Plastic Thermal Analysis and Testing

Polyhedron Laboratories performs thermal analysis testing according to ASTM standards. Thermal Analysis is a field of materials science in which the properties of materials are examined as the material changes with temperature changes. The list of thermal testing that we can conduct is very extensive and technical, so please feel free to contact us to find out which type will be best for your specific application.

Some of the thermal analysis ASTM testing that Polyhedron handles includes: Brittleness Temperature by Impact (ASTM D 746), Capillary Rheometry (ASTM D 3835), Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (ASTM D 696), Deflection Temperature Under Flexural Load (Flexural Test) (ASTM D 648), Differential Scanning Calorimetry for Melting Point and Crystallization Point (ASTM D 3418), Differential Scanning Calorimetry for Heats of Fusion and Crystallization (ASTM D 3417), Ignition Temperature (ASTM D 1929), Melt Flow (ASTM D 1238), Oxidative Induction Time (ASTM D 3895), Ring and Ball Softening Point (ASTM E 28), Specific Heat Capacity by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) (ASTM E 1269), Thermogravimetric Analysis (ASTM D 3850 and E 1131) and Vicat Softening Point (ASTM D 1525).

All ASTM standard descriptions below are paraphrased from the ASTM website ( Due to copyright restrictions, Polyhedron Laboratories cannot make available copies of standards. Standards can be found and are available at

ASTM D 746-04

Standard Test Method for Brittleness Temperature of Plastics and Elastomers by Impact
This test procedure deals with the determination of the temperature at which elastomers and plastics display brittle failure under specific impact conditions.

ASTM D 3835-02

Standard Test Method for Determination of Properties of Polymeric Materials by Means of a Capillary Rheometer
This test procedure deals with the measurement of the rheological properties of polymeric materials at various shear rates and temperatures that are common to processing equipment. It covers measurement of melt sensitivity, viscosity, or stability of melt viscosity with respect to polymer dwell time and temperature in the rheometer, die swell ratio (polymer memory), and shear sensitivity when extruding under constant rate or stress. The methods illustrated permit the characterization of materials that exhibit both unstable and stable melt viscosity properties. This method generates a plot of log viscosities versus log shear rate, which is important for polymer extrusion.

ASTM D 696-03

Standard Test Method for Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion of Plastics Between -30°C and 30°C With a Vitreous Silica Dilatometer
This test procedure deals with the determination of the coefficient of linear thermal expansion for plastic materials having coefficients of expansion greater than 1 x 10-6 °C-1 by use of a vitreous silica dilatometer. At the test temperatures and under the stresses imposed, the plastic materials shall have an elastic strain rate or negligible creep or both, as these properties would considerably affect the accurateness of the measurements.

ASTM D 648-06

Standard Test Method for Deflection Temperature of Plastics Under Flexural Load in the Edgewise Position
This test procedure deals with the determination of the temperature at which an arbitrary deformation occurs when samples are subjected to a set of testing conditions. This test procedure applies to sheet and molded materials available in thicknesses of 3 mm (1/8 inch) or greater and that are semi-rigid or rigid at normal temperature. Sheet stock less than 3 millimeters but more than 1 millimeter (0.125 inches to 0.040 inches) in thickness may be tested by use of a composite sample with a minimum thickness of 3 mm. One requirement is that the laminate must be of uniform stress distribution. One type of composite sample has been prepared by cementing the ends of the laminate together and then smoothing the edges with sandpaper. The direction of loading is to be perpendicular to the edges of each laminate.

ASTM D 3418-03

Standard Test Method for Transition Temperatures of Polymers By Differential Scanning Calorimetry
This test method covers determination of transition temperatures and of fusion and crystallization of polymers by differential scanning calorimetry. This test method is applicable to polymers in granular form or to any fabricated shape from where it is possible to cut appropriate samples. The normal operating temperature range is from the ambient region to 500°C

ASTM D 3417-99

Standard Test Method for Enthalpies of Fusion and Crystallization of Polymers by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
This test procedure deals with the determination of heat of crystallization and heat of fusion of polymers by differential scanning calorimetry.

ASTM D 1929-96e1

Standard Test Method for Determining Ignition Temperature of Plastics
This test procedure deals with the laboratory determination of the spontaneous ignition temperature and flash ignition temperature of plastics using a hot-air furnace.

ASTM D 1238-04c

Standard Test Method for Melt Flow Rates of Thermoplastics by Extrusion Plastometer
This test procedure deals with the measurement of the rate of extrusion of molten resins through a die of a specified diameter and length under prescribed conditions of load, temperature, and piston position in the barrel as the timed measurement is made. Specifically, one test method is a manual cutoff operation based on time used for materials with flow rates that fall between 0.15 and 50 g/10 min.

ASTM D 3895-04

Standard Test Method for Oxidative-Induction Time of Polyolefins by Differential Scanning Calorimetry
This test procedure covers a method for the determination of oxidative-induction time (OIT) of polymeric materials by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). It applies to polyolefin resins in a fully stabilized/compounded form. The measurement is indirectly related to how much antioxidant is in the sample.

ASTM E 28-99

Standard Test Methods for Softening Point of Resins Derived from Naval Stores by Ring-and-Ball Apparatus
These test procedures are used for determining the softening point of resins (including terpene and rosin resins) as well as comparable materials by means of the ring-and-ball apparatus.

ASTM E 1269-05

Standard Test Method for Determining Specific Heat Capacity by Differential Scanning Calorimetry
This test procedure deals with the determination of specific heat capacity by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). This test routine is applicable to thermally stable liquids and solids. The test procedure normal operating range is from 30 to 500 Degrees Centigrade. It is possible to extend the temperature range, depending upon the specimen holders and instrumentation used.

ASTM D 3850-94

Standard Test Method for Rapid Thermal Degradation of Solid Electrical Insulating Materials By Thermogravimetric Method (TGA)
This test procedure outlines a method for acquiring thermogravimetric (TGA) data on solid polymeric materials that are to be used as electrical insulating materials.

ASTM E 1131-03

Standard Test Method for Compositional Analysis by Thermogravimetry
This test procedure details a technique incorporating thermogravimetry to determine the amount of medium volatile matter, highly volatile matter, combustible material, and ash content of compounds. This test routine is useful in performing compositional analysis. This test procedure is applied to solids and liquids. The temperature range of this test routine is room temperature to 800°C. This test method uses a reactive and an inert gas environment.

ASTM D 1525-00

Standard Test Method for Vicat Softening Temperature of Plastics
This test procedure deals with the determination of the temperature where a specified needle penetration occurs when samples are subjected to specific controlled test conditions.

Contact Polyhedron Laboratories about Thermal Analysis Testing.

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