Accelerated Life Testing Of Polymeric Materials

Photo of Adrian Forero, Rehan Mallick, William May Students: Adrian Forero, Rehan Mallick, William May

Sponsor: Schlumberger

Date: Fall 2011

Requirements:
Compression set experiments were conducted as specified by the ASTM D395 standard. This testing method uses elevated temperatures to simulate prolonged exposure to compressive stresses at a base temperature. The team was required to generate an experimental matrix that establishes the testing temperatures and times. Compression set data was used to determine the time of failure at each temperature, thus generating the Arrhenius model.

Problem:
The main objectives of this project were to prove the feasibility of the accelerated life testing method on polymeric materials and to create an accelerated life testing data model that could forecast the service life of the given material. The sponsor will adopt the test approach and methodology to predict the life of other polymer compositions.

Solution:
The data obtained from the testing of low temperatures allowed the team to predict the long-term time to failure somewhat accurately. However, the Arrhenius model significantly overestimates the polymer service life as the testing temperature digresses from the base temperature. Lab experience and literature research permitted the team to improve experimental procedures, which will reduce uncertainty and prevent wasted time. An adjusted experimental matrix was recommended for future testing.

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