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Failure Reliability and Durability of Polymers

Polymer materials are viscoelastic in nature and their properties are highly dependent on time, temperature and stress. As a simple illustration, the long term fatigue strength of polycarbonate is only 14% of the short term tensile strength quoted on manufacturers’ data sheets. The significance of this is often overlooked at the design stage.

This three day course, deliverered in partnership with MIRCE has been designed for practicing engineers, analysts and managers. It will provide a general understanding of polymers as physical materials, their properties and failure mechanisms, reliability analysis method and methods that should be used in design and production processes to assure desirable durability characteristics.

Course fees - £950.00 + VAT (tuition, course material, lunches and light refreshments).

Course dates - 19th–21st April 2016 and 18th- 20th October 2016

Venue: Woodbury Park Hotel, Golf and Country Club – (approximately eight miles from Exeter)

Registration - Please follow this link to view our payment options and on line registration form


By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand what polymers are and what defines the major polymer groups (thermosets, elastomers, thermoplastic elastomers, amorphous thermoplastic and semi-crystalline thermoplastics).

  • Define and analyse system requirements and determine reliability and durability critical parameters

  • Understand the short term properties of polymers (stiffness, toughness, strength, HDT) and the effects of time and temperature on performance.

  • Understand polymer material selection, moulding and design features essential to ensuring the long term durability of engineering components

  • Perform Reliability Analysis of failure data

  • Make predictions regarding the future durability characteristics of a given polymer structure

  • Course Content

    Polymers and Polymer Structure

  • Mechanical Properties of Polymers
  • Short Term Properties
  • Long Term mechanical properties
  • Thermal Properties of Polymers
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Common Polymer Materials and Structure
    Design and Processing

  • Injection moulding overview
  • Moulded Structures & Design for injection moulding
  • Assembly techniques and design features
  • Materials Selection Process

  • General selection by material structure
  • Identification of candidate material types
  • Identification of potential material types
  • Comparison of named grades.


    Failure Mechanisms

  • Thermal Degradation
  • Photo-induced Degradation
  • Chemical Degradation
  • Oxidation
  • Failure Cause

  • Incorrect material selection:
  • Chemical & environmental interactions:
  • Response to long term loads:
  • Processing errors:
  • Inappropriate design:
  • Failure Analysis Case Studies

    Reliability Analysis of Failure Data

  • Weibull Method (analytical and graphical)
  • Durability Prediction

  • Expected Time To Failure
  • 5% and 95 % Life expectanc

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