National Physical Laboratory

Practical guide for designers and manufacturers of mouldings to reduce the risk of environment stress cracking.

Maxwell, A S
NPL Report MATC(A)5, March 2001
NPL Doc. Ref:
PDB: 2590
Document Type:
NPL Report

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


Environment Stress Cracking (ESC) is one of the main causes of failure of injection moulded plastic components. Failure occurs as a result of the accelerated fracture of polymeric materials due to the combined action of environmental exposure and stress. One of the main reasons for this is that designers often fail to take into account the influence of processing on the ESC susceptibility of the material. In particular, designers fail to appreciate the influence residual stresses may have upon the material properties. This guide outlines the basic steps that should be taken by designers and manufacturers to reduce the risk of ESC in injection moulded components.

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