The Rise of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics

The use of carbon fibers in plastic materials has a long history.  As early as 1879, Thomas Edison was experimenting with carbon fibers made from cotton threads and bamboo slivers.  In fact, the first incandescent light bulb heated by electricity contained carbon fibers.  In the 1960’s, Dr. Akio Shindo at the Agency of Industrial Science … Read more

The Top 10 Benefits of Plastic Injection Molding

If you're reading this blog, chances are you already know a thing or two about plastic injection molding, one of the most popular methods for mass producing plastic parts. To review, this technology consists of feeding plastic material into a heated barrel.  The material is mixed and then led into a mold cavity, where it … Read more

What is ASTM International?

Have you ever been reading a material data sheet and wondered what ASTM means?  Well, you’re not alone.  “ASTM” followed by numbers or letters is used on data sheets to indicate the test used to develop the data.   These tests are standardized so that they can be reproduced by labs around the world.  Here’s a … Read more

Which Plastic Material is Used in Lego Sets?

About 4 years ago, the first Lego set entered our house.   I think it started with a present for the first birthday party that my son was invited too.  After that, it was only a matter of time before I gave in to my son’s pleas for a Lego set of his very own.  I … Read more

How Do Engineers Evaluate Plastic Materials and Material Strength?

When evaluating a material for use in a particular application, engineers usually look first at the material properties data sheet or material data sheet for short.  These are available on-line for most plastic materials.  This sheet will give typical values for a variety of properties. Usually it will include values for physical properties and mechanical properties … Read more