SPE Library

The SPE Library contains thousands of papers, presentations, journal briefs and recorded webinars from the best minds in the Plastics Industry. Spanning almost two decades, this collection of published research and development work in polymer science and plastics technology is a wealth of knowledge and information for anyone involved in plastics.

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Webinars
Thermoforming Goes Digital – New Opportunities with HP Latex Inks
Thomas Giglio, October 2021
HP Latex ink technology is enabling traditional, tried-and-true industrial plastics companies to keep their businesses relevant by adapting to a direct-to-substrate printing technology that gives them access to a deeper, wider product development capacity, faster go-to-market routes and efficiencies realized in materials, labor and capacity. Digital solutions with such capability not only differentiate these companies from their competition but also enable them to provide new products and solutions – digitally decorating plastics with inks that are thermoformable allow for expansion into new markets with new products.
Failure of Plastics Session 2
Jeff Jansen, October 2021
This 2-part webinar series will cover a considerable range of topics important in understanding, diagnosing, and preventing plastic component failure. The most efficient and effective approach to plastic component failure is by performing a systematic failure analysis. Someone once said, “if you don’t know how something broke, you can’t fix it”, and this certainly highlights the importance of a thorough understanding of how and why a product has failed. This webinar series will introduce the attendees to information they need to gain this understanding.
  • The material covered will include: Essential knowledge of why plastic components fail, 

  • The five factors affecting plastic part performance, 

  • The process of conducting a failure investigation and methods for understanding how and why a product has failed, 

  • The importance of ductile-to-brittle transitions and their role in plastic component failure, 

  • The major plastic failure mechanisms, 

  • Failure analysis case studies
The webinar series will focus on practical problem-solving techniques and will utilize case studies to illustrate key aspects of plastic failure and prevention. Participants will gain a better understanding why plastic components fail, and how to avoid future failures by applying the knowledge learned.
Failure of Plastics Session 1
Jeff Jansen, October 2021
This 2-part webinar series will cover a considerable range of topics important in understanding, diagnosing, and preventing plastic component failure. The most efficient and effective approach to plastic component failure is by performing a systematic failure analysis. Someone once said, “if you don’t know how something broke, you can’t fix it”, and this certainly highlights the importance of a thorough understanding of how and why a product has failed. This webinar series will introduce the attendees to information they need to gain this understanding.
  • The material covered will include: Essential knowledge of why plastic components fail, 

  • The five factors affecting plastic part performance, 

  • The process of conducting a failure investigation and methods for understanding how and why a product has failed, 

  • The importance of ductile-to-brittle transitions and their role in plastic component failure, 

  • The major plastic failure mechanisms, 

  • Failure analysis case studies
The webinar series will focus on practical problem-solving techniques and will utilize case studies to illustrate key aspects of plastic failure and prevention. Participants will gain a better understanding why plastic components fail, and how to avoid future failures by applying the knowledge learned.
Advanced Material Characterization Performing Rheological Investigations and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis with a Multidrive System
Abhishek Shetty, September 2021
A new measuring device concept is introduced which combines an electronically commutated (EC) motor as a rotational top drive and a moving magnet linear drive or another rotational EC motor, as bottom drive to enable rheological measurements and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) on one single device. The concept enables various modes of operation by using different combinations of the bottom drive. Three different testing modes can be realized when using the upper rotational EC motor and additionally a second rotational EC motor as the bottom drive. While the use of the upper EC motor allows one to perform measurements in combined motor transducer (CMT) mode, the use of both EC motors allows one to work in the separate motor transducer (SMT) mode and the counter movement mode on one device. CMT mode not only allows all tests and options a single drive rheometer can do but advanced powder rheology characterization in the fluidized dynamic state through the use of a classical pressure drop device attached to the rheometer are also possible. A ring shear cell attached to the rheometer in CMT mode allows one to do quasi-static characterization of granular materials at elevated temperatures and humidities. In the separate motor transducer (SMT) mode the bottom motor acts as the actuator and the top motor acts as the torque transducer. A SMT mode has advantages in sensitivity under certain measurement conditions and allows the use of special tools such as a cone-partitioned-plate (CPP), which enables measurements with edge fracture prone samples, extended frequency sweeps with soft materials such as pressure sensitive adhesives where inertia of the measuring drive can effect results etc., In counter movement mode both motors rotate or oscillate in opposite directions which enables the creation of a stagnation plane in the sheared sample which could be beneficial for investigation of Taylor-Couette instabilities or extending the range of shear rates for high shear rheology applications or for rheo-microscopy, since the structures under investigation are not moving out of the field of view when shear is applied. In addition, combining the upper rotational motor with a linear drive in the bottom permits one to apply force and deflections in the axial direction. This is suitable to perform dynamic mechanical analysis in bending, tension, compression, and torsion. DMA in tension by the linear drive and DMA in torsion by using the upper rotational drive are possible on the same specimen which allows one to extract the Poisson’s ratio of the material. In this talk benefits of having such a modular device configuration in different modes will be showcased via different application testing examples ranging from liquids, solids to granular materials.
Acrylic Impact Modifiers for PVC: Core-shell modifier chemistry and performance
Raber Inoubli, July 2021
Part 2 of the All Things PVC Workshop series. The speaker will review the basics of core-shell chemistry focusing on acrylic technology and its advantages for mechanical property improvement and weatherability in PVC formulating. Core principles of mechanical property improvement via stress concentrators for PVC matrices and formulations will be presented. In addition to rheology and mechanical property enhancement via acrylic chemistry, the presentation will also provide perspective on choosing the best impact modifier based on specific formulation needs or application types where standards vary based on the final needs of the vinyl building product, for example. The talk will follow-up on the principles covered in the introduction to PVC Gelation and Formulation.
Introduction to PVC Gelation and Formulation
Kevin Yocca, June 2021
Part 1 of the All Things PVC Workshop series. While introducing the general properties of PVC suspension resin that make it unique for processors, the speaker will discuss why PVC formulations can get complicated and present so many options for optimized processing and customization by application. The focus will mostly revolve around suspension PVC for rigid vinyl applications, but touch upon some basics of plasticized or flexible vinyl as well. The speaker will talk about gelation theory, why lubricant balance is important and how different additives can influence rheology, mechanical performance, and even weatherability. The talk will be an introduction to PVC overall but also a lead-in for the next workshop, an introduction to acrylic impact modifiers and core-shell modifier chemistry.
Polypropylene: Commodity Resin, I Don't Think So
Jeffrey A. Jansen, June 2021
Polypropylene is often referred to as a “commodity resin”, however, is this really the case? Polypropylene is a versatile thermoplastic that can be processed through a variety of processing techniques. It is utilized in a wide range of applications, including packaging, automotive, infrastructure, appliances, healthcare, and electrical. Its wide use is based upon several key strengths, including:
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Good electrical insulation properties
  • Flexural strength and modulus
  • Relatively low coefficient of friction
  • Readily available and relatively inexpensive
The implication of the interchangeability of polypropylene resins does a disservice to the complexity of this material and the plastic industry in general. The properties of polypropylene are highly dependent on molecular weight and molecular weight distribution, crystallinity, type and proportion of comonomer and the tacticity. Hopefully, at the conclusion of the webinar, attendees will
  • Gain an understanding of the general properties of polypropylene.
  • Have more insight into how the molecular structure of polypropylene determines its performance properties.
  • Appreciate the diversity of polypropylene.
A Walk Through Kistler's Innovation – From the Sensor To Data Driven Decision Making In A Connected Production
Robert Vaculik, June 2021
Have you ever wondered how Kistler defines “Measure, Analyze, Innovate and Optimize”? Learn how Kistler has adapted the everchanging engineering and manufacturing industries in an educational webinar hosted by Dr. Robert Vaculik, Head of Business Unit Plastics and Society of Plastics Engineers: A walk through Kistler’s innovation – from the sensor to data driven decision making in a connected production. Overview:
  1. Measure — Here we cover sensor technology, connectors installation, sensor placement and different sensor types (direct pressure, indirect pressure, pT sensors, T sensors, measurement pins)
  2. Analyze — Here we cover the principle of process monitoring and cover the main functions of ComoNeo as well as the optinal features
  3. Innovate — Here we cover our machine learning approach using ComoNeo predict, by using sensor signal and prdict the specified quality
  4. Optimize — Here we cover the connectivity of ComoNeo and CDC, as well as the interfaces OPC-UA, which enable the customer to collect data and have access to the data on a worldwide scale
Capillary Rheometry: Application to Extrusion
Olivier Catherine, April 2021
In this webinar, we will explore the advantages of capillary rheometers for extrusion application through specific processing and equipment design examples. While some materials like polyolefins can have straightforward flow behaviors, other more complex materials and compounds involved in the extrusion of film and sheet products can exhibit non-typical flow behaviors for which capillary rheometry is a critical characterization tool. We will review the advantages of capillary rheometry over other rheological characterization techniques, and we will also discuss some of the challenges and limitations of the capillary measurements.
Interviewing for the Virtual World Workshop
David Peterson and Ashley Gannon, April 2021
This event is for everyone from fresh out of school to looking for a new role! The day will begin with an interviewing tips presentation hosted by David Peterson and Ashley Gannon  from Direct Recruiters. As experts in the interview process, David and Ashley will share best practices for nailing the interview, whether in person or over video conference. Following the Interview Best Practices, we will be hosting a panel discussion hosted by three experienced SPE members in the Plastics Field. The panelists will cover what they look for during the interview process and provide tips for ways to stand out during the interview. After the panel, we will open it up to a live Q&A!
Plastic Bag Recycling: The Obaggo Story
David New, April 2021
Dave New, founder of Obaggo Recycling, will tell the story of his journey to bring a novel plastic bag recycling solution to the mass market. He will discuss the genesis of the idea, the trials and tribulations of prototype development, and the epic search for project support and funding. A fundamentally entrepreneurial story, Dave will talk about the world of start-up accelerators, b-plan competitions, and how he navigated a vast landscape of stakeholders, cheerleaders, and naysayers.
Resume for the Virtual World Workshop
Alex Jordan, Rodney Joslin, Marcela Linares, April 2021
This event is for everyone from fresh out of school to looking for a new senior role! An expert panel (including someone who hires new graduates, someone who hires seasoned professionals, and an HR specialist in the plastics field) panel will introduce their top 3 tips for making your resume sell the best you! After a great discussion on what it takes to have a competitive resume in the world of digital filter systems, we will open it up to a live Q&A! Stick around for the second hour to dive deeper with the panelist of your choice and if you are bold enough, to have them work directly on your resume!
Fractography of Glass Reinforced Plastics
Jeff Jansen, April 2021
The goal of a failure analysis is to identify the mechanism and cause of the component failure - to distinguish how and why the part broke. A fractographic examination is an essential part of this investigation, particularly in identifying the failure mode. Cracking occurs as a stress relief mechanism as a response to the exertion of stresses on a component. Glass fiber reinforced plastics offer enhanced mechanical properties, particularly strength and stiffness over unfilled materials. Their use is widespread in a wide variety of applications where mechanical integrity is essential. However, fractographic evaluation of these materials often presents a challenge due to the confounding effect of the fibers. The fibers can obscure the fracture surface features arising from:
  • Type of material and formulation constituents;
  • Type of applied forces (tensile, compression, shear);
  • Magnitude of forces;
  • Frequency of forces (continuous, intermittent, rapidly applied);
  • Environmental effects (temperature, presence of chemical).
This presentation will explore the challenges unique to glass fiber reinforced materials and techniques that can be used to gain the maximum information from these fracture surfaces.
Less is More: How to Maximize Energy Savings in Plastics Processing - Part 2 
Josh Bachman, March 2021
This is the second part of a two-part webinar. This webinar will address behavioral and organizational approaches to industrial energy management. Josh will explain how manufacturing companies can implement energy programs, both through proven best practices and through local and regional utility funding programs.
Thermal Analysis of Plastics
Jeffrey A. Jansen, March 2021
Thermal analysis is an important group of tests used in the analysis of plastics and other polymeric materials. It consists of a family of well-established techniques that evaluate material properties as they change with temperature, time, and ambient environment under conditions of thermal programming. The results of thermal analysis tests provide qualitative and quantitative information about the material being evaluated. In particular, this information is important to address plastic failures or in characterization of the material composition and physical properties. The upcoming webinar on thermal analysis will introduce the four primary techniques:
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
  • Thermomechancial Analysis (TMA)
  • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
The webinar is designed to introduce the techniques to the attendees so that they may get a better understanding of how the techniques can be used to evaluate plastic materials and solve problems. No single thermal analysis technique is best suited universally, but together they provide essential data for the characterization of plastics materials. This presentation will review thermal analysis techniques and their application to plastic problem solving through case studies. The webinar will be a practical treatment of the techniques, and the focus will be on how the techniques can be utilized to better understand polymeric materials. At the end of this presentation you will:
  • Gain insight into the different types of thermal analysis techniques
  • Recognize which technique is best suited to obtain the information you need
  • Understand how thermal analysis can be used to characterize the composition and properties of plastic
Less is More: How to Maximize Energy Savings in Plastics Processing - Part 1
Josh Bachman and Pamela Birkel, March 2021
Wasted energy is wasted profit. In these webinars, plastics engineers, plant managers, and financial managers will learn about the typical opportunities to save energy at plastics plants. In the first webinar, Josh Bachman and Pamela BIrkel will share energy savings opportunities that have been uncovered over the years. They will also share case studies of successful projects, many of which were funded by the local utility.
Environmental Stress Cracking
Jeffrey A. Jansen, February 2021
Environmental stress cracking (ESC) is the leading cause of plastic component failure, and a recent study suggests that 25% of plastic part failures are related to ESC. If you deal with plastic components, then “Environmental Stress Cracking of Plastics” will provide you with information that will enhance your understanding of the interaction between chemicals and plastic resins, with the goal of preventing part failure. ESC is a solvent-induced failure mode in which a plastics crack through contact with a chemical agent while under stress. The webinar will be presented from a practical viewpoint with actual case studies to illustrate the ESC mechanism and explain plastic performance. Topics covered during this session include:
  • Introduction to ESC
  • How plastics fail
  • Explanation of the ESC failure mechanism
  • Generalizations related to chemical interaction with plastics
  • ESC resistance testing used to evaluate plastic/chemical compatibility
  • Case Illustrations of some common solvent-based failure modes
At the end of this presentation you will:
  • Have a better understanding how chemicals effect plastic components.
  • Recognize potential situations where ESC failure could occur in your parts.
  • Be able to design a chemical resistance program to evaluate plastic/chemical combinations.


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How to reference articles from the SPE Library:

Any article that is cited in another manuscript or other work is required to use the correct reference style. Below is an example of the reference style for SPE articles:

Brown, H. L. and Jones, D. H. 2016, May.
"Insert title of paper here in quotes,"
ANTEC 2016 - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA May 23-25, 2016. [On-line].
Society of Plastics Engineers
Available: www.4spe.org.

Note: if there are more than three authors you may use the first author's name and et al. EG Brown, H. L. et al.

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