Understanding Polymer Durability in Critical Applications

Shropshire, UK


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The role of plastic and rubber materials in engineering applications is becoming more demanding:

  • Light weighting and metal replacement puts higher stress on polymers.
  • Extreme temperatures and chemical environments can also have dramatic effects on the long term behaviour of the materials.

This course provides an overview of  the long-term properties of plastics  and rubber and how to take account of this behaviour in design and testing.

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Gain CPD credits

Smithers is an IOM3 Quality Assured training provider and our courses are approved towards professional development.

Learning outcomes

  • A basic understanding of long term behaviour of plastics and rubber
  • An appreciation of how service conditions can affect material behaviour
  • Knowledge of how to effectively test materials to determine long-term properties
  • The use of acceleration techniques to predict the expected service life of the material and component
  • Improved confidence in generation and use of design data

Course content

Introduction to polymer types and their behaviour

  • Understand how polymer structure affects the properties of the material and the differences between rubbers and plastics.

Long-term behaviour and the effects on durability

  • Overview of various mechanisms responsible for loss of performance.
  • Effects such as viscoelasticity; chemical and thermal ageing; combination effects such as ESC.

Evaluation of long-term durability

  • Review of methods used to test and evaluate the long-term performance of plastics and rubbers.
  • Typical ageing techniques and testing methods including creep, relaxation, fatigue along with chemical degradation techniques.

Life prediction and accelerated testing
Since real-life testing is impractical due to the long timescales required, it is common that accelerated methods are used:

  • Introduction to methodologies used to accelerate long-term testing along with life prediction methods such as Arrhenius and time-temperature superposition.
  • How to use accelerated material test data for design purposes and for validation of accelerated product tests.

Plastic and rubber durability examples

  • Example case studies of designing with long term properties in mind and the generating of relevant accelerated test data.

Who will benefit?

This course will benefit anyone looking to design or develop plastic and rubber components that will be operating in arduous conditions during their service life. Understanding long-term data generation and its effective use will give increased confidence in product performance and minimise the risk of failure.

Presenter information

This course is presented by: You can read more about our presenters by clicking on their expert profiles.

What our delegates say

"I enjoyed it and learnt a lot about durability and failures of plastics"
Sam Dainton (Raymarine)

"Lots of technical detail but informative"
Darren Boden (Raymarine)

Questions and queries

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Understanding Polymer Durability in Critical Applications

Length 1 day