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This article discusses the material and engineering issues associated with plastic components subjected to impact. The first part covers the effects of loading rate, temperature, and state of stress on both deformation and mode of failure. It discusses standard impact tests, along with their associated results. A brief discussion on the linear elastic fracture mechanics method is presented, along with an example of its effectiveness as a predictive tool for impact performance. Various issues with a bearing on impact performance, such as processing, chemical attack, and aging, are also described. The second part describes the engineering calculations used to predict the performance of thin plastic beams, plates, and shells. The issue of assuming small displacements for the calculation of plastic structure performance is discussed and its limitations described. An example of the consequence of the very low modulus of elasticity associated with plastics and some plastic design solutions are offered.

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