Polymer Knowledge Base

Hardie Polymers have been working with plastics since 1960. In that time we have amassed a wealth of knowledge on how polymers are used in different industrial sectors. The Hardies Knowledge Base is to inform the next generation of material processors and engineers.

Designing with Plastics

Designing with Plastics

Firstly, designing with plastics can be addressed under four inter-related headings: Function: Will it do the intended job? For how long? Form: Does it have the shape to: Do the function economically? Will it please the user? Does it suit …

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Polymer manufacturing processes

Introduction to Polymer Manufacturing Processes The conversion of raw polymers into finished products involves a series of polymer manufacturing processes. The first step consists of mixing additives into the polymer to achieve the required modification to the properties of the …

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Introduction to Polymers

Introduction to Polymer Classification The family of plastics materials is closely related to two other important families of manufacturing materials, textile fibres and elastomers (rubber), in that they are all based on carbon (organic materials) and they consist of extremely …

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Polymer Articles

What gives Moulders a Warped View on Life?

Warping is one of the most frustrating injection moulding faults. This is because it does not always appear immediately, the causes are complex and prevention is difficult. It is easy to say that the cause is differential shrinkage. However, the …

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How to A-Void that Sinking Feeling

A previous knowledge base article addressed mould shrinkage. We recognised mould shrinkage (the difference between the mould cavity dimensions and the final dimensions of the moulding) depends on the material (amorphous v semi-crystalline; filled v unfilled) and also on the …

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Why is Mould Shrinkage the Source of so many Disputes?

Mould Shrinkage? Consider when thermoplastic melt in a mould cavity cools from processing temperature to room temperature. Density increases and volume contracts by around 9 %, equivalent to 3 % shrinkage on linear dimensions.  With semi-crystalline thermoplastics, because of the …

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Colour your thinking on the Optical Properties of Thermoplastics

This article on the Optical Properties of Thermoplastics was written by Dr.Charlie Geddes for Hardie Polymers. In a previous blog we looked at what determines transparency in thermoplastics but what about colour? Very few commercial polymers have chemical groups (chromophores) which …

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How Easy is it to See Through the Optical Properties of Thermoplastics?

Transparency in thermoplastics is a property that differentiates them from many other manufacturing materials. This includes metals, ceramics and wood, and, in some cases surpasses glass.  But not all thermoplastics offer good transparency. In semi-crystalline thermoplastics, because of the different …

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How can a thermoplastic elastomer be both thermoplastic and elastomer ?

Thermoplastic elastomer? The class of polymers known as thermoplastic rubbers (TPR), or thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), describes pretty well what it says.  As thermoplastics these materials soften with heat. They can be melt processed, by extrusion or injection moulding, but regain …

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Understanding the causes of silvering in injection mouldings .

Silvering. Water is essential for human and plant life but can prove inconvenient for thermoplastics.  Some materials (polyethylene and polypropylene) are fairly immune. However, others (polyesters, polyamides and polycarbonate) can, in service or storage, absorb water in varying amounts (up …

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Has PVC weathered the negative attitudes of Environmentalists ?

A common observation is “If PVC appeared on the market now, it would be rejected” It is true that the basic poly(vinyl chloride), PVC, is unacceptably unstable to processing temperatures and to uv light. This results in discolouration in both …

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Does FR imply fire resistance?

  Does FR imply fire resistance? When we see ‘FR’ in a plastics grade coding we can sometimes be lulled into believing we have a material that is ‘fire resistant’.  Of course the bottom line is that, because all plastics …

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Looking for colour stability in plastics for outdoor exposure ?

When it comes to outdoor exposure, ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) struggles a bit because the butadiene in the rubbery phase is prone to oxidation and yellowing on exposure to uv light, particularly after heat ageing.  This makes it difficult to maintain brilliant …

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