NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1082438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Demonstrating the Effects of Processing on the Structure and Physical Properties of Plastic Using Disposable PETE Cups
Erk, Kendra A.; Rhein, Morgan; Krafcik, Matthew J.; Ydstie, Sophie
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n11 p1876-1881 Nov 2015
An educational activity is described in which the structure and physical properties of disposable plastic cups were directly related to the method of processing. The mechanical properties of specimens cut from the walls of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PETE) cups, oriented parallel and perpendicular to the thermoforming direction, were measured in tension. The parallel sample displayed greater elastic moduli, yield stress, and predominantly ductile deformation behavior compared to the relatively weaker and more brittle perpendicular sample. This observed mechanical anisotropy was related to the processinginduced orientation of polymer molecules within the cup. This activity, which is suitable as a classroom demonstration, short laboratory task, or an outreach activity, effectively demonstrates the relationship between polymer processing, structure, and properties without the use of large-scale melt processing equipment.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A