Testing of plastics is important to examine the shelf life and quality standards as per the application. Only through testing can one determine the efficiency of the product to withstand different environmental conditions.

Methods for Identification of Plastics
  • Visual Examination
  • Burning Characteristics
  • Pyrolysis
  • Spectroscopic Method using Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR).
Spectroscopy Identification of Plastics by FTIR

FTIR is a powerful tool for identifying the types of chemical bonds in organic and inorganic molecules by producing an IR absorption spectrum.

Our equipment is Thermo Scientific Nicolet iS50 with Attenuated Total Reflectance iD7 (ATR).

Instrument details

  • Model: Thermoscientific Nicolet iS5
  • Accessory:iD7 ATR
  • Range of wavenumber cutoff:7800 - 350cm-1


  • Infrared spectrum is useful in identifying the functional groups like -OH, -CN, -CO, -CH, -NH2, etc.

We have our procedures done based on standardization.

  • ASTM E 1252: Standard Practice for General Techniques for obtaining infra-red spectra for ‘Qualitative Analysis’.

The specific gravity or relative density of a solid is a property that can be measured conveniently to identify a material and to follow physical changes in a sample.

  • ASTM D 792: Standard Test Method for Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Plastics
Ash Content

Ash content analysis helps in quantification of the residual polymeric content rather than qualitative comparison of components present in the polymer.

Procedures are done based on standard test methods

  • ASTM D 5630: Standard test method for ash content in thermoplastic

We Determine the mechanical properties of plastics like

  • Tensile
  • Izod Impact
  • Durometer hardness - Shore C, Shore D
  • Rockwell Hardness
Tensile Properties

"Tensile testing is an important material test to select a specific material for an application, quality control, and to predict how a material will react to varying forces.”

Tensile properties help us understand the resistance of the specimen to the force that tends to pull apart and leads to breakage

Properties that could be determined are

  • Tensile strength
  • Elongation at break
  • Tensile modulus

We have our procedures done based on standardization.

  • ASTM D638: is a testing standard which ascertains the tensile properties of a plastic material
IZOD Impact Test

Impact strength(IZOD) in Plastics: The ability of a material or article to withstand shocks. Impact strength data is the quantitative presentation of materials toughness.

  • TYPE - Pendulum Impact
  • This Helps us obtain - Impact Energy, Impact Strength

We have our procedures done based on standardization.

  • ASTM D 256-06: Standard test methods for determining the Izod pendulum impact.
Hardness Property

Hardness is a surface property. It is the resistance of a material to indentation, penetration, scratches, deformation and permanent deformation.

We have our procedures done based on standardization

  • ASTM D 2240: Standard test method for rubbery property -Durometer Hardness.
  • ASTM D758: Standard test method for Rockwell Hardness of Plastics and Electrical insulating materials
Melt Flow Index

MFI is a measurement that helps us understand rate of extrusion which can be defined as mass of polymer in grams flowing in 10 minutes.

MFI provides information pertaining to

  • Uniformity of flow
  • Quality check
  • Differentiation in polymer grades

Our procedures are based on standardization.

  • ASTM D 1238-04: Standard Test Method for Melt Flow Rates of Thermoplastics by Extrusion Plastometer.
  • ISO 1133: Determination of the melt mass-flow rate (MFR) and melt volume-flow rate (MVR) of thermoplastics
Heat Distortion Temperature (HDT)

HDT is a relative measure of a materials ability to perform for a short time at elevated temperature while supporting a load.

It gives an indication at what temperature materials start to "soften" when exposed to a fixed load at elevated temperatures.

  • ATSM D 648-07: Standard test method for Deflection Temperature of plastics under flexural load.

Flammability is the ability of a material to burn or ignite, causing fire.

Under certain applications plastics may reach a point of deformation, melting or ignition due to high temperatures. To limit this failure, flammability property is checked to give an idea about the material selection. The burning behavior of plastics is not just a material characteristic; it also helps with the designing.

  • ASTM D 5132 : Horizontal Burning Rate of Polymeric Materials Used in Occupant Compartments of Motor Vehicles.
  • ISO 3795: Determination of burning behavior of interior materials
Abrasion Resistance

Resistance to abrasion is defined as the ability of a material to withstand mechanical action such as rubbing, scraping, or erosion.

Taber abrasion performed on plastics involves abrading wheels running on the surface of the plastic. The observation of the test is measurement of the haze difference or weight loss before and after the abrasion.

  • ASTM D 1044: Resistance of Transparent Plastics to Surface Abrasion by the Taber Abraser.
Soiling/ wear Resistance

Soiling resistance is the ability of a material to withstand the contact of any material in everyday use. Soil-resistant materials will require less frequent or less severe cleaning, making them far easier to maintain.

Automotive materials experience mild abrasive actions from users. The application is not too severe that could cause abrasive damage to the test piece. The method is gentle thus to correlate with day to day applications. Not only plastics, even textiles and leathers can be tested.

Scratch Resistance

Painted plastics can be assessed with scratch resistance by variable loading of stylus movement for a constant distance. The critical load for making a scratch can be determined.

  • ISO 1518-2:Determination of scratch Determination of scratch resistance Part 2: Variable-loading method
Refractive Index

The Refractive Index determines how much the path of light is bent, or refracted, when entering a material. This is a characteristic value for each material.

The value of refractive index in plastics can be used to assess the purity of the material at different zones. The refractive index value for plastics might change in the presence of any contaminants.

  • ASTM D 542: Index of Refraction of Transparent Organic Plastics
Color Test

Evaluating the color of the plastics is done with high degree of accuracy using Colorimeter.

Colorimeter quantifies the color attributes which helps the processors to reproduce the accurate color and maintain the color consistency.

  • ASTM E 1347:Color and Color-difference Measurement by Colorimetry
  • ASTM D 2244: Calculation of Color Differences from Instrumentally Measured Color Coordinates
Gloss Test

Gloss is the property that shows the amount of light reflected from the surface of a material in a specular direction.

Gloss characterizes the reflective or shiny nature of plastic material. The gloss is responsible for the lustrous appearance of plastic films. This property is used to solve issues on surface finish which can be correlated with molding conditions of plastics.

  • ISO 1518-2: Determination of scratch Determination of scratch resistance Part 2: Variable-loading method

Flammability Test


Notch Cutter


Humidity Chamber.JPG

Rotation Abrasion Tester


Shore-A Hardnes

Shore-D Hardness

Gloss Measurement

IZod Impact Tester

Tensile Test