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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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.
Compensation of Plastics Professionals: Perspective, Trends, and Forecast
Dennis Gros, January 2020
The program will look at salary trends and the factors that affect your money. Dennis will provide an overview of the past five years of employment in the plastics industry. Specifically, he will analyze the growth curve of compensation for roles in manufacturing, engineering, sales, supply chain, and general management.
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy in Failure & Compositional Analysis
Jeff Jansen, January 2020
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is a fundamental analytical technique for the analysis of organic materials. It provides critical information in the evaluation of polymeric materials, including material identification, contamination, and degradation. The webinar will present a fundamental understanding of the technique and the following topics will be covered:
  1. Theory of Infrared Spectroscopy
  2. Test Result Interpretation
  3. Application to Polymeric Materials
    1. Material Identification
    2. Contamination
    3. Degradation
  4. Sample Preparation
  5. Supplementing FTIR With Other Techniques
  6. Cases Studies
Failure Associated With Injection Molding
Jeff Jansen, December 2019
The injection molding process is one of the key characteristics that determines how a plastic part will perform in service. Manufacturers certainly attempt to avoid failure, but often unanticipated factors result in unexpected problems. The chances for a successful application can be significantly increased through preventative measures, including appropriate material selection, proper mold design, and process development. Even when appropriate actions are taken, failures can still occur. The evaluation of these failures provides an opportunity for learning. By understanding how and why a plastic component is failed, steps can be taken to prevent future occurrences. Case Studies will be presented to illustrate failures associated with the deficiencies from the injection molding process. 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.
Managing Difficult People Without Becoming One of Them
Patricia Simpson, October 2019
Being an effective and positive communicator at work is vital to every role. When we work with other people, however, communication styles don’t always work well together. This webinar will share ideas about how to be a successful communicator as well as how to deal with people whose communication styles don’t always complement yours. While this webinar is not a ‘conflict management how-to,’ the communication etiquette tips shared will help make some of those situations easier. First setting a positive foundation can assist with making negative communication situations easier to handle. Additionally, learning how to provide a sincere apology without overdoing it - and communicating personal responsibility and credibility - can help calm impassioned interactions. In truth, we can’t change others…but we can manage ourselves and thus mitigate negative situations.
Giving High Impact Feedback
Rick Lepsinger, October 2019
Giving ongoing feedback to direct reports and colleagues is one of a manager's and team leader's most critical responsibilities. Feedback helps enhance individual and team performance. It also contributes to high levels of employee motivation and helps build trust. OnPoint's webinar, Giving High-Impact Feedback, helps managers and team leaders create a climate that supports open feedback, provides strategies to reduce defensiveness, and ensures feedback is perceived as useful.
Objective: To build the skills to give feedback to drive higher performance and development, including:
  • Providing fact-based feedback that can be heard and acted upon
  • Listening and responding effectively
  • Turning difficult interactions into constructive conversations
  • Why giving ongoing feedback is important
  • Characteristics of effective feedback
  • Five skills for giving high quality feedback
  • Five planning questions
  • Roadmap for giving feedback
  • Turn difficult conversations into constructive dialogue
Degradation Failure of Plastics
Jeffrey A. Jansen, October 2019

Plastic materials offer a unique balance of strength and ductility associated with their inherent viscoelastic nature. However, they are susceptible to molecular degradation through a variety of exposures. Molecular degradation is a permanent change in molecular weight that reduces the mechanical properties and integrity of the plastic material. This degradation can occur during compounding, processing, storage, or while in service. Such degradation mechanisms include:

  • Thermal Oxidation
  • Hydrolysis
  • Ultraviolet Radiation
  • Chain Scission
  • Destructive Crosslinking

The various forms of molecular degradation account for approximately 20% of plastic part failure, and an understanding of the nature of degradation can help to prevent failure. Topics covered during this session will include:

  • Introduction to plastic molecular degradation, including the various mechanisms
  • Material susceptibility to degradation
  • Stabilizers to prevent degradation
  • Testing to assess the level of degradation
Bumps & Bruises: Starting Your First Real Job
Jeremy K. Dworshak, October 2019

However you finished in academia, your first job is a clean slate. You’ll start to develop who you are professionally. How do you want to be? What do you want to be? These are all questions that time mindful thought to answer … and only you can answer them for yourself!

This webinar will cover:

  • Retirement prep: start right away, even with just a little bit (<5%).
  • Drama in the workplace: avoid it!
  • Fresh new step – let go of any preconceived knowledge
  • Do some work, then ask questions.
  • No re-takes. You can only turn in your work one time.
  • Understand your role. Ask questions from your supervisor if you are unclear.
  • Empower your peers.
  • Your new team!
  • When in doubt, hold hands and get thru it together.
Introduction to Design for Rotational Molding
Michael Paloian, September 2019

This one-hour seminar is an introduction to the rotational molding process, applications and basic design guidelines. The presentation will be forty-five minutes followed by a 10-15 minute Q&A.

Rotational Molding Process — A brief description of the process will be discussed to acquaint the attendees with the equipment, processing overview and tooling requirements. Approx. 10 mins.

Applications — Rotational molding applications will be highlighted within market groups. A brief description of the market, design overview and advantages of the process will be discussed to familiarize attendees with suitable applications of the process. Approx. 10 mins.

Design Guidelines — The remainder of the presentation will be focused on fundamental design guidelines for the rotational molding process. The focus is on basic design, due to time constraints; the speaker will highlight major parameters associated with the process which distinguish it from other plastic molding processes. Although the design guidelines will be constrained to essential considerations, attendees will learn about the basics of designing for the rotational molding process. Approx. 25 mins.

Understanding Failure Rate in Plastic Components
Jeff Jansen, September 2019
When a plastic part fails, a tough question is often asked, “Why are a limited number of parts failing?”. This is particularly true with seemingly random failures at significant, but low, failure rates. Two aspects are generally linked to such low failure rates, multiple factor concurrency and the statistical nature of plastic failures. Failure often only takes place when two or more factors take effect concurrently. Absent one of these factors, failure will not occur. Plastic resins and the associated forming processes produce parts with a statistical distribution of performance properties, such as strength and ductility. Likewise, environmental conditions, including stress and temperature, to which the resin is exposed through its life cycle is also a statistical distribution. Failure occurs when a portion of the distribution of stress on the parts exceeds a portion of the distribution of strength of the parts. This webinar will illustrate how the combination of multiple factor concurrency and the inherent statistical nature of plastic materials can result in seemingly random failures.
Meetings from Ordinary to Extraordinary
Paul Axtell, September 2019
Effective meetings are a competitive advantage for organizations. The ability to set up a conversation, manage the conversation, and wrap it up effectively is usually the missing piece in most organizations. Meetings continue to be a source of frustration—especially when people end up taking work home to make up for time lost in unproductive meetings. Make your meetings a welcome part of your week with this workshop on process skills, which can also expand your influence in the organization. While most people think that passion, knowledge, and drive are all they need to succeed, your meeting skills are what will set you apart.
Strategies for Flexible Package Integrity and Seal Inspection
Oliver Stauffer, August 2019
The field of flexible packaging continues to evolve with new and unique packaging designs. With the shift into new materials and formats, the means for assuring package quality and integrity introduce unique challenges. Creative application of new technology allows for more effective inspection of seal quality and the detection of microleaks. The webinar will cover technologies deployed for on-line seal inspection of pouch seals as well as off-line microleak detection. Practical case studies of implementation of each technology will be presented with key factors of success for deploying each solution. The path to assuring seal quality and package integrity requires multiple strategies to achieve the necessary results. The webinar will cover:
  • Principles behind flexible package integrity.
  • Questions to ask of you package and process.
  • Strategizing around practicality and requirements.
  • Two ISO recognized test methods to assure quality.
  • Cases for effective implementation.
Integrating Injection Molding Machine Response into Mold Filling Analysis
Srikar Vallury, August 2019
Simulation is playing an increasingly important role in manufacturing. However, engineers still face challenges in bridging the gap between simulation and manufacturing. Join us for this webinar to learn how to maximize simulation utility with Moldex3D, where we integrate real-world conditions to more accurately take into account crucial information from the physical world, including considering the dynamic machine response of an injection molding machine, ensuring the optimized processing conditions obtained from simulations can be directly applied on the production floor.  

What You Will Learn:

  • Understand the gaps between simulation and real-world manufacturing
  • How to capture real-world machine response
  • How to import real-world injection molding machine data into virtual simulations
  • How to maximize the value of uniting real-world data and virtual simulations
Five Myths About Material Recycling
Kelvin Okamoto, July 2019
The debate about plastics recycling has entered the public arena, with implications for processors, material scientists, business owners, and policy makers. We have seen plastic bans and the introduction of alternative packaging materials, some of which have larger environmental footprints of the plastics they are replacing. Can paper be recycled indefinitely? Is foam impossible to recycle? In this webinar, Kelvin Okamoto, will identify 5 myths of materials recycling and present real-world examples and case studies to illuminate the complex truths of this increasingly important topic.
Enhancing Cross Functional Team Performance
Rick Lepsinger, June 2019
Today, more and more companies are adopting cross-functional team structures that reward collaborators over "lone wolves." Members of these teams often have complex reporting relationships, rather than a single boss, which makes it essential for goals to be aligned across departments or teams. In matrix organizations, where team members represent various departments/functions, the lines of decision-making are often blurred; it’s not always clear who is in charge, or who has the ultimate decision-making authority. In many cases, team leaders lack the skills to boost cooperation and communication within their teams, and team members often lack the skills to collaborate effectively. Join Rick Lepsinger, Managing Partner of OnPoint Consulting for an exciting webinar during which you will:
  • Learn how cross functional teaming has evolved over the past 10 years
  • Understand the benefits and challenges of cross functional teamwork
  • Learn the four prerequisites for effective cross-functional teamwork
  • Learn how Hyundai Capital overcame the challenges of cross-functional teamwork and built a powerful global business
How to Use SPE's Material Database
Catherine Bouhier, June 2019
Join us and learn:
  • How things have changed in the industry and why you need to leverage online material search
  • Essential things you need to know about Material Database available on SPE
  • Different ways to search for a plastic or a polymer additive
  • Moving ahead with your project
Who should attend
  • Compounders, converters, OEMs / Engineers, R&D staff involved in plastic development with a need to better leverage online search tool in order to gain in efficiency in their day-to-day
  • Plastics & Polymer Additive suppliers who need to understand how their customer search their material online, and how they can adapt to this digitalization
Dynamic Mechanical Analysis
Jeffrey Jansen, June 2019
Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) is a thermoanalytical technique that measures the stiffness (modulus) and damping (tan delta) of polymeric materials to assess the viscoelastic properties as a function of time, temperature, and frequency. Polymeric materials display both elastic and viscous behavior simultaneously, and DMA can separate these responses. Polymers, composed of long molecular chains, have unique viscoelastic properties, which combine the characteristics of elastic solids and Newtonian fluids. As part of the DMA evaluation, a small deformation is applied to a sample in a cyclic manner. This allows the material’s response to stress, temperature, and frequency to be studied. The analysis can be in several modes, including tension, shear, compression, torsion, and flexure. DMA is a very powerful tool for the analysis of plastics and can provide information regarding:
  • Modulus
  • Damping
  • Glass Transition
  • Softening Temperature
  • Creep Behavior
  • Stress Relaxation
  • Degree of Cure
This webinar will provide an introductory look into DMA and how it can be applied to better understand plastic behavior, both long-term and short-term.
Take A Look at This: Using Visual Comparison to Evaluate and Control Appearance
Eric Larson, June 2019
The appearance of a molded plastic part is often an important design element. Appearance involves color, and also texture and gloss, lighting and viewing conditions, and the perspective of the viewer. While each of these can be defined and controlled, the methods can be expensive, and the terminology is often confusing. This paper presents a method for specifying and evaluating appearance in a simple and easy to understand manner. The method and can be used at any phase of the development process, from initial concept to the factory floor. Properly implemented, it provides a practical and cost effective means to ensure consistent appearance in molded plastic parts.

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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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