Plastics are made using microscopic hydrocarbons, derived from petroleum or natural gas. These small molecules are attached to chains called polymers or resins. Various combinations of monomers produce resins with unique properties and characteristics. Plastic is a low-cost and durable material with multiple advantages. The plastic can be easily melted and molded into any shape. There are two categories of plastics; thermoplastic and thermoset:
- Thermoplastic, formed with polymers or macromolecules, is a flexible material that can be shaped into tools or components. This characteristic of plastic makes it recyclable and reusable. The properties of plastics are modified with some additives like wear resistance and color. The sheets, round bars, pipes and various other products are made using thermoplastic materials.
- Thermoset plastics are made of polymers and cannot be shaped. This type of plastic required higher temperatures and pressure.
The flexibility feature allows using plastic for various applications like electrical appliances, automotive, sports goods, packaging, food packaging, toys, etc. Plastic is a highly durable product as it has fast molding, good color absorption, low weight, flexibility, resistance to corrosion, thermal and electrical insulation, toughness, and endurance. The extensive use of plastics encourages to use Plastic Testing Instruments to perform testing procedures during all stages of manufacturing and development so that products can perform better for their intended purpose. The quality conscious companies or branded companies assure quality control and use internationally standardized methods like ASTM and ISO.
Testing Methods for Plastic Materials
The characteristics of plastics can be easily affected by the change in environmental factors. Therefore, the testing must be performed at high and low temperatures using the best quality plastic testing equipment as follows:
- The Environmental Chambers are used to test the plastic materials in extreme temperatures. These chambers replicate real weathering conditions.
- Tensile Testing is a standard test on plastics to determine the toughness, yield strength, modulus, elongation, etc. The test evaluates the bending properties of rigid and semi-rigid
- Hardness Testing is performed to measure the hardness of plastics, thermoplastic and many other materials like rubber and wood. Several hardness testers are available such as Shore Hardness Tester, IRHD Hardness Tester, etc., to check the hardness of rigid and non-rigid plastics.
- Charpy/IZOD Impact Tester determines the absorbed impact resistance and energy of plastic samples. The tool can identify the height loss of swinging pendulum precisely and evaluates the impact strength.
- Melt Flow Index Tester is an efficient testing device used to measure the mass flow rate (MFR) and melt volume flow rate of thermoplastic granules or raw materials.
- The Coefficient of Friction (COF) Tester is used to evaluate the friction properties of plastic film materials. The test determines the COF of static and kinetic friction of films.
- Tensile Tester determines the force properties, stretching, elongations of plastic films. The device measures the tensile property of plastic like heat sealing, peeling, deformation, etc.
- Color Matching Cabinet simulate various lighting conditions to analyze the color of the material independent of environment effects and artificial lights. The testing is performed to check the color consistency of plastic products.
- Carbon Black Content Apparatus is used to analyze the carbon black content in Plastics.
- Gloss meter is used to measure the gloss intensity of plastic sheets, films, files, etc.
The plastic testing instruments encourage the manufacturers of the plastic industry to test the quality of the material before manufacturing the final products. The quality is the priority and motto behind testing tools. Polish the quality of plastic materials and supply the durable products to the end users.