Course: Understanding Mechanical Properties of Thermoplastics

– The key to material selection, part design and performance

3 – 4 October 2024

Denmark’s Technical University
Anker Englundsvej 1
2800 Lyngby

Registration deadline 19 September 2024

Professionals in plastic part design or materials specialists can enhance their comprehension of the intricate thermo-mechanical performance of polymeric materials with this course. This knowledge is vital given the complex failure phenomena in plastics, including creep, impact, stress cracking, yielding, crazing, and brittle failure.

The course’s objective provides an in-depth introduction to participants, irrespective of their background or experience, within a concise two-day timeframe. While not exhaustive, the course delves deeply enough into the subject, establishing a robust knowledge base. It equips participants for specialized reading or training in their specific field of interest.

This course, irrespective of attendance at BIMS-1 (Understanding Injection Molding of Thermoplastics), focuses on the complex mechanical performance of plastics, introducing key behaviours such as visco-elasticity, non-linearity, creep, impact, and failure mechanisms. It caters to a diverse audience, including design or mechanical engineers, molders, FEA specialists, project leaders, researchers, material specialists, students and seasoned professionals.

Starting from 2024, given the course’s new venue at DTU, we will be pleased to host a one-hour presentation by Prof. Guido Tosello, or one of his coworkers. The topic will be closely related to some of the BIMS-2 teaching.

In summary, this course provides a condensed yet comprehensive exploration of polymer mechanical properties, fostering interaction and networking opportunities, making it an invaluable experience for professionals across various disciplines.

Course’s scope
This course will focus on the complex mechanical performance of plastics in order to introduce the key behavior of these unique materials (visco-elasticity, non linearity, creep, impact and failure mechanisms).

Course content
The teaching material (over 250 slides) provides an in depth introduction in the field of plastic mechanical performance. Upon completion of the course, participants will gain insightful answers to a variety of common questions encountered in the realm of plastics, including:

  • Why does the modulus of plastics exhibit significant changes with temperature, and why does this change vary among different polymers?
  • Why do amorphous polymers often undergo brittle failure in long-term tests or impact, while some demonstrate resilience in such conditions?
  • What constitutes the “brittle-ductile” transition in polymers, and why are some polymers ductile at specific test rates but brittle at lower and higher strain rates? What role does test timing play in plastics?
  • How does plastic performance undergo considerable variations with processing conditions, even in unfilled and amorphous states?
  • Why do polymers undergo aging, and what implications does this have on their performance?
  • What mechanisms underlie rubber reinforcement, and why is the morphology of these blends crucial, necessitating tailored formulations for each specific polymer?
  • What is Yielding? What is plastic flow? Why do certain polymers exhibit “shear-banding” and necking in tensile experiments, while others do not?
  • What role does crystallinity play in the mechanical properties of plastics?
  • Why, at the same temperature, do polymers generally fail at different times and stress levels in short versus long-term (creep) tests? Can long-term performance be predicted from shorter-term tests?
  • How can the intrinsic mechanical properties of polymers at large strains be accurately measured without artifacts like necking or premature failure?
  • Why do glass fibres enhance modulus and strength but reduce elongation at break? What are the reinforcing mechanisms, and how critical is the interfacial strength between the matrix and filler? What constitues the optimum fibre length?
  • Why is it common to test plastics with and without a “notch”? What occurs at the notch, and why do some polymers still perform when notched while others do not?

While the list of questions is extensive, those mentioned provide a solid overview of the course’s approach. The course aims to equip participants with a thorough understanding, enabling them to address and examine any new questions, problems, or polymers using the appropriate concepts

Bring your own materials, examples or stories
The course encourages active participation by inviting attendees to bring their materials, examples, or stories, fostering an interactive learning experience. Compared to the classical BIMS course on Injection Molding, this training on mechanical properties is more theoretically challenging, relying on participants’ involvement to address plastic part failures or other mechanical issues.

The course’s interactivity, limited attendance for discussions and the opportunity to share parts drawings contribute to a comprehensive learning experience in polymer mechanical properties within a short duration. Additionally, participants can extend their professional network during the course.

The course is applicable to:

  • Design or mechanical engineers specializing in plastics
  • Molders keen on understanding part performance
  • Professionals interested in the mechanisms of plastic part failures
  • FEA specialists
  • Project leaders engaged in the development of plastic components
  • Research engineers with an interest in polymer performance
  • Material specialists or designers aiming to enhance their comprehension of the mechanical performance of specific material classes (amorphous, crystalline, filled, or unfilled)
  • Students in the field of polymers
  • Young, skilled professionals with limited experience in the field
  • Seasoned professionals seeking a new perspective on, or a review of, polymer mechanical performance
  • Flow analysis specialists wishing to expand their knowledge to the realm of mechanical performance
  • Customer support engineers
  • Scientists

Statements from participants who have attended previous courses
‘Best course ever! Without any doubt. I love that Vito doesn’t use much math, but focuses on understanding’, Anne Therese Weyhe, Lego
‘You are a great presenter. I will come back at BIMS1’, Ida Jonsson, Erteco Rubber & Plastics AB
‘Best course I have ever attended’, Gorm Dannesboe, Electro Acoustic Developer, Oticon
‘Best course in a long time’, Peter Gadgaard Tønning, Materials Specialist, VELUX A/S

Vito Leo’s professional background
Dr. Vito Leo, with now 40 years of experience in Polymer Physics, leads the course, offering a unique opportunity for participants to stay updated and guided in the field. Testimonials from past participants praise the course’s effectiveness and Dr. Vito Leo’s engaging teaching style.

Denmark’s Technical University, Anker Englundsvej 1, 2800 Lyngby

Seminar hours
3 October: 10.00-17.30 (dinner 18:00 – 20:00)
4 October: 08.00 to 15.30.

Registration fee

 11,250 DKK Members of Teknologisk Videndeling and promoting partners listed in the registration form
 11,950 DKK  Non-members

Includes sessions during the two days, educational materials, luncheons, coffee breaks and dinner first evening.

All prices are excluded of Danish VAT 25%.

Save 1,000 DKK when registering before 21 June 2024.


Register – CLICK HERE

Min. 8, max. 25 participants.

Registration is binding, however substitutions are accepted at any time.

In case of questions please contact us at e-mail or call +45 2724 2782/ +45 9351 1276