when
concepts of polymer chemistry and the number of H H H H H H H H
repeat units (n)
structure, and shows how these C C C=C + C C C C R
reaches approxi-
elements affect material properties. mately 100,000. H H n H H H H H H

PLASTICS: ORIGINS Polymerization, the process of chemi-

AND DEFINITIONS cally bonding monomer building blocks
to form large molecules, can occur by
To understand plastic materials, you one of several methods. In addition
should have some insight into polymerization, a chain reaction adds
polymers, the building blocks of plas- new monomer units to the growing
tics. Polymers, derived from the Greek polymer molecule one at a time. Each
term for many parts, are large mole- new unit added creates an active site for
cules comprised of many repeat units the next attachment (see figure 1-1). In
that have been chemically bonded into condensation polymerization, the
long chains. Silk, cotton, and wool are reaction between monomer units or
examples of natural polymers. In the chain-end groups releases a small mole-
last 40 years, the chemical industry has cule, often water (see figure 1-2). This
developed a plethora of synthetic poly- reversible reaction will reach equilibri-
mers to satisfy the materials needs for a um and halt unless this small molecular
diversity of products: paints, coatings, by-product is removed. Commercial
fibers, films, elastomers, and structural polymer molecules are usually
plastics are examples. Literally thou- thousands of repeat units long.
sands of materials can be grouped as
plastics, although the term today is
typically reserved for polymeric materi-
als, excluding fibers, that can be molded
or formed into solid or semi-solid objects.

Figure 1-2

H O C O H + O O
Bisphenol A Carbonic Acid
polymerization of
O H2O O polycarbonate (PC)
CH3 C CH3 C via condensation of
H O C O OH + H O C O OH water. Although
not a common
CH3 CH3 commercial
process, the
reverse of this
CH3 O reaction is the
O C O C O mechanism by

CH3 n which PC can

degrade in the
Polycarbonate Repeating Unit presence of water
and high heat.

Understanding the polymerization THERMOPLASTICS AND mix. This is particularly true if process-
process gives insight into the nature of THERMOSETS ing conditions are harsh. See specific
the resulting plastic. For example, plas- Bayer Product Information Bulletins for
tics made via condensation polymeriza- How a polymer network responds to the recommended maximum regrind for
tion, in which water is released, can heat determines whether a plastic falls a given resin.
degrade when exposed to water and into one of two broad categories: ther-
high temperatures. Under these condi- moplastics or thermosets. Thermoplas- Unlike thermoplastics, thermosets form
tions, depolymerization occurs, severing tics soften and melt when heated and cross links, interconnections between
the polymer chains. harden when cooled. Because of this neighboring polymer molecules that
behavior, these resins can be injection limit chain movement. This network of
molded, extruded or formed via other polymer chains tends to degrade, rather
molding techniques. This behavior also than soften, when exposed to excessive
allows production scrap runners and heat. Until recently, thermosets could
trimmings, for instance to be not be remelted and reused after initial
reground and reused. Because some curing. Todays most-recent advances
degradation or loss of mechanical prop- in recycling have provided new methods
erties can occur during subsequent for remelting and reusing thermoset
remelting, you should limit the amount materials.
of recycled resin in the production resin

Chapter 1

Because they do not melt, thermosets ming than thermoplastics, they usual- with additives are generally referred to as
are processed differently than thermo- ly have less mold shrinkage and exhibit a RIM system. Generally, RIM materi-
plastics. Heat will further polymerize superior chemical and heat resistance. als show excellent chemical resistance
some thermosets, such as phenolic resin, including resisting organic and inor-
which cure when injected into a hot ganic acids, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and
mold. Other thermosets RIM poly- RIM Polyurethane Systems many solvents and have good aging
urethanes, for example rely upon a and weathering resistance. Usually, RIM
controlled chemical reaction between Bayer Polymers Division produces a processing uses less-expensive tooling,
components after they pass through a wide variety of Reaction Injection less energy, and lower-tonnage presses
mixing head into the mold. A third type Molding (RIM) polyurethanes which than thermoplastic processing.
of thermoset, such as silicon, cures as use two liquid components to chemically
volatiles in the resin evaporate. form plastic material in a mold. The liq- Polyurethane resins can be classified
uids, an isocyanate (A component) and into two broad groups. Rigid poly-
Although thermosets generally require a polyol (B component), react to form urethane materials generally have
longer cycle times and more secondary a polyurethane resin with long polymer higher flexural moduli and hardness.
operations such as deflashing and trim- chains. These two components, coupled They offer good thermal resistance,
electrical properties, chemical resis-
tance and acoustical insulation.
Elastomeric polyurethane systems
Polyurethane Systems Classified by Flexural Modulus Figure 1-3 are generally found in applications
requiring superior impact strength.
More flexible than typical rigid sys-
Solid tems, elastomeric polyurethane resins
Composites (SRIM)
exhibit good toughness and dimensional
BAYDUR STRF stability throughout a wide range of
Composites temperatures and have excellent corro-
sion, abrasion, wear, and cut resistance.
PRISM These broad categories are not absolute;

Solids they are ranges (see figure 1-3). Both

rigid and elastomeric materials also
Rigid have a potential for high-quality,
class A finishes with excellent paint
R BAYFLEX and coating adherence.
R Elastomeric
M Solids
Within these large classifications, there
BAYFLEX are three types of polyurethane systems:

Foamed Polyurethane Systems,

non-isotropic materials, use a blow-
0 00300 0600 0900 1200 1500
ing agent to make parts with a rugged
skin and a lower-density, microcellu-

lar-foam core in a sandwich-like com- Figure 1-4
position. The skin on elastomeric Crystalline Structures
foamed systems is extremely tear
resistant, making these materials a
good choice for steering wheels, arm-
rests, headrests, gearshift knobs and
furniture. Rigid systems have hard,
solid skins and are found in business
machine housings, automobile spoil-
ers, skis and certain load-bearing
applications. Finally, cell size helps
categorize foamed polyurethane sys- Amorphous Regions
tems. Large-celled foamed systems
In crystalline resins, a percentage of the polymer chains orient into
find use in seat cushions and bedding
ordered, crystalline structures.
materials. Microcellular systems, those
with cells as small as 0.0001 inch, find
use in shoe soles and furniture.
the mold to improve the systems The degree of crystallinity depends
Solid Polyurethane Systems do not mechanical characteristics. The mat upon both the polymer and the process-
use blowing agents, resulting in a adds extremely high stiffness and high ing technique. Because of molecular
homogeneous, isotropic, rigid or elas- impact strength to the part. Typical structure, some polymers such as
tomeric plastic. Solid elastomers are applications include door panels and polyethylene crystallize quickly and
found in many industries, including doors, automotive horizontal panels, reach high levels of crystallinity.
automotive, construction, agriculture, and recreational equipment parts. Others, such as PET polyester, require
and recreational equipment. Common longer times in a hot mold to crystallize.
parts include fenders, fascias, trims If cooled quickly, PET polyester
and vertical panels. Additionally, CRYSTALLINE AND remains amorphous in the final product,
fillers can be added to solid elas- AMORPHOUS POLYMERS such as in beverage bottles. Because
tomers for improved stiffness. Solid most crystalline polymers have both
rigid polyurethane systems have Thermoplastics are further classified by amorphous and crystalline regions, they
many property values similar to those their crystallinity, or the degree of exhibit both a glass transition temper-
found in typical thermoplastics. order within the polymers overall ature, the melting temperature range in
They can make thin-walled parts structure. As a crystalline resin cools the non-crystalline region, and a crys-
and may be more economical than from the melt, polymer chains fold or talline melt temperature, the typically
thermoplastics. align into highly ordered crystalline distinct melting temperature in the crys-
structures (see figure 1-4). Generally, talline region. Crystalline thermoplas-
Structural Composite Polyurethane polymer chains with bulky side groups tics must be heated above the resins
Systems are solid or foamed materi- cannot form crystalline configurations. crystalline-melt temperature for
als, molded in combination with fiber extrusion and injection molding.
reinforcements, such as glass mat, in

Chapter 1

Amorphous polymers, ones with little Crystalline and amorphous plastics have shrinkage, and less final-part warping
or no crystallinity, have random chain several characteristic differences. The than crystalline counterparts. End-use
entanglements and lack a discrete melt- force to generate flow in amorphous requirements usually dictate whether an
ing point. As they are exposed to heat, materials diminishes slowly as the tem- amorphous or crystalline resin is preferred.
these polymers soften and become more perature rises above the glass transition
fluid-like, allowing the polymer chains temperature. In crystalline resins, the
to slide past one another. As the poly- force requirements diminish quickly as BLENDS
mer cools, chain movement diminishes, the material is heated above its crys-
and the polymers viscosity increases. talline melt temperature (see figure Blending two or more polymers offers
Generally, the higher a polymers glass 1-5). Because of these easier flow yet another method of tailoring resins
transition temperature, the better it will characteristics, crystalline resins have to your specific application. Because
perform at elevated temperatures. As a an advantage in filling thin-walled blends are only physical mixtures, the
rule, transparent plastics those used sections, as in electrical connectors. resulting polymer usually has physical
in headlight lenses and lighting fixtures, Additionally, these resins generally and mechanical properties that lie some-
for example are amorphous rather have superior chemical resistance, where between the values of its con-
than crystalline. The most common greater stability at elevated tempera- stituent materials. For instance, an auto-
transparent thermoplastics include tures and better creep resistance. motive bumper made from a blend of
polycarbonate, polystyrene, and Amorphous plastics typically exhibit polycarbonate resin and a thermoplastic
poly(methyl) methacrylate. greater impact strength, less mold polyurethane elastomer gains rigidity

Injection Force vs. Temperature Figure 1-5 The force required to

generate flow in a
Tg mold diminishes slowly
above the glass
Amorphous Resin transition temperature
Tc (Tg) in amorphous
thermoplastics, but
drops quickly above
the crystalline melt

temperature (Tc) in
Crystalline Resin crystalline resins.


from the polycarbonate resin and retains ELASTOMERS 4 g/10 min for the highest-molecular-
most of the flexibility and paintability weight, standard grades to more than
of the polyurethane elastomer. For Elastomers are a class of polymeric 60 g/min for lowest-molecular-weight,
business machine housings, a blend of materials that can be repeatedly high-flow, specialty grades.
polycarbonate and ABS resins offers stretched to over twice the original
the enhanced performance of polycar- length with little or no permanent defor- Selecting the correct molecular weight
bonate flame retardance and UV mation. Elastomers can be made of for your injection-molding application
stability at a lower cost. either thermoplastic or polyurethane generally involves a balance between
materials and generally are tested and filling ease and material performance.
Occasionally, blended polymers have categorized differently than rigid mate- If your application has thin-walled
properties that exceed those of the con- rials. Commonly selected according to sections, a lower-molecular-weight/
stituents. For instance, blends of poly- their hardness and energy absorption lower-viscosity grade offers better flow.
carbonate resin and PET polyester, orig- characteristics rarely considered in rigid For normal wall thicknesses, these resins
inally created to augment the chemical thermoplastics elastomers are found also offer faster mold-cycle times and
resistance of polycarbonate, actually in numerous applications, such as auto- fewer molded-in stresses. The stiffer-
have fatigue resistance and low- motive bumpers and industrial hoses. flowing, high-molecular-weight resins
temperature impact resistance superior offer the ultimate material performance,
to either of the individual polymers. being tougher and more resistant to
MOLECULAR WEIGHT chemical and environmental attack.

COPOLYMERS AND A polymers molecular weight, the sum

TERPOLYMERS of the weights of individual atoms that FILLERS AND
comprise a molecule, indicates the aver- REINFORCEMENTS
Unlike blends, or physical mixtures of age length of the bulk resins polymer
different polymers, copolymers contain chains. Low-molecular-weight polyeth- Often, fibrous materials, such as glass or
repeat units from two polymers within ylene chains have backbones as small as carbon fibers, are added to resins to cre-
their molecular chain structure, such as 1,000 carbon atoms long. Ultrahigh- ate reinforced grades with enhanced
acetyl resin, styrene acrylonitrile molecular-weight polyethylene chains properties. For example, adding 30%
(SAN), and styrene butadiene. In ter- can have 500,000 carbon atoms along short glass fibers by weight to nylon 6
polymers, polymers with three different their length. Many plastics polycar- improves creep resistance and increases
repeat units, individual components can bonate, for instance are available in a stiffness by 300%. These glass-rein-
also be tailored to offer a wide range of variety of chain lengths, or different forced plastics usually suffer some loss
properties. An example is ABS, a ter- molecular-weight grades. These resins of impact strength and ultimate elonga-
polymer containing repeat units of acry- can also be classified by an indirect tion, and are more prone to warping
lonitrile, butadiene, and styrene. viscosity value, rather than molecular because of the relatively large difference
weight. Within a resin family, higher- in mold shrinkage between the flow and
molecular-weight grades have higher cross-flow directions.
viscosities. For example, in the viscosi-
ty test for polycarbonate, the melt
flow rate ranges from approximately

Chapter 1

Plastics with non-fibrous fillers such with low levels of isotropic shrinkage Shrinkage generally increases with
as spheres or powders generally typically provide greater dimensional wall thickness and decreases with
exhibit higher stiffness characteristics control, an important consideration in higher filling and packing pressures.
than unfilled resins, but not as high as tight-tolerance parts. The exact amount
glass-reinforced grades. Resins with of this mold shrinkage depends primar- Areas near the filling gate tend to
particulate fillers are less likely to warp ily upon the particular resin or system shrink less than areas further away.
and show a decrease in mold shrinkage. used. For instance, semicrystalline
Particulate fillers typically reduce thermoplastics generally show higher Particulate fillers, such as minerals
shrinkage by a percentage roughly equal levels of shrinkage than amorphous and glass spheres, tend to reduce
to the volume percentage of filler in the thermoplastics because of the volume shrinkage uniformly in all directions.
polymer, an advantage in tight-tolerance reduction during crystallization.
molding. When considering plastics Fibrous fillers, such as glass or
with different amounts of filler or rein- Other factors including part geome- carbon fibers, decrease shrinkage
forcement, you should compare the cost try, wall thickness, processing, use and primarily in the direction of flow.
per volume, rather than the cost per type of fillers, and gate location also Fiber-filled parts often shrink two to
pound. Most fillers increase the material affect shrinkage. For instance: three times more in the cross-flow
density; therefore, increasing filler con- versus the flow direction.
tent usually reduces the number of parts Holes, ribs and similar part features
that can be molded per pound. restrain shrinking while the part is in Post-mold shrinkage, additional
the mold and tend to lower overall shrinking that may appear long after
shrinkage. molding, occurs often in parts that were
SHRINKAGE processed to reduce initial shrinkage
and later are exposed to elevated tem-
As a molded part cools and solidifies, it peratures. Over time, molded-in stresses
usually becomes smaller than its mold will relax, resulting in a size reduction.
cavity. Shrinkage characteristics affect Elevated temperatures can also lead to
molding costs and determine a parts solid-state crystallization and additional
dimensional tolerance limit. Materials shrinkage in some semi-crystalline

Photo courtesy of Xerox Corporation.

ADDITIVES Combustion Modifiers The nations growing concern for ozone
depletion in the upper atmosphere as
Additives encompass a wide range of Combustion modifiers are added to well as other environmental issues has
substances that aid processing or add polymers to help retard the resulting led Bayer to minimize use of chloro-
value to the final product, including parts from burning. Generally required fluorocarbons (CFCs/HCFCs) and
antioxidants, viscosity modifiers, pro- for electrical and medical-housing appli- develop new blowing agents. The
cessing aids, flame retardants, dyes and cations, combustion modifiers and their plastics-producing industry as a whole
pigments, and UV stabilizers. Found in amounts vary with the inherent flamma- continues to search for safer, environmen-
virtually all plastics, most additives are bility of the base polymer. Polyurethane tally friendly solutions to these issues.
incorporated into a resin family by the systems are more flammable than most
supplier as part of a proprietary pack- thermoplastic resins. Flammability
age. You can select some additives by results are based upon small-scale labo- Catalysts
specifying optional grades to maximize ratory tests. Use these ratings for com-
performance for your specific applica- parison purposes only, as they may not Catalysts, substances that initiate or
tion. For example, you can choose stan- accurately represent the hazard present change the rate of a chemical reaction,
dard polycarbonate resin grades with under actual fire conditions. do not undergo a permanent change in
additives for improved internal mold composition or become part of the mol-
release, UV stabilization, and flame ecular structure of the final product.
retardance; or nylon grades with addi- Release Agents Occasionally used to describe a setting
tives to improve impact performance. agent, hardener, curing agent, promoter,
External release agents are lubricants, etc., they are added in minute quantities
Additives often determine the success liquids or powders, that coat a mold (typically less than 1%) compared to
or failure of a resin or system in a par- cavity to facilitate part removal. Internal the amounts of primary reactants in
ticular application. In RIM polyurethane release agents, usually proprietary to polyurethane systems. A catalyst pack-
systems, additives are usually part of the system producer, find use in many age is custom-tailored for a specific
the B component. Four common addi- plastic materials. polyurethane system to yield the
tives are discussed below. Before mak- required foam characteristics within the
ing your final material selection, you time and processing parameters.
should discuss your part and its require- Blowing Agents
ments with your Bayer representative.
Used in foamed thermoplastic and
polyurethane materials, blowing agents
produce gas by chemical or thermal
action, or both. When heated to a spe-
cific temperature, these ingredients
volatilize to yield a large volume of gas
that creates cells in foamed plastics.

Chapter 2

Plastics offer a wide range of mechani- VISCOELASTICITY plastics will deform and flow similarly
cal properties, as well as some unusual to a very high-viscosity liquid. To
mechanical behaviors. Changes in the Plastics have a dual nature, displaying understand this viscous behavior, you
polymer repeat units, chain length, characteristics of both a viscous liquid must understand two terms: strain ()
crystallinity, or level of cross-linking and a spring-like elastomer, or traits and stress (). Strain is measured in
can yield materials with properties known as viscoelasticity. This duality percent elongation; stress is measured in
ranging from strong to weak, brittle to accounts for many of the peculiar load per area. Typical viscous behavior
tough, or stiff to elastic. Under certain mechanical properties found in plastics. for tensile loading shows that strain
conditions such as elevated tempera- Under mild loading conditions such resulting from a constant applied stress
tures and/or long-term loading plas- as short-term loading with low deflec- increases with time as a non-linear
tics behave quite differently from other tions and small loads at room tempera- response to these conditions (see figure
engineering materials. This section dis- tures plastics usually respond like a 2-2). This time-and-temperature-depen-
cusses the unusual mechanical behavior spring, returning to their original shape dent behavior occurs because the poly-
of plastics and how to address these after the load is removed. No energy is mer chains in the part slip and do not
issues when designing parts for your lost or dissipated during this purely return to their original position when
application. elastic behavior: Stress versus strain the load is removed.
remains a linear function (see figure
2-1). Increasing the applied load adds a The Voight-Maxwell model of
proportional increase to the parts springs and dashpots illustrates these
deflection. viscoelastic characteristics (see figure
2-3). The spring in the Maxwell model
Many plastics exhibit a viscous behav- represents the instantaneous response to
ior under long-term heavy loads or ele- loading and linear recovery when the
vated temperatures. While still solid, load is removed. The dashpot connected

Stress-Strain Behavior Figure 2-1


Loading and
Follow Elastic
the Same Path Spring
Linear relationship
of stress and strain
idealized by elastic

Figure 2-2 to the spring simulates the permanent
deformation that occurs over time. The
Voight model shows the slow deforma-
= Stress Level
tion recovery after the load is removed.
While it is not a practical model for
structural design use, the Voight-
2 Maxwell model offers a unique way to
visualize viscoelastic characteristics.


Viscous behavior
One of the most important conse-
of plastics with
varying stress quences of plastics viscoelastic
levels over time. behavior, creep, is the deformation that
LOAD DURATION (t) occurs over time when a material is
subjected to constant stress at a constant
temperature. Under these conditions,
the polymer chains slowly slip past one
Figure 2-3 another. Because some of this slippage
is permanent, only a portion of the
creep deformation can be recovered
when the load is removed.

Spring A The tensile test in figure 2-4 clearly

demonstrates creep. A weight hung
Maxwell from a plastic tensile bar will cause
initial deformation d increasing the
bars length. Over an extended period
Dashpot A of time, the weight causes more
elongation, or creep c.

If you are designing parts for long-term

Voight loading, particularly for elevated-tem-
Spring B Dashpot B perature service, you must account for
creep characteristics. See Bayers
model simulating
manuals, Engineering Thermoplastics:
viscoelastic Part and Mold Design Guide or
characteristics. Engineering Polymers: RIM Part and
Mold Design Guide, for using long-term
creep data in designing plastic parts.

Chapter 2

Figure 2-4 Creep Phenomenon in a plastic boss, relies upon stresses

from the imposed strain of an interfer-
Time (t0) Time (t1)
ence fit to hold the insert in place.

Total Deformation
However, polymer-chain slippage can

relax these stresses and reduce the insert

at Time (t1)
(d) Initial


retention strength over time. A method
for calculating the degree of stress relax-
ation for simple shapes is explained in
Creep (C) Bayers Engineering Thermoplastics:
Consta Part and Mold Design Guide.

Under a constant load, deformation increases over time.

The degree to which a plastic material

returns to its original shape after a load
STRESS RELAXATION In the stress relaxation example, the is removed is defined as its recovery.
weight is reduced to maintain the Involving many factors, most of which
Another viscoelastic phenomenon, elongation. are shape- and application-specific,
stress relaxation, is defined as a grad- recovery characteristics are extremely
ual decrease in stress at constant strain If you are designing parts that will be difficult to predict. By way of example,
and temperature. Because of the same subjected to a constant strain, you refer to figure 2-6. In this example,
polymer-chain slippage found in creep, should account for stress relaxation. strain is plotted versus time. The strain
stress relaxation occurs in simple ten- A typical press fit, such as a metal insert (deformation) from a load applied to a
sion, as well as in parts subjected to
multiaxial tension, bending, shear, and
compression. The degree of stress relax-
ation depends upon a variety of factors,
Stress Relaxation Figure 2-5
including load duration, temperature,
and types of stress and strain.

Figure 2-5 shows that a large weight



initially produces elongation d and a


strain, d/L (L = original length). To

maintain the same elongation and strain d Constant
in the test bar over time, less weight is Strain

needed because of stress relaxation.

Simply stated:
Redu Time (t1)
In the creep example, elongation con- Time (t0)

tinues as the weight remains constant;

Over time a smaller load is required to maintain constant deformation.

Load and Recovery Behavior Figure 2-6 plastic part produces an initial strain
(point A). Over time, creep causes the
B Load strain to increase (point B). When the
load is removed, the strain immediately
A drops (point C). From this point, if full
recovery were possible, the part might
return to original size (point E). More
commonly, the part retains some
D permanent deformation (point D).



The rate at which a part is stressed,

TIME (t) the loading rate, greatly affects the
mechanical behavior of plastics. Parts
are exposed to a variety of loading rates
throughout their life cycle: from very
Brittle and Ductile Behavior Figure 2-7 low, static loading to high-speed impact
loading. In general, thermoplastics
Brittle Lo ighe become stiffer and fail at smaller strain
we r S
r T tra
em in levels as the strain rate increases (see
pe Ra
rat te
e figure 2-7). Increasing the plastics tem-
Lo ighe perature usually has the opposite effect:
we r T
r S em
tra per At higher temperatures, plastics lose
in atu
Ra re their stiffness, becoming more ductile.
When selecting materials, you will
normally have to compromise between
having acceptable impact strength at the

Ductile lower end of the applications tempera-

ture range, and maintaining the proper
stiffness and creep resistance at the
upper end of the temperature range.


Effects of strain rate and temperature on material behavior. FACTORS AFFECTING


Most of this manual defines and

explains material property data found in
material-specific data sheets. These

Chapter 2

Product Information Bulletins (PIBs), lines and high levels of molded-in adversely affect the mechanical and cos-
which describe the general properties of stress. Additionally, crystalline resins metic properties. For these reasons, you
the materials, are useful for screening usually require higher mold tempera- should limit the ratio of regrind to virgin
materials, and provide data for estimat- tures to fully crystallize. Using lower material and completely avoid using it in
ing finished-part performance. You mold temperatures can decrease crys- critical applications or when resin proper-
should remember that these data are tallinity, as well as reduce stiffness and ties must be equivalent to virgin-material
generated in a laboratory under a nar- chemical resistance, while increasing properties. Closely monitor part quality
row set of conditions and cannot cover ductility and impact strength. when using regrind in the mix to assure
all production environments. Many fac- adequate material and end-use properties.
tors encountered in actual production Processing problems, such as incorrect
and final use can alter material perfor- mix ratio and improper mixing, can
mance, in particular the mechanical diminish the mechanical performance of Polyurethane Recycling
properties. This section discusses the RIM polyurethane materials. Additionally,
major factors that affect the mechanical cold mold temperatures can lead to brit- Because of recent advances, several
properties of plastic parts. tle skins in foamed polyurethane materi- methods can be used to recycle
als, greatly reducing impact strength. polyurethane materials, depending upon
Hot mold temperatures, on the other the type of material. All polyurethane
Processing hand, reduce skin thickness and lower resins can be granulated or ground into
part stiffness. Published data applies to powder for use as a filler in new parts.
Published property data is derived from material processed within recommended Granulated material can also be com-
testing standardized test plaques, mold- parameters. If you have questions, call pression molded under high pressure
ed under optimum processing condi- your Bayer representative. and temperature to produce new parts.
tions. Improper processing can degrade Parts made this way may retain their
plastics, changing certain mechanical- original elongation and over 50% of
property performance, such as impact Thermoplastic Regrind their tensile strength. Adhesive bonding
strength and elongation at break. If recycles thermoformable polyurethane
material is improperly processed, the Scrap thermoplastic produced during the foam. In this process, granulated materi-
resulting mechanical performance may molding process sprue and runner sys- al is coated with a binder and cured
differ significantly from published values. tems, partially filled parts, rejected parts, under heat and pressure. New injection-
etc. can be reused. Typically, this scrap molding techniques are also being used
Common thermoplastic molding errors is chopped up into small pellet-sized to recycle polyurethane materials.
that can affect mechanical properties pieces, called regrind, and mixed with
include excessive melt temperature, virgin material to produce more parts.
inadequate resin drying prior to mold-
ing, excessive residence time in the When regrind has been remelted several
press barrel, and inadequate gate size. times, as can happen when scrap and run-
Keep injection speeds, as well as mold ners are repeatedly fed back into the
and melt temperatures, within published press, it can become badly degraded.
parameters. Insufficient injection speed Regrind is also vulnerable to contamina-
or cold-melt temperature causes cold- tion and/or abusive processing, which can
flow fronts that can lead to weak weld

Polyurethane materials can be convert- Figure 2-8 Weld Line
ed into energy: One pound of RIM
polyurethane materials contains
between 12,000 and 15,000 BTUs,
approximately the same as oil or coal. Melt Front Melt Front
Finally, glycolysis, a new way to con-
vert polyurethane materials back to their
original raw materials, is showing great
promise. Talk to your Bayer representa-
tive for the latest information on
polyurethane recycling.

Weld Line
Weld Line
Weld Lines

The hairline grooves on the surface of a

molded part where flow fronts join dur-
Merging melt fronts (cross-sectional view).
ing filling, called weld lines or knit
lines, cause potential cosmetic flaws
and reduced mechanical performance
(see figure 2-8). Because few polymer
chains cross the boundary when the Weld-line strength in thermoplastics RIM polyurethanes form weld lines
flow fronts butt, the tensile and impact varies with specific resin and processing more readily in areas filled after gelling
strength in the weld-line area is parameters, such as flow-front tempera- has begun. Areas filled at the end of
reduced. The resulting notches on the ture, distance from the gate, filling pres- long flow paths are particularly prone to
weld line also act as stress concentra- sure, and level of packing. For instance, weld-line problems. Severe weld lines
tors, further reducing impact strength. Makrolon polycarbonate resins usually dramatically reduce mechanical perfor-
have exceptional weld-line tensile mance. Choose gate configurations that
Additionally, if the flow fronts are strength, typically over 95% of the avoid weld lines in critical, structural
covered with a film from additives or strength without weld lines. Other areas.
a layer of impurities, they may not resins can suffer over 50% loss of
bind properly, which again can reduce tensile strength at the weld line.
impact and tensile strength.

Chapter 2

Flow Stresses Figure 2-9

Stresses in
Last Areas to Fill

Elevated Flow
Near Gates

Runner System

results showing
areas of high-flow

Use published tensile and impact Residual Stress When molded-in tensile stresses on a
strength data cautiously, because most is parts surface are exceptionally high, as
based upon test samples molded without Molding factors such as uneven part in parts where the geometry has extreme-
weld lines. Contact your Bayer represen- cooling, differential material shrinkage, ly thin walls or dramatic thickness varia-
tative for this data or if you have any or frozen-in flow stresses cause tions, impact and tensile strength can be
questions regarding weld line strength undesirable residual stresses in molded reduced. Avoid high-stress features,
for a specific resin and application. thermoplastics (see figure 2-9). High because the molded-in stresses and their
levels of residual stress can adversely ultimate effect on mechanical perfor-
affect certain mechanical properties, as mance can be difficult to predict. Certain
well as chemical resistance and dimen- stress-analysis techniques, such as sol-
sional stability. Based upon simple vent-stress testing, locate areas of high
injection-molded samples, published residual stress, but only after the mold
property data reflects relatively low has been built and mechanical problems
levels of residual stress. may have developed.

Figure 2-10 Fiber Orientation

Polymer chains and fibrous fillers in the outer layers of molded parts tend to align in the direction of flow
during molding.

Orientation noticeable differences in material prop- The glass fibers in outer layers of glass-
erties between the flow and cross-flow reinforced plastics tend to align in the
As a molten thermoplastic fills a mold, directions at any location. Generally, direction of flow, resulting in higher
its polymer chains tend to align with the mechanical properties in the cross-flow tensile strength and stiffness in this
direction of the flow (see figure 2-10). direction are lower than those in the direction. They also exhibit greater
Part thickness and a variety of process- flow direction. Although usually resistance to shear forces acting across
ing variables injection speed, mold unnoticed in the aggregate, directional the fibers. Generally, fiber-filled materi-
temperature, melt temperature, and hold differences can affect mechanical als have much higher shrinkage in the
pressure determine how much of this performance in parts where polymer cross-flow than in the flow direction.
flow orientation remains in the solidi- chains align uniformly along or across Cross-flow shrinkage can be as much as
fied part. Most molded parts retain structural features. two to three times greater. Address
enough orientation to show small but

Chapter 2

these orientation effects in both mold polyurethane resins are particularly 1% of absorbed water are common. At
and part design. In many cases, careful prone to hydrolytic attack at elevated the same time, these materials show
processing and optimum gate placement temperatures. When designing parts for increased toughness and reduced stiff-
can reduce or eliminate mechanical prolonged exposure to water or high ness (see figure 2-11). Other mechani-
problems associated with orientation in humidity, check available data on cal and electrical properties may also
injection-molded parts. hydrolytic degradation. change significantly with increased
moisture content. These changes are
Water absorption can also change the reversible: The mechanical properties
Water Absorption physical properties of polyamide resins will revert to their original values when
(nylons) without degrading them. Some the part is dried. For more information,
Many plastics are hygroscopic: Over time polyamides absorb relatively large read the technical data sheet for
they absorb water. Too much moisture amounts of moisture, causing them to your Durethan polyamide resin
in a thermoplastic resin during molding swell. Volumetric and linear increases for property data on both dry and
can degrade the plastic and diminish of 0.9% and 0.3% respectively, for each moisture-conditioned samples.
mechanical performance. Follow your
resin suppliers drying procedures to
prevent this problem. Absorbed water in
RIM polyurethane components can cause Figure 2-11
unwanted foaming and change the reac-
tion-process chemistry, dramatically

Durethan B 40 SK
affecting the mechanical performance of as molded 0.6%
the end product. Because post drying is water content 1.3%
water content 2.0%
not feasible, take precautions to prevent water content 2.9%
160 water content 3.5%
moisture from entering liquid-RIM water content 8.3%

Additionally, water absorbed after

molding can harm mechanical proper- 80

ties in certain resins under specific

conditions. Through a process called 40
hydrolysis, water in the resin severs the
polymer chains, reduces molecular
weight, and decreases mechanical prop- -50 -20 -0+ 20 50 90
erties. Longer exposure times at elevat-
ed temperatures and/or loads worsen TEMPERATURE (C)
hydrolytic attack. Polyester-based RIM Flexural stress vs. temperature at a given strain based upon the flexural test (DIN 53452) for
unfilled PA 6 with varying water contents.

Chemical Exposure Weathering

The effects of chemical exposure on a The effects of outdoor weather partic-

specific resin can range from minor ularly ultraviolet (UV) radiation on a
mechanical property changes to imme- plastics appearance and properties can
diate catastrophic failure. The degree of range from a simple color shift to severe
chemical attack depends upon a number material embrittlement. After several
of factors: the type of resin, the chemi- years in direct sun, most plastics show
cal in contact, chemical concentration, reduced impact resistance, lower overall
temperature, exposure time, and stress mechanical performance, and a change
level in the molded part, to name a few in appearance. Bayer has weathering
of the more common. Some plastics can data for aesthetic properties. Data for
be vulnerable to attack from families of mechanical degradation is less common.
chemicals, such as strong acids or
organic solvents. In other instances, a If you are designing a structural part
resin may be vulnerable to a specific or that will be exposed to sunlight,
seemingly harmless chemical. Verify a contact your Bayer representative for
materials resistance to all the chemicals weathering data.
to which it will be exposed during
processing, assembling, and final use.

Chapter 3

Mechanical properties stiffness, Figure 3-1 Tensile Tester

hardness, toughness, impact strength, Load
and ability to support loads are Measurement

important in most plastic applications. Test

Mechanical property data is used regu-
larly to preselect materials, estimate
part performance, and predict deforma-
tions and stresses from applied loads. Head
Examples of these and other calcula-
tions showing the use of this data can be
found in Bayers Engineering Thermo-

Overall Length
plastics: Part and Mold Design Guide. Gripping

As previously mentioned, test results

found in most technical data sheets
have been derived from laboratory tests
and may not directly apply to your
specific part or application. This data
should be used for comparison purposes Movable
only, because real-world application Head
Testing device and
factors such as environment, tempera- typical dogbone
ture, and loading rate also affect specimen used to
material performance. test the tensile
Head Moves at
properties of most Constant Rate
Bayers material property values and
limits are given at face value no
safety factors or margins for error have
been built-in. Use these data conserva-
tively with appropriate safety margins SHORT-TERM Tensile Properties
Tensile properties, important in struc-
Differences between testing and Short-term mechanical data, based tural design, are used to compare the
end-use conditions; upon testing done over a short period of relative strength and stiffness of plas-
time, does not account for long-term tics. The standard tensile tests for rigid
Material and processing variability; phenomena, such as creep or stress thermoplastics (ASTM D 638 and ISO
relaxation. This information should be 527) or soft plastics and elastomeric
Unforeseen environmental or loading used only when loading or other stress materials (ASTM D 412) involve
stresses. is applied for such a short period of clamping a standard molded tensile bar
time that the long-term effects are into the test device (see figure 3-1). The
See Bayers part and mold design insignificant. All mechanical properties devices jaw then moves at a constant
guides for further discussions of design are tested at room temperature (73F or rate of separation between the clamps,
and application safety factors. 23C) unless otherwise stated. typically 5 mm/min for glass-filled mate-

Figure 3-2 Dividing the breaking load by the origi-
Cast Polyester nal minimum cross-sectional area gives
(rigid, brittle) tensile strength. For rigid structural
80 polyurethane foams, use ASTM D 638
PC (ductile) (ISO 527).
60 PU Elastomer
For flexible foams, test results (ASTM

(95 Shore A)
D 3574 or ASTM D 5308 (ISO 1789),
40 ABS
(ductile) depending upon the final application)
show the effect of tensile forces, measur-
20 ing tensile stress, tensile strength and ulti-
mate elongation. The stress is recorded as
the part stretches and finally ruptures.
0 //
0 10 20 20 200 400 600 800 1,000
Tensile stress-strain curves graphically
ELONGATION () (%) illustrate transitional points in a resins
stress-strain behavior (see figure 3-4).
These curves illustrate the characteristic differences in the stress-strain behavior of
various plastics.
Point A, the proportional limit for the
material, shows the end of the region in
which the resin exhibits linear stress-
strain behavior. Point B is the materials
rials and 50 mm/min for unfilled plastics. The standard test for determining tensile elastic limit, or the point after which
The result usually expressed as a properties in microcellular polyurethane the part will be permanently deformed
curve illustrating the relationship between materials (ASTM D 3489) uses a 1/8- even after the load is removed.
stress, or the force per original cross- inch or 1/4-inch-thick test specimen Applications that cannot tolerate any
sectional area, and the strain, defined as with molded skins. These test proce- permanent deformation must stay below
percentage change in length yields a dures are the same as for rubber (ASTM the elastic limit. Point C, the yield
wealth of information about a resins D 412). In these tests, a specimen is point, marks the beginning of the
behavior under tensile load (see figure 3-2). pulled while equipment records the region in which ductile plastics continue
force and displacement until failure. to deform without a corresponding
increase in stress. Elongation at yield
For rigid polyurethane foams, ASTM gives the upper limit for applications
D 1623 covers both tensile properties that can tolerate the small permanent
and tensile adhesion properties of a deformations that occur between the
foamed plastic to its skin. In the test a elastic limit and yield point, but not the
specimen is placed in grips on a larger deformations occurring during
crosshead movement testing apparatus yield. Point D, the break point, shows
(see figure 3-3). The specimen is sub- the strain value at which the test bar
jected to a tensile load, with a measure- breaks. These five transitional points,
ment taken at the rupture point. important in plastics part design, are the
basis for several common tensile properties.

Chapter 3

Foam Tensile Tester Figure 3-3 strain curves. When dealing with mate-
rials with no clear linear region, you can
calculate the modulus at some specified
strain value, typically at 0.1% (secant
modulus). For some applications, buck-
Specimen Specimen ling analysis for example, it may be
Before After
Testing Testing more appropriate to derive a tensile
modulus from the slope of a straight
line drawn tangent to the curve at a
point on the stress-strain diagram
(tangent modulus).

Tensile Stress at Yield

The tensile stress at yield, the stress

level corresponding to the point of zero
slope on the stress-strain curve, general-
ly establishes the upper limit for appli-
cations that can only tolerate small per-
Tensile test for rigid manent deformations (see point C in
polyurethane foam. figure 3-4). Tensile-stress-at-yield val-
ues can only be measured for materials
that yield under testing conditions.

Tensile Modulus
Figure 3-4

Used commonly to compare various

materials and make structural calcula-
tions, the tensile modulus measures a Ultimate Strength

resins stiffness. Higher modulus values E

C Yield Point
indicate greater stiffness. Because of
plastics viscoelastic tensile behavior, D
Elastic Limit
determining tensile modulus is more
subjective and less precise for plastics Point
Proportional Limit
than it is for metals or other materials. A
Mathematically, you can determine the

tensile modulus by taking the ratio of

the stress to strain as measured below
the proportional limit on the stress-

Typical stress-strain behavior of unreinforced plastics.

Elongation at Yield Figure 3-5

Elongation at yield, the strain value at Test Span

the yield point, is a more convenient
limit than stress at yield if you know the
parts strain levels. Much like stress at
yield, elongation at yield determines the
upper limit for applications that can tol-
erate the small permanent deformations
that occur before yield.

Tensile Stress at Break

Defined as the stress applied to the
tensile bar at the time of fracture during
the steady-deflection-rate tensile test,
data for tensile stress at break estab- Axis
lishes upper limits for two types of Outer
applications: one-time-use applications, Stress
which normally fail because of frac-
tures; and those parts that can still Flexural test set-up and stress distribution in specimen under load.
function with the large deformations
that occur beyond the elastic limit.

Ultimate Strength Ultimate Elongation

Elongation at Break
Ultimate strength measures the highest Listed in place of elongation at break,
Most useful for one-time-use applica- stress value during the tensile test. This ultimate elongation is often shown
tions that fail by fracture rather than by value should be used in general strength for highly elastic resins, such as elasto-
deformation, elongation at break mea- comparisons, rather than in actual cal- meric polyurethanes, some of which
sures the strain at fracture as a percent- culations. Ultimate strength is usually can stretch over 500% before failing.
age of elongation. Brittle materials the stress level at the breaking point in The test for ultimate elongation uses
break at low strain levels; ductile and brittle materials. For ductile materials, narrower test bars and faster deflection
elastic materials attain high strain levels it is often the value at yield or a value speeds, typically 500 mm/min, than the
before breaking. slightly before the breaking point (see elongation-at-break test.
point E in figure 3-4).

Chapter 3

Poissons Ratio Flexural Modulus Although flexural modulus is more

applicable for simple bending calcula-
Parts subjected to tensile or compres- Defined as the ratio of stress to strain tions, tensile modulus usually can be
sive stresses deform in two directions: in the elastic region of a stress-strain substituted when flexural data is
with the load and perpendicular to it. curve, flexural modulus measures a unavailable.
This physical characteristic is easy to resins stiffness during bending. A test
visualize with a rubber band. As you bar subjected to the bending loads dis-
stretch the band, its cross section tributes tensile and compressive stresses Ultimate Flexural Stress
becomes narrower. Poissons ratio through its thickness. Because stress
measures the ratio of lateral to varies through the cross section, the The ultimate flexural stress, taken
longitudinal strains. flexural modulus is based upon the directly from the stress-strain curve,
outer fiber stress, whereas tensile measures the level after which severe
Poissons ratio usually falls between modulus is based upon a stress which deformation or failure will occur. For
0.35 and 0.42 for engineering resins. is constant through the cross section. brittle materials, it is usually the stress
Some rubbery materials have ratios value at break. In ductile materials, the
approaching the constant-volume value Test values for tensile modulus typical- ultimate flexural stress value usually
of 0.50. For many structural analysis ly correlate well with those of the flex- corresponds to the yield point, or the
equations, Poissons ratio is a required ural modulus in solid plastics, but differ point at which additional deflection
constant. A Poissons ratio of 0.38 greatly for foamed plastics that form does not cause increasing stress.
for polycarbonate and polycarbonate solid skins. Foamed materials gain stiff- Because this stress level is beyond the
blends, or 0.40 for nylons and ness because of their sandwich structure resins elastic limit, some permanent
rigid polyurethanes, generally gives of a foamed core between plastic skins. deformation is likely.
satisfactory results.

Flexural Properties The Ross Flexing Figure 3-6

Machine tests a
pierced specimen
Flexural properties relate to a plastics
bending freely
ability to bend or resist bending under through a
load. In the tests for most flexural prop- 90 angle. Pierced
erties (ASTM D 790 and ISO 178), a
test bar placed across two supports is
deflected in the middle at a constant
rate, usually 2 mm/min for glass-rein-
forced materials and 20 mm/min for 90
unfilled plastics (see figure 3-5). You
can use standard beam equations to con-
vert the force-versus-deflection data
into an outer-fiber, stress-versus-strain

A resins resistance to bending, or ulti- conditioned for a minimum of 30 min- a uniform load from a crosshead motion
mate flexural strength, cannot always be utes after reaching the specified tempera- at a rate of 0.1 in/min for every inch of
determined using the flexural test, ture and before starting the test. specimen thickness. This test measures
because many resins do not yield or the force at yield point and at predeter-
break in bending. For these materials, mined deflections (e.g. 10%).
Bayers data sheets list flexural stress at Compressive Properties
a stated strain, often 5%. For flexible foamed material, ASTM
How a resin responds to compression D 3574 (ISO 3386-1) measures the
may also be important in some applica- force necessary to deflect a specimen to
Cut-Growth Resistance tions. Compressive properties include 25% of its original thickness. After the
modulus of elasticity, yield stress, specimen is deflected for one minute,
Used in the shoe-sole industry, cut- deformation beyond yield point and the load is recorded. Then, deflection
growth resistance, a cold flex test, deter- compressive strength: important consid- continues to 65% of the specimens
mines hole-propagation characteristics in erations to part designers, particularly original thickness and holds for one
polyurethane materials. In the standard those planning to use RIM polyurethane minute for a second load reading. If
test (ASTM D 1052), a 1/4-inch materials in structural applications. using a semi-flexible foam, use ASTM
(6.4 mm)- or 1/2-inch (12.7 mm)-thick Typically, these tests help to determine D 5308, which measures the force nec-
specimen with a small hole in its center a materials hardness and load capabili- essary to compress a specimen 50%.
is placed in a Ross Flexing Machine (see ties. Specific compressive properties are Compression tests for elastomeric mate-
figure 3-6). The specimen is flexed until discussed in this section, along with rial are covered under ASTM D 575.
the hole develops cracks that split the standard testing procedures to deter-
sample. To test at temperatures other mine compressive property values.
than room temperature, the specimen is Compressive Strength
In the standard tests for compressive
properties (ASTM D 695 or ISO 604), Useful for load-bearing applications,
a specimen is compressed at a constant compressive strength testing measures
Compression Tester Figure 3-7
strain rate between two parallel platens the maximum compressive stress
until it ruptures or deforms by a certain recorded during testing. Data from
percentage (see figure 3-7). Because ASTM D 695 or ISO 604 also can
Testing Machine Head
thermoplastic parts rarely fail in com- be used to calculate compressive
Hardened Hardened pression, this data is of limited use in modulus, the ratio of stress to strain
Ball Block
part design for thermoplastics. below the proportional limit.

Compressive properties for rigid

foamed materials used in non-structural
Specimen applications are tested to ASTM D
1621 (ISO 2799). In this test, specimen
sizes range from 4 square inches to
36 square inches with a minimum thick-
Testing Machine Head ness of 1 inch (25.4 mm) (see figure
3-8). The entire loading surface receives

Chapter 3

Compressive Set Shear Strength For microcellular polyurethane materi-

als, the standard test (ASTM D 3489)
Both thermoplastic and polyurethane Shear strength measures the shearing uses a 1/8-inch specimen with molded
elastomers subjected to long-term com- force required to make holes or tears in skin. For the split tear strength, the
pressive loads may deform permanent- various specimens. Also useful in struc- direction of tear must include skin
ly, a condition called compressive set. tural calculations for parts that may fail on top and bottom surfaces (ASTM
Because compressive set increases dra- in shear, this data should be used cau- D 1938).
matically as part temperature rises, test tiously, as testing does not account for
data cannot be extrapolated to higher stress concentrators and molded-in stresses. For flexible foamed materials, a block-
temperatures. Materials with lower shaped specimen is clamped between
compressive-set values have less per- In the shear strength test (ASTM jaws, which move apart at a speed of
manent deformation when exposed to D 732), a punch tool is pressed at a 0.75 to 0.9 mm/sec (ASTM 3574).
compressive loads. Compressive-set fixed speed into a standard-sized disc Semiflexible foam is tested to ASTM
data, intended for comparison purposes mounted on the testing device. Shear D 5308, and elastomeric material is tested
only, should not be used in structural strength, the force needed to make the to either ASTM D 624 or ASTM D 1938.
calculations. hole, divided by the sheared area is
measured in units of force per area.
The most common test for compressive Impact Properties
set is ASTM D 395 method B (ISO
815). In the test, a 1/2-inch-thick stack Tear Strength Important in a variety of applications,
of 1-inch-diameter samples are com- impact properties, particularly impact
pressed to a thickness of 1/8 inch for a Tear resistance, the force needed to rip strength, will help you select the proper
specified period of time at a predeter- a specimen divided by the specimen material. Impact strength, a plastic
mined temperature. Thirty minutes after thickness, provides good data for parts ability to absorb and dissipate
the sample stack is released, its thick- comparing the relative tear strength energy, varies with its shape, thickness
ness is re-measured. The percentage of of elastomers. and temperature. While impact proper-
compression remaining is the compres- ties can be critical in some applications,
sive set. Mathematically, compressive A test procedure (ASTM D 624) mea- test results are among the most difficult
set is defined as the difference between sures the tear resistance of thermoplas- to relate to actual part performance.
the beginning and ending thicknesses tics. In one test, a V-shaped nick 0.50 Variables such as part geometry, tem-
divided by 1/8 inch, recorded as a per- mm deep is made in a die-cut specimen perature, stress concentration points,
centage. For all flexible foamed materi- of specific shape and size. The tabs of molding stresses, and impact speed
als, ASTM D 3574 (ISO 1856) is used. the specimen are then clamped into the reduce the accuracy of general impact
testing device, which separates at a rate data for quantitative calculations. The
of 500 mm/min until the specimen tears. complex and dynamic nature of resin
There are also several variations for performance during impact has led to
sample preparation. the development of a variety of tests
that more closely represent different in-
use conditions. The most common of
these tests are described in this section.

Figure 3-8 A second, less common method of mea-
Beam Pendulum Impact Tester
suring impact strength, the Charpy
impact test (ISO 179), differs from
Izod impact in the way a specimen is
supported and oriented in the test device
Impact (see figure 3-8). Instead of being can-
tilevered, Charpy samples are supported
at both ends, with the notch facing away
from the impact side. Charpy testing
Izod measures impact strength in kJ/m2.
Charpy and Izod test results generally
correlate well with the behavior of solid
plastics; however, unnotched Charpy
test results are typically more useful for
Test Bar
foamed plastics with solid skins.

Beam Simply Sample thickness and notch radius

Supported affect the results of both tests. In fact,
beyond a certain thickness, known as
the critical thickness, further thickness
increases can reduce impact strength in
Impact some materials. This phenomenon is
apparent in impact-strength-versus-
thickness curves at various temperatures
in polycarbonate resins (see figure 3-9).
A sharp notch radius also reduces
impact strength. For example, tests
Izod and Charpy impact tests.
show that a polycarbonate resin speci-
men with a 0.005-inch notch radius has
less than one-quarter of the Izod impact
In one of the most widely used tests, lost on impact. This loss of energy, cal- strength as compared to a specimen
the Izod impact test (ASTM D 256, culated from the difference in beginning with a notch radius of 0.010 inch (see
D 4812, or ISO 180), a pendulum arm and ending heights, determines the Izod figure 3-10). Avoid sharp corners in all
swings from a specified height and hits impact strength, measured in ft-lb/in, or applications regardless of polymer,
a cantilevered piece of test material, J/m. Samples may be notched on the especially those involving high loads.
causing the piece to break (see figure narrow face, with the notch facing the
3-8). The arm then continues traveling impact side as specified in the test.
at a lower speed, because of the energy Results should note whether the sample
was notched and list sample thickness
and test temperature.

Chapter 3

Critical Thickness Figure 3-9 High impact strength and small

tensile modulus indicate a ductile,
flexible material;

16 Low impact and large tensile

modulus typify a brittle material.

140F (60C) Tensile impact tests (ASTM D 1822 or

ISO 8256) measure a plastics ability to
73F (23C) absorb impact energy when notch

effects are not a concern. This test is

8 -4F (-20C) well-suited for evaluating impact
performance of thin sheets, films, soft
6 materials, and other plastics which can-
not be easily tested via other methods
(see figure 3-11). In the test, a sample is
Izod impact mounted on a pendulum at one end and
strength of a crosshead clamp at the other. At the
0 bottom of the pendulum swing, the
polycarbonate vs.
.100 .140 .180 .220 .260 .300 .340 clamp impacts fixed anvils, transferring
thickness at various
temperatures. large tensile stresses to the test bar,
THICKNESS (in) causing it to fracture. The results are
recorded as the energy required to break
the test piece, divided by the cross-sec-
tional area of the necked-down region.

While neither of these tests provides Figure 3-10 Effect of Notch Radius on the Izod Impact Strength of Polycarbonate
impact performance data for a particular
R = 0.010 in R = 0.005 in
part or geometry, both are valuable for
general material preselection and
comparison, as well as providing good
indications of a given plastics notch
sensitivity. Additionally, impact
strength and tensile modulus proper-
ties provide insight into the plastics
basic mechanical nature. 16 to 18 2 to 4
ft-lb/in ft-lb/in

Generally, high impact strength

coupled with large tensile modulus
suggests a tough material;

Figure 3-11 The Rockwell hardness test (ASTM
D 785 or ISO 2039-2) applies loads to
Arm an indentor, which presses against a
standard-sized plastic specimen (see
Specimen figure 3-12). After the minimum load
required to indent the sample has been
established, the load is increased to a
Impact higher value for a short time and then
returned to the starting value. The
increase in impression depth determines
the Rockwell hardness. Smaller impres-
sion depths correspond to greater hard-
Tensile impact test (ASTM D 1822).
ness and higher Rockwell values.
Hardness values are always listed
according to the appropriate Rockwell
Two other impact tests help to deter- If your application has stress concentra- hardness scale. For most engineered
mine relative puncture-impact strength. tors in anticipated impact areas, do not plastics, either a Rockwell R or more
In the falling dart impact test, also use either of the test values described severe M scale is used.
known as Gardner impact (ASTM above for material comparisons. Most
D 3029), a weighted puncturing device suitable for comparing a plastics rela- Better suited for testing hardness in
with a standard tip diameter usually tive puncture-impact strength in appli- softer materials such as polyurethane
5/8 inch drops onto a supported sam- cations without sharp corners, notches, elastomers, the indentation hardness or
ple disc from increasing heights until or other stress concentrators, these test Durometer test (ASTM D 2240 or ISO
the impact causes a rupture or cracking. values vary greatly with temperature, 868) uses a pointed indentor projecting
Typically measured in foot-pounds, the impact speed, and dart shape. Extremely from a pressure foot to measure hard-
falling dart impact strength is the drop valuable in applications that cannot tol- ness. A specially calibrated dial indica-
energy of the average height causing erate brittle failure, these tests help to tor registers hardness based upon the
rupture. The instrumented impact test determine whether specific materials indentors depth of penetration when
(ASTM D 3763) gives more detailed fail in brittle or ductile mode. pressed into the sample until the foot
information than the falling dart test. In base rests upon the specimen surface.
this test, a high-speed dart with a round- Recorded on a unitless scale from 0 to
ed tip usually 0.5 inch in diameter Hardness Properties 100, hardness values typically appear
impacts a sample disc. Unlike the on a Shore A scale for soft plastics
falling dart impact test, the dart velocity The hardness properties of plastics, and a Shore D scale for hard plastics,
remains constant throughout impact. mainly used to compare indentation with higher values within a scale
At impact, a device measures the maxi- resistance, may not correlate to the corresponding to greater hardness.
mum force transmitted, the energy materials actual abrasion, scratch, or
transmitted, the deflection at maximum wear resistance. The two most common Several test methods are used for
force, and the type of fracture. Dart tests for comparing relative hardness are foamed polyurethane materials. ASTM
velocity, test temperature, sample thick- described in this section. D 3489 (ISO 868) measures hardness
ness, and clamp distance are usually on a 1/4-inch (6.35 mm)-thick specimen
listed with test results. similarly to the Rockwell procedure

Chapter 3

described above. Elastomeric and rigid Figure 3-13 Approximate Correlation Between Various Hardness Scales
materials are also tested under ASTM
D 2240 (ISO 868). Test ASTM D 3574 80

measures the force needed to produce 60

25% and 65% indentations in foam 500
110 40
products. This test uses specimens no
larger than 15 inches (380 mm) square 100 20
with a thickness of 0.8 inches (20 mm).
During the test, a flat, circular indentor 80
foot penetrates the specimen at a speed 100 60
of 0.4 to 6.3 mm/sec (0.017 to 0.25 40
0 140
in/sec), with results showing the force 50 ROCKWELL B 120
needed to produce the indentations. 100
80 80
90 120
Figure 3-12 40
60 20 80 100
0 100 80
5 100 0 60
90 20 60 40
75 25
70 60 90 40 20
50 Pivot 50 100 30
30 140 SHORE D

If the part will be exposed to subnormal Figure 3-13 shows an approximate,

Steel Ball temperatures, place the test specimen relative comparison of hardness values
Specimen and equipment in a cold box at the from several common hardness tests
Elevating expected exposure temperatures. and scales.
Testing procedures are the same as for
other plastics (ASTM D 2440). The ini-
tial (one-second) and five-second drift
Schematic of Rockwell hardness test. values the time delays after initial
indentation are reported.

Miscellaneous Mechanical Coefficients of Friction (Static) Ranges
Table 3-1 for Various Materials

Coefficient of Friction
Material On Self On Steel
The coefficient of friction is the ratio of PTFE 0.10-0.25 0.10-0.25

friction force, the force needed to initi- PE rigid 0.40-0.50 0.20-0.25

ate sliding, to normal force, the force PP 0.35-0.45 0.25-0.35

perpendicular to the contact surfaces POM 0.25-0.50 0.15-0.35

(see figure 3-14). Coefficients are com- PA 0.30-0.50 0.30-0.40

monly listed for two types of friction: PBT 0.30-0.40 0.30-0.40

static friction, the forces acting on the PS 0.45-0.60 0.40-0.50

surfaces to resist initial movement, and SAN 0.45-0.65 0.40-0.55

dynamic or sliding friction, the forces PC 0.40-0.65 0.35-0.55

acting between surfaces moving relative PMMA 0.60-0.70 0.50-0.60

to each other. ABS 0.60-0.75 0.50-0.65

PE flexible 0.65-0.75 0.55-0.60

Frictional property tests for plastics, PVC 0.55-0.60 0.55-0.60

such as ASTM D 1894 or ISO 8295,

measure coefficients for combinations
of plastics and/or metals. Because of the
multitude of combinations possible, have to estimate frictional forces based Abrasion and Scratch Resistance
finding data for specific types of upon available data (see table 3-1).
plastics and/or metals can be difficult. Frictional properties generally correlate Important primarily for aesthetics and
Unless you are willing to test your well with different grades of a particular durability, a variety of application-spe-
specific material combination, you will plastic material. For applications in cific tests typically measure abrasion
which the frictional force contributes a and scratch resistance. The two most-
small portion of the overall forces, common tests use a Taber abrader.
approximate frictional data generally Generally, a loss of volume or weight
suffices. when a test piece is exposed to an
Figure 3-14
abrasive surface under load determines
Normal Force (FN)
= FR
Published data on coefficients of fric- abrasion resistance.
FN tion should be used for estimating pur-
Applied poses only. In addition to being very
Force (P) An optical transmission/reflectance test,
Frictional Force (FR) sensitive to speed, coefficient values ASTM D 1044 measures the effect of
depend greatly upon the surface finish wear on a transparent thermoplastic resin
and the presence of lubricants and to establish haze and luminous transmit-
The coefficient of friction is the ratio of the surface contaminants. Because of these tance. Another standard test for scratch
frictional force resisting sliding (FR) to factors, generating a precise friction resistance moves a specimen under a
force acting normal to the interface (FN).
coefficient for design calculations can loaded diamond point. The load divided
be difficult. by the width of the resulting scratch
gives the scratch-resistance value.

Chapter 3

For polyurethane materials, ASTM Although their effects are similar, time constant loading appears to have lost
D 3489 determines abrasion resistance. and temperature affect part performance stiffness, although, in fact, its stiffness
In this test, a technician abrades a speci- differently. At different temperatures, a has remained the same. Responding to
men using a 1000-gram load with a spe- given plastic shows immediate differ- the load over time, individual polymer
cific grinding wheel. Results report the ences in instantaneous or short-term chains have moved to redistribute and
mass loss in mg/1000 cycles. mechanical properties. Time, however, lower stresses, causing the deformation.
does not significantly affect mechanical
properties. Barring chemical or environ- Because long-term loading affects part
LONG-TERM mental attack, the material will have the performance, most engineering plastics
MECHANICAL PROPERTIES same strength and stiffness as it did are tested for long-term mechanical
before loading. Time affects the percep- properties. This section discusses the
Time and ambient temperature affect tion of strength and stiffness: A part most common of these tests.
the long-term mechanical properties of which has deformed after five years of
plastics, because they affect polymer-
chain mobility. Plastic parts under con-
stant load tend to deform over time to
redistribute and lower internal stresses. Figure 3-15

The mobility of polymer chains deter- Creep Recovery

mines the rate of this stress redistribu- i
0 ps
tion. Higher temperatures increase the
3 psi
free space between molecules, as well 5,000
2 psi
as the molecular-vibration energies, 4,000
resulting in a corresponding increase in si
3,000 p
polymer-chain mobility. Even at moder- 100
ate temperatures, polymer chains can 7 2,000 p

reorient in response to applied loads, if 5

given enough time. Two long-term
properties creep, the added deforma- 3 Removed
tion in a part that occurs over time 2
under constant stress, and stress relax-
ation, the reduction in stress in parts
STRAIN () (%)

subjected to constant strain increase
significantly with time and temperature.

10-1 100 101 102 103 10-1 100 101 102 103 104

TIME (hours)

Creep and recovery of Makrolon polycarbonate at 73F (23C).

Creep Properties Figure 3-16

Over time, parts subjected to a constant psi MPa

23C (73F)
load often distort beyond their initial 50% RH 50
deformation; they creep. Long-term
creep data helps designers estimate and 6,000 10 -1
10 0 40
adjust for this additional deformation. 10 1

A common creep test involves hanging 5,200 10 2
10 3
a weight axially on the end of a test bar 10 4
6x10 4 30
and monitoring increases in the bars 4,000
length over time, as outlined in ASTM 3,750 Crazing

D 2990 or ISO 899. Flexural creep, a 3,000


2,800 20
more common measure for structural
foam materials, measures creep perfor- 2,000
mance similarly to tensile creep, using
cantilevered test bars. 1,000

Presented graphically in a variety of

forms, creep and recovery data is often 0 0.5 1.0 1.2 1.5 2.0 2.5
plotted as strain versus time at various
stress levels throughout the creep and STRAIN ( ) (%)
recovery phases (see figure 3-15). Isochronous stress-strain curves at 73F (23C) for Makrolon polycarbonate.
Another popular form, the isochronous
stress-strain curve, plots tensile stress
versus resulting tensile strain at given
time increments (see figure 3-16). Figure 3-17
Occasionally creep data is presented as 3.5
apparent modulus or creep modulus
versus time at various stress levels (see 3.0
figure 3-17). To determine the apparent
modulus, divide the stress by the actual
strain from an isochronous strain curve 750 psi
after a specific load duration. For exam- 1,400 psi
MODULUS (105 psi)

ple, if we assume room-temperature con- 2.0 2,800 psi

ditions, a tensile stress of 2,800 psi (19 4,200 psi
MPa), and a load duration of 1,000 hours 1.5
using a strain of 1.2%, we can calculate
an apparent modulus of 220,000 psi
(1,520 MPa) from the isochronous
10 - 2 10 - 1 10 0 10 1 10 2 10 3 10 4
stress-strain curve in figure 3-16. You
can also read the apparent modulus
TIME (hours)
directly from the data in figure 3-17.
Apparent modulus for unfilled Makrolon polycarbonate at various stress levels.

Chapter 3

Figure 3-18 Isochronous

curves at 176F
psi MPa
176F (80C) (80C) for
10-2 30
4,000 Makrolon

3,000 101 20


0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5

STRAIN () (%)

Figure 3-19 Crazing

Temperature affects creep properties. Stress Relaxation

Compare figure 3-16, showing the
isochronous stress-strain curve for a Stress relaxation, the stress reduction
Makrolon PC resin at 73F (23C), and that occurs in parts subjected to constant
figure 3-18, showing the same resin at strain over time, is an important design
176F (80C). In general, higher ambi- concern for parts that will be subjected to
ent temperatures will cause more creep long-term deflection. Because of stress
deformation. See Bayers Engineering relaxation, press fits, spring fingers
Thermoplastics: Part and Mold Design and similar parts can show a reduced
Guide for more information on creep, retention or deflection force.
test curves, apparent modulus, and
effects of temperature. Stretching a test bar to a fixed length and
measuring the change in tensile stress
over time with a stress transducer is one
method for measuring stress relaxation.
Creep testing, much more prevalent than
stress relaxation testing, gives similar
data, is easier to do, and can be used to
approximate most stress-relaxation values.

Figure 3-20


7 Hz

7 Hz


7 Hz


Fatigue test curve for

32 glass-filled Durethan
10 3 10 4 10 5 10 6
polyamide in three
cyclic-loading modes.

From the isochronous stress-strain creep These curves also may show when craz- Fatigue Properties
curves (see figure 3-16), you can easily ing could occur in transparent polycar-
see the effects of stress relaxation by bonate resins (see figures 3-16 and 3-18). Molded plastic parts exposed to cyclic
reading through the time curves for a Crazing tiny, reflective cracks (see loading often fail at substantially lower
given strain. In this figure, the tensile figure 3-19) that appear when a part is stress or strain levels than parts under
stress at 2% strain drops from an instan- subjected to long-term tensile loads static loading, a phenomenon known as
taneous value of 5,200 psi (36 MPa) to precedes larger cracks and ultimately fatigue. Applications that expose parts to
approximately 3,750 psi (22 MPa) after part failure. In figure 3-16, you can see heavy vibrations or repeated deflections
10,000 hours. that crazing occurs at 2.5% strain at such as snow plow headlight hous-
room temperature after 10,000 hours. ings, one-piece salad tongs, and high-use
snap-latch closures need plastics with
Stress-relaxation modulus, calculated good fatigue characteristics.
by dividing the stress after a specific
load duration by the strain correspond- Fatigue properties are sensitive to many
ing to the fixed strain, accounts for factors, including notch effects, envi-
stress relaxation in standard engineering ronmental factors, stress concentrators,
equations. loading frequency, and temperature. In

Chapter 3

a common test for flexural fatigue, the Providing a useful means for comparing Fiber orientation also affects fatigue
unsupported end of a test bar is subject- the relative fatigue endurance of various properties. Fatigue strength for a given
ed to a reversing cyclic load, keeping plastics, S-N curves can also be used to fiber-filled resin is approximately 10
either the deformation or the applied estimate the expected life of parts under times greater when the fibers are
force constant. The number of cycles to known cyclic loading. In addition to aligned lengthwise, along the test bar
failure is recorded. Usually defined as S-N curves, fatigue data can appear as rather than perpendicularly. Typically
the fracture point, failure can also be stress or strain limits on stress-strain based upon simple test bars with length-
defined as the point at which resultant curves (see figure 3-21). The heavy, wise fiber orientation in controlled
stress or strain is reduced by a fixed white line in this figure shows the sug- laboratory conditions, fatigue data
amount, given in a percentage. Results gested design limit at various tempera- represents ultimate, rather than typical,
for various stress levels are plotted tures for a Bayblend polycarbonate/ performance. When you calculate
against number of cycles to failure (see ABS resin used in applications subject- fatigue-life values using published data,
figure 3-20), presented as S-N curves. ed to dynamic fatigue loading. always include appropriate safety
factors or margins for error.

Figure 3-21 Stress-strain

curves for
Loading: Dynamic Bayblend T85MN
PC/ABS showing
limits at various
0 temperatures for
35 23 dynamic loading.
30 60
Design Limit




Safety Factor: 1.00
0 .25 .5 .75 1 1.25 1.5 1.75 2 2.25

STRAIN () (%)

Chapter 4

Temperature requirements often limit DEFLECTION TEMPERATURE In the ASTM D 648 test for DTUL, the
resin choice more than any other factor. UNDER LOAD (DTUL) center of a test bar resting on supports
A variety of tests measure thermal four inches apart is loaded to a specified
properties in plastics to help you select DTUL values are used to compare the outer-fiber stress of either 66 or 264 psi
a resin that meets your needs. This elevated temperature performance of (0.45 or 1.8 MPa) (see figure 4-1). The
section describes the more common materials under load at the stated test temperature in the test chamber rises at
thermal properties to consider, the conditions. Sometimes referred to as 2C per minute until the applied load
relevance of each property in material the heat distortion temperatures or causes the bar to deflect an additional
selection, and the tests we use at Bayer HDT, they do not represent the upper 0.010 inches. The temperature
to determine these properties. temperature limit for a specific material at which this deflection occurs is the
or application. Molding factors, sample DTUL. Test bar thickness varies from
preparation and test bar thickness sig- 1/8 to 1/2 inch (3.2 to 12.7 mm),
nificantly influence DTUL values. depending upon the lab.
Compare data from different test labs
and suppliers cautiously.

Figure 4-1 Test apparatus

for deflection
temperature under
load (DTUL).


75 25

Oil Bath

In a similar test for DTUL, ISO 75, a Figure 4-2 Thermal
conductivity vs.
110 mm x 10 mm x 4 mm test bar rests 1.2 polyurethane
edgewise upon supports spaced 100 mm foam density.
apart. Test bars are initially loaded to an
outer stress level of 0.45 or 1.8 MPa 1.0
with the ambient temperature increasing
2C per minute. The test results show
the temperature when the specimen 0.8
reaches a deflection corresponding to a
standard strain value, typically 0.2%.
A variation of this test places an 80 mm 0.6

K-FACTOR (Btuin/hrft2F)

Coefficients of Linear Thermal

Expansion (CLTE) for Common 0.4 Baydur
Table 4-1 Materials Structural
0.3 Foam

Material in/in/Fx10-5
Glass 0.5 0.1

Steel 0.6
Composite RIM 0.8 (lb/ft3) 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Specific Gravity 0.4 0.5 0.6 1.0
Brass 1.1
Aluminum 1.3
Nylon GF* 1.3
Polyester GF* 1.4
PPS GF* 1.5
x 10 mm x 4 mm specimen flat across CLTE values for plastics are typically
Polycarbonate GF* 1.7
supports spaced 64 mm apart. much higher than those for metals. You
ABS GF* 1.7
must provide for thermal expansion dif-
Polypropylene GF* 1.8
COEFFICIENT OF LINEAR ferences in assemblies with metal and
Acetal GF* 2.5
THERMAL EXPANSION (CLTE) plastic components (see table 4-1). One
Acrylic 3.8
common test for measuring coefficient
Polycarbonate 3.9
The coefficient of linear thermal of thermal expansion is ASTM E 831.
PC/ABS Blend 4.0
expansion measures the change in
Elastomeric RIM GF* 4.0
length per unit length of a material per
ABS 4.4
unit change in temperature. Expressed THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY
Nylon 4.5
as in/in/F or cm/cm/C, the CLTE is
Polypropylene 5.0
used to calculate the dimensional Thermal conductivity, typically mea-
Acetal 5.8
change resulting from thermal sured as Btuin/(hrft2F) or W/Km,
Polyester 6.0
expansion. Especially important when indicates a materials ability to conduct
Polyethylene 7.0
components of an assembly have widely heat energy. Thermal conductivity is
RIM Unfilled 7.8 varying thermal expansion coefficients, particularly important in applications
*glass-filled resins

such as headlight housings, pot handles, Figure 4-3

and hair curlers that require thermal

insulation or heat dissipation properties. Depth

Computerized mold-filling analysis 50

programs require special thermal

conductivity data derived at higher
temperatures than specified by most tests. Load

Insulating materials such as polyure-

thane foams often list thermal conduc-
tivity as a K-factor value. Graphs of
K-factor versus density show the effect
Oil Bath
of foam density on insulation perfor- Level
mance (see figure 4-2). Common tests
include heat-flow-meter test ASTM
C 518 (ISO 2581) and guarded-hot- Indenting
plate test ASTM C 177 (ISO 2582).

Vicat softening point test apparatus.

Usually measured in Btu/lbF or

KJ/KgC, specific heat reflects the heat
required to cause a one-degree tempera-
ture change in a unit mass of material. UL Relative Temperature Index ture that materials of these types have
Occasionally, specific-heat values are (RTI, UL 746), also known as the con- been found to withstand. The GTI is
shown as a ratio of heat required to raise tinuous-use temperature, gives values usually considerably lower than RTI
the temperature of 1 g of a substance 1C for approximate temperature limits for values.
to the heat required by the same mass of continuous use in air and without addi-
water. Most mold-filling and cooling tional external loading. The RTI corre-
analysis programs need a resins specific lates with the temperature above which VICAT SOFTENING
heat for heat-transfer calculations. the heat aging causes the loss of certain TEMPERATURE
critical properties, such as dielectric
strength, tensile strength and tensile By definition, the Vicat softening tem-
RELATIVE TEMPERATURE impact. Helpful in comparing a resins perature ranks the thermal performance
INDEX (RTI) thermal endurance and property charac- of plastics according to the temperature
teristics over time, RTI is required for that causes a specified penetration by a
Exposure to elevated temperatures products needing UL recognition. If lightly loaded probe. Often used as a
can reduce a plastics electrical and RTI testing has not been performed on general indicator of short-term, high-
mechanical properties over time. The your material, you can apply for a temperature performance, the Vicat
Generic Temperature Index (GTI), the softening temperature is less sensitive to
minimum, long-term service tempera-

Chapter 4

sample thickness and molding effects Figure 4-4

than DTUL.

In the standard test (ASTM D 1525 or

ISO 306), a flat-ended probe with a
1 mm2 cross section contacts a plastic
specimen submerged in a heating bath Test
(see figure 4-3). After a specified load
is applied to the probe, the oil bath tem- Temperature
perature rises at a slow, steady rate. The Heater
Vicat softening temperature is the tem-
perature of the oil bath when the probe Recorder
reaches a 0.04-inch (1-mm) depth.

The torsional pendulum test (DIN

53445) determines shear modulus and
mechanical power factor over a wide
range of temperatures. In this test, an Torsion pendulum tester for determining shear modulus in plastic
attached flywheel torsionally deforms a
specimen, which is allowed to oscillate
in free vibration (see figure 4-4). The
Figure 4-5
shear modulus, calculated from the
resultant oscillation frequency and tan tan
, an indicator of vibration damping due 3 Makrolon 8030 3
to internal energy losses, can be plotted 2 2

on the same graph over a range of tem- 103 1.0

8 8
6 Makrolon 2800 6
peratures as in figure 4-5. This figure 4 4
shows that the Makrolon resin grades 3 3

2 2
remain mechanically stable up to 102 0.1
8 8
approximately 185F (140C) and do 6 Makrolon 2800 6
4 4
not suddenly become brittle at low 3 3
2 tan 2
temperatures. This bulk-property, Makrolon 8030
101 0.01
shear-modulus data, coupled with the 8 8
6 6
surface-response, Vicat data, gives a 4 4
3 3
good indication of a materials upper- 2 2
-140 -120 -100 -80 -60 -40 -20 0 +20 +60 +100 +140 +180
use temperature limit for short-term

Shear modulus and mechanical power factor of Makrolon 2800 and Makrolon 8030 PC resins.

Figure 4-6 Figure 4-7

Temperature-Controlled Chamber
Insulation Cold Isothermal Plate
Top Cold Plate
Top Auxiliary Heater
Hot Isothermal Plate
Metered Heating Unit
Sample Sample
Bottom Auxiliary Heater

Bottom Cold Plate Cold Isothermal Plate

Base Simplified schematic describing the test quantifying thermal

Guarded-hot-plate apparatus.

THERMAL TRANSMISSION The standard test for thermal transmis- OPEN-CELL CONTENT:
sures the steady-state heat flux through MATERIALS
Many applications use polyurethane a flat-slab specimen, using a guarded
materials for thermal insulation. The hot-plate apparatus. In the test, a hot The percentage of open versus closed
thermal transmission properties, there- isothermal surface is placed between cells in a foamed system affects its
fore, are of great importance in these two specimens, with two cold plates insulation capability, an important
applications. placed on the specimens outer sides consideration in appliances and other
(see figures 4-6 and 4-7). These three applications. For rigid foamed materials,
isothermal units help to create a mea- open/closed cell testing is done in accor-
surable, steady-state heat flux unidirec- dance with ASTM D 2856 (ISO 4590).
tionally through the specimens. Sensors
measure heat transfer from the center This test determines open-cell content
hot plate through the specimens to the by reducing the volume of a sealed
cold plates. chamber containing a foamed specimen
and measuring the resulting increase in
pressure. For a given specimen size,
greater open-cell content causes lower
pressure increase.

Chapter 4

Used for flexible foamed materials to Figure 4-8

test the ease with which air passes
through the cellular structure, test
ASTM D 3574 (ISO 4638) gives an
indirect measurement of open cell struc- Foam Test

Medium Range
Low Range
ture characteristics. A specimen is Specimen

High Range
placed in a cavity over a chamber that Pressure
creates a specified, constant air-pressure Measurement
differential (see figure 4-8). The flow Support
Vanes Vacuum
rate of air needed to maintain this pres- Chamber
sure differential is listed as the air-flow
value. The percentage of open cells is
Air Flow Meters
normally reported. Blower

Typically, materials with a greater per- Flow
centage of closed cells will offer better
insulation characteristics. Materials Air flow apparatus (open/closed cell indicator).

with more open cells offer better

filtration characteristics.

Test ASTM D 3769 tests heat sag in between the test fixture base and the
HEAT (HIGH-TEMPERATURE) solid and microcellular foamed poly- supported specimen end and for the dis-
SAG urethane materials. This test indicates tance between the test fixture base and
the deformation tendencies of materials. the unsupported specimen end (R-1).
Heat sag is an important consideration The results are for comparison purposes The fixtured specimen is then placed in
for car manufacturers and others who only; they may not match those in actu- an air-circulating oven and heated at a
will have parts painted and baked, or for al painting and baking operations. predetermined temperature for one
parts that will be exposed to elevated- hour. The distance between the base
temperature service. In the test, one end of a painted speci- and unsupported end (R-2) is then mea-
men is clamped into a fixture (see figure sured. The difference between the first
4-9). After five minutes, initial mea- and second set of numbers shows the
surements are taken for the distance relative heat sag.
Figure 4-9


Base Plate

Device for high-temperature sag testing.

Chapter 5

Bayer materials are often used in appli- Figure 5-1

cations that need electrical insulation.
Our Product Information Bulletins PC

(PIBs) list the electrical properties for 1016

plastics used in the electrical and elec-
tronic industries. To use this informa-
tion properly, you need to have a good PBT

understanding of the terminology and


testing methods. This section describes 1012

the most common methods for determin-
ing electrical properties and explains
how these properties are used to select PA 6 Dry

materials for electrical and electronic

components. 108

0 50 100 150


Volume resistivity of three plastics as a function of temperature.

VOLUME RESISTIVITY A measure of the electrical resistance

between opposite faces of a unit cube of
Volume resistivity, a measure of a material, volume resistivity indicates
resins electrical insulating properties, current-leakage resistance through an
provides a means to compare plastics insulating body. The tests for volume
used as insulators. A resins volume resistivity (ASTM D 257 or IEC 93)
resistivity should be at least 108 ohm- measure resistance in ohms between
cm to be considered an insulating electrodes mounted on opposite speci-
material. While plastics generally have men faces (see figure 5-2). This resis-
excellent insulating properties, their tance is multiplied by the electrodes
electrical resistance decreases with area, then divided by the sample thick-
increasing temperature and moisture ness, to give the volume resistivity in
content, sometimes by orders of magni- ohms-cm.
tude within a parts given service range
(see figure 5-1). Always evaluate your
products volume resistivity at in-use SURFACE RESISTIVITY
environmental conditions.
Important in applications with closely-
spaced conductors such as terminal

blocks, surface resistivity measures a Figure 5-2

resins surface-insulating performance.

As with volume resistivity, higher val-
AM P S +
ues indicate better insulating properties.
Because test results are sensitive to V
humidity, surface contamination and
surface contour, accurate and reliable
measurements are difficult to obtain.

+ Electrode
In the tests (ASTM D 257 or IEC 93),
the resistance between two straight con-
Guard Ring
ductors pressed onto opposite edges of
the test specimen determines the current Electrode
leakage along the surface of a 0.4-inch
(1-cm) square of the insulating material.
Because the length and width of the
Cross sectional schematic for typical volume-resistivity test apparatus.
path are the same, the centimeter terms
cancel, leaving ohms as the standard
measurement unit.
electrical failure or breakdown occurs. higher at elevated temperatures. Always
Expressed as a voltage gradient, typical- note the specimen thickness and testing
DIELECTRIC STRENGTH ly volts per mil of thickness, higher temperature when comparing dielectric
dielectric-strength values indicate better strength values.
A resins dielectric strength, the best insulating characteristics. The dielectric
single indicator of a materials insulat- strength of plastics varies inversely with In the test for dielectric strength
ing capability, measures the voltage an thickness: thinner specimens yield high- (ASTM D 149 or IEC 243), a flat sheet
insulating material can withstand before er values. The values also tend to be or plate is placed between cylindrical
brass electrodes, which carry electrical
current (see figure 5-3). Generally, at
Bayer, we use the short-time test for
Figure 5-3 Cross sectional dielectric strength. In this test, the volt-
view of dielectric age increases at a uniform rate from 0.5
E strength test.
to 1.0 kV/sec until breakdown.

For finer measurements, the step-by-

step test applies an initial voltage equal
Electrode to 50% of the breakdown voltage as
Specimen determined by the short-term test. The
voltage increases at a rate specified for
each type of material until breakdown.
Test specimens for this latter testing

method must be large enough to prevent DISSIPATION FACTOR Tested on the same apparatus as dielec-
flashing over, and often are immersed in tric constant, the dissipation factor mea-
transformer oil during testing for this Measuring a resins tendency to convert sures the ratio of the parallel reactance
reason. Because temperature and current into heat, the dissipation factor, to the parallel resistance of a test mater-
humidity affect test values for both is particularly important in applications ial at specified frequencies and tempera-
methods, specimens must be carefully such as radar and microwave equipment tures. To avoid an excessive level of
conditioned. that run at high frequencies. Some implied precision and bias, UL 746 A
resins subjected to these reversing fields records results from this electrical test
convert a high percentage of the energy and other tests that follow as Perfor-
DIELECTRIC CONSTANT to heat, making the process inefficient mance Level Category (PLCs) based
and possibly leading to part failure. upon the mean test results rather than
An important factor in high-power Lower dissipation values, desirable for recording the exact numerical results.
and/or high-frequency applications, electrical insulation materials, indicate
the dielectric constant is dimensionless less power loss and heat generation.
and varies with temperature, moisture ARC RESISTANCE
levels, frequency and part thickness. Dissipation factors generally increase
Specifically, the dielectric constant is with increasing temperature. Excessive Arc resistance measures the number of
the ratio of the capacitance of a plate heat can cause a cascading effect: seconds a plastic specimens surface will
electrode system with a test specimen as Increasing losses generate higher tem- resist forming a continuous conductive
the dielectric to the capacitance of the peratures and further losses. This effect path while being exposed to a high-volt-
same system with a vacuum as the can lead to material breakdown and age electric arc. Materials with higher
dielectric. A schematic of the standard possible thermal ignition. arc-resistance values are used in compo-
tests for measuring dielectric constants nents with closely spaced conductors that
(ASTM D 150 or IEC 250) is shown in project above the plastics surface, and in
figure 5-4. Lower values indicate better applications such as circuit breakers and
insulating characteristics. distributor caps where arcing may occur.

Test for Dielectric Constant Figure 5-4 The mechanism for forming the conduc-
E tive path across the sample varies with
+ resin. Burning, carbonization, heating to
incandescence or a breakdown in the
materials surface usually determine the
failure point. In the standard tests (UL
746 A and ASTM D 495), electrodes
intermittently emit an arc on the speci-
men surface with increasing severity
until the specimen fails (see figure 5-5).
Because test results are sensitive to
Specimen surface moisture and contamination,
Vacuum arc-resistance values may not correlate
Dielectric constant is the ratio of the system capacitance with the plastic specimen as the
directly to the surface conditions of your
dielectric to the capacitance with a vacuum as the dielectric. final part. See table 5-1 for PLC ratings.

Chapter 5

Figure 5-5 Materials with higher CTI values should

be considered in applications where arc-
ing is possible. When surface contami-
+ E
nation is likely, CTI values may be
more useful than arc-resistance values.
PLC ratings are shown in table 5-2.

Table 5-2 PLC Values for CTI

CTI Range-
Tracking Index Assigned
(TI in Volts) PLC
600 and greater 0
400 and up to 600 1
250 and up to 400 2
175 and up to 250 3
100 and up to 175 4
Arc-resistance electrodes intermittently subject the specimen surface to a high-voltage Less than 100 5
arc until a conductive path is formed.

Table 5-1 ASTM D 495 Test Results COMPARATIVE TRACKING


Range-Mean Time Assigned

of Arc Resistance PLC Much like arc resistance, the compara-
tive tracking index tests (UL 746 A,
420 and greater 0
ASTM D 3638, or IEC 112) measure
360 and up to 420 1
the voltage needed to make a conduc-
300 and up to 360 2
tive path between electrodes on the
240 and up to 300 3
surface of a specimen. The difference
180 and up to 240 4
between these tests is that in CTI the
120 and up to 180 5
sample is exposed to 50 drops of an
60 and up to 120 6
electrolytic liquid, to account for
Less than 60 7
surface contamination. In the IEC 112
test for CTI, the electrolyte drips onto a
specimen at a rate of 50 or 100 drops
per minute and the tracking voltage
increases in 25-volt increments, up to a
maximum of 600 volts.

Figure 5-6 Standard setup for
hot-wire-ignition test.
0.26 watt/mm of Wire Length


127 mm 12.5 mm

Table 5-3 PLC Values for HWI Table 5-4 PLC Values for HAI Table 5-5 PLC Values for HVTR

HWI Range-Mean HAI Range-Mean HVTR Range-TR Assigned

Ignition Temp Assigned Number of Arcs Assigned (in mm/min) PLC
(IT in sec) PLC to Cause Ignition PLC 0 through 10 0
120 and longer 0 120 and greater 0 Over 10 through 25.4 1
60 and up to 120 1 60 and up to 120 1 Over 25.4 through 80 2
30 and up to 60 2 30 and up to 60 2 Over 80 through 150 3
15 and up to 30 3 15 and up to 30 3 Over 150 4
7 and up to 15 4 7 and up to 15 4
Less than 7 5


Simulating a situation in which a current-
carrying component in direct contact Measuring the number of arc applica- In this test (UL 746 A), a specimens
with a plastic part becomes heated due tions applied either to the specimen sur- surface is subjected to high-voltage arcs
to overloading, this test measures the face or at some specified distance from for two minutes. During this time, the
number of seconds before the material it until the sample ignites, this test (UL electrode spacing increases to the maxi-
ignites. 746) subjects specimens to high-intensi- mum distance that will sustain the arc.
ty arcs at regular intervals. Results show The tracking rate, defined as the length
In the standard test (UL 746 A or ASTM the number of arcs needed to initiate of the conductive leakage path after the
D 3874) plastic specimens are wrapped combustion under standardized condi- two minutes, divided by the two-minute
with resistance wire that dissipates a tions. The UL card lists results as a PLC test length, receives a PLC rating as
specified level of electrical energy (see rating as shown in table 5-4. shown in table 5-5.
figure 5-6). The UL material card lists
results in PLCs as shown in table 5-3.

Chapter 6

When designing plastic parts, pay close WATER ABSORPTION HYDROLYTIC DEGRADATION
attention to the environment to which
the part will be exposed during process- Plastics absorb water to varying Exposing plastics to moisture at elevat-
ing, secondary operations and assem- degrees, depending upon their molecu- ed temperatures can lead to hydrolytic
bling, as well as end-use. Chemical lar structure and the fillers and additives attack, decreasing the materials physi-
exposure and weather conditions may they contain. In addition to adversely cal properties. Hydrolysis, a chemical
determine which resin you choose. In affecting both mechanical and electrical process that severs polymer chains by
this section, we discuss several of the properties, high levels of moisture can reacting with water, reduces molecular
more important environmental proper- cause parts to swell, an important con- weight and degrades the plastic. The
ties, as well as the tests done to measure sideration in close-tolerance applica- degree of degradation depends upon a
these characteristics. tions or when a plastic part is joined number of factors, including exposure
with parts made of other materials. time, type of exposure (intermittent or
continuous), environmental tempera-
Standard tests (ASTM D 570 or ISO ture, stress levels in the part, and
62) measure moisture absorption by the other chemicals in the water such as
weight gained in oven-dried samples chlorine or detergents (see figure 6-1).
after they have been immersed in dis- Because of the number of factors that
tilled water for a minimum of 24 hours affect hydrolytic attack, plastics
at 73F (23C). An alternative method should always be tested at in-use
involves immersing samples for 30 min- environmental conditions.
utes at 212F (100C). Generally listed
along with the temperature and duration
of immersion, the weight-gain percent-
age can be important when designing
parts in which water absorption could
affect a key property or dimension.
Both thermoplastic resins and polyure-
thane materials are tested to the same
ASTM specification.

Moisture content in plastic resins during

processing can also be important.
Improper moisture levels can cause
problems, such as degradation and
cosmetic flaws in thermoplastics, as
well as changing foam density and
physical properties in RIM structural
foams. Always follow your resin suppli-
ers procedures for drying pellets before
processing, and handling and storing
RIM polyurethane liquids.

Figure 6-1 Time-to-fracture
curves for various
psi grades of Makrolon
10,000 MPa
polycarbonate resin
60 immersed in water.
3200 Grade
6,000 23C (73F)

30 ASTM D 2126 (ISO 219) measures

dimensional changes in rigid foamed
3200 Grade
60C (140F) polyurethanes. In the test, a 4-inch by
5-inch (102- by 127-mm) specimen with
2800 Grade a 1-inch (25.4-mm) thickness is placed
60C (140F)
2,000 either in a chamber air oven or cold box
6455 Grade at predetermined temperature and
60C (140F) 10
humidity. Specimens are exposed to the
3200 Grade conditions for one day, one week and

1,000 80C (176F) two weeks, with intermediate observa-

800 tions. Final test results are taken after the
5 specimens return to room temperature.

For flexible foamed materials, ASTM

D 3574 (ISO 2440) specifies using a
10 - 1 10 0 10 1 10 2 10 3 10 4 steam autoclave or similar vessel. This
test consists of treating the specimen in a
TIME (hours) low-pressure steam autoclave for either
three hours at 221F (105C) or five
hours at 257F (125C) and observing
the effect on the physical properties.
THERMAL AND HUMID AGING give useful information for comparing After testing, the specimens are removed
the performance of different materials and dried for three hours for each inch
Thermal and humid aging tests help in a particular environment or assessing (25 mm) of thickness. Results list per-
determine how a part made of a the relative stability of two or more centage change in physical properties.
polyurethane material will respond to foamed polyurethanes. The results do This particular test should be used if a
long-term environmental effects. not predict end-use product perfor- part made of a polyurethane material will
Because it is difficult to run 10- or 20- mance or characteristics, nor are they be exposed to high humidity throughout
year tests, the following tests show adequate for design or engineering its service life.
accelerated-aging and various dimen- calculations.
sional-stability conditions. The tests Another test for foamed materials, dry-
heat aging (ASTM D 3574), consists of
exposing foam specimens in an air-circu-
lating oven for 22 hours at 284F (140C)
and observing the effect on properties.

Chapter 6


A difficult and complex topic, the 2 mm

chemical resistance of any given plastic
depends upon many factors including
the chemical and its concentration,
exposure time and temperature, and Strain
stress levels in the part.

Radius R
The type of chemical attack varies with
the plastic and the chemical involved. In 2 mm
some cases, the chemical will cause a
progressive breakage of the polymer
chains over time, reducing the molecu- 1.4%
lar weight and physical properties. Strain

Other parts will stress-crack, a process

in which small cracks or crazes develop
in areas that are stressed from molding Radius R
or applied load. Acting as stress concen-
trators, these cracks can lead to mechan-
ical failure. When attacked by a weak Multi-strain fixtures. Radius R is varied to give strain values from 0.2% to 1.4%.

solvent, a plastic part can swell and also

experience a change in mechanical
Additionally, elevated temperatures and large drop in elongation values, deter-
When designing parts, consider all the chemical concentrations will affect chem- mines its chemical-resistance rating.
substances a part will encounter, includ- ical resistance: A material that withstands Given in general terms, such as resis-
ing intentional and accidental exposure. a 10% concentration of a solvent at room tant, limited resistance or non-resis-
Also review the chemicals to which a temperature may not withstand a 5% tant, these ratings serve only as guide-
part may be exposed in manufacturing concentration at 150F (66C). lines for screening candidate materials.
and assembling, such as cutting oils, ISO 175 specifies a similar test per-
degreasers, cleaning solvents, printing At Bayer, we typically collect chemical- formed on 50-mm circular or square test
dyes, paints, adhesives and lubricants. resistance data by applying the sub- plaques.
stance to five tensile bars bent across
Some published chemical-resistance data fixtures that generate five different If you have any questions regarding a
lists substances in generic or general strain levels from 0.2 to 1.4% (see Bayer resin and a specific chemical envi-
terms, such as aliphatic hydrocarbon or figure 6-2) for either 24 hours at 73F ronment, please call your Bayer repre-
lubricating oil. Use this data cautiously, (23C) or 16 hours at 150F (66C). sentative. Final material selection should
as additives or impurities in a specific Bars without cracks or crazing are then be evaluated with production parts under
brand can cause chemical attack. tested for tensile elongation at break. actual application conditions.
The strain limit for a given resin, the
highest strain level without cracks or a

Figure 6-3




UV-Stabilized PC


This graph shows the

significant differences
Unmodified PC in impact strength
reduction of a standard
and a UV-stabilized
0 grade of polycarbonate
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
after months of
outdoor exposure.
TIME (months)

WEATHERABILITY ally the higher-molecular-weight grades a series of exposure times (see figure 6-
of a resin fare better than lower-molecu- 3). Because it shows how specific prop-
Plastics in outdoor use are exposed to lar-weight grades with comparable erties are affected over time, this data is
weather extremes that can be devastat- additives. Additionally, some colors extremely useful when designing parts
ing to the material. The most harmful tend to weather better than others. for outdoor use.
weather component, exposure to the Contact your Bayer representative when
suns ultraviolet (UV) radiation, can selecting materials for outdoor use. Although outdoor testing is most com-
cause embrittlement, fading, surface mon, accelerated data can be generated
cracking and chalking. To test weatherability (ASTM G 5377 in special test chambers with UV lights
or ISO 4892), resin suppliers normally and climate controls. Because of the
Weatherability in plastics varies with expose the material to actual outdoor more severe environment in these test-
polymer type and within grades of a conditions, usually in Arizona or ing chambers, the results are usually
particular resin. While many resin Florida. Mounted for optimum sun listed at 1,000 hours, rather than years.
grades are available with UV-absorbing exposure, samples are tested for
additives to boost weatherability, gener- mechanical and physical properties after

Chapter 6


Gas permeability measures of the

amount of gas typically carbon diox-
ide, oxygen or nitrogen that passes
through a material in a given time.
Permeability is an important concern in
many packaging and medical applica-
tions where the plastic must form a
barrier to gasses. Usually graphed as
permeability versus film thickness (see
figure 6-4), gas permeability also can
be shown as a single value for each gas
at a standard film thickness and temper-
ature. Standard permeability tests exist
for a variety of conditions, such as for a
pressure-driven system with just one
gas present or for a constant-pressure
system driven by a gas concentration
gradient. Standard tests include DIN
53380, ISO 2556 and ASTM D 1434.

Figure 6-4 Gas permeability

300 as measured by
DIN 53380 with test
temperature at
250 22C (72F) for
Durethan B38F
polyamide resin.





10 20 30 40 50 60 70


Chapter 7

There are a variety of other properties Table 7-1 Foam Product Density Tests
such as optical transmittance and
flammability that you, the designer,
Material ASTM Test ISO Test
have to address when developing plastic
Flexible Foam D 3574 845
parts. These properties further help you
Rigid Foam D 1622 845
determine which material is best suited
Semiflexible Foam D 5308 845
for a given application. This section
Microcellular Materials D 3489 868
discusses some of these properties and
relevant testing.


Density, the mass-per-unit volume of a Specific gravity, the ratio of a materi-

material, is useful when converting part als density to the density of water at
volume into part weight, or cost per 73F (23C), is used in a variety of cal-
pound into cost per cubic inch, and culations and comparisons when rela-
other calculations involving weight and tive weight matters. A dimensionless
volume conversions. Usually expressed value, specific gravity can be converted
in pounds per cubic inch (lb/in3) or into density in grams per cubic centime-
grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3), ter (g/cm3) at 73F (23C) if you multi-
density measurements for solid plastics ply specific gravity by 0.99756. The
are often conducted according to ISO 1183. conversion factor accounts for the fact
that the density of water is less than
For foamed materials, density often is 1 g/cm3 at 73F (23C). Performed on
shown in pounds per cubic foot (lb/ft3). most plastic or unfoamed polyurethane
Apparent core density refers to the systems, ASTM D 792 (ISO 1183)
weight-per-unit volume of a specimen measures specific gravity.
after all skin has been removed.
Apparent overall density refers to the
weight-per-unit volume of the specimen SPECIFIC VOLUME
including all forming skins. Specific
tests to determine density for foamed The reciprocal of density, specific
products include those shown in table 7-1. volume can be used instead of density
for weight and volume conversions.
Typically, it is measured in cubic inches
per pound (in3/lb) or cubic centimeters
per gram (cm3/g).


Glass Column

Haze and luminous transmittance,

commonly tested according to ASTM
D 1003, measure a materials trans-
parency. Haze is the percentage of
Ignition Flame
transmitted light passing through a Burning
sample that is scattered more than Specimen

2.5 degrees. Luminous transmittance,

Wire Screen
the ratio of light transmitted through
the sample to the incident light directed Glass Beads
in a Bed
at the sample, is listed either as a
percentage or a ratio. Surface reflection
accounts for nearly the entire light-
transmission loss in optically transparent
plastics and approximately 10% for poly-
carbonate. Plastic grades with low-haze Adjustable
O2 /N2 Supply
and high-transmittance values are best
for applications requiring transparency.
Oxygen-index test apparatus.


Light passing through a gas, liquid or OXYGEN INDEX FLAMMABILITY CLASS

solid travels slower than light passing
through a vacuum. The refractive The oxygen index (ASTM 2863 or ISO Except for a few that are inherently
index, important in a variety of optical- 4589) measures the minimum percent- flame retardant, most plastics require an
lens and light-pipe calculations, indi- age of oxygen, by volume, in a mixture additive to meet higher flame-resistance
cates the ratio of lights velocity in a of oxygen and nitrogen needed to sup- ratings. Because these additives can:
vacuum to its velocity as it passes port flaming combustion in a plastic
through a given substance. Published sample at room temperature (see figure Add to the material cost;
values from ASTM D 542 or ISO 489 7-1). Open-air combustion is more like-
are for testing at room temperature. The ly in materials with oxygen-index rat- Cause a variety of molding
refractive index of plastics generally ings of less than 21, the oxygen percent- problems, and;
decreases with increasing temperatures. age in the atmosphere. Not intended as
an indicator of fire risk under actual Result in lower mechanical
conditions, the oxygen index measures properties;
a resins contribution to the combustion
process. avoid over-specifying the degree of
flame resistance required.

Underwriters Laboratories has estab- Figure 7-2 Vertical Burn Test
lished flammability classes for plastics
12.7 mm
(UL 94). Classes range from HB, the (max. 13.2 mm)
least flame resistant, through more
6.4 mm
resistant ratings of V-2, V-1 and
V-0. Additionally materials can
receive a 5VA or 5VB rating based
upon a separate test covered under UL
94 for the more stringent flammability 127 mm
requirements in electrical and electronic
enclosures. Because thicker specimens
typically exhibit greater flame resis-
tance, flame-class ratings listed on the
UL card for the resin list the minimum 9.5 mm
thicknesses for which the rating was
obtained. Flammability results are
based upon small-scale laboratory tests. 305 mm
Use these ratings for comparison pur-
poses only, as they do not necessarily Layer of Surgical Cotton
(approx. 50 mm x 50 mm x 6.5 mm)
represent the hazard present under
actual fire conditions.

Flammability of solid specimens according to UL 94.

The vertical-flame test subjects the
lower end of a sample to two applica-
tions of a 19-mm, high-blue flame from
a Bunsen burner for a duration of 10
seconds each (see figure 7-2). The hori- Rigid foam polyurethane systems for Flammability standards for a variety
zontal test applies a 25-mm flame from building materials should be tested to of electrical products are listed in
a Bunsen burner to the free end of a test ASTM E 84. Other end-use tests for UL 746 C. To avoid costly tests to
specimen for 30 seconds (see figure 7- doors, windows and walls are per- prove conformance to this standard,
3). The flame-class criteria for the test formed to specific industry standards. consider resins that have been pre-tested
results are listed in tables 7-2 and 7-3. and meet the requirements indicated.

Chapter 7

Horizontal Burn Test Figure 7-3

125 mm

100 mm Specimen

10 mm

Wire Gauze Wire Gauze

13 mm Flammability of
solid specimens
according to
Gas ASTM D 635
(similar to UL 94).

FLASH POINT Vertical Burning Test for UL Flammability Classifications

Table 7-2 94V-0, 94V-1, 94V-2

The liquid components in a

polyurethane system can be extremely Flammability
flammable. ASTM D 93 determines the Classification
flash point, the temperature at which a Test Criteria 94V-0 94V-1 94V-2
liquid component will flame when
Flaming combustion time after
exposed to a spark. Called the Pensky- each application of flame 10 s 30 s 30 s
Martens closed-cup test, this test must
Total flaming combustion time for
be performed to meet OSHA and DOT each set of 5 specimens 50 s 250 s 250 s
regulations for safety and transporta- (10 flame applications)

tion. A second test, ASTM D 3278, the Flaming or glowing combustion

Setafalsh closed-cup test, may also be up to the holding clamp no no no

used. Duration of glowing combustion

after second removal of test flame 30 s 60 s 60 s

Ignition of surgical cotton by

dripping flaming particles no no yes

Horizontal Burning Test for Flammability

Table 7-3 Classification 94HB

Specimen Thickness Burning Rate

1/8 in 1 1-1/2 in/min
1/8 in 3 in/min

or material ceases to burn before flame reaches the second reference mark

Chapter 8

When selecting a resin, you should GENERAL PROCESSING specific predictions based upon your part
also consider processing properties. PARAMETERS geometry, runner and gating system,
Information for thermoplastic resins mold-cooling design, and processing
such as melt flow rates, viscosity versus Part designers and mold makers must conditions. When possible, the mold
shear-rate curves and spiral flow data address two common processing para- designer should anticipate changes based
help determine if a given resin is meters shrinkage and viscosity upon initial molding trials and allow for
right for your application and process- when planning to make any part out of adjustments for critical dimensions.
ing techniques. When using RIM plastic. These two processing properties
polyurethane systems, you should con- are discussed below.
sider different parameters, such as Viscosity
NCO content and viscosity. In this sec-
tion, we divide these processing proper- Mold Shrinkage A materials viscosity, its internal resis-
ties into three categories: processing tance to flow, determines mold-filling
properties used in all plastics, those Plastics shrink significantly during the rates in both thermoplastic and polyure-
used in thermoplastic resins, and those cooling cycle in molding. A mold thane resins. Viscosity as it relates
specific to polyurethane systems. In designer uses mold-shrinkage values to to these different types of resins is
each section, we define relevant terms, compensate for part shrinking during discussed in this section.
their importance, and their testing molding. To determine mold shrinkage
methodology. values, use the following formula:
Solution Viscosity
Shrinkage =[(Mold Dimension) (Part Size)]
(Mold Dimension) The viscosity of a polymer dissolved in
solvent provides an indirect measure of
Results are typically listed as length- molecular weight and relative melt flow
per-unit-length or as percentages. behavior of the base resin. The viscosity
Always measure part and mold measured at a series of concentrations
dimensions at room temperature. can be plotted against concentration and
the graph extrapolated to infinite dilu-
Standard tests such as ASTM D 955, tion to determine the limiting viscosity
ISO 294 and DIN 16901 give ranges of number or intrinsic viscosity. This
values based upon simple mold shapes value, coupled with constants for the
and standard molding conditions. The polymer and solvent at a given tempera-
exact shrinkage for a given application ture can be applied to the semi-empiri-
depends upon many processing and cal Mark-Houwink equation to calculate
design factors and may differ dramatical- molecular weight.
ly from published values. Measuring
actual shrinkage from parts with similar The ratio of the viscosity of the dilute
geometries molded under anticipated polymer solution of specified concen-
processing conditions may give more tration to the viscosity of the solvent
accurate predictions. Finite-element yields the viscosity ratio or relative vis-
shrinkage analysis software can provide cosity. Most commonly used as a quali-

ty control guide during resin produc- Figure 8-1
tion, relative viscosity measurements
104 ABS200C
can also detect polymer degradation 8
caused by improper molding. 6
4 PE180C


Viscosity Versus Shear-Rate Curves PC300C
Viscosity versus shear-rate curves, more 8
relevant than melt flow rates for com- 6 PA 6250C
paring moldability in thermoplastic
materials, are seldom used directly in
resin selection. Used increasingly in 102

computerized mold-filling simulation 4 6 8 101 2 4 6 8 102 2 4 6 8 103 2 4 104

programs, these curves are used in
curve-fitting equations and as constants. SHEAR RATE ( ) (s-1)
Software can then interpolate (and
Apparent viscosity as a function of shear rate.

Figure 8-2
extrapolate) viscosity data for more
temperatures and shear rates than the
original test data.

The capillary viscometer measures a

Measuring Tube
thermoplastics viscosity over a range
of temperatures and shear rates. The
Ball pressure, and therefore the shear rate
acting on the melt, increase in stages for
each test temperature. You can calculate
the shear rate and corresponding viscos-
ity from the die geometry and the
amount of extruded material at each
pressure setting. The results, usually
plotted on log/log graph paper, create
curves of apparent viscosity versus
shear rate at various temperatures.
Figure 8-1 shows viscosity curves of
common engineering thermoplastics.

Haake-Hoeppler falling ball viscometer.

The capillary viscometer measures a Figure 8-3

range of shear rates from approximately

one-tenth to several thousand reciprocal
seconds, the range of shear rates nor-
mally encountered in extrusion and
injection molding.

Polyol and Isocyanate Viscosity

ASTM D 4889 uses a Haake-Hoeppler Insulation

falling ball viscometer to determine a
polyols viscosity (see figure 8-2). In this
test, a ball of known density and radius is
released into a tube filled with a liquid Heating Bands
specimen (e.g., a polyol). The time it
takes for the ball to fall a prescribed dis- Piston
tance correlates to the liquids viscosity,
measured in centipoise (cps). In more- Thermocouple
viscous, thicker liquids, the ball falls
slower than in thinner, less-viscous liq-
uids. The Brookfield viscosity method Melt Die
typically determines isocyanate viscosity.

Schematic of melt flow rate test apparatus.

Rotary Viscosity (Brookfield Viscosity)

Though not suitable for thermoplastics,

the rotary viscometer provides a simple The common Brookfield viscometer Melt Strength
and inexpensive method for comparing measures viscosity as a function of
the apparent, low-shear viscosity of liq- the torque required to rotate a disc or The amount of a resin extruded through
uids such as RIM-polyurethane system cylinder suspended in the liquid. a standard die in ten minutes by a
components. Listed as either single- weight-driven plunger determines the
point data or a graph of viscosity versus melt flow rate, one of the most-com-
temperature, this data can be particular- THERMOPLASTICS mon methods to test the flow properties
ly important when making large-volume of thermoplastics (see figure 8-3). In the
parts at fast-filling rates. Most of the concerns for processing common tests (ASTM D 1238 or ISO
thermoplastic resins involve flow rates 1133), an appropriate load and melt
and ability to properly fill molds. This temperature for the resin are selected
section outlines the relevant tests to from a standard set of test conditions.
check flow properties, viscosity curves Higher melt flow rates indicate lower
and other processing parameters for resistance to flow and lower viscosity.
thermoplastic resins.

Chapter 8

Because the test for melt flow is per- Figure 8-4

formed at a single temperature and sin-
gle load value, it does not account for
the relationship of viscosity as a func-
tion of shear rate and temperature. Melt
flow rates do not reliably predict the
ease of flow in a mold and should not
be used to judge the relative flowability
of dissimilar resins, because the shear
rates used in testing are generally lower
than those found during actual injection

Melt flow rate is useful for differentiat-

ing grades of a resin family according to
viscosity and molecular weight. For
general-purpose polycarbonate resins,
melt flow rates identify at least six vis-
cosity grades within the 4 to 19 g/10
min melt flow range. Also, because Cavity half of spiral-flow mold.

melt flow rate is a good measure of vis-

cosity differences or changes for a spe-
cific resin, you can use it to check uni-
formity in production batches or as a Spiral Flow Consider this tests conditions and limi-
quick check for degradation in molded tations when applying spiral flow data
plastic parts. If the melt flow rate in Spiral-flow testing measures the dis- to actual molded parts. Difficult-to-fill
molded material has significantly tance a plastic travels through the long, features and non-uniform thicknesses
increased from that found in unmolded spiral-shaped channels of a special test can limit this datas usefulness in many
pellets from the same batch, processing- mold to determine a resins mold-filling applications. Additionally, flow in
related degradation may have occurred. capability (see figure 8-4). The test molds with restrictive runner systems
mold typically consists of a center sprue may be shorter than this data indicates.
gate feeding a 1/2-inch wide, rectangu- You will also need to know if spiral-
lar cross-section flow channel that spi- flow data is based upon maximum or
rals outward to a length of approximate- typical processing conditions. In these
ly 50 inches. The spiral-flow length situations, consider using computerized,
records the resins flow length at the mold-filling analysis.
stated thickness and processing condi-
tions. Graphs of flow length versus
thickness (see figure 8-5) provide a
quick method for estimating such mold-
ing parameters as gate spacing and
required part thickness for filling.

Figure 8-5 Spiral flow lengths for
various PC/ABS resins
Bayblend PC/ABS at typical processing
FR 90 conditions.
Melt Temperature: 260C (500F)
1000 Mold Temperature: 80C (176F)
Filling Pressure: 650 bar (9,425 psi)
FR 110


T 64

T 65 MN
T 88-2N

T 88-4N


0 1 2 3 4 5


POLYURETHANES Hydroxyl Number To determine the hydroxyl number

(ASTM D 4274), place a specimen of
Polyurethane systems have many other To produce a polyurethane, a processor the polyol usually a polyester or
processing parameters such as amine must react an isocyanate NCO-bear- polyether in a flask with phthalic
equivalent, hydroxyl number and ing material or A component with anhydride as a reagent. After heating
weight percent of water all of which a material that has free hydroxyl (-OH) the mixture for approximately 35 min-
must be considered by the part designer sites, typically called a B component. utes, cool it to room temperature and
and molder. These specific parameters Specific amounts of A and B compo- add water. Potentiometric titration using
and relevant tests are discussed in this nents are often referred to as a a standard solution of sodium hydroxide
section. polyurethane system. The hydroxyl determines the specimens excess
number quantifies how much hydroxyl phthalic anhydride (see figure 8-6). The
is available for this chemical reaction in difference in the volumes of the titrant
terms of milligrams of potassium required for a blank solution and the
hydroxide (KOH) per gram of sample. specimen solution is used to calculate
the hydroxyl number.

Chapter 8

Figure 8-6 used in polyurethane products. In this

test, dry toluene and excess dibuty-
lamine are mixed with the sample and
heated for a short time. After the mix-
ture has cooled, isopropyl alcohol is
nfjbd stkjf dkns dmdyo glfgmdn
dbyrhf kgighny fmfnsbsl weirorpfn
sdbdg avzc xwes fnjfgg gkgoi gorfd
added. This mixture, as well as a blank
fmglf peiw dnbfg cvbvs awxez rsfd
d fngu giggb mgkfo dhnf fnfbd
ffudd fmngoi bpbnm cvlckd heuyw
dmdyo glfgmdn dbyrhf kgighny
mixture, is then potentiometrically
fmfn sbsl gkgoi gorfd fmglf



To ensure a complete polyurethane

Potentiometric titration equipment used to determine a polyol's hydroxyl number.
reaction, you must adjust for acidity in
the A and B components. Inherent in all
polyurethane raw materials, acids affect
the systems reactivity, influencing both
Percentage NCO and Amine Equivalent is potentiometrically titrated with a foam quality and the safety of the entire
common acid such as hydrochloric acid. process. Incorrect acid levels can lead to
The A component in a polyurethane runaway reactions or, in other cases,
system provides active attachment sites A second test, ASTM D 2572, outlines incomplete reactions.
(NCO) for reaction with B components. methods to characterize isocyanates
Percent NCO shows the weight percent-
age of these active sties to the com-
pounds total molecular weight. For
quality control, Bayer uses a method
similar to ASTM D 5155 to determine
the amine equivalent and NCO content.
In this method, isocyanates quantitative-
ly react with dibutylamine at room tem-
perature. The test involves mixing a
sample with dibutylamine in o-xylene
and leaving the mixture at room temper-
ature for a short time. Subsequently,
methanol is added to the mixture; then
this mixture, as well as a blank mixture,

In ASTM D 4662, the common test for
determining the acidity in polyols, a
predetermined amount of specified
solvent mixes with a specimen. A stan-
dardized methanolic KOH is then used
to potentiometrically titrate this mix-
ture. For reactor polyols, the expected
acid number is less than 0.10 mg KOH
per gram of sample.

In ASTM D 4667, the isocyanate reacts

with excess n-propyl alcohol to produce
polyurethane. During this process,
acidic components release into the sol-
vent and are then titrated with standard-
ized methanolic KOH. Because the
n-propyl alcohol may have some
acidity, a blank with solvent only is
titrated as well. The blanks acidity is
subtracted from the sample result.

Chapter 8

Free-Rise Density Gel Time Virtually all polyols contain water. In

some polyol systems, water plays an
Free-rise density, important in deter- Gel time, the period of time from the important role as a blowing agent, affect-
mining mold cycle times, relates to initial mixing of the reactants to the ing the final material. In other systems,
foamed polyurethane systems. An iso- time when the material resists agitation, water may cause undesired reaction.
cyanate mixed with a polyol resin pro- helps determine the batch size for a Always test polyols for water content in
duces polyurethane foam material. If given application. case you have to adjust the process to
material temperatures and mixing pro- accommodate for this moisture.
cedures are carefully controlled, varia-
tions in reaction times and foam densi- Tack-Free Time The standard test for verifying the
ties generally relate to variations in the weight percent of water in a polyol
tested materials. In foamed polyurethane systems, the (ASTM D 4672) differs from tests used
tack-free time is the point at which in thermoplastic resins. In this test, a
The open-cup foam test determines a foam can be touched lightly with a sample is dissolved in a solvent and
polyurethane mixtures free-rise densi- wooden stick without foam adhering to then titrated using a Karl-Fischer (K-F)
ty, cream time, tack-free time and gel the stick when it is removed. reagent, which contains iodine and in
time. In this test, predetermined some cases, pyridine. The iodine reacts
amounts of isocyanate and polyol are with water in the polyol. The reagents
mixed in a cup for a predetermined Water (Weight Percent) excess iodine causes a current to flow at
time. When the foam stops rising, the the dual-platinum electrode, signaling
excess is leveled at the top of the cup Moisture can be absorbed into the iso- the end of the test.
and the container is weighed. Test cyanate component if containers are not
results list the weight per volume properly sealed. This moisture will react
(lb/ft3), which ultimately relates to with the isocyanate, forming ureas and
part cost. carbon dioxide, which contains the iso-
cyanate. The carbon dioxide can pres-
surize the container, possibly causing a
Cream Time perforation or explosive rupture.

Important to foamed polyurethane

materials, cream time is the time at
which a color change can be seen on the
foams surface or the time at which the
foam begins to expand.

Chapter 9

Getting the optimum balance of perfor- acteristics could lead to high scrap costs
mance, quality, and cost requires a in parts with tight tolerances if you use
careful combination of material and the wrong resin. Other materials prone
plastic part design. As the demands on to cosmetic defects could contribute to
plastic parts grow and the number of high scrap costs.
grades increases, selecting the most-
effective plastic becomes more difficult. Because the parts shape, not its weight,
This section explains some things to is fixed in the design, you should
consider when selecting your material. always compare the cost per volume
($/in3) instead of cost per pound. A ton
of low-density material will produce
COST CONSIDERATIONS more parts than a ton of high-density
A plastics contribution to final product
cost involves more than the per-pound Part geometry also plays an important
cost of the resin. Different materials role. When comparing resins for a load-
have different costs associated with bearing application, optimize part
processing, finishing, productivity, and geometry for each resins characteris-
quality control, which can alter costs tics. For example, you may be able to
dramatically. Some examples: In business machine housings, good design a part with thinner walls and
moldability, excellent surface appear- fewer ribs and achieve the required
In some painted automotive applica- ance, high stiffness, and good creep stiffness with a higher-modulus resin.
tions, a Texin thermoplastic resistance give Bayblend PC/ABS
polyurethane resin that can be easily resins an advantage over lower-cost
painted without primer may be more resins requiring thicker walls or a
economical than a lower-cost resin painted finish.
requiring special surface preparation
and primer. Deflashing costs and longer cycle
times often make a compression-
molded, low-cost thermoset resin
less economical than its higher-
cost thermoplastic counterparts.

Other material differences also affect

final part cost. As a general rule, crys-
talline materials have faster cycle times
than amorphous resins. Some materials
show corrosive or abrasive behavior
that could lead to higher-than-normal
mold and press maintenance costs.
Differing shrinkage and warpage char-

Load long-term, elevated temperatures.
Select materials that satisfy part
Successful material selection often requirements throughout the
depends upon satisfying some not-so- expected temperature range.
obvious mechanical requirements. For
example, a plastic chosen for a snow
plow headlight assembly may meet the Chemical Resistance
support and impact requirements, but
fail in-use because of vibrational A key factor in material selection, resis-
fatigue. Likewise, a plastic used in a tance to chemical attack varies greatly
computer housing may support a from plastic to plastic. Individual plas-
monitor initially, but sag over time tics are usually vulnerable to attack
because of inadequate creep resistance. from families of chemicals, such as
Apparently similar plastics may exhibit strong acids or organic solvents. Resins
ENVIRONMENTAL quite different performance under tend to show either resistance or vulner-
CONSIDERATIONS certain types of long-term or dynamic ability to broad classes of chemicals
loading. Carefully evaluate a materials such as weak acids or organic solvents.
Environmental conditions mechanical performance under all types of However, within these classes, there are
loading, temperature extremes, exposure anticipated load. often surprising exceptions.
to chemicals and the elements, for Additionally, the complete list of
instance play crucial roles in material harmful substances may include an odd
selection. When evaluating these condi- Temperature collection of apparently unrelated
tions, consider more than just the intend- chemicals. You should verify a materi-
ed, end-use environment: Plastic parts Many material properties in plastics als resistance to all the chemicals it
are often subjected to harsher conditions impact strength, modulus, tensile will be exposed to in processing, assem-
during manufacturing and shipping than strength and creep resistance, to name a bling and final use. You should also
in actual use. To assure longevity and few depend upon ambient tempera-
durability, always test plastic parts under ture in final use. Thermoplastics tend to
all manufacturing, transportation and become more ductile and flexible as the
end-use conditions. temperature increases. As the tempera-
ture decreases, these materials become
stiffer and more brittle. Additionally,
many plastics suffer permanent
losses in mechanical char-
acteristics when
exposed to

Chapter 9

may respond differently to two cleaners or gamma sterilization, may require

with the same major ingredients, special resin grades. Contact your Bayer
because of minor differences in their representative for assistance in selecting
chemical composition. grades for these applications.


A resins ability to withstand exposure To help you select and use plastics,
to weather extremes and UV radiation resin suppliers publish property data for
from the sun greatly affects its selection various materials. This data can be help-
check a materials resistance under the for outdoor applications. UV exposure ful in initial selection, but should not be
harshest anticipated conditions, because severely degrades many plastics, leav- the sole basis for choosing a plastic.
chemical resistance tends to diminish ing them discolored and brittle after a Good for comparing the relative perfor-
with increasing temperature, exposure short time in service. Although most mance of similar resins, data should not
and concentration. Finally, be wary of engineering plastics are available in be extrapolated to higher temperatures
different brand-name products. A resin UV-stabilized grades, they differ in or loads. For example, a material with
their level of UV resistance. High-mole- high modulus at room temperature may
cular-weight grades of Makrolon poly- not have a correspondingly high modu-
carbonate, inherently more UV resistant lus at elevated temperatures.
than lower-molecular-weight grades,
demonstrate better resistance when
modified with UV additives.

Radiation from indoor fluorescent light-

ing can also cause yellowing in many
plastics. Among the key reasons for the
popularity of Bayblend PC/ABS resin
blends in business machine housings is
their resistance to yellowing under fluo-
rescent lights. Applications exposed to
other types of artificial radiation, such
as from high-intensity discharge lamps

Many times published data does not Contact your Bayer representative for broad processing windows should be
cover your precise, end-use conditions. information on the availability of considered for parts with thin sections
If you understand the trends for each CAMPUS material data. or long flow lengths. Spiral-flow data
property, this data can still be useful. showing flow lengths at various thick-
For example, tensile modulus decreases Published material properties, based nesses may help you screen potential
as temperature increases. If your appli- upon testing done in a lab, do not neces- materials in this situation. If youre
cation requires a modulus of at least sarily reflect the complexities encoun- designing a part with difficult geome-
300,000 psi (2,069 MPa) at 122F tered in actual production parts. tries, you may want to perform
(50C) and you have reliable data show- Therefore, published data is more a computerized mold-filling analysis
ing a modulus greater than this for any appropriate for eliminating unsuitable to address mold-filling concerns.
temperature over 50C, you can be con- materials than for identifying the best
fident that the material is stiff enough. material. You should select your final Within any resin family, improved pro-
Clear property trends have been stated material only after testing in actual cessing characteristics often compro-
in the materials property descriptions in production and end-use conditions. mise mechanical properties. Knowing
this manual. this early in the design stage will help
you adjust part geometry to account for
Computerized, material-database pro- PROCESSING this compromise. A materials shrink-
grams quickly screen large numbers of age factor and warpage characteristics
resin grades according to selected sets Processing and moldability concerns should also be considered during the
of performance criteria. Unfortunately, should be identified and addressed early design process. Materials with low-
because of the differences in test meth- in the design process. For instance, shrinking and low-warping tendencies
ods or specimen preparation, direct materials with good flow properties and are best suited for large parts, as well as
comparisons of property data from dif-
ferent sources are often not valid. To
help solve this problem, a consortium of
resin suppliers, including Bayer, helped
develop Computer-Aided Material
Preselection by Uniform Standards
(CAMPUS), a plastics database sys-
tem now in use worldwide. CAMPUS
provides an international, uniform sys-
tem for testing and selecting plastic
materials from different suppliers.

Chapter 9

parts with tight tolerances and critical Certain grades of Durethan Nylon 6
flatness requirements. Finally, difficult resin have largely overcome the nonuni-
part geometries may necessitate using a form, swirly appearance found in some
material with an internal mold release to glass-reinforced resins. These grades,
help eject the part without distortion or used in structural appearance parts such
cycle interruption. as chair star bases, maintain a resin-rich
surface with the glass hidden below.

Color availability and consistency also

factor into aesthetics. Because of the
natural color of their base polymers,
some plastics can not be made in light
colors. Standard colors cost less than
custom colors. Check with your Bayer
representative to see what colors are
readily available. For optimum color
matching and uniform color retention
over time, consider specifying the same
resin for components of cosmetically
critical assemblies. Many Bayer resins meet or exceed
the flame-class ratings indicated by
the appropriate UL standard.
Military (MIL) specifications regulate
Some applications require that plastic and certify plastics used in all military
parts be approved by or conform to applications according to the exact
specifications developed by a variety specification and type designation.
of government and private agencies.
Additionally, companies have their own Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
specifications that must be considered compliance is needed for plastics that
APPEARANCE when selecting a plastic. Many resin sup- could come in contact with food.
pliers have test data to prove compliance When evaluating medical and surgi-
The aesthetics of a finished part directly with these various specifications. If you cal devices, the FDA examines the
affect the perception of quality. Many select a resin that has been pre-tested and resins composition, quality, and uni-
people who purchase business machines meets specifications, you can save time formity, as well as the devices struc-
prefer the low-gloss, uniform appearance and money. Among the most common tural integrity and bio-compatibility.
of Bayblend PC/ABS blends for exposed agencies and approvals are: These regulations generally pertain to
panels. For toys, housewares and medical substances that could migrate into
applications, Makrolon polycarbonate Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) food through contact with the plastic.
resins are desirable, because of their needs to approve most general-sale,
high-gloss finish, wide range of colors electrical devices sold in America.
and transparency characteristics.

United States Department of Agri- When determining less-precise require- RESIN SUPPLIERS
culture (USDA) approves plastics used ments, you may want to use compar-
in packaging federally inspected meat isons. For example, your product may Your resin supplier is an important mem-
and poultry, and plastics used in meat- have to be at least as hard as Baydur ber of your design team, providing techni-
and poultry-processing equipment. polyurethane resin or have impact cal and engineering support, as well as
strength comparable to unfilled test results and processing, design and
National Sanitation Foundation Makrolon polycarbonate resin. While computer-aided engineering (CAE) ser-
Testing Laboratory, Inc. (NSF) these comparisons do not precisely vices to help you. While many suppliers
regulates the use of some plastics define the material requirements, they offer these services, they can differ signif-
used in food processing equipment, help you narrow your choices. icantly in quality and availability. Bayer
and pipes and fittings for potable has a reputation for providing quality
water. Materials and equipment must service throughout the projects life.
meet standards for taste, odor, toxici- PROTOTYPE TESTING
ty and cleanability, as well as other
tests specific to the finished part. Final material selection must be based SYSTEMS APPROACH
upon thorough product testing. Even
with the most complete planning and In the systems approach, your team
ACTUAL REQUIREMENTS engineering, opportunities for oversight consisting of designers, production and
and miscalculations exist for any pro- processing engineers, and others who have
Take time to ascertain your true part and ject. Prototype testing gives you an input on new products considers and
material requirements. Although the opportunity to test and optimize part optimizes all of the steps involved in tak-
problems associated with underestimat- design and material selection before ing an idea from design to production.
ing these specifications can be serious, investing in expensive production tool- This approach develops more options and
they usually can be identified and correct- ing. Good prototype testing duplicates opportunities for improved material selec-
ed during prototype testing. On the other the production conditions as closely as tion, design, and final production and pro-
hand, because parts perform as designed, possible, including prototype molds that cessing techniques simultaneously. For
the costs of over-specifying for an appli- simulate production tooling; processing instance, selecting an easier-flowing mate-
cation normally go uncorrected. Such and assembling techniques that are rial and modifying a parts design to main-
oversights can increase part costs, while identical to production; and testing tain performance levels could solve pro-
reducing product competitiveness. under the same range of mechanical, cessing problems before they develop.
chemical and environmental conditions
Some material requirements such as that the final part will endure. Additionally, because the design is not
product feel or appearance can be set in concrete when material selection
subjective and imprecise. Others such Simplifying or eliminating prototype begins, you can compare designs that have
as flammability ratings or key thermal or testing increases the chances of unex- been optimized for the properties of each
electrical properties are clearly speci- pected problems that could lead to material candidate. For instance, a material
fied by industry standards. Parts should delays and expensive modifications in with higher tensile modulus and good pro-
be designed with appropriate safety fac- production tooling. You should thor- cessing characteristics might be used in a
tors. Calculations and/or computer analy- oughly prototype test all new designs. design with thinner wall sections. This
sis may help determine some mechanical systems approach may help you select
or processing requirements. material, because it compares the cost and
performance of the complete system.

Chapter 10

HEALTH AND SAFETY DESIGN AND ENGINEERING Any other restrictive factors or perti-
INFORMATION EXPERTISE nent information of which we should
be aware.
Appropriate literature has been assem- To get material selection and/or design
bled which provides information con- assistance, just write or call your Bayer Upon request, Bayer will furnish such
cerning the health and safety precau- representative in the regional offices technical advice or assistance it deems to
tions that must be observed when han- listed on the back cover of this be appropriate in reference to your use of
dling Bayer products mentioned in this brochure. To best help you, we our products. It is expressly understood
publication. Before working with any will need to know the following and agreed that because all such technical
of these products, you must read and information: advice or assistance is rendered without
become familiar with the available compensation and is based upon informa-
information on their hazards, proper Physical description of your part(s) tion believed to be reliable, the customer
use, and handling. This can not be and engineering drawings or CAD assumes and hereby releases Bayer from
overemphasized. Information is avail- geometry, if possible; all liability and obligation for any advice
able in several forms, e.g., material or assistance given or results obtained.
safety data sheets, product labels, etc. Current material being used; Moreover, it is your responsibility to
Consult your local Bayer representative conduct end-use testing and to otherwise
or contact the Product Safety Manager Service requirements, such as determine to your own satisfaction
for Polymers Division products in mechanical stress and/or strain, peak whether Bayers products and informa-
Pittsburgh, PA. and continual-service temperature, tion are suitable for your intended uses
types and concentrations of chemicals and applications.
to which the part(s) may be exposed,
stiffness required to support the part
itself or another item, impact resis-
tance, and assembly

Applicable government
or regulatory agency
test standards;

Tolerances that must be

held in the functioning
environment of the

TECHNICAL SUPPORT Application Development Assistance Product Support Assistance

We provide our customers with design Product development Dryer audits

and engineering information in several
ways: applications advice, available by Part cost estimates On-site processing audits
phone, at 412 777-2000; processing
assistance, through a nationwide net- Color matching Start-up assistance
work or regional field technical service
representatives (see list on back cover); Prototyping On-time material delivery
technical product literature; and period-
ic presentations and seminars. Material selection Troubleshooting

The types of expertise you can obtain Molding trials Processing/SPC Seminars
from Bayer include:
Physical testing Productivity audits

Design Review Assistance Secondary operation advice

Concept development
Some of the end uses of the products
Product/part review described in this publication must com-
ply with applicable regulations, such as
Mold design review the FDA, USDA, NSF, and CPSC. If
you have any questions on the regulato-
Part failure analysis ry status of these products, contact
your local Bayer representative or
Finite element stress analysis the Regulatory Affairs Manager in
Pittsburgh, PA.
Mold filling and cooling

Experimental stress analysis

Shrinkage and warpage


Chapter 10

REGRIND USAGE Improperly mixed and/or dried resin FOR MORE INFORMATION
may diminish the desired properties of
For each grade of Bayers thermoplastic Bayers thermoplastics. You must con- The typical property data presented in
resin, there is an upper limit on the duct testing on finished parts produced this brochure are for general informa-
amount of regrind that may be used with any amount of regrind to ensure that tion only. They are approximate values
with virgin material, depending upon your end-use performance requirements and do not necessarily represent the
end-use requirements of the molded part are fully met. Regulatory organizations performance of any of our materials in
and provided that the material is kept (e.g., UL) may have specific require- your specific application. Do not use
free of contamination and is properly ments limiting the allowable amount of this information for product specifica-
dried. These limits are published in regrind. Because third-party regrind gen- tion. For more detailed information,
Product Information Bulletins and data erally does not have a traceable heat his- contact Polymer Marketing Communi-
sheets. Any regrind used must be tory, nor offers any assurance that proper cations at 412 777-2000, or your nearest
generated from properly molded parts, temperatures, conditions, and/or materi- district office.
sprues, and/or runners. All regrind used als were used in processing, extreme
must be clean, uncontaminated, and caution must be exercised in buying and
thoroughly blended with virgin resin using regrind from third parties.
prior to drying and processing. Under
no circumstances should degraded, The use of regrind material should be
discolored, or contaminated material avoided entirely in those applications
be used for regrind. Materials of this where resin properties equivalent to
type should be discarded. virgin material are required, including
but not limited to color quality, impact
strength, resin purity, and/or load-
bearing performance.

The conditions of your use and application of our products, technical assistance and information (whether verbal, written or by way of
production evaluations), including any suggested formulations and recommendations, are beyond our control. Therefore, it is imperative that you
test our products, technical assistance, and information to determine to your own satisfaction whether they are suitable for your intended uses
and applications. This application-specific analysis at least must include testing to determine suitability from a technical as well as health, safety,
and environmental standpoints. Such testing has not necessarily been done by Bayer Corporation. All information is given without warranty or
guarantee. It is expressly understood and agreed that customer assumes and hereby expressly releases Bayer Corporation from all liability, in
tort, contract or otherwise, incurred in connection with the use of our products, technical assistance and information. Any statement or recom-
mendation not contained herein is unauthorized and shall not bind Bayer Corporation. Nothing herein shall be construed as a recommendation to
use any product in conflict with patents covering any material or its use. No license is implied or in fact granted under the claims of any patent.


Chapter 1 Chapter 3

Figure 1-1 Addition polymerization 5 Figure 3-1 Tensile tester 23

Figure 1-2 Condensation polymerization 6 Figure 3-2 Characteristic stress-strain behavior 24
Figure 1-3 Polyurethane systems classified by flexural modulus 7 Figure 3-3 Foam tensile tester 25
Figure 1-4 Crystalline structures 8 Figure 3-4 Stress-strain behavior of unreinforced plastics 25
Figure 1-5 Injection force versus temperature 9 Figure 3-5 Flexural test 26
Figure 3-6 Ross flexing machine 27
Figure 3-7 Compression tester 28
Chapter 2 Figure 3-8 Izod and Charpy impact tests 30
Figure 3-9 Critical thickness 31
Figure 2-1 Stress-strain behavior 13 Figure 3-10 Effect of notch radius on the Izod impact
strength of polycarbonate 31
Figure 2-2 Viscous behavior 14
Figure 3-11 Tensile impact test 32
Figure 2-3 Voight-Maxwell model 14
Figure 3-12 Rockwell hardness test 33
Figure 2-4 Creep phenomenon 15
Figure 3-13 Correlation between various hardness scales 33
Figure 2-5 Stress relaxation 15
Figure 3-14 Coefficient of friction 34
Figure 2-6 Load and recovery 16
Figure 3-15 Creep and recovery of Makrolon
Figure 2-7 Brittle and ductile behavior 16
polycarbonate 35
Figure 2-8 Weld line 18
Figure 3-16 Isochronous stress-strain, Makrolon
Figure 2-9 Flow stresses 19 polycarbonate 36
Figure 2-10 Fiber orientation 20 Figure 3-17 Apparent modulus for unfilled Makrolon polycarbonate 36
Figure 2-11 Flexural stress 21 Figure 3-18 Isochronous stress-strain curves
for Makrolon polycarbonate 37
Figure 3-19 Crazing 37
Figure 3-20 Fatigue test curve 38
Figure 3-21 Stress-strain curves for Bayblend resin 39

Table 3-1 Coefficients of friction (static)

ranges for various materials 34

Chapter 4 Chapter 7

Figure 4-1 Deflection temperature under load (DTUL) 40 Figure 7-1 Oxygen index test apparatus 57
Figure 4-2 Thermal conductivity versus foam density 41 Figure 7-2 Vertical burn test 58
Figure 4-3 Vicat softening point test apparatus 42 Figure 7-3 Horizontal burn test 59
Figure 4-4 Torsion pendulum tester 43
Figure 4-5 Shear modulus and mechanical power factor 43 Table 7-1 Foam product density tests 56
Figure 4-6 Guarded-hot-plate apparatus 44 Table 7-2 Vertical burn test flammability classifications 59
Figure 4-7 Thermal transmission schematic 44 Table 7-3 Horizontal burn test flammability classifications 59
Figure 4-8 Air flow apparatus 45
Figure 4-9 Device for high-temperature sag testing 45
Chapter 8
Table 4-1 Coefficients of linear thermal expansion (CLTE)
for common materials 41
Figure 8-1 Apparent viscosity as a function of shear rate 61
Figure 8-2 Haake-Hoeppler falling ball viscometer 61
Figure 8-3 Melt flow rate test apparatus 62
Chapter 5
Figure 8-4 Spiral flow mold 63
Figure 8-5 Spiral flow lengths for various PC/ABS resins 64
Figure 5-1 Volume resistivity 46
Figure 8-6 Potentiometric titration equipment 65
Figure 5-2 Volume-resistivity test apparatus 47
Figure 5-3 Dielectric strength test 47
Figure 5-4 Dielectric constant 48
Figure 5-5 Arc resistance 49
Figure 5-6 Hot-wire-ignition test 50

Table 5-1 ASTM D 495 test results 49

Table 5-2 PLC values for CTI 49
Table 5-3 PLC values for HWI 50
Table 5-4 PLC values for HAI 50
Table 5-5 PLC values for HVTR 50

Chapter 6

Figure 6-1 Time-to-fracture curves 52

Figure 6-2 Multi-strain fixtures 53
Figure 6-3 Impact strength of polycarbonate after outdoor exposure 54
Figure 6-4 Gas permeability 55


A compressive set, 29 F
abrasion, 32, 34 compressive strength, 28 fading, 54
acidity, 65, 66 condensation polymerization, 5, 6 falling dart impact, 32
addition polymerization, 5 copolymers, 10 fatigue, 38, 39
additives, 12 cost considerations, 69 fiber orientation, 39
aesthetics, 73 crazing, 37, 38 fiber reinforcements, 8
agencies, 73 cream time, 66 fillers, 10, 11
amine equivalent, 65 creep, 14, 15, 35, 36 flame retardants, 12
amorphous polymers, 9 critical thickness, 30, 31 flammability, 57, 58, 59
antioxidants, 12 crystalline melt temperature, 8 flash point, 59
apparent core density, 56 crystalline structures, 8 flexural creep, 36
apparent modulus, 36 crystallinity, 8 flexural modulus, 7, 27
apparent viscosity, 61 CTI, 49 flexural properties, 21, 27, 28
appearance, 73 cut-growth resistance, 28 flexural stress, 21
arc resistance, 48, 49 flexural test, 26
D flow properties, 60-63
B deflection temperature under load (DTUL), 40, 41 flow stress, 19
blends, 9, 10 density, 56 foamed polyurethane systems, 7, 8
blowing agent, 7, 12 design assistance, 75 Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 73, 76
break point, 24 dielectric constant, 48 free-rise density, 67
Brookfield viscometer, 62 dielectric strength, 47
Brookfield viscosity, 62 dissipation factor, 48 G
dry-heat aging, 52 gamma sterilization, 71
C drying, 17 Gardner impact, 32
CAMPUS, 72 DTUL, 40, 41 gas permeability, 55
capillary viscometer, 61 Durometer, 32 gel time, 67
catalysts, 12 dyes, 12 Generic Temperature Index (GTI), 42
chalking, 54 dynamic friction, 34 glass transition temperature, 8
Charpy impact, 30 dynamic fatigue loading, 39 glycolysis, 18
chemical exposure, 22 GTI, 42
chemical resistance, 70 E
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), 12 elastic behavior, 13 H
CLTE, 41 elastic limit, 24 Haake-Hoeppler falling ball
coefficient of friction, 34 elastomeric polyurethane, 7 viscometer, 61, 62
coefficient of linear elastomers, 10 HAI, 50
thermal expansion (CLTE), 41 elongation at break, 24, 26 hardness properties, 32, 33
color shift, 22 elongation at yield, 24, 26 hardness scales, 33
combustion modifiers, 12 embrittlement, 54 haze, 57
comparative tracking index (CTI), 49 environmental conditions, 70 HDT, 40
compression tester, 28 heat distortion temperatures (HDT), 40
compressive modulus, 28 heat sag, 45
compressive properties, 28 high-current arc ingition (HAI), 50

high-temperature sag, 45 N Ross Flexing Machine, 27, 28
high-voltage arc-tracking rate (HVTR), 50 National Sanitation Foundation Testing rotary viscosity, 62
horizontal burn test, 59 Laboratory, Inc. (NSF), 74, 76 RTI, 42
horizontal flame tests, 58 NCO percent, 65
hot wire ignition (HWI), 50 notch sensitivity, 30, 31 S
humid aging, 52 safety factors, 23
HVTR, 50 O safety margins, 23
HWI, 50 open/closed cell testing, 44 scratch resistance, 34
hydrolysis, 21, 51 open-cup foam test, 66 Setafalsh closed-cup test, 59
hydrolytic degradation, 21, 51 orientation, 20 shear modulus, 43
hydroxyl number, 64 oxygen index, 57 shear rates, 61
oxygen index test, 57 shear strength, 29
I short-term mechanical data, 23
impact properties, 29, 31, 32 P short-term mechanical properties, 23-34
impact strength, 29 part removal, 12 shrinkage, 11, 20, 60
injection force, 9 pendulum impact tester, 30 skin thickness, 17
instrumented impact, 32 Pensky-Martens closed-cup test, 59 S-N curves, 39
isochronous stress-strain curves, 36, 37 Performance Level Category (PLC), 48-50 solid polyurethane, 8
isocyanate viscosity, 62 pigments, 12 specific gravity, 56
Izod impact, 30 PLC, 48, 49 specific heat, 42
Izod impact strength, 31 Poissons ratio, 27 specific volume, 56
polyol viscosity, 62 spiral flow, 63
K polymerization, 5 spiral flow lengths, 63
K-factor, 42 polymers, 5 spiral-flow mold, 63
Karl-Fischer (K-F) reagent, 66 post-mold shrinkage, 11 static friction, 34
knit lines, 18 processing, 17, 72 steam autoclave, 52
proportional limit, 24 strain, 13
L prototype testing, 74 strain limit, 53
loading rate, 16 strain rate, 16
long-term mechanical properties, 35-39 R stress, 13
luminous transmittance, 57 radiation, 71 stress concentrators, 29, 32
recovery, 15, 16, 35, 36 stress-crack, 53
M recycling, 17, 18 stress relaxation, 15, 37
mechanical damping, 43 refractive index, 57 stress-strain behavior, 24, 25
melt flow rate, 10, 62, 63 regrind, 17, 76, 77 stress-strain curves, 24
melt strength, 62 reinforcements, 10 structural composite polyurethane, 8
military (MIL), 73 relative temperature index (RTI), 42 surface cracking, 54
mold shrinkage, 11, 60 release agents, 12 surface resistivity, 47
moldability, 72 residual stress, 19 systems approach, 74
molded-in stresses, 11, 19, 29 rigid polyurethane, 7
molecular weight, 10, 21 RIM polyurethane, 7
multi-strain fixtures, 53 Rockwell hardness, 32, 33

Taber abrader, 34 vertical burn test, 58, 59
tack-free time, 67 vertical-flame tests, 58
tear resistance, 29 Vicat softening, 42
technical support, 75 Vicat softening temperature, 42, 43
temperature, 70 viscoelasticity, 13, 14
tensile adhesion, 24 viscosity, 10, 60
tensile creep, 36 viscosity curves, 61
tensile impact, 31, 32 viscosity modifiers, 12
tensile modulus, 25, 31 viscous behavior, 13, 14
tensile properties, 23-25 Voight-Maxwell, 13, 14
tensile strength, 24 volume resistivity, 46
tensile stress, 24 volume-resistivity test, 47
tensile stress at break, 26
tensile stress at yield, 25 W
tensile test, 25 wall thicknesses, 10
terpolymers, 10 warp, 11
thermal aging, 52 water absorption, 21, 51
thermal conductivity, 41, 42 water contents, 21
thermal insulation, 44 water, weight percent of, 67
thermal transmission properties, 44 wear resistance, 32
thermoplastics, 6 weather resistance, 71
thermosets, 6 weatherability, 54
time-to-fracture curves, 52 weathering, 22
torsional pendulum test, 43 weld line, 18
transparent plastics, 9
U yield point, 24
UL Relative Temperature Index, 42
ultimate elongation, 24, 26
ultimate flexural stress, 27
ultimate strength, 26
ultraviolet (UV) radiation, 22, 54
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), 73
United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA), 74, 76
UV exposure, 71
UV stabilizers, 12

Based on Ascending ISO Test Number

Typical Properties for ISO/IEC SI ASTM U.S.

Natural Resins Test Method Units Test Method Units

Water Uptake (Immersion): Saturation @ 23C ISO 62:1980 % D 570 %

Water Uptake (Immersion): Saturation @ 23C/50% RH ISO 62:1980 % D 570 %
Deflection Temperature Under Load
(Unannealed): 1.80-MPa Load ISO 75-1:1993 C D 648 F
Deflection Temperature Under Load
(Unannealed): 0.45-MPa Load ISO 75-2:1993 C D 648 F
Deflection Temperature Under Load
(Unannealed): 8.00-MPa Load ISO 75-3:1993 C D 648 F
Flexural Stress @ 5% Strain ISO 178:1992 MPa D 790 lb/in2
Flexural Modulus ISO 178:1991 MPa D 790 lb/in2
Impact Resistance, Charpy, Unnotched, 23F ISO 179-1eU:1993 kJ/m2 D 256 ftlb/in2
Impact Resistance, Charpy, Unnotched, 30C ISO 179-1eU:1993 kJ/m2 D 256 ftlb/in2
Impact Resistance, Charpy, Notched, 23F ISO 179-1eA:1993 kJ/m2 D 4812 ftlb/in2
Impact Resistance, Charpy, Notched, 30C ISO 179-1eA:1993 kJ/m2 D 4812 ftlb/in2
Impact Resistance, Izod, Unnotched, 23F ISO 180-1eC:1993 J/m D 256 ftlb/in
Impact Resistance, Izod, Unnotched, 30C ISO 180-1eC:1993 J/m D 256 ftlb/in
Impact Resistance, Izod, Notched, 23F ISO 180-1eA:1993 J/m D 256 ftlb/in
Impact Resistance, Izod, Notched, 30C ISO 180-1eA:1993 J/m D 256 ftlb/in
Vicat Softening Temperature: Rate A [10N] ISO 306:1994 C D 1525 F
Vicat Softening Temperature: Rate B [50N] ISO 306:1994 C D 1525 F
Tensile Modulus ISO 527-1 & -2:1993 MPa D 638 lb/in2x103
Tensile Stress at Yield ISO 527-1 & -2:1993 MPa D 638 lb/in2
Tensile Strain/Elongation at Yield ISO 527-1 & -2:1993 % D 638 %
Tensile Strain/Elongation at Break ISO 527-1 & -2:1993 % D 638 %
Tensile Stress at 50% Elongation ISO 527-1 & -2:1993 MPa D 638 lb/in2
Tensile Stress at Break ISO 527-1 & -2:1993 MPa D 638 lb/in2x103
Tensile Strain/Elongation at Break ISO 527-1 & -2:1993 % D 638 %
Hardness, Shore ISO 868:1985 Scale-Value D 2240 Scale-Value
Tensile Creep Modulus @ 1 hr ISO 899-1:1993 MPa D 638 lb/in2x103
Tensile Creep Modulus @ 1000 hr ISO 899-1:1993 MPa D 638 lb/in2x103
Melt Flow/Volume Rate @ xxxC/x.x-kg Load ISO 1133:1991 ml/10 min D 1238 ml/10 min
Density ISO 1183:1987 g/cm2 D 792 lb/in3
Based on Ascending ISO Test Number continued

Typical Properties for ISO/IEC SI ASTM U.S.

Natural Resins Test Method Units Test Method Units

Flammability UL94 Flame Class, 1.6 mm Thick Specimen ISO 1210:1992 Rating (UL94) Rating
Flammability UL94 Flame Class, 6.2 mm Thick Specimen ISO 1210:1992 Rating (UL94) Rating
Hardness, Ball Indentation ISO 2039-1:1987 Scale-Value D 785 Scale-Value
Hardness, Rockwell ISO 2039-2:1987 Scale-Value D 785 Scale-Value
Molding Shrinkage, Parallel ISO 2557:1989 % D 955 in/in
Molding Shrinkage, Normal ISO 2557:1989 % D 955 in/in
Melting Point ISO 3146:1985 C D 1525 F
Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion, Parallel ISO 3167:1992 1/K D 696 in/in/F
Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion, Normal ISO 3167:1992 1/K D 696 in/in/F
Limiting Oxygen Index ISO 4589:1984 % D 2863 %
Flexural Creep Modulus @ 1 hr ISO 6602-1:1993 MPa D 638 lb/in2x103
Flexural Creep Modulus @ 1000 hr ISO 6602-1:1993 MPa D 638 lb/in2x103
Impact, Multiaxial @ 23F ISO 6603-1:1989 mm D 3763 ftlb/in
Impact, Multiaxial, Instrumented @ 23F ISO 6603-2:1989 J D 3763 ftlb/in
Tensile Impact Strength, Double-Notched ISO 8256:1991 kJ/m2 D 1822 ftlb/in2
Flammability UL94-5V Flame Class,
3.0 mm Thick Specimen ISO 10351:1994 Rating (UL94) Rating
Flammability UL94-5V Flame Class,
6.2 mm Thick Specimen ISO 10351:1994 Rating (UL94) Rating
Volume Resistivity (Tinfoil Electrodes) IEC 93:1980 ohmcm D 257 ohmcm
Surface Resistivity IEC 93 ohm D 257 ohm
Comparative Tracking Index [CTI] IEC 112:1979 Steps D 3638 Steps
Dielectric Strength (Short Time Under Oil @ 73F) IEC 243-1:1988 kV/mm D 149 V/mil
Relative Permittivity/Dielectric Constant
(Tinfoil Electrodes): 100 Hz IEC 250 D 150
Relative Permittivity/Dielectric Constant
(Tinfoil Electrodes): 1 MHz IEC 250 D 150
Dissipation Factor (Tinfoil Electrodes): 100 Hz IEC 250 E-4 D 150
Dissipation Factor (Tinfoil Electrodes): 1 MHz IEC 250 E-4 D 150
Glass Transition Temperature IEC 1006 C D 3418 F
Relative Temperature Index, Electrical (UL746B) C (UL746B) C
Relative Temperature Index, Mechanical with Impact (UL746B) C (UL746B) C
Relative Temperature Index, Mechanical without Impact (UL746B) C (UL746B) C

Flammability results are based on small-scale laboratory tests for comparison purposes only and do not necessarily represent the hazard presented
by this or any other material under actual fire conditions.
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