Plastics Training Lab

Plastics Training Lab

Opened in August 2006 in the Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center, Penn State Behrend's plastics manufacturing laboratory is often hailed as the most advanced and well-equipped of its kind in the country. Nearly all major product manufacturing methods are represented in the lab, which was designed to provide practical, hands-on experience.

The 10,500-square-foot laboratory contains multiple pieces of processing equipment. Injection molding is featured, with ten microprocessor-controlled machines ranging from seventeen to 200 tons. Many of these machines are on rotating consignment and are replaced with the latest models every few years. They are supported with a completeselection of auxiliary equipment, data-acquisition systems, and a measurement and quality-control laboratory.

Take a virtual tour of the Plastics Lab and the Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center.

Design Capabilities:

  • (5) 25-seat Pentium PC labs
  • Software includes Pro/ENGINEER, ANSYS, Moldflow, and Polyflow

Processing Capabilities:

INJECTION MOLDING: Arburg, Boy, Cincinnati Milacron, Demag, Engel, Ferromatik, Husky, Sumitomo, and VanDorn

  • Electric, hydraulic, and hybrid
  • 35-200 ton capacity (0.1-14 oz)
  • Molds used in industry applications as well as molds for testing standards (ASTM, ISD) (many instrumented with pressure and temperature sensors)

BLOW MOLDING: Bekum and Jomar

  • Extrusion and injection blow molding machines
  • Parison programming

EXTRUSION: Davis Standard, Killion, CW Brabender, and Wayne

  • 1 to 2¼ inch diameter screws
  • Dies: strand, pipe, and sheet


  • 18 inch x 18 inch



  • 75 ton Loranger press


  • Data acquisition hardware and software: Kistler, Moldflow (Shotscope), Priamus, and RJG
  • Hot runner controllers: Athena, DME, and MSI
  • Gas-assist units: Battenfeld
  • Mold temperature controllers: Advantage, AEC, Conair, PPE, and Sterlco
  • Dryers: Bry-Air, Conair, Dri-air, Novatec, and PPE
  • Granulators: Battenfeld, Conair, Cumberland, and Rapid
  • Pullers: Conair and Ferris
  • Vacuum tank: Conair
  • Ultrasonic welders: Branson and Dukane
  • Hot Stamper: Gierlich


  • Universal testing machine
  • Instrumented TUP impact tester
  • Gardner impact tester
  • Izod impact tester and notcher
  • Creep test stations
  • Shore C and D hardness testers
  • Rheometers: capillary, torque, and dual bore capillary rheometer
  • Melt flow rate testers
  • Ultraviolet weathering machine
  • Moisture analyzers (Karl Fisher and lost weight systems)
  • Color meter
  • Flammability tester
  • Micrometers: digital and laser
  • Video inspection system
  • Coordinate measuring machine
  • Digital scales
  • Surface plates
  • Differential scanning calorimeter