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In this installment we discuss the discovery of Bakelite, the first truly synthetic polymer, known today as phenolic: Tracing the History of Polymeric Materials. Feb 1, 2021 1360
PART 3: Tracing the History of Polymeric Materials: In this series we delve into a discerning look back into the history of our industry and how we all got here. Jan 1, 2021 1416
PART 2: Tracing the History of Polymeric Materials: The invention of Celluloid got the ball rolling for future innovations in materials and processing. Dec 1, 2020 1367
A Brief History Lesson on Materials: In this series we'll delve into a discerning look back into the history of our industry and how we all got here. Nov 1, 2020 1307
PART 7 OF 7: Annealing Tips for Polyamide-imide. Oct 1, 2020 1450
PART 6 of 7: Annealing Tips for Thermoplastic Polyurethanes: TPUs form physical, rather than chemical, crosslinks that can be broken by reheating. Formation of these crosslinks can be sped up by annealing, which improves a variety of properties. Sep 1, 2020 1294
PART 5: Annealing Tips for Crosslinked Polymers: As with semi-crystalline thermoplastics, annealing can be used in thermosetting polymers to obtain a level of crosslinking that may not be possible within the molding cycle. Aug 1, 2020 1272
Annealing Tips for Semi-Crystalline Polymers: PART 4. Jul 1, 2020 1317
Annealing Tips for Semicrystalline Polymers: PART 3. Jun 1, 2020 1488
PART 2: Annealing Tips for Amorphous Polymers. May 1, 2020 1384
PART 1: What Annealing Can Do for Your Process: Relatively rapid cooling rates in processing introduce internal stress. If functional problems in use result, annealing may draw down the stress to levels that may not be achievable during processing. Apr 1, 2020 1043
The Importance of Melt & Mold Temperature: Molders should realize how significantly process conditions can influence the final properties of the part. Mar 1, 2020 1051
PART 6: Polyethylene Fundamentals: Part 6 of 6. Feb 1, 2020 1265
Fundamentals of Polyethylene: How the development of new catalysts--notably metallocenes--paved the way for the development of material grades never before possible. Jan 1, 2020 1257
Polyethylene Fundamentals: Injection molders of small fuel tanks learned the hard way that a very small difference in density--0.6%--could make a large difference in PE stress-crack resistance. Dec 1, 2019 1394
Fundamentals of Polyethylene: PE parts can fail when an inappropriate density is selected. Let's look at some examples and examine what happened and why. Nov 1, 2019 1321
The Fundamentals of Polyethylene. Oct 1, 2019 1364
PART 1: The Fundamentals of Polyethylene. Sep 1, 2019 1276
The Importance of Mold Temperature When Processing Polycarbonate. Aug 1, 2019 1298
PART 1: The Importance of Mold Temperature When Processing Polycarbonate: An often overlooked factor in optimizing the ductility of PC is the rate at which the polymer is cooled in the mold. Jul 1, 2019 1352
PART 5: Heat Deflection Temperature vs. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis: In the final part of this five-installment series, we bring DMA to a practical level using the results for glass-filled nylon. May 1, 2019 1310
PART 4: Heat Deflection Temperature Vs. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis: The presentation of DMA data can sometimes frustrate users and discourage its adoption. Those unfamiliar with DMA should insist on receiving data relevant to the manner in which the part they are developing will be used. Apr 1, 2019 1574
Heat Deflection Temperature vs. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis. Mar 1, 2019 1341
PART 2: Heat Deflection Temperature vs. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis: Here's a real-world example of a part failure demonstrating why DMA curves have more value than single-point data generated by HDT. Feb 1, 2019 1586
PART 1: Heat Deflection Temperature vs. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis. Jan 1, 2019 1333
PART 11: A Processor's Most Important Job: It's the processor's job to ensure molded parts contain enough stabilizer to perform to the expectations of the end use. Dec 1, 2018 1266
PART 10: A Processor's Most Important Job. Nov 1, 2018 1306
Part 9: A Processor's Most Important Job: How to establish molding conditions that minimize internal stress in a part. Oct 1, 2018 1263
A Processor's Most Important Job: How processing adjustments can control molded-in stress: PART 8. Sep 1, 2018 1355
A Processor's Most Important Job: PART 7. Aug 1, 2018 1172
PART 6: A Processor's Most Important Job: The importance of mold temperature to the development of the desired polymer crystalline structure becomes absolutely crucial in the case of high-performance materials. Jun 1, 2018 1244
A Processor's Most Important Job. May 1, 2018 1506
A Processor's Most Important Job: PART 4. Apr 1, 2018 1365
A Processor's Most Important Job: PART 3. Mar 1, 2018 1501
A Processor's Most Important Job: PART 2: Process conditions help determine the difference between the maximum degree of crystallinity that can be achieved in a polymer and the degree that is present in a molded part. Feb 1, 2018 1319
PART 1: A Processor's Most Important Job: Many processors don't realize that preserving material characteristics is crucial to product success and failure. The focus here is on molecular weight. Jan 1, 2018 1271
PART 6: Cycle Time: Science vs. Rules of Thumb. Dec 1, 2017 1249
Cycle Time: Science vs. Rules of Thumb: Let's examine the behavior of semi-crystalline materials that never reach their glass-transition temperature as they cool: PART 5. Nov 1, 2017 1085
PART 4: Cycle Time: Science vs. Rules of Thumb. Oct 1, 2017 1282
Part 3 cycle time: science vs. rules of thumb: to properly calculate cycle time, you need to understand how the modulus of a polymer increases as it cools in the mold. Sep 1, 2017 1366
Cycle time: science vs. rules of thumb: part 2. Aug 1, 2017 1400
Part 1: cycle time: science vs. rules of thumb. Jun 1, 2017 1374
Part 4: the need for generalists. May 1, 2017 1459
Part 3 the need for generalists. Apr 1, 2017 1284
Part 1: the need for generalists. Jan 1, 2017 1359
Finding root causes of a material problem: more often than not, product failure is not due to a single issue but to the interaction between several factors. Dec 1, 2016 1267
Part 3: The importance of oxidative stability in polyolefins: tools and methods for determining oxidative stability can be useful, but even more useful if constructed to yield the information you really need. Nov 1, 2016 1247
Part 2: the importance of oxidative stability in polyolefins: the DSC test can do a reasonably good job of capturing the comparative behavior of materials that use similar antioxidant chemistries. Oct 1, 2016 1213
Part 1: The importance of oxidative stability in polyolefins: oxidation is a process that causes these materials to deteriorate overtime and can ambush end users. Sep 1, 2016 1253
Understanding the 'science' of color: and as with all sciences, there are fundamentals that must be considered to do color right. Here's a helpful start. Sep 1, 2016 2841
Understanding strain-rate sensitivity in polymers. Aug 1, 2016 1037
Thermoplastic urethanes: why annealing makes a big difference: under the right conditions, annealing can drive TPU performance to a greater level than can be achieved at room temperature. Jun 1, 2016 978
The problems with single-point data: Part 12 of 12. May 1, 2016 1120
The problems with single-point data: Part II. Apr 1, 2016 1135
Part 10: the problems with single-point data: you can predict creep performance of a material overtime at a particular temperature by examining how its modulus changes over a range of temperatures. Mar 1, 2016 1344
Part 9: the problems with single-point data. Feb 1, 2016 1416
Part 8: the problems with single-point data. Jan 1, 2016 1320
Part 7: The problems with single-point data: the industry can choose between continuing to perform DTUL tests that provide single points that are part of a curve never seen, or perform the test that provides the entire curve. Dec 1, 2015 1338
Part 6: problems with single-point data: data sheets can be limited in the information they provide on how the material performs at elevated temperatures. Nov 1, 2015 1331
Impact testing: the problems with single-point data: knowledge of test conditions and graphical data showing the course of the impact event can help provide engineers and designers with the information they need to make informed choices about material toughness. Oct 1, 2015 1243
The problems with single-point data: in plastics, notched Izod and Charpy test results have been complicated by the way they are reported. Sep 1, 2015 1340
Part three: the problems with single-point data: polymer properties are not constant as a function of temperature, and even small temperature changes can affect properties. Aug 1, 2015 1018
Part two: the problems with single-point data. Jul 1, 2015 1302
The problems with single-point data: Part 1. Jun 1, 2015 1171
The trouble with data sheets: data sheets are routinely relied upon, yet the data they provide is limited in scope and can lead to incorrect conclusions. May 1, 2015 1310
Analyzing filler content: the process is considered simple. But things aren't always as they seem. Apr 1, 2015 1293
Part 2: analysis gone wrong: but even misinterpreted tests can yield an approximation of the real composition of the material. Mar 1, 2015 1274
Part 1: Analysis gone wrong. Feb 1, 2015 1435
Part 1: the mystery of physical aging. Jan 1, 2015 1401
Part 2: the mystery of physical aging: dimensional and property changes depend on the size of the part, molecular weight of the resin, and processing conditions. Dec 1, 2014 1355
The mystery of physical aging: Part 1. Nov 1, 2014 1288
Part 2: Don't guess your way through root cause analysis. Oct 1, 2014 1340
PART 1: Don't guess your way through root cause analysis. Sep 1, 2014 1389
Part 2: Performance in polyethylene: density matters: remembering the case of the failed gas tanks. Aug 1, 2014 1208
Performance in polyethylene: density matters: Part 1. Jul 1, 2014 1326
Melt flow rate testing--part 10. May 1, 2014 1234
Melt flow rate testing--part 9. Apr 1, 2014 1205
Melt flow rate testing--part 5. Dec 1, 2013 1161
Melt flow rate testing--part 4. Nov 1, 2013 1190
Melt flow rate testing part 3. Oct 1, 2013 1199
Melt flow rate testing--Part 2. Sep 1, 2013 1185
Melt flow rate testing--part 1. Jul 1, 2013 1133
Dimensional stability after molding--part 5. May 1, 2013 1168
Dimensional stability after molding--part 3: amorphous polymers are generally considered to be a molder's insurance policy against the problems of dimensional stability. Mar 1, 2013 1022
Dimensional stability after molding--part 2. Feb 1, 2013 1258
Dimensional stability after molding: part 1. Jan 1, 2013 1163
Is it glass filled or glass reinforced? Dec 1, 2012 1267
PBT and PET polyester: the difference crystallinity makes. Oct 1, 2012 1265
Use MFR cautiously with filled materials. Aug 1, 2012 1264
Density & molecular weight in polyethylene. Jun 1, 2012 1193
Part 1: working with color concentrates. Feb 1, 2012 1201
The strain rate effect: last month we briefly discussed the influence of time as the second important factor in the mechanical response of polymers. The flip side of time is strain rate. Oct 1, 2011 1262

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