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Thermoplastic Material Selection - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780323312998, 9780323312653

Thermoplastic Material Selection

1st Edition

A Practical Guide

Author: Eric Larson
Hardcover ISBN: 9780323312998
eBook ISBN: 9780323312653
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 30th April 2015
Page Count: 364
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

  • 1.1. The Stone Age
  • 1.2. The Age of Metals
  • 1.3. Other Materials
  • 1.4. The Industrial Revolution
  • 1.5. Mass Production
  • 1.6. Materials Science
  • 1.7. The Plastics Age
  • 1.8. Plastics—The Other Synthetic Material
  • 1.9. Plastics Material Selection
  • 1.10. How This Book Can Help You

2. Why Use Plastic?

  • 2.1. Introduction
  • 2.2. Plastics as Raw Materials
  • 2.3. Plastic Processing Technologies
  • 2.4. Process Comparison
  • 2.5. Plastics in Manufacturing
  • 2.6. Advantages of Thermoplastics
  • 2.7. Disadvantages of Thermoplastics
  • 2.8. The Uniqueness of Thermoplastics
  • 2.9. And the Answer Is…

3. Understanding Thermoplastics

  • 3.1. Introduction
  • 3.2. Materials Science
  • 3.3. Polymer Science
  • 3.4. The Resin Industry
  • 3.5. Thermoplastic Classification Methods
  • 3.6. A Final Word about Property Data
  • 3.7. The Amazing World of Thermoplastics

4. An Overview of Thermoplastic Materials

  • 4.1. Key Thermoplastic Materials
  • 4.2. Thermoplastic Elastomers
  • 4.3. Meet the Family

5. Material Selection Based on Performance

  • 5.1. What is Performance?
  • 5.2. Predicting Performance
  • 5.3. How Material Selection Affects Performance
  • 5.4. Environmental Effects
  • 5.5. Key Mechanical Properties
  • 5.6. Measuring Toughness
  • 5.7. But Is It Tough Enough?
  • 5.8. Surface Properties
  • 5.9. Key Electrical Properties
  • 5.10. Properties of Form
  • 5.11. Some Final Guidelines

6. Material Selection Based on Cost

  • 6.1. What is Cost?
  • 6.2. Why is Cost Important?
  • 6.3. The Language of Cost
  • 6.4. Evaluating Cost
  • 6.5. Reducing Material Costs
  • 6.6. Reducing Processing Costs
  • 6.7. Total Manufacturing Cost
  • 6.8. A Final Word on Cost

7. Material Selection Based on Feel

  • 7.1. What Is Feel?
  • 7.2. Why Is Feel Important?
  • 7.3. The Language of Feel
  • 7.4. Evaluating Feel
  • 7.5. Sight
  • 7.6. Hearing
  • 7.7. Touch
  • 7.8. Smell
  • 7.9. Taste
  • 7.10. A Methodology
  • 7.11. A Final Word about Feel

8. Bringing It All Together

  • 8.1. Material Selection
  • 8.2. Material Specification
  • 8.3. The Plastics Supply Chain
  • 8.4. Industry Infrastructure
  • 8.5. Working with Suppliers
  • 8.6. Troubleshooting
  • 8.7. Finale


Thermoplastic Material Selection: A Practical Guide presents current information on how proper material selection is a critical component of any manufactured product. The text is a practical guide to a difficult process, giving the reader a fundamental grounding in thermoplastic materials and providing the tools they need to save time, money, and frustration.

The book provides an overview of the most commonly used thermoplastic materials, including discussions of the different chemical families, plastics categories, and material grades - and the implications of these differences on the material selection process. It provides fresh insights on the traditional methods of material selection based on performance and cost, and also discusses the use of non-traditional methods based on subjective evaluation.

Subsequent sections include references on tools that can be used to conduct further exploration, how to accurately select the most suitable material, writing an effective material specification, and working with material suppliers and distributors.

Key Features

  • Presents current information on how proper thermoplastics material selection is a critical component of any manufactured product
  • A practical guide to a difficult process, giving the reader a fundamental grounding in thermoplastics material selection and providing the tools they need to save time, money, and frustration
  • Delivers insights on the traditional methods of material selection based on performance and cost, and introduces nontraditional methods based on size, form, appearance, and feel


Designers and engineers engaged in the design and development of new products. Technical professionals responsible for the design and/or production of plastic components


No. of pages:
© William Andrew 2015
30th April 2015
William Andrew
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

Eric Larson

Eric Larson

Eric R. Larson is a mechanical engineer with over thirty years experience in plastics design. He has helped developed products ranging from boogie boards, water basketball games, and SCUBA diving equipment to disposable lighters, cell phones, and hand-held medical devices. A graduate of The University of Michigan, Eric spent his early career in the sporting goods industry before spending 10 years working for DuPont Engineering Plastics, where he provided expertise on material selection and plastic part design to a select group of major manufacturers.

For the past twenty years he has worked as a consulting engineer, helping companies bridge the gap between development and production. Some of the products he has helped bring to market include washing machines for Whirlpool, power tools for Skil®, cell phones for Motorola and Nokia, and the Humalog® / Humulin® insulin pen for Eli Lilly.

In 2006 he founded Art of Mass Production, an engineering consulting company based in San Diego, California. AMP provides services to manufacturing companies in the consumer electronics, wireless, and medical device industries. Eric is also moderator of the blog site, where he writes about plastics technology, and its effect on people and the planet. His newest book Thermoplastic Materials Selection: A Practical Guide is scheduled for release in 2015.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chief Engineer, Art of Mass Production, USA