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Plastics for Use in Electrical Engineering

Nature volume 139, page 320 (20 February 1937) | Download Citation

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Abstract

IN a recent paper (J. Inst. Elec. Eng., Oct.), A. R. Dunton gives an account of recent advances in the technique of producing plastics. This word is now used for describing ‘moulded compounds' which produce intricately shaped articles in a suitably constructed mould under the influence of heat and pressure. The accuracy obtainable by this method has aroused great interest in both mechanical and electrical engineers. There are many fabricated articles still being sold which could be replaced conveniently and economically by suitable mouldings. In Germany, many plastics are employed, and the technical specifications made ensure that they are suitable for the purpose for which they are to be used. The articles supplied are stamped with an identification mark and the maker's number. The national laboratory in Berlin has the right to take samples at any time without warning, and if the test results are not satisfactory, the maker's name is deleted from the approved list published periodically by the laboratory. The British Standard Specification was published by the B.S.I, in 1933; but unfortunately it makes no attempt to define the characteristics of arc-resist ing or high-temperature materials. The performance of nearly all plastics is coupled in practice with high temperatures. A method of making rapid tests advocated by Prof. Marten of Berlin is described. It determines without difficulty the softening point of plastics. In a paper in the same issue by A. Caress, an attempt is made to classify typical plastics into those for ‘hot service’ and those for use at moderate temperatures. The author says that if the electrical industry will specify clearly what it requires, the plastics industry will rapidly develop suitable materials. He states that there is a very large range of new plastic materials to be discovered and examined.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/139320a0

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