Plastic Material Selection Online

Dates: To be verified

Duration: 8 half day sessions over a condensed period of time over 8 weeks. Participants will have the option to attend the full 8 sessions or choose 1 or more specific topics from the course content below.

Location: Online

Accreditation: Certificate of attendance

Full Fee: €995

Course code: PMSOL

Programme overview

Plastics are explained in terms of their chemical nature, physical properties, processing requirement and design use application. The course is supported by an extensive set of polymer descriptions, explanative notes, technical and processing data designed to support those selecting, processing and designing with plastics materials.
Under the topic of ‘material nature’ the trainer will be going into the chemical structure for each polymer, explaining its morphology and how this influences mechanical, chemical and flow properties of each polymer.

The aim is for course attendees to be able to predict certain properties of the polymer they are looking at from the chemical structure and rheological data by the end of the course. The trainer will explain how polymer properties are modified for commercial use applications (enhance properties for given applications), e.g. plasticisers, impact modification, reinforcement, ESD, fillers, extenders, anisotropy with high performance polymers, accuracy with cross linked polymers, etc. Importantly, day 5 will tie in the knowledge gained earlier in the course in the form of exercises and an examination. The mini-project after the course is an important learning tool and will effectively use the information gained in a practical context.

With regard to learning about thermoset, rubber and high performance polymers, this part of the course is very important with regard to expanding knowledge gained in the areas of use limitation for commodity and engineering polymers, e.g. rubber is used as an impact modifier in many polymers or to create an elastomeric blended material – a knowledge of rubber compound design would be beneficial in selection of the correct modified grade of polymer. PTFE as an additive / copolymer is becoming more popular for given applications, e.g., tribological, high temperature resistance, enhancing chemical resistance, etc, an understanding of PTFE materials and how they are used is important as this is an expanding area within polymer compound design, etc.
The aim of this new programme is to give engineers the knowledge, skill and competence to understand the vast range of polymer materials available and to appropriately choose a cost-effective material for a given application, while considering processing characteristics and design considerations/ limitations


Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course a person will be able to:

  1. Identify a polymer and the family group from which it belongs
  2. Read and understand a basic polymer property technical data sheet
  3. Compile a basic plastic material use specification
  4. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of polymer family groups, material nature and properties.
  5. Compile a polymer selection matrix
  6. Undertake a polymer selection for a given design specification
  7. Identify and understand basic polymer material manufacturing defects
  8.  Use polymers more effectively

Who is the course for

This course is aimed at Plastic part and mould designers, R&D engineers, or any plastic processing technical staff wishing to update their understanding of plastic materials and material selection.

A basic knowledge of the nature and properties of plastics is essential if the most is to be made of these materials in terms of design, use application, processability, QA and cost effectiveness.



Trainer Profile

Peter Cracknell has over 40 years’ experience in the Plastics Industry. Initially he served his time as an injection mould toolmaker (Metal Box), production engineer (Metal Box), senior production engineer (BOC), senior lecturer (LSPT), academic leader in polymer engineering (LSPT), Consulting engineer.

Expertise: Injection moulded part design, mould tool design, plastic materials, processing trouble shooting, experienced lecturer (30 years), BETC assessor for NVQ in Polymer Engineering, expert witness (30 years’ experience).

Qualifications: HNC Mechanical & Prod Eng., GradPRI – ALSPT First Class hons. C&G Risk Assessment, BTEC NVQ Assessor

Find out how to achieve a Major Award in Injection Moulding (Level 5)

This programme is a QQI component (minor) award, certified at Level 5 on the national framework of qualifications – see  and is an elective component of major awards

  • 5M3080 – Plastics Injection Moulding
  • 5M3067 – Plastic Extrusion Blow Moulding
  • 5M3074 – Plastics Extrusion. 

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