Know your plastics better with Melt Flow Index Tester

In today’s world, plastic is an inevitable part of our lives. Without plastics, it is not even possible to imagine a working world in present scenario. From children toys to space shuttles, plastics are everywhere. There are numerous reasons why plastics have become more popular than other conventional materials that were used in the past. First of all, it is normally cheaper than other materials such as wood or metals hence it proves to be cost effective. It is unaffected from any external factors such as moisture or dust. It is inert to most of the chemicals hence can be used in chemically active environments without any problem. There are different kinds of plastics available in the markets and each has their own properties and usages.

Plastics are mainly categorized in two different classes that are thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics. The basics difference between the two classes of plastics is that the thermoplastics be melted and recycled in to new products by heating them at a certain temperature whereas the thermosetting plastics once formed cannot be melted back and hence cannot be recycled. Both classes have their own benefits. The thermosetting plastics are used in the applications where there is a high mechanical strength and chemical resistance is needed. Due to their ability to retain their physical form, they are mainly used for applications where complete sealing is required. On the other hand, the thermoplastics are used for the applications where there is a need for high strength as well as flexibility. Depending on the resin used for making the plastics, they can be used for even low strength applications such as plastic films, rigid plastic, packaging films, plastic bags (Plastic Testing Instruments)and so forth.

A greater application of thermosetting plastics is in the field of packaging and domestic uses. There are many types of plastics that are used in the industrial as well as domestic settings. Let us see about these different types of plastics.

Polymethyl Methacrylate
Polymethyl Methacrylate is a transparent plastic that is widely used in the optics industry for making lenses and transparent screens. This type of plastic can be made fluorescent and colored. IT is normally used in the form of sheet. The main attributed of this plastic include UV tolerance, non-glare, bullet resistance, and so forth.

Polycarbonate
This plastic is also termed as engineering plastic which has the attributes such as toughness, stable and transparency. The best attribute about the polycarbonate is that it is clear as glass but many times stronger than glass.

Polyethylene
Polyethylene is one of the most commonly found plastics on the planet. IT can be manufactured in many different densities and strength hence it can be used for a variety of purposes. Every different density of the Polyethylene gives it different physical properties.

  • LDPE or low density polyethylene is very ductile and flexible. It is used for making products such as shopping bags, plastic bags, clear food containers, disposable packaging and so forth.
  • MDPE or medium density polyethylene is the one that has relative more polymer chains and hence has higher density than LDPE. This is used for making flexible pipes, shrink films, carry bags and so forth.
  • HDPE or High density polyethylene is more rigid than the LDPE and MDPE and can be used for making water pipes, plastic bottles, furniture and other high strength products.
  • UHMWPE or Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene is slightly denser than HDPE but has a greater abrasion resistance because of the presence of extremely longer polymer chains. This type of plastic is used for making body armors, medical prosthetics, hydraulic seals and so forth.
  • Polypropylene
    It is a thermoplastic polymer that is used widely across the globe as synthetic plastic. The polypropylene is more flexible as compared to polyethylene and has greater strength as well. This type of plastic is mainly used for making lab equipment and apparatus as it is resistant to chemicals such as acids. It is also used for making automobile parts and medical devices.

    Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
    This is the plastic that belongs to the polyester family and has wide usage in the packaging industries. It is used for making food containers, PET bottles as it has excellent resistance to the chemicals and organic materials.

    PVC or Polyvinyl chloride
    PVC is also a very commonly used plastic in the densities. It is known for its flexible properties and high strength. It is used for making electrical cable insulations, water and drainage pipes, Store displays, kiosks and many others.

    Now as we know that the plastics are available in many different classes and types. It is the resin of the plastic being used that holds the responsibility for the chemical and physical properties of the final plastic products. In order to maintain the best quality of the products, the manufacturers must ensure that they test every feature of the resins before commencing the production. One such test is melt flow index test.

    Melt Flow Index tester

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    The melt flow index test gives information about the various physical and chemical properties of the resin that will be used for production of high quality products. The melt flow index of a plastic resin is termed as the amount of molten resin that can pass through a orifice of a standards size under the pressure of a shear force.

    In order to calculate the melt flow index of a resin accurately, one must use the most precise and accurate testing equipment as any compromise with the test accuracy can lead to wrong information about the resin and cause low quality of products. The melt flow index tester is one of the best testing machines that is used for calculating the MFI of a plastic resin. The instrument comes with a highly precise and accurate temperature controller that helps in melting the test resins according to the standards. The machine is also given with the dead weights that can be used for application of the shear force on the test resins. The molten resin is made to flow through the orifice for ten minutes and then the weight of the flown resins is found out with the help of a digital weight. This gives the exact calculation of the Melt Flow Index of the plastic resins.

    By Determining the MFI of the plastic resin they use, they can easily determine the various properties of the plastic resin they are using for product manufacturing. This helps them in delivering the best quality of products to the clients and attain best customer satisfaction.