An international technical committee may adopt a standard guide on design data for plastics during a Sept. 15-19 meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The guide focuses on identifying the data needed for plastics' mechanical performance and processing analysis. It is intended to complement five existing standards related to comparable data under the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization.
Some 25 subcommittee members have reviewed a 19-page draft of the proposal in advance of the ISO technical committee's annual meeting.
Ranganath Shastri of Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich.; Hans Breuer of BASF AG in Ludwigshafen, Germany; and Greg Dean of the National Physics Laboratory in the United Kingdom played key roles in drafting the proposal in conjunction with design engineers, computer-assisted-engineering program vendors and resin suppliers.
The guide is a work in progress.
``For some properties, ISO test methods or specimens are not yet available,'' the draft says. ``Reference is then made to suitable procedures for data acquisition that may become standardized at a later stage.''
Dozens of large resin suppliers in the CAMPUS coalition encourage the guide's adoption. CAMPUS promotes use of comparable data based on uniform global testing standards and differentiates its effort from the proliferating group of commercial material databases. CAMPUS stands for Computer-Aided Material Preselection by Uniform Standards.
CAMPUS was initiated in Germany in 1988, expanded to North America in 1994 and reached Japan late last year. Data is available in English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese. A Chinese version is in the works, and a Russian translation is under discussion.
CAMPUS now has six Japanese company members, ``and we expect at least five more before the end of the year,'' said Erwin Baur, managing director of M-Base GmbH of Aachen, Germany.
M-Base, an engineering and software firm, developed both the CAMPUS software and a separate merge program that allows end users to superimpose stress-strain or viscosity curves and do side-by-side comparisons of the properties of resins manufactured by CAMPUS-member suppliers.
One-time list prices for the merge program are $450 for a single user and $25,000 for a global network version. Actual costs may be lower. Merge-program distributors include M-Base; McGraw-Hill Inc.'s Modern Plastics magazine; Madison Group of Madison, Wis.; and Rapra Technology Ltd. of Shrewsbury, England.
Individual resin producers distribute their data without charge. Many use Windows version 4.0 on floppy disks, and a few are exploring Internet distribution.
CAMPUS members have distributed 10,000 copies of their databases in North America.Dow, BASF Corp., Bayer Corp. and EMS-American Grilon Inc. demonstrated Windows version 4.0 at their NPE booths in Chicago in June.
``We at Dow got about 300 requests'' for CAMPUS information, Shastri said in a telephone interview. It was ``the same with the Bayer and BASF booths, and M-Base got 260 requests.''
The CAMPUS group's NPE booth showed a generic version of 4.0. Shastri is development leader in Dow's materials engineering center.