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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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Can You Modify a Polymer Grade Safely?

One of the exciting attributes of polymers is that the properties of any polymer can be modified by tinkering with the basic molecular structure or incorporating a range of additives.  However, you have to be […]

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What do we Mean by the Heat Resistance of Thermoplastics?

In some applications heat resistance can mean the material’s ability to carry out its intended function at elevated temperatures for short periods.

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Is PTFE a Thermoset or a Thermoplastic?

Many assume that polytetrafluoroethylene is a thermoset because it seems unaffected by heat.

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Material Selection Process for See-Through Kettles Not Transparent

We like our see-through kettles and take them for granted but they have a punishing life cycle.  Over 10 years the kettle could undergo a total of 10,000 cycles. It is filled with cold water, […]

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Why does PPO have to be ‘Modified’?

Polymer scientists worked out that the molecular stiffness of the backbone of a polymer chain was the key to increasing the glass transition temperature (Tg) and hence rigidity at elevated temperatures.

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Let it Snow, Let it Snow…

Around this time of year, we see a lot of artificial snow.  A favourite trick of the special effects experts is to exploit an unusual acrylic polymer.

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Does the Coding for Polyamides Mean Anything to Designers and Processors?

Polyamides are macromolecules with repeating units linked by amide bonds.

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