When selecting a polymer for a particular application the material datasheet is one source of information on performance and suitability

By way of summary, listed below are the different properties along with a brief description of what they mean. Before going further it should be re-emphasised that the data against different performance criteria, such as impact strength, is fairly meaningless in itself. This is because the test is carried out on a predefined piece of material which bears little resemblance to any part that may be moulded. Secondly, the test itself may not represent the loads and stresses likely to be experienced by the part that is to be moulded.

Material datasheets are of only limited use on their own. The main purpose is therefore to compare different materials and different grades in order to select the one that provides the best range of properties to suit the application.