Thermoplastics and Thermoplastic Composites - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9781455778980, 9781455730353

Thermoplastics and Thermoplastic Composites

2nd Edition

Authors: Michel Biron
eBook ISBN: 9781455730353
Hardcover ISBN: 9781455778980
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 12th November 2012
Page Count: 1064
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Table of Contents


Acronyms and Abbreviations

1. Outline of the Actual Situation of Plastics Compared to Conventional Materials

1.1 Polymers: The Industrial and Economic Reality Compared to Traditional Materials

1.2 What Are Thermoplastics, Thermoplastic Elastomer, Thermosets, Composites, and Hybrids?

1.3 Plastics: An Answer to the Designer’s Main Problems

1.4 Outline of the Technical and Economic Possibilities of Processing

1.5 Environmental Constraints

1.6 The Final Material/Process/Cost Compromise


2. The Plastics Industry: Economic Overview

2.1 Overview of the Global Plastics Industry Today and Tomorrow

2.2 Market Shares of the Various Thermoplastic Families

2.3 Market Shares of Composites

2.4 Market Shares for the Main Application Sectors

2.5 Importance of the Various Processing Modes

2.6 Consumption Trends

2.7 The North American Market

2.8 The Western European Market

2.9 The Asian Market

2.10 Structure of the Plastics Processing Industry

2.11 Plastic Costs

2.12 Survey of Main Markets

2.13 The Future: Two Important Issues Linked to Crude Oil: Costs and Drying Up


3. Basic Criteria for the Selection of Thermoplastics

3.1 Evaluation of Plastic Properties

3.2 Evaluation of Plastic Structural Properties

3.3 ISO and ASTM Standards Concerning Polymer Testing

3.4 Analysis and Diagnostic Equipment

3.5 Material Selection

3.6 Precision of the Molded Parts

3.7 Schematic Comparison of Thermoplastic and Composite Properties

3.8 Upgrading and Customization of Raw Polymers

4. Detailed Accounts of Thermoplastic Resins

4.1 Polyethylene or Polythene

4.2 Polypropylene

4.3 Other Polyolefins

4.4 PO and Nonpolyolefin Copolymers

4.5 Chlorinated Polyethylene

4.6 Polyvinyl Chloride

4.7 Chlorinated PVC (PVC-C or CPVC)

4.8 Polyvinylidene Chloride

4.9 Other Vinyl Polymers

4.10 Polystyrene (PS, SB, and SMA)

4.11 ABS and Methylmethacrylate–Acrylonitrile–Butadiene–Styrene

4.12 SAN, Acrylate Rubber-Modified Styrene Acrylonitrile (ASA), Acrylonitrile–EPDM–Styrene (AES or AEPDS), and Acrylonitrile Chlorinated Polyethylene Styrene

4.13 Polyamides or Nylons (PA)

4.14 Thermoplastic Polyesters (PET, PBT, PETG, PCT, PTMT, PCTG, PEN, PCTA, and PTT)

4.15 Acrylics (PMMA, PMI, SMMA, and MBS)

4.16 Polycarbonates

4.17 Polyoxymethylene, Polyacetal, Acetal, or Polyformaldehyde (POM)

4.18 Polyphenylene Oxide and Polyphenylene Ether

4.19 Fluorinated Thermoplastics: Fully Perfluorinated Thermoplastics (PTFE or TFE, PFA, FEP), Copolymers (ETFE), Partially Fluorinated (PVDF, PVF), Chlorofluoroethylene (PCTFE), and Copolymer (ECTFE)

4.20 Cellulosics (CA, CAB, and CP)

4.21 Polysulfone, Polyarylsulfone, Polyethersulfone, and Polyphenylenesulfone

4.22 Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS)

4.23 Polyetheretherketones, Polyetherketones, and Polyaryletherketones

4.24 Polyetherimide

4.25 Polyamide-imide

4.26 Polyimides

4.27 Liquid Crystal Polymers

4.28 Polybenzimidazole

4.29 Alloys

4.30 Thermoplastic Elastomers

4.31 Biosourced Thermoplastics

4.32 Thermoplastics More or Less Directly Derived from Natural Raw Materials

4.33 Conventional Polymers Synthesized from Biosourced Chemical Bricks

4.34 Hyperbranched, Dendrimers, Star-Branched, and Multiarm Polymers


5. Thermoplastic Processing

5.1 Molding Thermoplastics

5.2 Extrusion and Connected Processes

5.3 Calendering

5.4 Coating

5.5 Foaming

5.6 Composite Processing

5.7 Curing of Thermoplastics

5.8 Secondary Processing

5.9 Finishing

5.10 Assembly of Fabricated Parts

5.11 Repair Possibilities: A Significant Thermoplastic Advantage for Large Parts

5.12 Annealing

5.13 Another Way: AM Techniques for Prototyping and e-Manufacturing

5.14 Processing Trends: Cheaper, Faster, Easier, Greener

5.15 Starting Points for Manufacturer, Converter and Equipment Maker Search

5.16 Machinery and Equipment Makers and Distributors


6. Thermoplastic Composites

6.1 Definitions

6.2 Reminder of Some Basic Principles

6.3 Composite Mechanical Performances According to the Reinforcement Type

6.4 Composite Matrices

6.5 Reinforcements

6.6 Intermediate Semi-manufactured Materials

6.7 Examples of Composite Characteristics


7. Plastics Solutions for Practical Problems

7.1 Some General Rules

7.2 Solutions for Metal Replacement

7.3 Glass Replacement

7.4 Thermoplastics Structural Solutions

7.5 Esthetic Parts

7.6 Long-lasting parts

7.7 Transparent Parts

7.8 Fire Retardant Thermoplastics and Halogen-Free Fire Retardant Solutions

7.9 High Heat-Resistant Thermoplastics

7.10 Thermoplastics for Low-Temperature Applications

7.11 Electrically Conductive Thermoplastics

7.12 Antifriction thermoplastics

7.13 Absorbent and SAPs

7.14 Thermally Conductive Thermoplastics

7.15 Magnetic Thermoplastics

7.16 Heavy Compounds

7.17 Super-Soft Thermoplastics

7.18 Antimicrobial Solutions

7.19 Antifogging Solutions

7.20 Chemical Resistance of Thermoplastics

7.21 Adhesion Issues

7.22 Semi-manufactured Products

7.23 Thermoplastic Foams

7.24 Suggestions for Phthalate-Free Solutions

7.25 Suggestions to Avoid Six Substances Banned or Restricted by RoHS

7.26 Proposed Ways Toward Lower VOCs


8. Future Prospects for Thermoplastics and Thermoplastic Composites

8.1 The Laws and Requirements of the Market

8.2 Thermoplastic and Thermoplastic Composite Answers and Assets

8.3 Some Scenarios for Price Evolutions of Raw Polymers and Competing Metals

8.4 Markets: What Drives What? The Forces Driving Development

8.5 Cost Savings

8.6 Material Upgrading Thanks to Nanoreinforcement

8.7 Material Competition

8.8 Environmental Concerns

8.9 Are Bioplastics so Green? Beware of Study Interpretation

8.10 The Immediate Future Seen Through Recent Patents

8.11 The Immediate Future Seen through Recent Awards






This book bridges the technology and business aspects of thermoplastics, providing a guide designed for engineers working in real-world industrial settings. The author explores the criteria for material selection, provides a detailed guide to each family of thermoplastics, and also explains the various processing options for each material type.

More than 30 families of thermoplastics are described with information on their advantages and drawbacks, special grades, prices, transformation processes, applications, thermal behaviour, technological properties (tenacity, friction, dimensional stability), durability (ageing, creep, fatigue), chemical and fire behaviour, electrical properties, and joining possibilities. Biron explores the technological properties and economics of the major thermoplastics and reinforced thermoplastics, such as polyethylene, and emerging polymers such as polybenzimidazole, Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPEs) and bioplastics.

In the second edition, a new section ‘plastics solutions for practical problems’ provides over 25 case studies illustrating a wide range of design and production challenges across the spectrum of thermoplastics, from metal and glass replacement solutions, to fire retardant plastics and antimicrobials. In addition, Biron provides major new material on bioplastics and wood plastic composites (WPCs), and fully updated data throughout.

Key Features

  • Combining materials data, information on processing techniques, and economic aspects (pricing), Biron provides a unique end-to-end approach to the selection and use of materials in the plastics industry and related sectors
  • Includes a new section of case studies, illustrating best practice across a wide range of applications and industry sectors
  • New material on bioplastics and sustainable composites


Engineers involved in the design, manufacturing and use of thermoplastic and composite products; equipment manufacturers. Sectors: automotive, aerospace, ship-building, industrial and military equipment, electrical engineering, offshore, sports and leisure, medical devices, consumer goods and packaging


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© William Andrew 2013
William Andrew
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About the Authors

Michel Biron Author

Michel Biron is a plastics consultant based in Les Ulis, France, and is a Graduate Chemist Engineer from the Institut National Supérieur de Chimie Industrielle

de Rouen and Polymer Specialist from the Institut Français du Caoutchouc. He has authored numerous technical papers and books on plastics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Plastics Consultant, Les Ulis, France