National Physical Laboratory

Knowledge based design of plastics

Current models for plastics in Finite Element (FE) software packages, widely used in many industry sectors, are inadequate for describing the long-term behaviour of these complex materials.

Inhaler (image courtesy of AstraZeneca)
Understanding long-term deformation of
plastics is important for the pharmaceutical
industry (image courtesy of AstraZeneca)

This project will develop a new model to be implemented into an FE system enabling predictions of changes in deformation, stress and strain in loaded components. Understanding of viscoelastic behaviour of engineering plastics will underpin the model development, and the influence of multiaxial stress states will be a major feature of this work. Evaluation of the model and coding will be carried out and a case study will be undertaken using industrially relevant materials.

The project will support engineers using computer aided design simulations by developing and evaluating a more realistic model for long term deformation behaviour of plastics under multi-axial stress states. The lack of validated models for polymers hinders innovation in the design of the many products that are made from plastics materials. Improved materials modelling will result in savings in material (and thus energy and cost) by reducing over-engineered products. The use of these design tools will save time associated with projects leading to significant savings in R&D and reduced time to market. Accurate modelling also enables exploration of the use of new materials and increases confidence in the behaviour of products leading to reliability in service, e.g. of medical devices.

For more information, please contact Louise Crocker

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Last Updated: 19 Aug 2014
Created: 24 Jul 2007

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