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
Increase 3D Print Speeds Up to 2X and Throughput up to 3X with 3D Systems
David Leigh, June 2022
Recognized over the years for its exceptional prototyping quality and part accuracy, SLA-based additive manufacturing is changing in a big way, with an automation-ready solution that offers up to twice the print speed and up to three times the throughput of existing SLA systems. Join us as we reveal the revolutionary innovations that we are introducing with our new SLA 750 full workflow solution. Providing breakthrough gains in speed, throughput, material performance, and cost-efficiency for factory-floor production, this complete solution features production-grade materials, automation compatibility, and AI-based seamless integration with all factory floor equipment. These innovations now more effectively answer your requirements, from prototyping to production, whether you are a service bureau, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, foundry or medical device manufacturer.
UV Effects on Plastic Materials: Degradation, Testing and Protection
Jeff Jansen, May 2022
If you work with plastic components that include outdoor exposure, then "Ultraviolet (UV) Effects on Plastic Material" 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
An Overview of Nylon Resins
Jeff Jansen, April 2022
Nylon (polyamide) (PA) resins are very versatile, and accordingly are used in many different applications. As a family, they have a diverse property range. However, in order to effectively design, produce, and utilize products made from polyamides, it is essential to thoroughly understand the nature of this material, including the mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties. Polyamide (nylon) is a generic designation for a family of synthetic thermoplastics, based on aliphatic or semi-aromatic polymers with amide functionality. Polyamides can be mixed with a wide variety of additives, fillers, and reinforcers to achieve many different properties. Many different types of polyamide resins are available commercially based upon the monomers used in the polymerization process. While the structure of polyamide is relatively straightforward, and it is often viewed as a basic resin, polyamides are used in many highly engineered and demanding applications. In order to do this, however, there must be a thorough understanding of the material. This webinar will illustrate the advantages and disadvantages over other materials and differentiate between the various types of polyamides. By understanding the critical performance characteristics of polyamides, it is possible to make smart decisions on when polyamides are suitable for an application, and which type would be most appropriate. Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of this important class of material will help to avoid failures.
Polymer Molecular Weight: A Key Factor in Plastic Performance
Jeff Jansen, March 2022
The characteristic properties exhibited by plastics are the direct result of their unique molecular structure. Plastics are polymers of very high molecular mass. To enhance their properties, they often contain additives, however, the underlying attributes of a plastic material are determined by the polymer. The molecular weight of the base polymer is a fundamental factor in the characteristics of plastic materials. This includes the mechanical, thermal, chemical, and environmental properties of the material, and ultimately the formed part. Through the polymerization process, polymers - materials of relatively high molecular weight, macromolecules - are produced. Higher molecular weights are associated with longer molecular chains, and this results in a greater level of entanglement. This has important implications, as higher-molecular-weight grades of plastics will have superior mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance properties compared with lower molecular-weight grades of the same material. Through this webinar, the viewers will:
  • Gain an appreciation of the criticality of Molecular Weight on the performance of polymeric materials
  • Get insight as to how Molecular Weight can be altered during life cycle of the polymer
  • Identify different analytical tools to measure Molecular Weight, and recognize which is best in different circumstances
Outline
  • Polymerization
  • Molecular Weight and Its Relationship with Plastic Properties
  • Molecular Weight Distribution
  • Molecular Degradation
  • Molecular Weight Measurement
  • Complementary Methods for Assessing Molecular Degradation
Rubber O-rings
Jeff Jansen, March 2022
O-rings function as a means of sealing, essentially closing off a passageway to prevent the escape or loss of a fluid, either a liquid or a gas. An O-ring has a toric shape, and is typically manufactured from an elastomeric material. The seal is established by placing the O-ring into a cavity, known as a gland. The gland acts to compress the O-ring, and produces a zero-clearance condition, which effectively blocks the flow of the fluid. The sealing effect is produced through axial or radial compression of the O-ring. In general, O-ring seals are considered to be particularly reliable due to the simplicity of the O-ring/gland design and overall material resilience. However, under a number of circumstances failure can occur. O-ring failure can range from minor leakage to catastrophic equipment breakdown. Regardless of the magnitude, an O-ring failure can be diagnosed through proper visual and analytical techniques. This webinar will review:
  • O-ring Function
  • Failure Modes
  • Sealing System Design Factors
  • O-ring Materials – Selection and Specification
Meet "Teach the Geek"
Neil Thompson, March 2022
Find out more about the professional development service, "Teach the Geek." The service is designed to help technical professionals develop and polish their presentation skills.
Patent Law Fundamentals for Scientists, Engineers, and Managers - Part 4
Robert A. Migliorini, February 2022
This 4-part workshop is intended as an introductory primer in patent law and practice for scientists, engineers and managers involved in business and technology. The workshop provides an overview of patent protection and trade secret protection. The workshop also covers the fundamentals of how to identify, and document an invention, search for patents related to the invention, and apply for a patent application. In particular, attendees will become familiar with the types of patent applications, patentability requirements, the parts of a patent application, and the prosecution process for getting a patent application allowed before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Attendees will also become familiar with foreign filing of patent applications, post grant patent options including mechanisms for challenging a U.S. patent before the USPTO, the various types of patent opinions and patent litigation. No prior knowledge of patent law is required.
Patent Law Fundamentals for Scientists, Engineers, and Managers - Part 3 of 4
Robert A. Migliorini, February 2022
This 4-part workshop is intended as an introductory primer in patent law and practice for scientists, engineers and managers involved in business and technology. The workshop provides an overview of patent protection and trade secret protection. The workshop also covers the fundamentals of how to identify, and document an invention, search for patents related to the invention, and apply for a patent application. In particular, attendees will become familiar with the types of patent applications, patentability requirements, the parts of a patent application, and the prosecution process for getting a patent application allowed before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Attendees will also become familiar with foreign filing of patent applications, post grant patent options including mechanisms for challenging a U.S. patent before the USPTO, the various types of patent opinions and patent litigation. No prior knowledge of patent law is required.
Patent Law Fundamentals for Scientists, Engineers, and Managers - Part 2 of 4
Robert A. Migliorini, February 2022
This 4-part workshop is intended as an introductory primer in patent law and practice for scientists, engineers and managers involved in business and technology. The workshop provides an overview of patent protection and trade secret protection. The workshop also covers the fundamentals of how to identify, and document an invention, search for patents related to the invention, and apply for a patent application. In particular, attendees will become familiar with the types of patent applications, patentability requirements, the parts of a patent application, and the prosecution process for getting a patent application allowed before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Attendees will also become familiar with foreign filing of patent applications, post grant patent options including mechanisms for challenging a U.S. patent before the USPTO, the various types of patent opinions and patent litigation. No prior knowledge of patent law is required.
Patent Law Fundamentals for Scientists, Engineers, and Managers - Part 1 of 4
Robert A. Migliorini, February 2022
This 4-part workshop is intended as an introductory primer in patent law and practice for scientists, engineers and managers involved in business and technology. The workshop provides an overview of patent protection and trade secret protection. The workshop also covers the fundamentals of how to identify, and document an invention, search for patents related to the invention, and apply for a patent application. In particular, attendees will become familiar with the types of patent applications, patentability requirements, the parts of a patent application, and the prosecution process for getting a patent application allowed before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Attendees will also become familiar with foreign filing of patent applications, post grant patent options including mechanisms for challenging a U.S. patent before the USPTO, the various types of patent opinions and patent litigation. No prior knowledge of patent law is required.
Experimental Methods to Determine Thermoformability
Amit Dharia, January 2022
New materials, advances in processing machinery, and the increasing demand for packaged goods are driving the growth of the thermoforming industry, which is expected to grow at 5.4% AGR between 2019-2023. The simple-looking thermoforming process is a complex interplay between– heating, stretching, and cooling. The material properties, processing mode, process parameters, and tool material can affect the functional and economic outcome.  The gains made by the low tooling cost, shorter lead time, and rapid change-over can easily be lost in running expensive trials and continuous process adjustments. Therefore, it is essential to understand the material response to process conditions by measuring and reporting properties relevant to the thermoforming. In this presentation, properties affecting thermoformability and various tests used in the industry will be discussed, and lessons learned from testing will be presented.
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy in Failure and Compositional Analysis
Jeff Jansen, January 2022
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:
  • Theory of Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Test Result Interpretation
  • Application to Polymeric Materials
    • Material Identification
    • Contamination
    • Degradation
  • Sample Preparation Supplementing FTIR With Other Techniques
  • Cases Studies
Thermal Dependency of Plastics
Jeff Jansen, December 2021
Because of their molecular structure, polymeric materials have different properties compared to other materials, like metals. Due to their viscoelastic nature, polymeric material properties our temperature dependent. As the temperature is increased, the polymer chains are further apart, there is more free volume and kinetic energy, and the molecules can slide past one another and disentangle more easily. The physical properties and performance of polymeric materials, such as strength, stiffness, and impact resistance, are highly dependent on the temperature at which the stresses applied. Over a temperature range, polymers will pass through key transitions, such as beta transitions and glass transitions, as well as softening and melting. Understanding the implications of these transitions and their correlation to molecular structure is useful in material selection and avoiding premature failure. The goal is that this webinar will provide:
  • A better understanding of how plastic mechanical properties change as a function of temperature.
  • The ability to recognize that there are both lower-end and upper-end temperature limits for polymeric materials.
  • Familiarity with the testing that can be utilized for evaluating the effects of temperature on plastics, as well as tests that are commonly used but provide very little useful information.
Outline
  • Viscoelasticity
  • Temperature
  • Thermal Transitions
  • Thermal Performance
  • Elevated Temperature
  • Low Temperature
  • Understanding Continuous Service Temperature Limits
Plastic Datasheets: What They Do and Don't Tell Us
Jeff Jansen, November 2021
UL Prospector lists tens of thousands of different plastic resins. When tasked with material selection, 99% of us turn to the typical property data sheet. What are the issues with the single point numbers listed on these datasheets? Why does sole reliance on this information often lead to failed product? What should we be doing instead? Selecting the proper material for an application requires the right data. While plastic project have evolved over the past 50 years, the data we are given has not evolved. This webinar will present the deficiencies of the information presented on plastic data sheets, and suggest what is really needed.


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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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