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Design

Formulas

Stress Formulas

Strength of Materials

Beam Formulas, Bending Moments

Properties of Sections, Moments of Inertia

Flat Plate Formulas

Designing for Equal Stiffness

Designing for Impact Resistance

Designing for Thermal Stress

73

6 Design Formulas

Whether you are designing in metals or Partial list of engineering symbols and

plastics, it is necessary to choose the specific letters used, and meanings.

structural property values for use in stan-

= Angle

dard design equations. With metals, such

A = Area . . . cross-sectional

property values are relatively constant over = Coefficient of linear thermal expansion

a wide range of temperatures and time. y = Deflection of cantilever; height of

But for plastics, the appropriate values are undercut

dependent on temperature, stress level, = Density

and life expectancy of the part. D = Diameter

MD = Diameter, major

As far as design practices are involved, PD = Diameter, pitch

the principles defined in many good engi- c = Distance from neutral axis to outer

neering handbooks are applicable. However, fiber, centroid

the nature of high polymer materials requires z = Distance from q to neutral axis

even more attention to appropriate safety P = Force . . . P = deflection force

= Friction, coefficient

factors.

a,b,h,t = Height or thickness

The information and formulas provided I = Inertia, moment of (neutral axis)

in this chapter can help you solve many of = Length

the design problems commonly met in the = Length, change

structural design of plastic parts. E = Modulus (Young’s)

However, it is important that designers q = Point within a beam or internal

pressure

and design engineers understand that the R = Radius

formulas and the data expressed in this r = Radius

brochure are given only as guides. They Es = Secant modulus

may not be pertinent to the design of a M = Sectional bending moment

particular part, with its own special require- τ = Shear stress

= Strain

ments and end-use environments.

= Stress

Generally, the symbols used in this man- TCF = Thickness conversion factor

ual’s various figures, formulas, and text T = Temperature

have the definitions shown in the boxed T = Temperature, change

column on this page. v = Poisson’s ratio

Our customers can expect efficient design = Velocity, constant angular,

radius/second

assistance and aid from the technical sup- bo = Width at base

port services at Dow Plastics. We invite a = Width . . . wall thickness

you to discuss your needs with us.

Above all, there is an aspect of profes-

sional and competent design engineering

that holds true throughout. That is the fact

that, after all the science, mathematics, and

experience have been properly used in

“solving” the design needs of a part, it is

strongly recommended that prototype parts

be produced and thoroughly tested in the

expected end-use conditions and environ-

ments before committing the design to

full-scale production.

74

Stress Formulas

Within the elastic limits of the materials, Tensile or Compressive Stress

design formulas developed for metals can

also be applied to plastics. Stress levels are Tensile or compressive stress is the force

determined only by load and part geometry, carried per unit of area and is expressed

so standard equations can be used. Deflec- by the equation:

tion is determined by two other material = P = P

A ab

property values: the elastic, or Young’s

modulus (E); and Poisson’s ratio (v). Since Where:

the modulus of a plastic material varies with = stress

temperature and duration of the stress, this P = force

modulus may need replacement in deflec- A = cross-sectional area

a = width

tion equations by the appropriate creep

b = height

modulus. It may be helpful to review vari-

ous sections of Chapter 4 for assistance in The force (P) produces stresses normal

choosing modulus values appropriate to (i.e., perpendicular) to the cross section of

the specific stress level, temperature, and the part. If the stress tends to lengthen the

design life of the part. part, it is called tensile stress. If the stress

Poisson’s ratio varies with temperature, tends to shorten the part, it is called com-

strain level, and strain rate. These differ- pressive stress. (For compression loading,

ences are too small to significantly affect a the part should be relatively short, or it must

calculation. For example, Poisson’s ratio at be constrained against lateral bucking.)

room temperature for CALIBRE polycarbon-

ate resin is 0.37, and it ranges from 0.35 to Strain

0.40 over the operational temperature range.

By selecting the correct modulus and assum- Strain is the ratio of the change in the

ing the value of Poisson’s ratio to be constant, part’s length, over the original length. It is

standard equations can be used to design expressed as the percentage of change in

a part for fabrication in thermoplastics. length, or percent elongation.

In direct tension and compression loading,

the force is assumed to act along a line

through the center of gravity of members

having uniform cross-sections, called

centroids.

75

6 Design Formulas

The standard stress equation is valid when When a stress acts to twist a component, it

the cross-section being considered is produces torsional stress. If a solid circular

perpendicular to the force. However, when shaft, or shaft-like component, is subject to

the cross-section is at an angle other than a twisting moment, or torsion, the resulting

90° to the force, as shown in Figure 57, the shear stress (q) is calculated by:

equation must be adapted. These stresses Gr

q=

are always less than the standard case, i.e.,

maximum normal stress occurs when = 0.

where:

q = shear stress

Shear Stress G = modulus of rigidity

(see Chapter 4, page 35)

In addition to the normal stress calculated = angle of twist, in radians

in the previous section, a plane at an angle r = radius of shaft

to the force has a shear stress component. = length of shaft

Here, unlike tensile and compressive stress,

The torque (T) carried by the shaft is given by

the force produces stress in the plane of the

G

cross-section, i.e., the shear stresses are T= IP

perpendicular to tensile or compressive

stresses. The equations for calculating where IP is the polar second moment of

planar shear stress, based on Figure 58 are:

d4

area =

τ = P sin cos 32

A

A useful rearrangement of the formula is

Max = P T

2A (when = 45° or 135°) =

GI P

an Angle Figure 58 – Representation of Shear Stress

P = force

= angle

P P S = P

T =

T

P S

S P () = normal stress acting at angle Centroid

T

() = shear stress acting at angle

A = cross-sectional area P

() = P cos2

A

Max () = P(when =0°)

A

76

Strength of Materials

Beams The fiber stress for any point (q) within

the beam is calculated using the equation:

When a straight beam of uniform cross- = Mz

sectional area is subjected to a perpendicular I

load, the beam bends. If shear is negligible, where:

the vertical deflection is largely due to bend- M = bending moment of the section containing

ing. Fibers on the convex side of the beam q (values can be taken from the appro-

priate beam formula, Figures 60 to 68).

lengthen, and fibers on the concave side z = the distance from q to the neutral axis

compress. I = the moment of inertia with respect to the

There is a neutral surface within any beam neutral axis (values can be taken from

that contains the centroids of all sections the appropriate cross-sectional area

and is perpendicular to the plane of the load formula, Figures 69 to 91).

for such deflections. In a uniform, symmetri- The maximum fiber stress in any section

cal beam, the neutral axis of the beam is the occurs at the points farthest from the neu-

horizontal, central axis. Tensile or compres- tral surface and at the section of greatest

sive stress and strain on the neutral axis are bending moment, i.e., when z = Max z, and

essentially zero. At all other points within M = Max M. Maximum fiber stress is

the beam, the stress is a tensile stress if the given by the equation:

point lies between the neutral axis and convex

Max = Mc

surfaces of the beam, and is a compressive

I

stress if the point lies between the neutral

axis and concave surfaces of the beam, see where:

Figure 59. c = the distance from the neutral axis to the

extreme outermost fiber.

• The beam is of homogeneous material,

so that it has the same modulus of

elasticity in tension and compression.

• Plane sections remain planar.

Figure 59 – Bending of a Beam If several loads are applied at the same time,

the total stress and deflection at any point

are found by superimposition. Compute the

Tensile Stress stress and deflection for each load acting

on the point, and add them together.

77

6 Design Formulas

Figure 60 – Cantilever Beam, concen- Figure 62 – Simple Beam, concentrated

trated load at free end load at center

P

1 2

y y max

o x

o P P x P

y R= R2 =

x 2 2

2

x y max

R1 = P y

2 2

M

y

M o P = ( -x)

x x

M1 = P o

Px P

2 4

2 3

2 = P y max = P y = P (3x2 - x3)

2EI 3EI 6EI For o < x ≤ ; y = P (32x - 4x3)

2 48EI

2 3

1 = 2 = P y max = P

16EI 48EI

load, w per unit length, total load W load off center

a b

w lbs/unit length 1 y1 P y2 2

2

w o x

M1 = x

2 y

w y max Pb x z Pa

x R1 = R2 =

y 2

M

w (- x) 2

M 2

x

w

o x

2

Pbx Pab Paz

2 3 2

2 = w y max = w y = wx (x2 + 4x - 62) 1 = Pab ( + b) y1 = Pbx (2 - b2 - x2)

6EI 8EI 24EI 6EI 6EI

2 = Pab ( + a) y2 = Paz (2 - a2 - z2)

6EI 6EI

78

Figure 64 – Simple Beam, two equal, Figure 66 – Beam fixed at both ends,

concentrated loads, symmetrically placed concentrated load at center

P P

a a

1 y1 y2 2 P

x P P

M1 = M2 =

8 8

R1 = P x y max R2 = P

P x P

R1 = R2 =

x 2 2

2 2

M

M P

8

Pa

o P P

8 8

For o < x ≤ a; y1 = Px [3a( - a) -x2]

6EI

6EI 1 = 2 = O y = Px (3 - 4x) y max = P

48EI 192EI

1 = 2 = Pa ( - a) y max = Pa (32 - 4a2)

2EI 24EI

w per unit length, total load W

w lbs/unit length

1 y y max

o

x

R1 = w x R2 = w

2

2 2

w wx2

(x - x2)

M 2 8

3

1 = 2 =

24EI 384EI

24EI

79

6 Design Formulas

concentrated load at any point

P

M1 a b M2

y

x

R1 R2

Pb2 [ – (2a + ) x - a]

3 o < x a

M 2Pa2b2

3

Pab2

2 Pa2b

2

a>b

2 2

R1 = Pb3 (3a + b); M1 = Pab

2

2 2

R2 = Pa3 (a + 3b) M2 = Pa2 b

2

For o < x ≤ a; y = Pb [3 ax2 - (3a + 6)x3]

63EI

1 = 2 = O y max = 2Pa3b2

3EI (3a + b)2

ex = 2a

+ 2a

3 3

At load y = Pa b3

3EI

uniform load w per unit, total load W

2

M1 = w w lbs/unit length

12 y

x

R1 = w x 2

2 y max M2 = w

12

y R2 = w

2

w w2

12 w 12

(6x - 1 - 6x2)

12

2 4

1 = 2 = 0 y = wx ( - x)2 y max = w

24EI 384EI

80

Properties of Sections, Moments of Inertia

Figure 69 Figure 72 Figure 75

h

2

h h h H

h

H

2

2

h

b

H

3

A=h 2

Z= h A = bh bh2

Z= 4 4

4 6 6 A=H -h 2 2

Z=1 H -h

l= h C= h 6 H

12 2 r= h C=H

12 2 r= H2 + h2

r = h = 0.289 h i=

bh3 12

12 I = H4 - h4

12

12

h

h

2 b

h H

H bh

2

b2 + h 2

h h

b

3 b2h2

A = h2 Z= h 3 3 A = bh Z=

6 2 A = b (H - h) Z = b H -h 3 3 6 b2 + h2

C=

h 6 H I = b2 h 2

2 r= h l = b (H3 - h3) 3 3

6(b + h ) r= bh

12 r= H -h

4 12 6 (B2 + H2)

l= h 12 (H - h)

12

2

h h

h 3 h

H

H H 2 R

b

3R2 5 3 4

A= l= R

4

2 (H - h ) 4 2tan 30° 16 bh2

A = H 2 - h2 Z= A = 1 bh Z=

12H 24

4

l = H -h

4

C= h r = 0.456 R 2

H2 + h 2 2 3 h

12 r=

Z = 0.625R3 l = bh R=

12 36 18

81

6 Design Formulas

b B b B

2 2

b

R H h

h H

h

H

2

BH3 + bh3

A = HB + hb Z=

6H

C = 0.577 h r = 0.456 R BH3 + bh3 3 3

A = HB + hb Z= I = BH + bh BH3 + bh3

6H 12 r=

I = 0.541R4 Z = 0.541R3 BH3 + bh3 12 (BH + bh)

I= BH3 + bh3

12 r=

12 (BH + bh)

a b b

C

H H h h H

H

2

B B

b

BH3 - bh3 BH3 - bh3

A = BH - bh Z= A = BH - bh Z=

A = h (a + b) 6H 6H

2 3 3 3 3

I = BH - bh BH3 - bh3 I = BH - bh BH3 - bh3

12 r= 12 r=

C = h a + 2b 12 (BH - bh) 12 (BH - bh)

3 a+b

3 2 2

I = h a + 4ab + b

36 a+b

h2 a2 + 4ab + b2

Z=

12 a + 2b

18

B b B b b

2 2 2 2

h H

H h

B

BH3 + bh3

A = HB + hb Z= BH3 - bh3

6H A = BH - bh Z=

3 3 6H

I = BH + bh BH + bh 3 3 3 3

12 r= I = BH - bh BH3 - bh3

12 (BH + bh) 12 r=

12 (BH - bh)

82

Figure 86 Figure 88 Figure 90

b

a a

b1

a 2 2

2

d1 C2

C2 C2

a h1 H

H H

h h

C1 C1

C1 d d

d d

B1 B1 b b

2 B 2 b

2 2

B B

A = (Bd + bd1) + a(h + h1) A = Bd + a(H - d) A = Bd + a(H - d)

I = 1 (BC13 - B1h3 + bc23 - b1h13) I = 1 (BC13 - bh3 + aC23) 1 (BC 3 - bh3 + aC 3)

3 3 I= 1 2

3

1 aH2 + b1d2 + b1d1 (2H - d1) 1 aH2 + bd2

C1 = C1 = 1 aH2 + bd2

2 aH + B1d + b1d1 2 aH + bd C1 =

2 aH + bd

C2 = H - C1 C2 = H - C1 C2 = H - C1

r= I I

r= r= I

(Bd + bd1) + a(h + h1) Bd + a(H - d) Bd + a(H - d)

a

D

C2 2

d

H 2

h d

r

C1

d

A = d Z = d

2 3

b

B 4 32

I = d

4

d r= d

64 4

D

A = Bd + a(H - d)

A = (D2 - d2)

I = 1 (BC13 - bh3 + aC23) 4

3 (D4 - d4)

I= = 0.049 (D2 - d2)

1 aH2 + bd2 64

C1 =

2 aH + bd (D - d )

4 4

(D4 - d4)

Z= = 0.098

32D D

C2 = H - C 1

r= D2 + d2

I

r= 4

Bd + a(H - d)

83

6 Design Formulas Des

Flat Plates

A flat plate of uniform thickness is used in

many designs to support a load perpendicu-

lar to the plate. Figures 92 to 95 give stress

and deflection equations for several com-

mon plate configurations. Again, these

equations are valid when working with a

homogeneous, isotropic material, and when

deflection is less than about one-half of the

plate thickness.

Figure 92 – Rectangular plate, all edges Figure 94 – Circular plate, fixed edges,

Where: fixed, uniform load uniformly distributed load

a = radius of circular

plate

a

D = Eh 3

b

12 ( - 2)

flexural rigidity

of plate

E = apparent modulus Rectangular plate, all edges fixed, Circular plate, fixed edges,

of elasticity uniform load uniformly distributed load

h = plate thickness qa4

Deflection at center: Deflection at center: y =

v = Poisson’s ratio 64D

q = uniform load per 0.0284 qa4

y= qa2 (1+)

unit area Eh3 [1 + 1.05 ( ba )5] Moment at center: M =

16

Maximum stress

(at center of long edge): Maximum stress (at center):

qa2 3qa2

max S = max S =

2h2 [1 + .0623 ( ba )6] 4h2

Figure 93 – Rectangular plate, all edges supported edges, uniformly distributed

simply supported, uniform load load

s

a

s b s

s

Circular plate, simply supported

Rectangular plate, all edges simply edges, uniformly distributed load

supported, uniform load qa4 (5 +)

Deflection at center: y =

64D (1 + )

Deflection at center:

0.142 qa4 qa2 (3+)

y= Moment at center: M =

Eh3 [1 + 2.21 ( ba )3] 16

Maximum stress (at center):

Maximum stress (at center):

0.75qa2

max S = 3qa2 (3+)

h [1 + 1.61 ( ba )3]

2

max S =

8h2

84

sign Formulas Design Formu

Thin-Walled Tubing

Figure 96 and the equations provided can

be used to calculate the stress and defor-

mation of thin-walled tubing under internal

pressure when neither end of the tubing is

closed. This also applies to fairly long tubes,

or in situations remote from the tube ends.

As long as the wall thickness is less than

about one-tenth of the radius, the circumfer-

ential or hoop stress (2) is practically uni-

form throughout the thickness of the wall,

and the radial stress (3) is negligible. As

usual, the appropriate time- and tempera-

ture-dependent modulus must be calculated

for specific applications. Significant error

can result if the thin-wall equations are used

in calculations that involve thick walls.

1 = qr

2t

externally balanced

2 = qr

t

r = qr

Et

r t

1

2

r q

— ≥ 10

t

t = thickness 3 = radial stress

q = internal pressure E = modulus

1 = see calculation r = change in radius

85

6 Design Formulas

Equations for design of thin-walled pressure

vessels can be used to design thick-walled

pressure vessels to be fabricated from thermo-

plastics. However, several guidelines need

to be considered. First, include generous

safety factors in the design to allow for the

geometrical differences at the joint of the

end-plate and the cylinder. These differ-

ences can cause maximum stresses, many

times the nominal hoop stress, depending

on the plate-to-wall joint design. Also, the

ratio of wall thickness to mean radius should

not exceed approximately 1:10 to avoid a

triaxial stress state – with stresses acting

in three directions – which can reduce the

ductility of plastics and most other materi-

als. And, of course, the modulus must be

selected carefully.

Remember always that design analysis and

calculations cannot take into consideration

such factors as weld lines, the effect of gate

location, orientation of the polymer, or vari-

ations in polymer density. Therefore, the

design should always be verified by fabricat-

ing and testing prototypes. For example, a

typical pressure vessel evaluation would

include fatigue testing (cyclic pressuriza-

tion) and hydrostatic burst testing. (For

more information on the effect of weld lines

and gate location, see page 66.) For the

equations appropriate to a specific situation,

consult your general engineering handbook.

86

Design Formu

given as

Because of their high strength-to-weight

† = 1 x 2 (3 + v)R2 - (1 + 3v)r2

ratio, dimensional stability, resistance to

8 386.4

creep and relaxation, and their impact

strength, engineering thermoplastics are 3. Maximum radial and maximum

excellent materials for rotating disks, such tangential stresses are equal and

as impellers. occur at the center (r = 0).

The total stress on an impeller is Max r = Max † = 1 x 2 (3 + v)R2

calculated by adding: 8 386.4

differential. uniform thickness with an outer radius

R (mm), a central hole of radius Ro (mm),

• Localized bending stresses due to the

and density r (g/cm3), rotating about its

attachment of a blade.

centroidal axis with a constant angular

• Inertial stresses due to high-speed velocity v (rad/sec):

rotation.

1. At any point a distance r from the

Make sure that the total stress is within the center radial tensile stress (r) is

design limits based on service conditions. given as

Bending stresses are calculated using

r = 3 + v x 2 (R2 + R02 - R2R02 - r2)

standard stress and deflection equations.

8 386.4 r2

The inertial stresses developed by high-

speed rotation can be estimated by using 2. Tangential tensile inertia stress (†)

the following flat-disk equations. In all of is given as

the equations, v is Poisson’s ratio, which † = 1 x 2 (3 + v) R2 +R02 + R2R02 – (1 + 3v)r2

is defined on page 40. 2

8 386.4 r

Rotating Disk Equations

3. Maximum radial stress (Max r)

A. For a solid, homogeneous, circular disk occurs at r = ⻫RR0 and is given as

of uniform thickness, having radius R Max r = 3 + v x 2 (R - R02)2

(mm) and density r (g/cm3), rotating

8 386.4

about its centroidal axis with a constant

angular velocity, v (rad/sec): 4. Maximum tangential stress (Max †)

occurs at the perimeter of the hole

1. Radial tensile inertia stress (sr) at a

and is given as

point which is distance r from the

center, is given as: Max † = 1 x 2 (3 + v )R2 +(1 - v)R 02

r = 1 x 2 (3 + v)(R2 - r 2) 4 386.4

8 386.4

87

6 Design Formulas

Equivalent Thickness factors for several common structural

materials relative to steel. These factors are

When a thermoplastic is specified as based on the short-term, room temperature

replacement for another material (a metal, modulus values. Conversion factors based

for example) the new part often needs to on the long-term and/or high temperature

have the same stiffness as the old one. modulus (that is, the creep modulus) will

Essentially, that means making sure that be different from those shown here.

the new part, when subjected to the same For example, to find what thickness of a

load, will have the same deflection as the thermoplastic component is required for

old part. equal stiffness relative to steel, multiply

Deflection in bending is proportional 1/EI the thickness of the steel component by

(E = modulus and I = moment of inertia), the conversion factor, TCF, in Table 17:

and I is proportional to t3 (t = thickness).

t2 = t1 x TCF

Thus, the equivalent thickness of a plain,

flat part to be made from a thermoplastic where:

can be calculated by the following equation: 3

TCF = E 1

3

t 2 = t1 E1 E ST

where: modulus of steel.

replaced To determine the thickness of material (Y)

E2 = flexural modulus or creep modulus of required for a thermoplastic part that will

replacement thermoplastic give the same stiffness as when the part is

t1 = thickness of old material

made with a material (Z) other than steel,

t2 = required thickness of thermoplastic

multiply the thickness of the part in

A thickness conversion factor (TCF) can be material (Z) by the TCF (from Table 17 )

calculated on the basis of the cube root of for the thermoplastic relative to steel, and

the ratio of the moduli of the two materials. then divide by the TCF for the material

Table 17 lists the thickness conversion (Y) relative to steel.

Table 17 – Thickness Conversion Factors for Common Structural Materials Relative To Steel

Flexural Modulus Thickness

Replacement S.I. English Metric Conversion

Material GPa ksi kg/cm2 Factor

ABS 2.6 3.8 x 105 2.7 x 104 4.29

Acrylic 3.0 4.4 x 105 3.1 x 104 4.12

Aluminum, cast 71.0 1.0 x 107 7.2 x 105 1.43

Brass 96.5 1.4 x 107 9.9 x 105 1.29

Ceramics (A203) 344.8 5.0 x 107 3.5 x 106 0.84

Glass 69.0 1.0 x 107 7.0 x 105 1.44

PC 2.4 3.5 x 105 2.5 x 104 4.41

PP 1.2 1.7 x 105 1.2 x 104 5.63

PS 3.3 4.8 x 105 3.4 x 104 3.97

Polysulfone 2.5 3.6 x 105 2.6 x 104 4.37

Steel 206.9 3.0 x 107 2.1 x 106 1.00

Timber (average of a variety of structural timbers) 11.7 1.7 x 106 1.2 x 105 2.60

SAN 3.6 5.2 x 105 3.7 x 104 3.88

Zinc, die cast 44.8 6.5 x 106 4.6 x 105 1.66

88

Design Formu

methods of finding equivalent thickness

when redesigning in polycarbonate. Occasionally, the calculations for an equiva-

To calculate the thickness of a part that, lent thickness of a thermoplastic to a plain,

when made in polycarbonate, will have the flat plate can give results that would be too

same deflection as a 0.75 mm thick alumi- thick to be economical or practical. As the

num part at 73°F (23°C). moment of inertia is proportional to thick-

ness cubed, the addition of ribs to a rela-

A. Using the moduli of the two materials: tively thin plate is an effective way to

E 1 = modulus of aluminum at 73°F (23°C) increase the stiffness.

= 7.2 x 10 4 MPa Figure 97 shows four cross-sections of

E 2 = modulus of polycarbonate at 73°F (23°C)

= 2.41 x 103 MPa

equal stiffness. The straight conversion

t1 = 0.75 factor for polycarbonate is bulky, uneconom-

t2 = ? mical and inappropriate. The use of ribs in

t2 = t1 E 1

3

the part made with polycarbonate will allow

E2 a thinner overall wall thickness. By allowing

= 0.75 71,000

3 thinner walls, ribbing also reduces molding

2,410 cycle time and cross-sectional area, and

reduces material usage and product weight

= 2.3 mm

without sacrificing physical properties. You

B. Using the thickness conversion factors may wish to consider other methods of

from Table 17: stiffening such as corrugating and doming.

= 1.43 Figure 97 – Calculations for Equal

Stiffness, Ribbing with Polycarbonate

TCF PC/ST = TCF for polycarbonate relative Resins

to steel

= 4.41

0.386

0.125

to aluminum

Aluminum Zinc Polycarbonate (GP)

= TCVPC/ST (Inappropriate)

0.06

TCF AL/ST

0.6

= 4.41

.1

1.43

Polycarbonate (Modified Design)

= 3.08

Therefore: t2 = 0.75 x 3.08

= 2.3 mm

to thickness cubed (t3). This means an

increase in thickness of only 26% will

double part stiffness.

89

6 Design Formulas

The impact resistance exhibited by an Mold Design

actual part depends on the design of the

part, the material used, and the conditions Impact strength can also be improved by

of fabrication. good mold design. In this:

Designing for impact is complex. The • Position gates away from high impact

shape and stiffness of the striking body, the areas. (See page 66 for more informa-

shape of the part, the inertia of both, and tion on gate location.)

end-use conditions can all affect impact

strength. The following section gives you • Place weld lines, whenever possible,

general design guidelines for improving away from high impact areas. (See page

impact strength. These guidelines comprise 66 for more information on weld lines.)

a sound approach to the design challenge, • Core-out thick sections to reduce pack-

but are not a substitute for production of ing stresses and improve flexibility.

and testing for prototype parts in the actual

conditions of use. Assembly

Part Design for Impact Resistance The method of assembly can also affect a

part’s impact strength. Rigid joints can

Because the part must be able to absorb the cause abrupt transitions in energy flow,

energy of impact, part design is probably which can break the joint. Joints, like walls

the greatest single factor – other than and corners, should be flexible. Assembly

proper material selection – in determining techniques are discussed in Chapter 7.

impact strength. Part design will improve

the impact resistance when you take care to:

• Provide walls that flex rather than

rigidly resist impact loading.

• Use rounded corners so that they can

give with the impact and provide a

smoother transfer of energy. (See the

discussion on corner radius in “Product

Design” page 56.)

• Avoid any abrupt changes in stiffness

(due to changes in wall thickness or

structural reinforcement), which tend to

concentrate impact loading. This includes

such features as ribs, holes, and machined

areas. (See Chapter 5, page 56 for design

guidelines on wall thickness, transition

zones and ribs.)

90

Design Formu

Thermal expansion and contraction are The following calculations illustrate the

important considerations in plastics design, use of thermal stress equations:

and are often overlooked. Expansion- Calculate the strain () on a part made of

contraction problems often arise when two polycarbonate and close fitting onto a steel

or more parts made of materials having bracket. The parts are assembled at a room

different coefficients of thermal expansion temperature of 73°F (23°C) and operated

are assembled at a temperature other than at an environmental temperature of 180°F

that of the end-use environment. When the (82°C).

assembled parts go into service in the end-use A. Select values of coefficients from Table 18:

environment, the two materials react differ-

ently, and the resultant thermal stresses a1 = coefficient of polycarbonate

= 6.8 x 10-5

can cause unexpected part failure.

a2 = coefficient for steel

So, you must consider the effects of ther-

= 1.2 x 10-5

mal expansion and/or contraction early in

the design of parts that involve close fits, B. Calculate the change in temperature:

molded-in inserts, and mechanical fastenings. DT = 180°F (82°C) - 73°F (23°C) = 138°F (59°C)

Coefficients of thermal expansion for some C. Choose the appropriate thermal stress equation

common materials are given in Table 18. and insert values:

Thermal stress can be calculated by

e = (a1-a2) DT

using the following equation:

= (6.8 x 10 -5 - 1.2 x 10-5 mm/mm/°C) x 59°C

t = (1-2)ET

= 0.0033 mm/mm (0.33%)

or = (1-2)T

Because the steel bracket restrains the

Where: expansion of the polycarbonate part, a strain

1 = coefficient of thermal expansion of of 0.33% is induced in the part.

one material

2 = coefficient of thermal expansion of

second material

E = modulus

T = change in temperature, °F (°C)

= strain, mm/mm

= constant (roughly 1.0 for most

conditions)

Material S.I. English Metric

mm/mm/°C in/in/°F mm/mm/°C

Aluminum 2.2 x 10–5 1.2 x 10–5 2.2 x 10–5

Brass 1.8 x 10–5 1.0 x 10–5 1.8 x 10–5

Nylon 8.1 x 10–5 4.5 x 10–5 8.1 x 10–5

PBT 7.4 x 10–5 4.1 x 10–5 7.4 x 10–5

PC 6.8 x 10–5 3.8 x 10–5 6.8 x 10–5

PE 12.0 x 10–5 6.7 x 10–5 12.0 x 10–5

PP 5.8 x 10–5 3.2 x 10–5 5.8 x 10–5

PS 8.1 x 10–5 4.5 x 10–5 8.1 x 10–5

SAN 6.7 x 10–5 3.7 x 10–5 6.7 x 10–5

Steel 1.1 x 10–5 0.6 x 10–5 1.1 x 10–5

91

7 Designing for Machining and Assembly

92

NOTICE: Dow believes the information and recommendations contained herein to be accurate and reliable as of March 2001. However, since any assistance

furnished by Dow with reference to the proper use and disposal of its products is provided without charge, and since use conditions and disposal are

not within its control, Dow assumes no obligation or liability for such assistance and does not guarantee results from use of such products or other infor-

mation contained herein. No warranty, express or implied, is given nor is freedom from any patent owned by Dow or others to be inferred. Information contained

herein concerning laws and regulations is based on U.S. federal laws and regulations except where specific reference is made to those of other

jurisdictions. Since use conditions and governmental regulations may differ from one location to another and may change with time, it is the Buyer’s

responsibility to determine whether Dow’s products are appropriate for Buyer’s use, and to assure Buyer’s workplace and disposal practices are in

compliance with laws, regulations, ordinances, and other governmental enactments applicable in the jurisdiction(s) having authority over Buyer’s operations.

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