Temperature, Chemicals, Radiation, and Time

The Four Horsemen of the Plastic Apocalypse

The following is an excerpt from the Sep 18, 2015 online edition of Plastics Today, a UBM Canon publication.

September is often a month when we think about performance. We have third-quarter financial results. In the United States, we have the pennant race in baseball, and also the start of the football season. Fans will spend hours debating the merits of their fantasy football team, as they try to predict performance for the coming months.

For those of us involved in new product development, September is often the month when new projects get kicked off. As product specifications are being developed, performance criteria are also being evaluated. When it comes to products made from thermoplastic materials, the actual in-use performance depends not only on the design of the product, but on the material that is being used. Furthermore, how that material performs depends on the conditions under which it is used. The end-use conditions can usually be grouped into four main areas: temperature, chemicals, radiation and time. Exposure to any of these conditions – or to a combination of them – can wreak havoc on the performance of thermoplastics. I like to call these conditions, The Four Horsemen of the Plastic Apocalypse.

The Four Horsemen of the Plastic Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of the Plastic Apocalypse

To read the full article, please click here to continue to Plastics Today.


thermoplastic material selection
Eric’s newest book, Thermoplastic Material Selection: A Practical Guide, was published in May of 2105 by Elsevier, and is available from Amazon. Some of the ideas explored in the book were used to create an article for Plastics Today. The excerpt above is re-printed here with permission.