Polymers and Rubbers

Plastics, Polymers & Rubber Materials Testing

Polymer Materials and Plastics are finding more and more wide-spread applications in a variety of industries. Well beyond traditional fiberglass and plastics, advanced polymer formulations are now being used for both military and commercial applications.

The two main types of plastics are thermoplastics and thermosets. Thermoplastics soften on heating and harden on cooling while thermosets, on heating, flow and cross-link to form rigid material which does not soften on future heating. Thermoplastics account for the majority of commercial usage.


Among the most important and versatile of the hundreds of commercial plastics is polyethylene. Polyethylene is used in a wide variety of applications because, based on its structure, it can be produced in many different forms. The first type to be commercially exploited was called low density polyethylene (LDPE) or branched polyethylene. This polymer is characterized by a large degree of branching, forcing the molecules to be packed rather loosely forming a low density material. LDPE is soft and pliable and has applications ranging from plastic bags, containers, textiles, and electrical insulation, to coatings for packaging materials.

Another form of polyethylene differing from LDPE only in structure is high density polyethylene (HDPE) or linear polyethylene. This form demonstrates little or no branching, enabling the molecules to be tightly packed. HDPE is much more rigid than branched polyethylene and is used in applications where rigidity is important. Major uses of HDPE are plastic tubing, bottles, and bottle caps.

Advanced Polymers & Rubbers Materials have broad, proven applications, in the aircraft, aerospace, and sports equipment sectors. More specifically, APMs are very attractive for aircraft and aerospace structural parts. APMs have continued to develop due to NASA’s Advanced Space Transportation Program. Additionally, advanced polymer materials have decades of history in military and government aerospace industries. However, much of the technology is now being developed for secondary or commercial markets, as the technology of advanced plastics manufacture is continually evolving.

NTS has the capabilities to assess the mechanical strength and integrity of these materials and provide you with the data required to evaluate the performance of the product applications. Listed below are some of our ASTM, IEC and UL test methods for composites, polymer, plastics, resin compounds and advanced materials.

  • Ball Pressure Test
  • Barcol Hardness
  • Bond Strength Properties of Adhesives – Butt Joint
  • Bond Strength Properties of Adhesives – Lap Shear
  • Bond Strength Properties of Adhesives – Peel Strength
  • Bond Strength Properties of Adhesives T-Peel
  • Bonding Strength
  • Changes in Linear Dimensions of Polymeric Materials
  • Climbing Drum Peel Test
  • Comparative Tracking Index (CTI)
  • Compressive Strength
  • DC Resistance or Conductance of Insulating Materials
  • Deflection Temperature of Polymeric Materials Under Load
  • Density Determination of Foamed Polymer Material
  • Dielectric Breakdown Voltage and Dielectric Strength
  • Dielectric Constant (DC) and Dissipation Factor (DF)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
  • Flammability
  • Flexural Properties of Plastics
  • Fracture Toughness
  • Fungus Resistance
  • Glow-Wire Flammability (Ignitability) for End Products
  • Glow-Wire Flammability for Materials
  • Heat Aging of Plastics Without Load
  • High-Voltage, Low Current Dry Arc Resistance
  • Hot Wire Ignition (HWI)
  • Ignition Loss of Cured Reinforced Resins
  • Izod Impact Test
  • Specific Gravity of Polymers
  • Strength Properties of Adhesives in Shear by Tension
  • Tensile – Elastomer Properties
  • Tensile Impact Test
  • Tensile Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials
  • Tensile Properties of Thermoplastic Materials
  • Tensile Strength – Thin Polymeric Sheeting
  • Vicat Softening Point of Polymeric Materials
  • Water Absorption of Plastic Materials

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