Breaking the mold

Jul 11, 2011
pvT testing kits can help improve the injection molding process used to make specialised polymers and everyday plastic items such as CDs. Credit: iStockphoto

National Physical Laboratory, after over nine years of extensive research, has developed a world-leading pvT (pressure-volume-temperature) and thermal conductivity test kit that can be used to help improve the design and processing of plastics.

The equipment can measure the thermo-physical properties of polymers and can help improve the injection molding process by allowing designers to find the exact pvT (pressure - volume - temperature) and shrinkage properties of a material. Although plastics are the main material tested, other more unusual materials such as and even have also been analyzed.

The pvT instrument operates at pressures ranging from 200 bar to 2500 bar, and is the only equipment in the world that can test materials at ultra fast cooling rates of up to 280 °C/min and down to temperatures approaching −100 °C. NPL found that at higher pressures polymers can conduct heat up to 20% more efficiently, leading to faster cooling rates and shorter cycle times.

Research on polymers such as HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) is vital to manufacturers and it was found that they can increase their production rates and gain a higher profit by filling a  with glass - as this cools faster, reducing the time that the polymer needs to stay in the mould. The less time the polymer stays in the mould, the faster the output rate of products.

pvT testing kits are essential for the improvement in design and processing of ubiquitous, everyday and for more specialised polymers with advanced applications. NPL is the only laboratory where manufacturers can send materials for testing using this advanced equipment and this work has improved the reliability and accuracy of measuring pvT data.

Explore further: Machine learning algorithm makes impossible screening of advanced materials possible

More information: www.npl.co.uk/science-technolo… ials-areas/polymers/

Provided by National Physical Laboratory

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Carbon Nanotubes for State-of-the-art Packaging

Jul 12, 2004

Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc (CNI) and Kostat, Inc. today announced a joint development agreement to develop and commercialise conductive polymers for electronics module trays, carrier tapes and other electronics related ...

Researchers at UA developing next-gen conductive polymers

Dec 23, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Conductive polymers, while not quite wonder materials, have the potential for being so and University of Akron polymer scientists and polymer engineers are focused on developing the next generation ...

High-pressure chemistry in ultra small pressure cooker

Apr 13, 2007

Small, clever process technology is essential for the future, but is it possible? Dutch-sponsored researcher Fernando Benito López investigated the possibilities of the so-called lab-on-a-chip: microreactor chips in which ...

Recommended for you

A dye with tunable optical characteristics

Sep 12, 2014

Researchers from RIKEN and the University of Tokyo have developed an organic dye molecule with tunable light-absorption and color characteristics. This development promises to open the door to the creation ...

How salt causes buildings to crumble

Sep 11, 2014

Salt crystals are often responsible when buildings start to show signs of aging. Researchers from the Institute for Building Materials have studied salt damage in greater depth and can now predict weathering ...

Ridding the sea and land from toxic plastics fragments

Sep 11, 2014

Plastic products made of PVC, Polystyrene and other prominent plastics are flooding the market. They are a growing threat to the environment, as they are found in the sea or dumped in land fills. But in a ...

User comments : 0