Fundamentals # 1970 Southampton
Thermoplastics are already regarded in many branches of engineering as essential raw materials - essential because they offer combinations of economy, design freedom, ease of processing and end-product properties not offered by other materials. Thus they enable the engineer to solve problems that would be too costly or even impossible to solve in any other way. In other branches of the industry plastics are not so readi ly accepted and emphasis is often placed on their disadvantages and specific past failures rather than on their positive virtues. Nevertheless, the engineering industry as a whole is showing increased confidence in specifying plastics for critical applications. This confidence springs from many factors, among the most important of which are the proven performance of plastics components such as gears, valves, pump bodies, pressure pipes and tanks; improvements in materials properties and in processing methods; the accumulation of meaningful design data; and the gradual evolution of design methods and methods for predicting end-product performance.