Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance (ESCR) Testing

Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance (ESCR) Testing

The ability of a polymer to withstand slow crack growth and environmental stress cracking is known as Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance (ESCR). Different polymers have different ESCR levels. Some polymers, such as polypropylene, are not susceptible to slow crack growth.

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    Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance (ESCR) Testing

    ASTM D883 defines stress cracking as “a crack in the exterior or interior of a plastic caused by a tensile stress less than its short-term mechanical strength.” This type of cracking typically involves a brittle crack with little or no ductile stretching of the polymer material from an adjacent fracture surface. Slow crack growth is another term commonly used to describe stress cracks. The best-known type of slow crack growth in polyolefins is ‘environmental stress cracking’ or ESC. 

    The ability of a polymer to withstand slow crack growth and environmental stress cracking is known as ESCR. Different polymers have different ESCR levels. Some polymers, such as polypropylene, are not susceptible to slow crack growth.

    The determination of ESC is influenced by many parameters, including:

    — Test specimen dimensions;

    — State of the test specimen (orientation, structure, internal stresses, etc.);

    — Specimen preparation;

    — Thermal history of the specimen;

    — Stress and strain;

    — Temperature of the test;

    — Duration of test;

    — Chemical environment;

    — The method in which stress and strain are applied;

    — Failure criterion.

    Common Uses Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance Testing

    Environmental stress cracking tests are used as a quality control tool and in research and development to assess stress cracking resistance.

    Industrial Uses of Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance Testing

    This test is important for manufacturers to ensure the quality of their products. It is important that the product achieves customer satisfaction. Stress cracks can often lead to the failure or collapse of plastic materials. The manufacturing process of plastic parts must be very safe and regular tests must also be carried out.

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