The fourth edition of Handbook of Plastics, Elastomers, & Composites is revised and updated to reflect the continuous development of polymers and applications using polymers. With recent advances in polymeric materials, many applications are replacing established materials (metals, wood, etc.) with polymeric substitutes. Polymers are finding many new product applications in automotive, aerospace, industrial, and consumer applications. Sorting through the literally thousands of different types of polymers and polymer composites a product designer might be able to choose from can be very time consuming and may not result in the best choice. This handbook provides a valuable source of practical fundamental information on a wide range of materials and material processes, and provides the guidelines for optimizing the use of the material over a number of products.
Since many product designers may not have a background in polymer technology, the first three chapters cover the basics of thermoplastics, thermosets, and elastomers. This background includes many excellent photos of molded plastic parts for each class of polymer, advantages of the modern molding over conventional materials, and a basic but insightful review of the chemistry of polymers. There are also many examples illustrating various molding processes, including sequential drawings of each process step.
The next four chapters discuss actual materials -- composites including metal matrix, ceramic, carbon, and thermally conductive composites, coatings and adhesives. These sections review the basics of composites from manufacture, design, properties, environmental effects, and testing. Again, there are many photos and descriptions of the latest products on the market using composite materials. The chapter on joining plastics provides excellent guidelines when bonding with adhesives, thermally, solvents, or mechanical fasteners. This chapter can provide a designer with many ideas for joining plastic parts to produce a more cost-effective and higher-quality joint. There are also two chapters dedicated to automotive and packaging applications and a final chapter on plastics recycling.
This comprehensive handbook would be most useful to product engineers who use plastics in their designs and need to understand the materials, properties, and processes to help determine the best materials for their design.Harper, Charles A. is the author of 'Handbook of Plastics, Elastomers, & Composites', published 2002 under ISBN 9780071384766 and ISBN 0071384766.