National Physical Laboratory

Environmental stress cracking of polymeric materials.

Maxwell, A S, Turnbull, A
NPL Report CMMT(A)288, September 2000
NPL Doc. Ref:
PDB: 2527
Document Type:
NPL Report

Note: An asterisk after an author's name indicates a non-NPL author.


A range of test methods for assessing the resistance of polymeric materials to environment stress cracking (ESC) exist in the form of international and national standards. In addition, there are a wide variety of in-house test methods with various specimen geometries and loading configurations. Such a proliferation of methods presents difficulties when developing a rational test protocol for selecting materials for service applications. The objective of this document is to provide assistance in adopting an appropriate test strategy for evaluating ESC of plastics. The guide identifies the parameters that influence ESC and the main failure criteria. Preliminary materials selection test methods are discussed and the development of integrated test programmes for the acquisition of design data.

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