Testing Our experienced, skilled workforce ensures quality testing The evaluation of plastic materials may include material flammability, ignition characteristics from various thermal and electrical sources, electrical tracking and additional electrical characteristics, and analytical tests. Property retention following exposure to long-term elevated temperature, water, ultraviolet light, cold, and other outside influences may also be evaluated. Temperature. A sample of the plastic is placed in a chamber where the temperature is either raised or lowered at a slow but constant rate. Engineers watch for expansion, breaking, melting, or contraction, depending on the specifications of the test, and note the temperature at which the change took place. Stress. Plastics may also be tested for how durable they are under stress. Examples include: Bending a piece of plastic until it breaks Pressing a sample firmly between two sides of a machine until it compresses or cracks with the strain. Striking the sample, testing the capacity of the plastic to resist the impact and slow it down. Light. Some plastics that are intended for use as lenses may also undergo a test that determines how the plastic interferes with light that passes through it. Weather. For use in different types of conditions, weathering tests may also be performed. A sample can be tested to see how much water it absorbs or to see at what temperature it will catch on fire. A machine that mimics the effects of weather may be used in a plastic test that determines how a sample will hold up when exposed to the elements over time.