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Does FR imply fire resistance?

When we see ‘FR‘ in a plastics grade coding, we can sometimes be lulled into believing we have a material that is ‘fire resistant.’ 

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What can imide links do that amide cannot?

Polymers with amide links have been around for some time but the close cousins, the imide links, are less well known. 

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What Does a Moulder Understand by the Term ‘Diesel Burning?’

In the early days, plastics moulders tended to apply descriptive terms to moulding faults, but these terms do not accurately indicate the root cause.

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Making the Most of Impact Testing

Falling weight impact tests can yield much more relevant information than single-point impact testing; however, they come with their own challenges. 

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Do Izod and Charpy Make the Appropriate Impact?

Cracking of plastics components under impact was a major blow to the plastics industry in the early days. Today it is still a challenge for designers to select thermoplastics that will stand up to impact […]

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Low-Cost Identification of Plastics

Low-cost identification of plastics is certainly desirable, but identifying an unknown plastic material can be an expensive exercise if you submit it for full chemical analysis.

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Thermoplastics and UV: Friend or Foe?

Radiation in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum is a bit of a mixed blessing for polymers.

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How to ‘Crystallise’ your Thoughts on Selecting a Thermoplastic

When faced with selecting a thermoplastic for a new component, I find it helpful to view potential materials in two groups …. amorphous (non-crystalline) and crystalline (strictly speaking semi-crystalline because it is unusual to get […]

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Is Solvent Resistance Predictable with Polymers?

To assess solvent resistance, first consider solvents spread out on a polarity scale. Non-polar solvents are at one end, such as paraffin, petrol and diesel. At the other ‘highly polar’ end we find alcohols and […]

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Sulphur: From the Underworld to Thermoplastics

In 1839, by inserting sulphur atoms as bridges between polymer chains, Charles Goodyear transformed Natural Rubber from an interesting curiosity into a superb engineering material that has had a huge impact on society.

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