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LABORATORY REPORTS OF

FUNDAMENTALS OF POLYMER ENGINEERING

DEPARTMENT OF POLYMER AND PROCESS ENGINEERING

2nd SEMESTER

BATCH 2015-2019

Submitted to: Submitted By:

Dr. Yasir Qayyum Gill Hafiz Tanveer Ashraf

Roll# 2015-PE-20

University of Engineering and Technology Lahore

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

Contents

Experiment # Title Page#

1 Rheometer 3

2 Tensile Test 10

3 Melt Flow Indexer 17

4 Melting Point Apparatus 21

5 Moisture Meter 24

6 Hardness Meter 27

7 Drop Impact Tester 31

8 Density Meter 35

9 Flow Meter 38

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Experiment#1: RHEOMETER
1.1. Objective:
To determine the viscosity of different liquids as a function of temperature and
RPM.

Figure1.1: Brookfield Rheometer

1.2. Abstract:
Rheometer is an instrument which is used for measuring the rheological properties of
liquids and soft solids. In this experiment Brookfield Viscometer is used.Which follows the
procedure B according to ASTM D 2983. A sample of Gelatin is prepared and mounted into the
rheometer and subjected to well-defined stress or strain. We use spindles of different cross
sectional area and play with rpm to obtain the viscosity of sample at different points. Graphs
obtained from data give the relationship between rpm and viscosity, shear stress, strain rate and
torque.

1.3. Introduction:
Rheology is defined as study of flow. Rheometers are instruments which are used for
measuring the rheological properties of liquids. Typical rheological properties are viscosity,
modulus, yield stress, and relaxation times. These properties depend on the microstructure of the
material and hence, depend on stress or strain-induced structural changes, and on time.
The spindle viscometer (ASTMD-2983) is one of the simplest instruments to operate. It
measures torque required to rotate an immersed element (the spindle) in a fluid. The spindle is
driven by a motor through a calibrated spring; the deflection of the spring is measured and
mathematically converted into a viscosity value in units of centipoise. By utilizing multiple
rotational speeds and interchangeable spindles, a variety of viscosity ranges can be measured.

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1.4. Experimentation:
1.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:

• Gelatin
• Water
• Brookfield Viscometer
• Viscometer spindle Box
• Spindle clip
• Test cell

Figure1.2: Gelatin sample.

Figure1.3: Spindle Box

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1.4.2. Procedure:

• Switch on the equipment.


• Set desired temperature at thermos cell assembly.
• Pour the sample in the metallic cylinder and place it into the thermos container.
• Give sufficient time to the sample to acquire the chamber temperature.
• Remove the spindle from the rheometer, level it and then auto zero by pressing on/off key.
• Lower the spindle into the container until it is inserted into the liquids up to the specific
mark.
• Adjust the desired RPM onto the rheometer.
• Note the torque value: if it is less than 10% or greater than 10%, then change spindle or play
with RPM to bring the torque value between the above limits.
• Once the required torque value is achieved, reported the viscosity as a function of
temperature, RPM, spindle number and dimensions of container.

1.5. Results:

RPM Torque % Viscosity (cp) Shear stress (D/cm2) Shear rate (s-1)
20 1 10.55 1.431 6.8
50 2 7.7 1.385 17
100 3.6 6.3 2.95 34
150 5.5 8.67 4.42 51
200 7.85 9.2 6.25 68
220 8.95 9.64 7.21 74.8
250 10.6 10.5 8.52 85

Table 1.1: Results of Spindle LV-27

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90

80

70
May be torque%, viscoity(cp), shear stre(dynes/cm2), shear rate(s-1 )

60

50
Torque
viscosity
40 Shear stress
Shear Rate

30

20

10

0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
RPM(rad/min)

X-axis: rpm, 1 big box=50rad/min


Y-axis: torque, viscosity, shear stress, shear rate, 1big box=10(%,cp, dynes/cm2, s-1 )

Graph1.1: rpm vs torque, viscosity, shear stress and shear rate

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RPM Torque (%) Viscosity (cp) Shear Stress (D/cm2) Shear Rate(s-1)
100 0.8 0.935 0 0
150 1 0.81 0 0
200 0.45 0.42 0 0
250 0.25 0.15 0 0

Table 1.2: Results of Spindle LV–0 4

1.2
May be torque%, viscosity(cp)

0.8

0.6
Torque
0.4 viscosity

0.2

0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
RPM( rad/min)

X-axis: rpm, 1 big box=50rad/min


Y-axis: torque, viscosity, 1 big box=0.2(%, cp)

Graph 1.2: rpm vs torque and viscosity

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1.6. Conclusion:
It is clear from data and graphs that as we increase rpm the torque, shear stress and shear
rate also increase. But viscosity decreases up to a certain point and then it begins to increase.
Because after melting point where viscosity is minimum and chains are highly aligned,
degradation of polymer chains occur and viscosity increases. That is viscosity of the polymer
melts and solutions primarily depends upon temperature and molecular structure.

1.7. Questionnaire:
1. Tabulate the RPM, viscosity, shear stress, and shear rate data for each of the spindle used
during the experimentation.
2. Plot viscosity versus shear rate data for each of the spindle used during experimentation.
3. Tabulate and plot the temperature, RPM, Viscosity, shear stress and shear rate data for each of
the spindle used during the experimentation.
4. Explain the effect of the temperature and the RPM on the viscosity of polymer melts and
solutions.

1.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:


1. See tables 1.1 and table 1.2.
2. Spindle LV-27

Shear rate vs Viscosity


12

10

8
Viscosity(cp)

0
0 20 40 60 80 100
Shear rate(s-1 )

Graph 1.3: shear rate vs viscosity

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3. See tables 1.1 and 1.2 and graphs 1.1 and 1.2.

4. Effect of temperature and rpm on the viscosity:

It is clear from graphs that as the temperature and rpm increase viscosity of polymer
melts and solutions decreases up to a certain point and then it increases and almost becomes
constant. Because, at low temperature polymer molecules are in highly entangled state. And
show greatest resistance to flow. As the temperature increases polymer molecules will begin to
untangle and align and viscosity decreases up to a certain point, where molecules are fully
aligned and polymer is in melting state. After this if we increase temperature further degradation
occurs, due to which viscosity increases.

1.8. References
• ASTM D 2983.
• Handbook of Plastics testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for Rheometer of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process Engineering
UET Lahore.

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Experiment#2: TENSILE TESTING


2.1. Objective:
To determine the mechanical behavior of common thermoplastics (HDPE, LDPE, ABS,
PP and PS) in terms of their modulus, strength and elongation through tensile testing.

Figure2.1: UTM Machine

2.2. Abstract:
This experiment is done on ultimate tensile testing machine (UTM) which is shown in
figure2.1. It is used to determine to what extent a material stretches before breaking. The
specimens for testing are prepared either by injection molding or compression molding according
to standards given in ASTM D 638. In this experiment we used HDPE, LDPE, PVC, NR and
SBR. The specimen is placed between the jaws of machine. Whole experiment is controlled by
computer software. Press the start button. The specimen is stretched and factors like time, cross
head position, force, elongation, extension, stress and force/width are recorded by the software in
computer. Save this data. Software also plots graph between stress and elongation for the
specimen being tested.Which shows the tensile properties of the specimen.
2.3. Introduction:
Tensile test, in a broad sense, is a measurement of the ability of a material to withstand
forces that tend to pull it apart and to determine to what extent the material stretches before
breaking. Tensile elongation and tensile modulus measurements are among the most important
indications of strength in a material and are the most widely specified properties of plastic
materials. Tensile modulus, an indication of the relative stiffness of a material, can be
determined from a stress–strain diagram obtained from the data. Different types of plastic
materials are often compared on the basis of tensile strength, elongation, and tensile modulus
data. This test follows the standard ASTM D638.

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2.4. Experimentation
2.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:

• Ultimate tensile testing machine


• HDPE
• LDPE
• PVC
• Styrene rubber
• Natural rubber
• Vernier caliper

Figure2.2: Different Specimens

2.4.2. Procedure:

• Cut the testing sample according to the supplied cutting mold of dumbbell shape.
• Check safety parameter’s for the load cell on the vertical sported column.
• Check safety button.
• Switch on the computer and machine power supply.
• Start the software from the desktop’s icon TIRA.
• Get the sizes of testing sample (Dumbbell shape) manually with vernier caliper &
thickness measuring gauge.
• Press the setting button on the main tool bar. A “Test Setting” dialog box with different
tabs.
• Insert sample data by selecting “Dimensions” tab.
• Insert rate of the test sample by selecting “Test Rate” tab.
• Similarly check the other tabs to insert the specific data concerning machines operation.
• Load the sample in jaws.

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• Press down the jaws clamping leaver and insert then sample from clamping area.
• Move down the upper jaw to clamp the other side of the sample into the lower jaw by
using manual controls from panel.
• On software window screen, zero the cross head position, force and length by pressing
the button on main tool bar.
• Select the” axis parameters” by pressing the button of “Diagram axis” on the main tool
bar. Also change the diagram name from menu bar.
• Start the test by pressing start button on main tool bar.
• After completion of test, save the test result by pressing “save” button on the main tool
bar, with the desired file name or path.
• Done the whole test on different given materials to find difference between their
mechanical properties.
• Get off the test sample pieces from the clamping jaws. Exit from the software properly
and shut down the computer as well.
• Power off the whole system from electric supply properly in the end.

2.5. Results:
The following graphs show the stress vs elongation curve for each specimen.

HDPE
25

20
Stress(N/mm²)

15

10

0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
Elongation(mm)

Graph 2.1: HDPE: Stress vs Elongation

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LDPE
12

10
Stress(N/mm²)

0
0 10 20 30
Elongation(mm)

Graph 2.2: LDPE: Stress vs Elongation

PVC
6

5
Stress(N/mm²)

0
0 20 40 60 80 100

Elongation(mm)

Graph 2.3: PVC: Stress vs Elongation

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SBR
14
12
Stress(N/mm²)

10
8
6
4
2
0
0 20 40 60 80 100
Elongation(mm)

Graph 2.4: SBR: Stress vs Elongation

NR
20

15
Stress(N/mm²)

10

0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
-5
Elongation(mm)

Graph 2.5: NR: Stress vs Elongation

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2.6. Conclusion:
It is clear from the graph that tensile properties of polymers depend upon molecular
structure. An amorphous material (ductile) has high value of yield stress and high elongation at
break. A crystalline material (brittle) has high yield stress but low elongation at break. And
elastomeric material has low yield stress but very high elongation at break. Thus a ductile
material has better properties among all depends upon applications.

2.7. Questionnaire:
1. Tabulate the ultimate tensile strength, elongation at break, yield strength and modulus of
specimens.
2. Draw the stress vs elongation curve for each of the specimens.
3. Explain the difference between the mechanical behavior of ductile, brittle and elastomeric
polymer materials.
4. Explain the effect of temperature change on the mechanical behavior of polymers.

2.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:


1. Table of ultimate tensile strength, elongation at break, yield strength and modulus of each
specimen.

Parameters HDPE LDPE PVC SBR NR


Yield Strength(N /mm²) 19.6 7.58 2.92 1.93 17.9
Elongation at break (mm) 37.69 22.49 79.66 86.23 338.06
Ultimate tensile strength 8.45 9.82 5.04 12.88
(N /mm²)
Modulus (N /mm²) 4.32 3.46 0.159 0.095 0.052

Table 2.1: Ultimate tensile strength, elongation at break, yield strength and modulus of
each specimen

2. See graphs 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5.


3. Difference between the mechanical behavior of ductile, brittle and elastomeric polymer
materials.
Ductile Brittle Elastomeric
They are hard and tough They are hard and rigid They are soft and tough
material. material. material.
They have high modulus and They have high modulus They have low modulus and
high yield stress value. value. low yield stress value.
They have high ultimate They have moderate ultimate They have low ultimate
strength and high elongation strength and low elongation strength and high elongation
at break. at break. at break.

Table2.2: Mechanical properties of ductile, brittle and elastomeric polymer materials.

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Figure 2.3: Difference between ductile, brittle and elastomeric polymer materials.

4. Effect of temperature on the mechanical behavior of the polymers:


The mechanical behavior of a solid polymer is changed greatly by changes the
temperature as small as a few degrees. An amorphous polymer such as PMMA is brittle below
its glass transition temperature TG. At higher temperatures it softens progressively, turning
gradually without any obvious discontinuity of property into a viscous liquid as the temperature
rises.
Due to increase in temperature
• Elastic modulus decreases
• Tensile strength decreases
• Ductility increases

2.8. References:
• ASTM D 638-08
• Handbook of Plastics testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for UTM machine of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process
Engineering UET Lahore.

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Experiment#3 MELT FLOW INDEXER


3.1. Objective:
To determine the melt flow rate of ‘PP’ and ‘ABS’ specimens by using melt flow
indexer.

Figure: 3.1 Melt Flow Indexer

3.2. Abstract:
Melt flow indexer is used to determine the melt flow rate of polymeric material. In this
experiment we used ‘PP’ and ‘ABS’ specimens. We take 5 grams of each specimen. Set the
temperature for each specimen according to ASTM D 1238. Pour the material into the barrel
when desired temperature attained. Put the plunger along the weight (given in ASTM D 1238)
into the barrel. The melted polymeric material passes out from the narrow die. Note the time
between two reference points of the plunger. And weigh the material which pours out between
these two points. And calculate the flow rate of the material.

3.3. Introduction:
The melt flow indexer is used to determine the rheological properties of the polymeric
material. One of the requirements for quality control of thermoplastics is determination of
volume and mass flow rate. The melt flow indexer can be used to determine the melt mass flow
rate (MFR) and melt volume flow rate (MVR). The melt flow index is the measure of how many
grams of polymer pass through a standardized capillary under a standard load and temperature
over 10 minutes. The value obtained from the melt flow index is a single data point. This test is
primarily used as a means of measuring the uniformity of the flow rate of the material. The
reported melt index values help to distinguish between the different grades of a polymer. A high
molecular-weight material is more resistant to flow than a low-molecular-weight material.
Higher melt flow index indicates a lower material viscosity and vice versa.

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3.4. Experimentation:
3.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:

• Polypropylene
• ABS
• Melt flow Indexer
• Weight Balance
• Stopwatch

Figure3.2: ABS Figure3.3: Polypropylene

3.4.2. Procedure:

• Note the temperature and load conditions for the given sample from the literature.
• Set the temperature of the barrel at the required value, insert the plunger into the barrel
and give 15-20 minutes to achieve the set temperature.
• Close the knob at the discharge so that there will be minimum heat loss
• Remove the plunger and introduce 4-5 g of material into the hot chamber.
• Replace the plunger and load then wait until the temperature display shows the constant
set value.
• Open the knob at the bottom and note the time taken by the material to flow between the
two specific marks on the plunger.
• Measure the weight of the material that flow out of the die when plunger plus weight
move between the specific marks.
• Convert the weight into g/10minto get the MFI of the material.

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3.5. Results:
Specimen Weight of Set Weight on Time Weight of MFR=
the temperature the taken the 600*W3/t
material T plunger t specimen
W1 W2 obtained
after
experiment
W3
Grams ℃ Grams Sec. grams g/10 min
Poly 5 230 2160 67 1.27 11.37
propylene
ABS 5 200 5000 432 1.763 2.44

Table3.1: Results of PP and ABS

Melt flow rate of polypropylene =11.37g/10min

Melt flow rate of ABS =2.44g/10min

Figure3.4: Figure3.5

Figure3.4 and 3.5: A segment of ABS and PP acquired by melt flow indexer after
experiment.

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3.6. Conclusion:
It is clear from the above data that melt flow rate of the polymeric material primarily
depends upon molecular structure and molecular weight of polymeric material. A material
having crystalline structure and high molecular weight has low MFI values and having
amorphous structure and low molecular weight has high MFI values.

3.7. Questionnaire:
1. Tabulate the results along with the conditions for PP and ABS.
2. Using the mathematical derivation, illustrate how the values of given load can be transformed
into their corresponding pressure values?
3. Illustrate using examples how the MFI values are used for the quality control or material
supply chain management in industry.
4. Explain using examples the significance and uses of the MFI values in polymer processing
industry.

3.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:


1. See table 3.1
2. Let given load =m
Diameter of plunger=9.4742mm =0.0094742m
Radius of plunger =0.0094742/2=0.0047371m
𝜋𝑟 2 =7.05*10−5
We know that
P=F/A=mg/𝜋𝑟 2
P=m*9.8/7.05*10−5 Pascal
With the help of this formula we can convert load into their corresponding pressure.
3. Significance of the MFI values in quality control or material supply chain management
in industry:
The MFI test is primarily used as a means of measuring the uniformity of the flow rate of
the material. The reported melt index values help to distinguish between the different grades of a
polymer. Due to this property it can help in quality control or material supply chain management.
4. Significance and uses of the MFI values in polymer processing industry:
The melt flow indexer is used to determine the rheological properties of the polymeric
material. It also provides the information about the viscosity of the polymeric material. These
properties should be known in the different industrial process like in extrusion, injection molding
and blow molding machines.

3.8. References:
• ASTM D 1238
• Handbook of plastic testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for melt flow indexer of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process
Engineering UET Lahore.

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Expariment#4 MELTING POINT APPARATUS


4.1. Objective:
To determine the melting point of the (PP, ABS, and HDPE) using Melting Point
Apparatus.

Figure4.1: Melting Point Apparatus

4.2. Abstract:
A melting point apparatus is a scientific instrument used to determine the melting point of
a substance. In this experiment we use ‘HDPE’, ‘PP’ and ‘ABS’. Set the temperature and placed
the single pellet of sample on the hot lid. Monitor the pellet continuously through lens and note
the point at which pellet becomes soft, transparent and finally melt.
4.3. Introduction:
Melting point apparatus is used to find out melting point of different materials. A melting
point can be used to differentiate a substance and to get an indication of its purity. The melting
point can be changed by adding any impurity. The melting point of a solid is the temperature at
which the solid exists in equilibrium with its liquid state under an external pressure of one
atmosphere. Both the melting point range (the interval between the beginning of liquefaction and
the complete liquefaction) and the temperature of complete liquefaction are valuable of the
purity of the solid compound. The term melting point, when applied to polymers, suggests not a
solid–liquid phase transition but a transition from a crystalline or semi-crystalline phase to a
solid amorphous phase. Pure crystalline organic compounds have sharp melting point. While
amorphous materials have a range of melting point. Polymer may be either amorphous or semi
crystalline so it has no sharp melting point, it has a range of melting point. This experiment
follows the standard ASTM D 7138.

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4.4. Experimentation:
4.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:

• Melting point apparatus


• Stop watch
• HDPE
• ABS
• PP
4.4.2. Procedure:
• Switch on the apparatus.
• Find heating rate of plate.
• Set a reference temperature on apparatus i.e. 80°C to 90°C.
• Placed sample on hot lid.
• Continually monitor the sample i.e. after each 30s.
• When sample began to diffuse note temperature reading (softening temperature).
• When sample began to transparent note temperature.
• When sample began to melt note temperature. This will give us melting point of sample.
• Pick up the molten sample with pin.
• Clean the lid; wait until temperature reaches to the reference value.
• Now place another sample to find it’s melting point.
• To get more accurate readings repeat each experiment at least twice.

4.5. Results:
Time HDPE PP ABS
Sec. Temperature Condition Temperature Condition Temperature Condition

30 106 104 90
60 115 122 107
90 130 140 125
120 147 150 142
150 164 Transparent 173 Soften 157
180 179 187 173
210 190 201 Transparent 187
240 207 Melt 216 200
270 226 Melt 216
300 226 Soften
330 237
360 248
390 258
420 267 Melt
Table 4.1: Results of PP, ABS and HDPE

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Specimen PP HDPE ABS


Melting Point ℃ 226 207 267

Table4.2: Melting Point of PP, HDPE and ABS

4.6. Conclusion:
It is clear from the above discussion that melting point of polymeric material primarily
depends upon the molecular structure. PP has amorphous structure so it has high melting point
than HDPE because HDPE has crystalline structure and has sharp melting point. While ABS is a
ter-polymer so it has highest melting point among these. It has cross linked structure.

4.7. Questionnaire:
1. Tabulate the melting point of materials.
2. Report the state of the material’s corresponding temperatures for given materials; three states
are softening, color change and molten state.
3. Explain the significance of melting point apparatus in polymer process industry.
4. In a polymer process industry explain the main drawbacks of using the melting point
apparatus.

4.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:


1. See table 4.2.
2. See table 4.1.
3. Significance of melting point apparatus in polymer process industry:
Melting point apparatus is used to find out melting point of different materials. A melting
point can be used to differentiate a substance and to get an indication of its purity. In the polymer
process industry it is important to know whether the material is pure or not. So we can find
purity of the material by knowing the melting point of substance and by comparing it with the
standard values. Also we can find that at which temperature the processing of the material is
possible.
4. Drawbacks of using the melting point apparatus in a polymer process industry:
• Melting point apparatus cannot be used to determine the melting point of thermoset
polymer.
• It does not give the exact melting point of polymeric material.
• Errors occur due to poor calibration.

4.8. References:
• ASTM D 7138.
• Handbook of plastic testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for melting point apparatus of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process
Engineering UET Lahore.

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Expariment#5 MOISTURE METER


5.1. Objective:
To determine the moisture contents of PS and ABS by using moisture meter.

Figure5.1: Moisture Meter

5.2. Abstract:
Moisture meter is used to determine the moisture content of polymeric material. In this
experiment we used PS and ABS. Weigh the sample. Turn on the apparatus. Then Press the
pressure releasing button and turn on the alarm button. Place the sample and water absorbent
material like silica gel or H2S in container. Press the compressor button to create the vacuum.
Then maintain the temperature according to ASTM D 6980. Wait until alarm echoed. Then turn
off the compressor and turn on the fan to cool down the temperature of container and material
inside it. The moisture content of the material will display on the bar in % as shown in figure 5.1.

5.3. Introduction:
Moisture content is defined as the percentage of water in any material. Moisture meter is
used to determine the moisture content of the given material. Moisture content of any polymeric
material is important to know for it processing and application. If moisture content increased up
to a certain point the material properties will be changed. And failure of the material will be
occurred before the expected time. This experiment follows the standard ASTM D 6980. In this
experiment CaH2 is used as moisture absorbent. Water evaporates from the sample and reacts
with CaH2. The following reaction occurs.

CaH2 + 2H2O →Ca (OH) 2 + 2H2

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5.4. Experimentation:
5.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:

• Moisture meter
• PS
• ABS
• CaH2

Figure5.2: ABS Figure 5.3: PS

5.4.2. Procedure:
• Switch on the apparatus and turn on the alarm.
• Take 30 g of sample in container and put the CaH2 in the grid and place it in the container
level it than close the container.
• Re-zero the equipment.
• Initially set the temperature at 50 °C.
• Press the air releaser and create the vacuum.
• Adjust the temperature according to the ASTM D 6980.
• Note the value of moisture contents when the alarm starts.
• Cut-of the supply of temperature and turn on the fan.
• On cooling open the grid and discharge the container.

5.5. Results:

Specimens Weight (g) Temperature ( ℃ ) % age moisture


PS 30 105 0.020
ABS 30 130 0.018

Table5.1: Results of PS and ABS

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5.6. Conclusion:
It is clear from the above data that the moisture content of ABS is high than PS. That is
moisture content depends upon the molecular structure. ABS has three monomers and cross
linked structure so it has more space for water. On the other hand PS has only one monomer and
semi crystalline structure so it has less space for water. That is amorphous material has more
moisture content than semi crystalline and crystalline material.

5.7. Questionnaire:
1. Tabulate the moisture content of the specimens along with the standard deviation values.
2. Explain the significance of using a moisture meter in a polymer process industry.
3. What are the drawbacks of using Bra bender Aquatrac moisture meter?
4. What are the other ways of finding the moisture content of polymer materials?

5.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:


1. See table 5.1.
2. Significance of using a moisture meter in a polymer process industry:
Moisture will affect the process ability of some materials. For these materials, defects
will occur if they are processed with moisture content outside of the recommended range. The
physical properties of some plastics are greatly affected by the moisture content. So the moisture
meter is used in polymer process industry to measure the moisture content of polymeric material.
3. Drawbacks of using Bra bender Aquatrac moisture meter:
• It cannot be used for the materials which have high melting point.
• It has limiting range of set temperature.
• It should be operate very carefully because any mistake will create big problems.
• It cannot be used for rubber.
• It cannot be used for bulk quantity of the material.
4. Methods of finding the moisture content:
• Karl fisher method
• Sensor based tech
• Loss in weight
• Microwaves

5.8. References:
• ASTM D 6980.
• Handbook of plastic testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for moisture meter of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process
Engineering UET Lahore.

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Expariment#6 HARDNESS METER /DUROMETER


6.1. Objective:
To determine the hardness of the given polymer (LDPE and HDPE) and rubber
specimens (NBR, Recycle rubber, thick NR, NR and Neoprene) using hardness meter /
durometer.

Figure6.1: Durometer/ Hardness meter

6.2. Abstract:
Hardness meter is used to determine the hardness of the given polymeric material. In this
experiment we used polymer (LDPE and HDPE) and rubber specimens (NBR, Recycle rubber,
NR, NR thin and Neoprene). First of all measure the thickness of the material by using thickness
meter. There are different scales of durometer used to determine the hardness of the materials
with different properties. In this test we used Shore A and shore D apparatus. Shore A test is
used for soft material and shore D test is used for hard material.

6.3. Introduction:
Term hardness has been applied to scratch resistance and to rebound resilience, but for
polymers it is taken to refer to a measure of resistance to indentation. The mode of deformation
under an indenter is a mixture of tension, shear and compression, and hardness is by no means a
fundamental property. The result depends on the indenter geometry and the degree of indentation
as well as the time of indentation after which the measurements is made. Regardless of the
arbitrary nature of the test, it is attractive because of its cheapness and apparent simplicity.
Durometer hardness tester is consisting of a pressure foot, an indenter and an indicating device.
The test specimens are at least ¼ in thick. Two types of hardness meters usually used. Shore A
and shore D. Shore A is used for soft materials like natural rubber, neoprene rubber etc. while
shore D is used for hard materials like LDPE and HDPE etc. This test follows the standard
ASTM D 2240.

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

6.4. Experimentation:
6.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:

• Hardness meter/ Durometer Shore A and D


• Thickness meter
• HDPE
• LDPE
• Thick Natural rubber
• Neoprene
• Thin natural rubber
• Recycled rubber
• NBR

Figure6.2: Shore A Figure6.3: Shore D

Figure 6.4: Thickness meter

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

6.4.2. Procedure:
• Switch on the electronic console.
• Select the test code, measurement time and type of hardness.
• Placed the sample on the plain surface.
• Measure the thickness of the given polymeric and rubber specimens using thickness
gauge.
• Put testing unit on the sample in a vertical position.
• Wait until the sound of console that the test time has been passed and the hardness value
has been stored.
• Record the reading on the display and take eight reading to calculate the standard
deviation.

6.5. Results:

Sr. Specimen Reading Reading Reading Reading Reading Reading Average


no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Thickness
mm Mm mm Mm mm mm mm mm
1. Recycled 5.58 5.42 5.40 5.33 5.35 5.39 5.41
Rubber
2. NR (thick) 7.92 7.98 8.10 8.12 8.05 8.15 8.05
3. Neoprene 5.77 5.53 5.09 5.19 5.64 5.70 5.48
4. NBR 3.19 3.11 3.26 3.83 2.74 2.79 3.98
5. NR (thin) 3.06 2.80 2.82 2.88 2.91 3.02 2.91
6. LDPE 2.94 2.83 2.77 2.85 2.73 2.69 2.80
7. HDPE 2.85 2.94 2.95 2.95 2.93 3.02 2.94

Table6.1: Thickness of each specimen used in experiment

Sr. Specimen Hardness Values Average


no. Hardness
H1 H2 H3 H4 H5 H6 Hav
1. Recycled 66 66 59 61 62 62 62.66
Rubber
2. NR (thick) 46 46 44 45 46 46 45.5
3. Neoprene 73 72 76 73 69 74 72.83
4. NBR 68 75 74 69 71 73 71.66
5. NR (thin) 58 62 56 63 65 68 62

Table6.2: Hardness of each specimen used in experiment using shore A

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

Sr. Specimen Hardness Values Average


no. Hardness
H1 H2 H3 H4 H5 H6 Hav
1. LDPE 43.6 43.7 45.4 44.2 44.3 41.4 43.76
2. HDPE 61.1 58.7 61 61.6 61.7 61.1 60.86

Table6.3: Hardness of each specimen used in experiment using shore D

6.6. Conclusion:
Hardness is the ability of the specimen to bear the indentation. And it depends upon the
molecular structure of polymer. A crystalline material will have high values of hardness as
compared to amorphous material. So HDPE will have highest hardness values among these.

6.7. Questionnaire:

1. Tabulate the thickness of the given polymeric and rubber specimens along with their average
values and standard deviation.
2. Tabulate the measured hardness values of the given polymeric and rubber specimens along
with their average and standard deviations.
3. During testing, which specimen exhibited the highest hardness values? Explain?
4. Explain the relationship between hardness and tensile strength values for polymers.

6.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:


1. See table 6.1.
2. See table 6.2 and 6.3.
3. HDPE will give the highest hardness values because it has crystalline structure and chains are
highly aligned.
4. Hardness and tensile strength are directly proportional to each other. If the material has high
tensile strength it will have high values of hardness. It depends upon the molecular structure of
the polymeric material. Higher the crystalinity higher will be the tensile strength and the
hardness value will be also high.

6.8. References:
• ASTM D 2240.
• Handbook of plastic testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for Durometer of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process Engineering
UET Lahore.

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

Expariment#7: DROP IMPACT TESTER


7.1. Objective:
To determine the Impact resistance of PET by using Drop Impact Tester.

Figure 7.1: Drop Impact Tester

7.2. Abstract:
Drop impact tester is used to determine the impact resistance or toughness of given
polymeric specimen. In this experiment we used PET sheet to determine its impact resistance. A
ball is dropped from a certain height and the impact on the sheet of PET is checked, until a crack
is produced or the specimen totally breaks. In this way we determine the toughness of the
material.

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

7.3. Introduction:
The impact properties of the polymeric materials are directly related to the overall
toughness of the material. Toughness is defined as the ability of the polymer to absorb applied
energy. The area under the stress–strain curve is directly proportional to the toughness of a
material. Impact energy is a measure of toughness. The higher the impact energy of a material,
the higher the toughness and vice versa. Impact resistance is the ability of a material to resist
breaking under a shock loading or the ability to resist the fracture under stress applied at high
speed. This test follows the standard ASTM D 5420.

7.4. Experimentation:
7.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:
• Drop Impact Tester
• PET Sheet
7.4.2. Procedure:
• Cut the specimen according to your requirements.
• Place the specimen at the impact spot.
• Attach the weight to the dropping assembly.
• Drop the weight from a known height.
• Check your specimen’s condition.
• Note that height when ball is drop, and an indentation occurs in polymer.
• Calculate the toughness by using formula:
P.E = mgh

Figure7.2: Indentation Figure7.3: Cracks Produced Figure7.4: Damage Occurred

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

7.5. Results:

No. of Height of Condition of No. of Cracks Potential energy


Observations indenter (m) sample (J)
1 0.5 Indentation 6 4.6
2 0.6 Indentation 7 5.3
3 0.7 Indentation 7 6.2
4 0.8 Holes appear 5 7.3
5 0.82 Holes appear 5 7.31
6 0.83 Holes appear 4 7.4
7 0.85 Fracture 0 7.5

Table.7.1: Impact tester result for PET sheet

7.6. Conclusion:
Impact tester is used to determine the toughness of the materials. Higher the impact
values higher will be the toughness of the polymeric material. Impact values are depends upon
the crystalinity, temperature, rate of loading and notch sensitivity etc. The fracture point of the
PET is attained at 0.85 m height where potential energy is 7.5J.
7.7. Questionnaire:
1. Tabulate the failure energy of the specimens at various heights, along with the status of the
material.
2. For each indentation, tabulate the number of cracks and the crack length at various heights.
Also indicate the standard deviation for each crack length value.
3. Based on the test results identify the factors that have effects on the toughness of polymers. In
what way is the toughness changed by each of these factors?
4. Explain in detail, the working principles of charpy and izod impact testing of plastics.
5. One of the technique used for the testing of impact energy of plastics is instrumental falling
weight impact testing machine, explain the difference between the falling ball impact tester and
instrumental falling weight impact testing machine.
6. PET sheets used during experimentation are transparent, while the LDPE and HDPE sheets are
opaque; explain this difference of opacity for the three materials.
7.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:
1. See table7.1.
2. See table7.1.
3. Factors that have effects on the toughness of polymers:
• Crystalinity:
As the crystalinity increases the toughness of the polymeric material will be decreased
and vice versa. If polymer has amorphous region then the sudden force will be distributed in
that region and polymeric material will have high values of toughness.

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

• Temperature:
Due to increase in temperature the toughness of the polymeric material will be increased and
vice versa.

• Rate of Loading:
The speed at which the specimen or part is struck with an object has a significant effect
on the behavior of the polymer under impact loading. At low rates of impact, relatively stiff
materials can still have good impact strength. However at high rates of impact, even rubbery
materials may exhibit brittle failure.
• Notch Sensitivity:
A notch in a test specimen or a sharp corner in a fabricated part drastically lowers
the impact energy. A notch creates a localized stress concentration and hence the
part failure under impact loading. All plastics are notch-sensitive. The rate of sensitivity
varies with the type of plastics.

4. Principle of Charpy impact test:


The sample with the V shape notch exactly at the center of the specimen is hit by the
swinging hammer in a single blow causing the sample to break. The energy absorbed is the
impact strength of the material.

Principle of Izod impact test:


The sample with a V-shaped notch is placed vertically in the grip below. A swinging
hammer causes impact and the material breaks from the notch. The absorbed energy is the
impact strength of the material.

5. Difference between falling ball impact tester and instrumental falling weight impact
testing machine:
The main difference between the two is that the falling bob have a bob which directly
hits the specimen while in the falling weight the weight falls in a tube and hits on the plate
which in return strikes on the specimen. The falling bob can only experience air resistance
while the falling weight might get resistance from the tube in which it falls.

6. Reason for transparency of the PET as compared to HDPE and LDPE:


The main difference is the crystalinity. HDPE and LDPE have high crystalinity than PET.
They have aligned structure. And light cannot pass through aligned structure. That’s why the
PET sheet is transparent while HDPE and LDPE sheets are opaque.

7.8. References:
• ASTM D 5240.
• Handbook of plastic testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for Impact Tester of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process
Engineering UET Lahore.

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

Expariment#8: DENSITY METER


8.1. Objective:
To determine the density of PVC, LDPE, NBR and PP specimens by displacement.

Figure8.1: Density Meter

8.2. Abstract:
Density meter is used to determine the density of the specimen. In this experiment we
used PVC, LDPE, NBR and PP specimens. If the specimen float on the water than use the water
as a liquid. Other wise use the toluene for the specimens which have density less than one. Place
the sample in the air and note the weight. Than place it in liquid and note the reading. Then press
the reference button and note the density of the sample.

8.3. Introduction:
The density of polymeric materials is defined as the weight per unit volume and is
expressed in grams per cubic centimeter or pounds per cubic foot. Specific gravity is defined as
the ratio of the weight of the given volume of a material to that of an equal of water at a stated
temperature. The temperature elected for determining the specific gravity of plastic parts is 23℃.
There are two basic methods to determine the specific gravity of plastics depends upon the form
of plastic material. Method A is used for a specimen in forms such as sheet, rods, tubes or
molded articles. Method B is used for material in the form of molding powder, flake, or pellets.
In this experiment we used Method A. This follows the standard ASTM D 792.

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

8.4. Experimentation:
8.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:
• Density meter
• Water
• Toluene solution
• PVC
• LDPE
• PP
• NBR
8.4.2. Procedure:
• Collect the specimens given in the form of small molded articles.
• Identify the specimens according to the color and opacity.
• Turn on the balance.
• Press REF to enter density mode.
• Measure the weight of specimen in air and then measure the weight of specimen in liquid.
• Use water for PVC and NBR.
• And toluene for PP and LDPE.
• Specific gravity can be measured by following formula:
Sp.gr. 23/23°C = a/ (a + w - b)
Where:
a = apparent mass of specimen in air
b = apparent mass of specimen in liquid
w=apparent mass of totally immersed sinker (if used) and of partially immersed wire.
• And density of the samples (whose individual values are less than 1) can be measured by:
D23c, g/cm3 = sp.gr. 23/ 23°C × 0.866

8.5. Results:
Specimen Mass in air (g) Mass in liquid Density (g/cm3) Density from
(water) literature(g/cm3)
PVC 1.4103 0.4529 1.473 1.3-1.45
NBR 1.4458 0.3755 1.346 0.93-1.01
LDPE 0.3386 0.0162 0.904 0.91- 0.94
PP 0.2305 0.0240 0.962 0.93
Table 8.1: Density of PVC, NBR, LDPE and PP
8.6. Conclusion:
Density of polymeric material depends upon the molecular structure and molecular
weight of the specimen. Materials having high crystalinity have high density. Due to less empty
spaces. It is clear from above data that PP and LDPE have density less than one while PVC and
NBR have density greater than one. And we use water as a liquid for materials which have
density greater than one and for other materials we use toluene as a liquid.

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

8.7. Questionnaire:

1. Tabulate the density of the three specimens and compare the values with those given in
literature.
2. Explain other methods used for the measurement of the density of polymers and metals.
3. How density variation in a molded article can affect their performance, explain.
8.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:
1. See table 8.1.
2. Methods for measurement of density:
The simplest way is the Archimedes method using a pycnometer. You measure the mass
of pycnometer plus a liquid of known density, usually water. Call m1 this mass plus a mass of
certain amount of pieces of material. Now, the pieces of material are inserted into the
pycnometer to displace a certain volume of liquid. Mass is measured and is called m2. The
difference m1 - m2 is the mass of the displaced liquid and then this volume is calculated, which
is the volume of the pieces of material. In this way we measure the density of the specimen.

3. Effect of density in molded articles:


The change in density has great effect in molded articles. Due to change in density of
molded article its physical properties are changed. Molded machine are set to a specific
temperature for each specimen. Melting temperature also changed due to change in density. Due
to which we face many problems in process industry.

8.8. References:
• ASTM D 792.
• Handbook of plastic testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for Density meter of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process
Engineering UET Lahore

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

Expariment#9: FLOW METER


9.1. Objective
To determine the flow characteristic of given polymeric material (PP, ABS, PS, PMMA)
using flow meter.

Figure 9.1: Flow meter Figure9.2: Nozzles of different diameter

9.2. Abstract:
Flow meter is used to determine the flow characteristics of the given specimen. In this
experiment we used PP, ABS, PS and PMMA specimens. Take 150g of the sample. Than attach
the nozzle of required (10mm, 15mm, 25mm) diameter at the bottom of the funnel with help of
the holder. Then place the lid at the bottom of the funnel and pour the material from the top of it.
Then remove the lid and start the stop watch simultaneously to find the flow rate of the sample.

9.3. Introduction:
Pourability is defined as a measure of the time required for a standard quantity of material to
flow through a funnel of specified dimensions. Pourability characterizes the handling properties
of finely divided plastic material. The procedure simply calls for pouring the material through a
specified size funnel and measuring time required for material that completely passes through the
funnel. This test follows the standard ASTM D1895.

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

9.4. Experimentation:
9.4.1. Apparatus and Materials:
• Flow meter
• Stop watch
• PP
• ABS
• PS
• PMMA
9.4.2. Procedure:
• For all given polymeric materials record their shape and then weigh a specific amount of
this material say 150g.
• Fit the bottom with different sized nozzle for same materials.
• The sizes of nozzles used in experimentation are 10mm, 15mm, 25mm.
• Fill the cup of flow meter with this material while bottom is closed with card board
holder
• Then remove the card board holder and start the stopwatch while measuring the time of
flow.
• Repeat the experiment for different type of materials.
9.5. Results:
Sr. no. Nozzle (mm) Flow Condition Time (s)
1. 25 Complete 2.55
2. 15 Complete 0.57
3. 10 No Flow 0.25
Table9.1: Flow characteristics of PP

Sr. no. Nozzle (mm) Flow Condition Time (s)


1. 25 Complete 3.00
2. 15 Complete 5.00
3. 10 No Flow 1.00
Table9.2: Flow characteristics of ABS

Sr. no. Nozzle (mm) Flow Time(s)


1. 25 Complete 2.00
2. 15 Complete 0.95
3. 10 No Flow 0.25
Table9.3: Flow characteristics of PS

Sr. no. Nozzle (mm) Flow Time(s)


1. 25 Complete 2.00
2. 15 Complete 7.00
3. 10 Restricted 2.36
Table9.4: Flow characteristics of PMMA

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Fundamentals of Polymer Engineering

9.6. Conclusion:
It has been cleared from the above data that is if the diameter of the nozzle decreases then
the passing mass reduces. Flow characteristics are also depends on the shape and size of material
and moisture content.

9.7. Questionnaire:
1. Tabulate the flow time of the polymeric materials along with the state of flow (no flow,
restricted flow and complete flow) observed for each nozzle.
2. Based on the test results identify the factors that have effects on the flow time of polymers.
3. Explain the importance of flow meter in polymer process industry.

9.7.1. Answers to Questionnaire:


1. See table 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 and 9.4.
2. Factors affecting the flow time of polymers:
• Moisture content
• Temperature
• Pressure
• Type of filler
• Angle of friction
• Cohesive nature
• Agglomeration
• Molecular structure

3. Importance of flow meter in polymer process industry:

The flow rates of the polymeric material from a nozzle are important on the industrial scale.
Pourability characterizes the handling properties of a finely divided plastic material. It is a
measure of the readiness with which such materials will flow through hoppers and feed tubes and
deliver uniform weights of material.

9.8. References:
• ASTM D 1895.
• Handbook of plastic testing and failure analysis by Vishu Shah.
• Lab Manual for Flow meter of FPE lab Department of Polymer and Process Engineering
UET Lahore

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