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ETLS 771 Advanced Engineering Materials: Polymer Materials Section (due by next class)

Homework Set #1

Problem #1: Condensation Polymerization and Degree of Polymerization

A Nylon 66 Glass Filled automotive manifold was injection molded and

distributed in the field. The parts were shown to be failing prematurely
by cracking at the bolt holes of the attachment points (see left).
Manufacturing run data from the injection molding house suggests that
the dryer feeding that injection molding machine press may have been
malfunctioning in the time period that these parts were processed.
Explain why the parts may be cracking?

The dryer feeding indicated as being defective and the manifold injection molded below the glass
transition temperature. A brittle polymer and moisture on the bolt areas could induce shear stress
in the part causing it to crack and malfunction.

Problem #2: Glass Transition Temperature and Molecular Motion

List the order of the glass transition temperatures for polyethylene, polypropylene,
polyvinyl chloride, and polystyrene. PE (-80), PP (-20), PVC (85), PS (100).


a) Define the glass transition temperature in polymer materials.

The glass transition takes place in amorphous and semi-crystalline polymers with
decreasing in motion of large sections of molecular chains at low temperature. At low
temperature, the glass transition relates to the gradual transformation from a liquid to
a rubbery material, and to a rigid solid state.

b) Describe the reason for this vast range of glass temperatures among these 4 materials.
The molecules that are frozen below their Tg experience rotational and transitional
motion above a their perspective glass temperature. The reason for this is that several
factors depend on the bulky side group, polar group, double bonds and aromatic
groups in the backbone that influence chain mobility.

Problem #3: Specific Volume thru the Melting Point and Mold Shrinkage

One of the major problems with making high tolerance parts out of plastics is a phenomenon
called mold shrinkage. At high processing temperatures, the liquid plastic is injected into a
significantly cooler mold cavity. The part is cooled rapidly to below its Heat Deflection
Temperature before the mold opens and pins eject the part from the mold. Materials with high
mold shrinkage often warp when released from the mold or if the mold is not designed properly
have improper tolerances.
Using the Design Tips section from the PW Resin Profiles Handout, describe the major reasons
why materials have high mold shrinkage. What are good mold shrinkage values for producing
high tolerance parts. Why would the fillers such as 20-30% glass beads or fibers reduce mold

1. Major reason for materials to have high mold shrinkage

Shorter cooling time
Higher mold temperature
Product thickness
Increased resin melting temperature
More plasticizer in resin
Slow injection speed

2. Mold shrinkage values of 0.6-0.7% must be taken into account, but these can be cut in half
with the addition of glass fiber. The 24 hour water absorption rates vary considerably by
polymer, with PSU the lowest at 0.2-0.3%, and polyphony sulfone the highest at 0.5%

3. Fillers such as 20-30% glass beads or fibers reduce mold shrinkage because
Creep resistance improvement increases stiffness
Improve tensile strength, & abrasion resistance, toughness, & reduced cost
Reduce glass transition temperature Tg below room temperature
Problem #4: Tensile Testing

The data to the left is room

temperature ASTM 638
tensile testing on common
polymer materials. Using
the data in this figure
combined with the
information in Table 15.1
Handout answer the
following questions.

a. What is your best guess as to the nature of Sample E among materials listed in Table
15.1? Explain your reasoning.
I would guess that Sample E is polypropylene (PP) due to its yield strength is shown in
table 15.1 as 31.0-3.7 MPa, 4.5-5.4) ksi which correlates with its corresponding stress
unit depicted in Table 15.1

b. Provide an estimate of the Tensile Modulus, Tensile Strength, Yield Strength, and
Elongation at Break for Sample D.

Polymer Tensile Modulus Tensile Strength Yield Strength Elongation

[Gpa(ksi)] [Mpa(ksi)] [Mpa(ksi)] at break (%)
Sample D 2.38 (345) 62.8-72.4 (9.1-10.5) 62.1(9.0) 110-150

c. Samples B and C are Nylon 66 and Polycarbonate. Identify which is sample B and why?
Sample B is Polycarbonate
Problem #5 Tacticity
Examine Figure 15.8 in the handout.

a. Why would the modulus of the polystyrene Sample A be higher than that of polystyrene
Samples C at 50 degrees C?
Polystyrene sample A is crystalline isotactic polystyrene whereas sample C is
Crystalline polymers are denser than amorphous polymers thus requires higher
An amorphous polymer has no crystalline and restricted by cross-linking due to force
between the chains are weak.

b. What is the definition of isotactic and atactic, how do you think this influences the
formation of crystallinity?
According to our readings:
Isotactic is all R groups on same side of chain

Whereas, Atactic is R groups randomly structured.

Isotactic polymers crystallize easily whereas atactic polymers are difficult to crystallize