Donald E. Duvall

Donald E. Duvall, Ph.D., P.E.

Senior Managing Consultant

Dr. Donald Duvall is a polymer materials scientist with more than 40 years of experience in the plastics industry. He specializes in engineering, testing, and failure analysis of products manufactured from polymeric materials, especially those intended for long-term, load bearing applications. Prior to joining ESi, Dr. Duvall was a project manager and Vice President of Plastics Technology for L. J. Broutman & Associates (LJBA), a consulting, contract research, and testing organization located in Chicago, which specializes in work on polymeric materials and products made from them. He was responsible for managing projects involved with thermoplastic polymer materials, including plastic piping and geosynthetics. He was also in charge of setting up the plastic piping products testing laboratory at LJBA. Before joining Broutman & Associates, he was Technical Service Manager for the Plexco Division of Amsted Industries. There he was responsible for providing technical assistance to the company's sales and production staffs and to customers of their line of polyethylene pipe and fittings and pipeline corrosion coating system. Prior to Plexco, he was employed by Gould Incorporated in their Nickel/Zinc – Electric Vehicle project. Previous to that time, he was a research chemist for The Richardson Company, a manufacturer of thermoplastic molding and extrusion compounds.

Dr. Duvall has also been active in teaching in the fields of polymer science and failure analysis. He has been an adjunct instructor in the Metallurgical & Materials Engineering Department and the Mechanical, Materials, & Aerospace Engineering Department at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He was one of the creators of the L. J. Broutman & Associates/Bodycote-Broutman Failure Analysis Seminar series presented in conjunction with the Society of Plastics Engineers. He has been a member of the associate staff of the U.S. DOT Transportation Safety Institute/PHMSA Inspector Training & Qualifications Division since 1987, lecturing on plastic gas distribution piping system failure analysis.


  • Oxidation Resistance of Polypropylene Random Copolymer Pipe to Chlorinated Water, Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention, January 2014
  • Thermal Degradation and Ignition Characteristics of Clothes Dryer Lint, Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention, January 2012
  • Challenges in Investigating Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride Pipe Failures, Journal of ASTM International, January 2011
  • Failure Analysis of Cross-linked Polyethylene Chemical Storage Tanks, ANTEC -2008 - Proceedings of the Society of Plastics Engineers 66th Annual Technical Conference, May 2008
  • Analysis of Heating by Friction in Plastic Clothes Dryer Components, Journal of Failure Analysis & Prevention, January 2007
  • Effect of Environment on Plastics Performance, ASM Handbook, Volume 11: Failure Analysis & Prevention, January 2002
  • Insight into the Mechanisms Controlling Creep Deformation of Polyethylene, Proceedings of the Society of Plastics Engineers 53rd Annual Technical Conference, January 1995
  • Environmental Degradation of PET and Its Potential Effect on Long Term Mechanical Properties of Oriented PET Products, Polymer Plastics: Technology and Engineerin, January 1995
  • Impact of Product Structure on the Stability and Durability of Coated Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Geogrids, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, January 1994
  • Experimental Analysis of Stresses in Interference Fit Assemblies, Proceedings of the Society of Plastics Engineers 51st Annual Technical Conference, January 1993
  • See CV for further publications

ESi's expertise spans dozens of industries and specializations organized across several practice groups, each staffed by dozens of in-house experts with the technical knowledge, hands-on expertise, and courtroom experience required to execute projects for and with our clients from start to finish.

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