The stress-strain characteristics of a material are a measure of the energy absorption characteristics of that material. Generally, plastics show permanent deformation at low values of strain but will withstand a large amount of strain before reaching their ultimate strength. Therefore, in effect, plastics are good energy absorbing materials. If the packaging designer could predict the effect of variation in strain rate and temperature on the stress-strain characteristics of a given plastic, his designs would be more reliable.
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Joseph, Walter W.. "Effect of Strain Rate and Temperature on the Stress-Strain Characteristics of Plastics." (1959). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/me_etds/120