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
Life Cycle Assessments: Why and How?
Chris Koffler, November 2020
The webinar will give a high-level overview of the basic process, concepts, and calculations involved in carrying out Life Cycle Assessments in accordance with the international standard ISO 14044. It will further showcase LCA studies performed for industry to demonstrate the business value that can be derived from such studies in product development and marketing. The target audience includes process engineers, product designers, product managers, sustainability professionals, and anyone interested in ways to quantify the environmental performance of goods and services.
The Life of a Plastic Color
Tim Mouw and Thomas Meeker, November 2020
With increasingly complex color palettes and other specifications like flame retardation and recyclability coming into play, plastic color can be challenging to produce. However, with the right tools, processes and basic color understanding at hand, color doesn't have to be a burden in producing plastic product. During this webinar hosted by SPE, X-Rite Pantone color experts will help you understand the life of a plastic color and how your particular role in that lifecycle can help expedite the product development process, from inspiration and design all the way through final quality control. Key Learnings include:
  • Understand how to bridge the gap between color and appearance
  • Importance of using physical and digital tools
  • How to choose the right toolset for your role in the supply chain and particular needs
Navigating Plastic Material Selection
Jeffrey A. Jansen, November 2020
Material selection is one of the fundamental aspects that will determine the success or failure of a product. With so many choices available today regarding plastic materials, it is imperative that anyone involved in product design or material selection understand resin properties and how they will affect end product performance as well as part design and manufacturability. While plastic material selection is a frequent topic of discussion, it is not as simple as it may first appear. A thorough understanding of the short-term and long-term properties of the potential plastic resins is essential. To help make the best plastic resin choice, is also essential to have a basic knowledge of polymer chemistry. This webinar will address some of the considerations that need to be made when selecting a plastic resin, and outline the challenges and benefits of selecting an appropriate material. The presentation will introduce a method of systematic selection that will optimize the plastics material selection process.
Free Form Injection Molding Technology
SPE Pacific Northwest Section, October 2020
What is FreeForm Injection Molding?
Freeform Injection Molding is a complete reframing of printed injection molding tooling. Instead of aiming for the highest possible number of shots per tool, the technology is focused on delivering the highest possible versatility in terms of materials, and the geometrical freedom in design.
Understanding Wear of Plastics
Jeffrey A. Jansen, October 2020
Wear can be defined as damage to a solid surface caused by the removal or displacement of material through mechanical action associated with contact with a mating surface. Plastic components are used in a wide range of demanding applications in which they are subjected to surface damage and wear. These commonly include:
  • Bearings
  • Seals
  • Valves and Pistons
  • Fasteners
  • Conveyor Systems
  • Tanks and Hoppers
  • Gears
Wear of plastics is a relatively common failure mechanism, which needs to be understood in order to avoid component malfunction and breakdown. This webinar will address the mechanisms of wear in plastics. Plastic wear is affected by several factors that may be generally categorized into mechanical, environmental, and thermal aspects. These three groups of factors essentially determine the mechanism of wear of a plastic surface when it comes in contact with another surface. The topics covered as part of this presentation will include:
  • Wear factors
  • Mechanisms of wear in plastics
  • Environmental
  • Thermal
  • Mechanical
  • Wear resistant plastics
  • Wear testing
This is Not the Wild West: Sustainability Definitions, Standards, and Regulations
Kelvin Okamoto, October 2020
With continued interest in and development of sustainable plastics, it is clear that not everyone is working with the same lexicon. Terms such as 'degradable', 'bio-degradable', 'recyclable', and 'compostable' are subject to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or outright fraudulent claims. This webinar will address how ASTM standards are being used to create a common understanding based on science and testing. We will also address the commonalities and differences among standards, certifications, and regulations. This webinar is part of SPE's ongoing "Sustainability & Plastics" series.
Fractography in Plastics Failures
Jeff Jansen, September 2020
The goal of a failure analysis is to discern the mechanism and cause of the component failure - essentially to identify how and why the part broke. Fractography plays critical role in this, particularly in identifying the failure mode. Cracking occurs as a result of the exertion of stresses, both external and internal, on a component. Cracking is simply a stress relief mechanism in which the material is attempting to reach a lower energy state. Plastics fail through a disentanglement mechanism in which polymer chains slide past each other. The features on the fracture surface are created based upon a number of parameters:
  • 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).
Much of the information regarding the failure mechanism can be gleaned by interpreting the features found on the fracture surface. The examination and interpretation of the fracture surface is known as fractography. This presentation will explore some common plastics failure mechanisms and the associated telltale features.
Improve Your Chromatography with Refractive Index
Tobias Husemann, August 2020

Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) plays an essential role in determination of dispersity and molecular weight of polymers and complex molecules. Calibration is done using polymer solutions such as polystyrene in organic solvents, and uncertainties in preparation of the standard can often carry over to uncertain measurement results.

This webinar from Anton Paar will focus on how you can minimize uncertainty — and expensive errors - with a fast, highly-precise refractive index measurement. After the webinar, you will have a better understanding of how a refractometer can improve your chromatography.

Featured topics in this webinar will include:

  • GPC calibration process
  • The role played by dn/dc values
  • How a refractometer can improve the GPC calibration process
  • Requirements and the specifications your refractometer must meet
3D Printing with Polypropylene - From Prototypes to Production Parts
Dustin Kloempken and Kyle Harvey, July 2020

Join this webinar to learn more about HP's new polypropylene (PP) material enabled by BASF, and how Extol has leveraged HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology and new PP material to help their customers decrease time to market through design validation efficiency.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn how to accelerate your product development process using the same prototyping material as the final part
  • Discover how Extol has leveraged HP Multi Jet Fusion technology and PP material
  • Explore examples of new applications made available with PP
Plastics & the Environment: Dispelling Popular Myths With Scientific Facts
Chris DeArmitt, July 2020

In order to make wise decisions, we must start with facts. Unfortunately, plastics have been sentenced in the court of public opinion without facts or evidence. The public have turned against plastics based on nothing more than unsubstantiated social media posts and sensationalist journalism.

As a career scientist, I decided it was time to go look for the facts. It took over a year to collect and read more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific publications. I discovered that virtually everything the public believe today is utterly untrue. This talk distills down the science around waste, litter, degradation, microplastics and more. You will be shocked to discover what the science tells us. Plus will be given free access to The Plastics Paradox book which explains how today’s policies are harming rather than helping the environment and what we should be doing instead.

Developed for a Fortune 500 company who offered over $10,000 dollars, SPE members can access it for free. The first couple of chapter is available to the public at: plasticsparadox.com.

iMFLUX's Novel Low, Constant Pressure Molding Technology Overcomes Traditional Barriers to Achieving A Truly Sustainable, Circular Operation - Sponsored by SPE Recycling Division
Gene Altonen, June 2020
One of the biggest challenges facing the plastics industry today, is the need for technology solutions that enable a Circular Economy. This is especially true for injection molded parts, where operational tradeoffs are often encountered when running many sustainable materials. iMFLUX, a wholly owned subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, offers a novel injection molding technology they refer to as the “Green Curve” which uses low, constant plastic pressure to fill an injection mold. Gene Altonen, iMFLUX’s CTO, will share how this new technology addresses the key challenges molders face to deliver truly sustainable, circular solutions for their customers. Examples will be provided illustrating how this new approach to molding offers the ability to efficiently run post-consumer recycle and composites, substantially reduce energy use, and enable more sustainable part designs and materials. iMFLUX is collaborating with machine makers, material suppliers, educators, mold designers, data platforms, and sustainability industry associations to enable molders to benefit from the unique advantages this new technology provides.”
Impact Failure of Plastics
Jeffrey A. Jansen, June 2020

While in service, plastic materials are subjected to many different types of mechanical stress. One common type of stress that is typically severe on plastics is rapid impact loading. The rate at which loading is applied, otherwise known as the strain rate, is a very important factor in the performance of a plastic component. Impact, together with snap fit assembly, and rapid pressurization are the most common forms of rapid loading or high strain rate mechanisms.

The response of plastics to impact and the ability of a plastic part to withstand the stress through absorption of the applied energy is dependent on many aspects, including the material, design, processing and the service conditions.

Topics covered as part of this presentation will include:

  • Failure Mechanism of Plastics
  • Strain Rate as a Ductile-to-Brittle Transition
  • Impact Failure
  • Factors Effecting Impact Resistance
  • Impact Testing
  • Case Studies

Impact loads are among the most challenging stresses that plastic component designers and manufactures must deal with. In many cases impact stress is not adequately accounted for. In may cases this leads to unnecessary premature or unexpected failure.

Fundamentals of U.S. Patent Law
Dr. Steve Grossman, June 2020
This seminar will focus on fundamentals of U.S. patent law with applicability to medical plastics, medical devices and pharmaceutical technology.  Issues considered will include: (1) what is patentable subject matter; (2) pros/cons of provisional patent applications; (3) novelty and non-obviousness; (4) sufficiency of disclosure to enable an invention; (5) the importance of providing “reasonable certainty” in patent claims to optimize claim scope (some interesting recent cases);  (6) a primer on the U.S. first-to-file system; and (7) the relatively new “prior user rights” defense providing more security to trade secret holders.
Plastic Failures Associated with Metal Fasteners
Jeff Jansen, May 2020
The need to secure plastic components is prevalent in the manufacture of assemblies in many industries. Joining plastic components to other plastic parts or metal parts often involves the use of mechanical fasteners, such as screws, inserts, or rivets. The joining of plastic parts is inherently more complicated than assembling two metal components because of the fundamental differences in physical properties, including strength, chemical resistance and susceptibility to creep and stress relaxation. Case Studies will be presented to illustrate failures associated with the interaction between plastic components and metal fasteners. The presented cases will illustrate how the failure analysis process was used to identify the failure mechanism as well as the primary factors responsible for the failures. The cases depict representative failures involving varied designs and service conditions.
A MultiDrive Rheo-DMA Platform for Extended Polymer Analysis
Abhishek Shetty, March 2020
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is a well-established technique for characterizing mechanical properties of all kinds of materials, particularly polymers or polymer-based products such as thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers, adhesives, paints and coatings, films and fibers, as well as composites. A new measuring device concept is introduced which combines an electronically commutated (EC) motor as rotational top drive and a moving magnet linear drive or another EC motor, as bottom drive to enable rheological measurements and DMA on one single device. The concept enables various modes of operation by using different combinations of the bottom drive. Besides working in the rheological modes such as separate motor transducer (SMT), combined motor transducer (CMT), counter-rotation and counter-oscillation the device is suitable to perform dynamic mechanical analysis in bending, tension, compression, and torsion. DMA can provide quantitative and qualitative data regarding:     Viscoelastic moduli and damping
    Material structure and morphology
    Relaxation behavior (Primary, secondary)
    Influence of fillers and fibers in polymers
    Crystallization/melting processes
    Curing behavior In this webinar, you will learn how DMA can be used to gain a better understanding of the viscoelastic and thermal properties of your material. The theoretical basics of DMA measurements will be covered along with the test methods and the information gained from those. Various DMA applications ranging from polymer plastics, rubbers to composites will be discussed and the flexibility and versatility of such a 2 in 1 device concept will be demonstrated for extended polymer characterization.
UV Effects on Plastics
Jeffrey A. Jansen, March 2020
If you work with plastic components that include outdoor exposure, then "Ultraviolet (UV) Effects on Plastic Materials" will provide you with information that will enhance your understanding of the interaction between UV radiation-based weathering and plastic resins, and help prevent premature failure. Topics covered during this session include an introduction to UV degradation and an explanation of the failure mechanism characteristic of UV radiation/plastic interaction. Case studies associated with UV radiation exposure will be presented.
You will learn…
  • The mechanism of UV degradation
  • The materials susceptible to and most affected by UV degradation
  • The effects of UV degradation on plastic materials
  • How the use of stabilizers can improve UV resistance of plastic materials
  • How testing can be used to determine whether plastic materials are susceptible to UV degradation.
Biocompatibility of Raw Materials for Medical Devices
Audrey P. Turley, March 2020
Starting with a biocompatible material is important for medical device manufacturers. However, regulation is pushing the manufacturer to ask for more information and more support from their suppliers. Biocompatibility on materials is critical to stay competitive and provide your clients with the needed information. Topics covered include:
  • An overview of ISO 10993-1 • MDR regulation regarding carcinogens, mutagens, and reproductive toxins (CMRs) for raw materials
  • Where is the line in responsibility for material supplier and device manufacturer?
  • What information and testing on raw material is useful for the biocompatibility of a final device?
Introduction to Plastics
Jeffrey A. Jansen, February 2020

Plastics are the most versatile materials ever invented, and have become a universal material, used for everything from water bottles to wings on combat aircraft. Plastic materials display properties that are unique when compared to other materials and have contributed greatly to quality of our everyday life. At this moment, you are almost certain to be touching plastic. Yet, while plastics play such an important role, we do not always understand the fundamental concepts of their production, compounding, end properties, and use.

If words such as polymer, thermoplastic, creep, amorphous, and modulus are outside your normal vocabulary, this presentation is for you.

This webinar will provide people not extensively familiar with plastics an understanding of the basics.

The usefulness of plastics is attributed to the fact that they provide a wide range of properties and can be changed into and products by relatively simple and inexpensive fabrication means. In order to take full advantage of these materials, it is important to have a clear understanding of their composition and elementary properties.

ANTEC® 101 - Conveying Value to Management
Jason Lyons, February 2020
Are you someone that fears going into your supervisor’s office to request permission to attend ANTEC®? Have you ever been greeted with a hasty “no way, your time is better spent in the lab” when asking for funding to travel to any conference? If so, this webinar is for you. In this webinar, Jason will guide you through several strategies that he has used over his career to not only obtain funding to attend ANTEC®, but to support other SPE initiatives along the way.
The 9 Keys to Creating and Enhancing Relationships
Paul Axtell, January 2020
Many of us are production oriented and not relationship oriented.  Yet, we work in organizations where our ability to influence, collaborate, work on teams, and be effective is often determined by our ability to build a network of colleagues who we can trust and with who we enjoy working. Fortunately, even if relationships skills are not our passion, we can be really good at creating relationships that will improve our results and add to the organization’s sense of engagement and community. This session will provide both perspectives and actions that you can implement quickly.


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  Welcome Page

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.

If you need help with citations, visit www.citationmachine.net