The Plastics Laboratory at Grupa Azoty S.A. specializes in the study of engineering plastics, such as polyamides (PA), polyacetals (POM), PTFE and others (PC, PP, PE, ABS, PBT, PET), both as raw materials (granulates, powders) and as the articles made from them.
As customer needs and capabilities evolve, new analytical methods are implemented and developed. The Plastics Laboratory offers, among other things, the preparation of plastic parts and testing of their parameters:
- Physical and chemical properties.
- Thermal properties
- Colour and gloss
- Mechanical properties of plastics and plastic products
- Flammability of plastics
- Accelerated ageing
- Electrical properties
- Rheological properties
- Compound and injection services.
1. Plastic Parts for Testingh
The Plastics Laboratory can prepare plastic parts for testing by the following methods:
- injection moulding using Engel ES 200/40 HSL injection moulding machines:
- paddles 150 x 10 x 4 mm,
- beams 120 x 10 x 4 mm and 80 x 10 x 4 mm,
- discs Ø 50 x 3 mm,
- plates 60 x 60 x 2 mm and 60 x 60 x 1 mm,
- plates 150 x 100 x 3 mm and 150 x 100 x 1 mm,
- plastic parts for flammability testing 127 x ' 12.7' x 3.2/1.6/0.8/0.4 mm
- rollers Ø 4 x 10 mm;
- machining from products, for example moulders made by the injection method or from extruded products, using a CEAST device:
- paddles 170 x 10 x 4 mm,
- beams 80 x 10 x 4 mm;
2. Physical and Chemical PropertiesThe Plastics Laboratory uses a number of tests to analyse the following parameters:
- relative viscosity and viscosity number of polyamide solutions - according to ISO 307,
- specific density - according to ISO 1183,
- ash content (filler content) - according to ISO 3451,
- water content by coulometric method (a variety of the Karl-Fischer method) - according to ISO 15512,
- water absorption - according to ISO 62,
- identifying plastic grade and additives - study performed by the FTIR and DSC methods, according to ISO 11357,
- mass and volume melt flow rate (MFR; MVR) - according to ISO 1133,
- determining polymer average molecular weight and molecular weight distribution – tests, performed using the gel permeation chromatography (GPC) method,
- determining formaldehyde emission from moulders - according to PV 3925,
- determining specific and overall migration of formaldehyde from the product - according to PV 3925,
- checking the odour of plastic products - according to PV 3900.
3. Thermal PropertiesThe Plastics Laboratory performs tests to evaluate thermal properties:
- DSC - Differential Scanning Calorimetry, to determine the thermal properties of plastics: heat of fusion and crystallization, melting point and recrystallization temperatures, glass transition temperature, specific heat, crystallization kinetics, and kinetics of chemical reactions - according to ISO 11357,
- TMA - coefficient of linear thermal expansion of plastics - according to ISO 11359,
- TGA - Thermogravimetric analysis, to determine the thermal stability of polymers and chemical composition - according to ISO 11358,
- Vicat softening point - according to ISO 306,
- heat deflection temperature HDT - according to ISO 75,
- temperature index TI - according to ISO 60216.
4. Colour and glossThe Plastics Laboratory performs tests for the following:
- parameters related to the colour of plastics and the total difference of ΔE colour in the CIE Lab or other system, index of whiteness and yellowness - tests based on ASTM E 308, ASTM E 313, ISO 7724,
- surface gloss of products - according to ISO 2813.
5. Mechanical Properties of Plastics and Plastic ProductsThe Plastics Laboratory performs tests on the mechanical properties according to the Polish PN standards and relevant international standards (e.g. ISO, DIN, ASTM):
- mechanical properties at static stretching (tensile strength, tensile modulus, tensile elongation) for the temperature range from - 60°C to +150°C, with a printout of tensile curves - according to ISO 527,
- flexural mechanical properties (flexural strength, flexural modulus) for the temperature range from -60 ° C to +150 ° C, with a printout of the bending curves - according to ISO 178,
- compressive strength - according to ISO 604,
- impact strength (notched and un-notched Charpy test) (23°C, -30°C) - according to ISO 179,
- impact strength (notched and un-notched Izod test) (23°C, -30°C) - according to ISO 180,
- ball indentation hardness - according to ISO 2039-1,
- Rockwell hardness - according to ISO 2039-2,
- Shore hardness, methods D and A - according to ISO 868,
- processing and secondary shrinkage of plastic parts - according to ISO 294.
6. Flammability propertiesThe Plastics Laboratory performs the following tests on flammability:
- resistance to heat and glow wire ignition temperature - according to IEC 60695,
- flammability according to UL 94 - vertical and horizontal tests,
- flammability according to: ISO 3795, FMVSS 302, DIN 75200 and others.
7. Accelerated AgeingThe Plastics Laboratory performs:
- accelerated ageing test using a weatherometer, model Ci 3000W by the Atlas company, which allows the product surface to be subjected to a specified dose of visible radiation with a certain distribution of the light spectrum, including UV radiation at a specific humidity and temperature - according to ISO 4892 and motorcycle standards,
- evaluation of the properties of the material after ageing - mechanical properties, colour, gloss and microscopic surface appearance.
8. Electrical PropertiesThe Plastics Laboratory performs different electrical tests, such as:
- specific surface resistivity and volume resistance of electrical insulation materials - according to ISO 60093,
- charge decay time after electrifying (anti-static qualities) – according to PN-EN 61340-5.
9. Rheological PropertiesThe Plastics Laboratory conducts rheology tests, such as:
- mass and volume melt flow rate (MFR MVR) - according to ISO 1133,
- extrudability test using a Brabender extruder,
- tests of gelation of PVC compounds with a Brabender plastograph.
10. Services for Extrusion and Injection Moulding
The Plastics Laboratory performs services for the production of granulates and moulders of the plastics delivered by the customer or plastics produced by Grupa Azoty.
Production of granulates (PA, POM, PC, ABS, PBT, PP, PE, and others) modified with different additives: nano additives, mineral fillers, glass, carbon, stainless steel, natural fibres, impact modifiers, dyes, flame retardants, nucleants, lubricants, antioxidants and UV absorbers, antistatic agents, electroconductive carbon black and polymer blends. Minimum sample size: about 1-3 kg. We also offer re-granulation, dyeing and plastics recycling services.While performing the above mentioned production, the following equipment is used:
- TM 30 VI o L/D=40 laboratory compounding line with vacuum degassing, efficiency of 5-35 kg/h and screw speed of 50-500 RPM. It is possible to dose gravimetrically additives in the form of granulates, fibres, powders and liquid additives by using a metering pump,
- granulation laboratory line with a single-screw extruder with atmospheric degassing, capacity 5-15 kg/h and screw speed of 50-250 RPM,
- mixer for preparing dry-blend mixtures with PVC, with a capacity of 10 litres,
- ARBURG dryer with an air dehumidifier and capacity of 50 kg, for granulate drying
Production of moulders from plastics delivered by the customer or produced by Grupa Azoty S.A. with borrowed injection moulds and using Engel ES 200/40 HSL automatic injection moulding machines with an injection capacity of max. 99 cm3.