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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Conference Proceedings

Improving the Physical Properties and Versatility of PLA with PHA Copolymer Blends
Michael Andrews, Allen Padwa, Zhiguan Yang, May 2015

Blends of 100% biobased, fully biodegradable amorphous polyhydroxyalkanoate (a-PHA) copolymers and polylactic acid (PLA) exhibit good toughness and clarity in injection molding, extruded sheet and blown film. It will be shown that the level of toughness increase and modulus reduction can be tuned by blend composition. Results will also be presented that show that the addition of only 5% a-PHA significantly modifies the behavior of PLA in cutting and trimming typical of thermoforming operations.

Light Weighting in Blow Molding using New Mucell Technology
Simon Dominey, May 2015

By working together with Unilever, Mucell has developed the cutting-edge technology of light-weighting of blow molded bottles by 15%

Plastics Recovered from Shredded Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Brian L. Riise, Ron Rau, May 2015

Our industry leading separation technology enables us to recover styrenic and polyolefin plastics from complex mixed streams such as shredded waste electrical end electronic equipment. Plastic flakes recovered using our process are compounded and sold as pellets suitable for use in injection molding applications. This paper looks at the challenges and benefits of recovering plastics and modifying their properties for use in various applications such as home appliances, office products and electronics.

Microstructural Analysis of Multi-Scale Polymer Composites using Opitcal Microscopy and Entropic Measures
Jason R. Nixon, Hyunjo Choi, David I. Bigio, May 2015

Entropic measures for the characterization of mixing have been used to quantify the concentration and dispersion of additives in a polymer matrix, but have not yet been applied to the dispersion and breakup of ideally discrete structures. This paper introduces measures and considerations to analyze optical micrographs with entropic and statistical measures to quantify the quality mixing and attempt to quantify fiber attrition in polymer composites that contain both micro- and nano-scale additives.

Development of a New Type of Melt Pump
Johann Ertl, May 2015

The development of a new type of melt pump for the plastics and chemical industry will be described, including a comparison between theoretical and practical results. The device is based on a twin-screw system rather than intermeshing gears.

Corn Protein Composites for Agricultural Products
Jake Behrens, Jay-Lin Jane, David Grewell, James Schrader, Ines K??hnert, May 2015

Corn protein based polymer composites were developed for use in different agricultural consumer products. Addition of corn protein to polymer matrices increased thermal degradation, water absorption, and generally showed a slight decrease in mechanical properties. Thus, these composites are well suited for short-lived or controlled-degradation applications. For example, used as crop containers, the composites outperformed their petroleum-based counterparts in terms of enhancing plant growth.

Benefits of Surface Treatments & Mixed Filler Formulations for Thermally Conductive Plastics
Chandra Raman, Bei Xiang, Anand Murugaiah, May 2015

Thermally conductive plastics are gaining attention as an alternate material solution to metals to solve thermal management problems in a wide range of applications and industries. BN materials are known to enable high Thermal Conductivity(TC) in thermoplastic formulations. However, balancing this requirement for high conductivity with the need for acceptable physical properties can be challenging. This paper explores the use of BN-based mixed filler formulations to address these challenges.

Sustainability and Corporate Best Practices: Second Triennial Survey of Plastics Industry
Margaret H. Baumann, Bonnie J. Bachman, Shristy Bashyal, May 2015

The 2014 Sustainability Survey was the second survey that SPE Marketing and Management Special Interest Group conducted on sustainability in the plastics industry. The first survey was conducted in 2011. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of the 2014 survey, and establish some baseline case studies of best sustainability practices in the industry.

Fabrication of Interconnected Porous PLA by Mixing with NaCl and PEO in Two-Rotor Continuous Mixer
Xin Chen, Zeyu Lin, Jin Sha, Tong Wu, Tao Chen, Yulu Ma, Lih-Sheng Turng, Linsheng Xie, May 2015

Interconnected porous PLA materials were prepared by mixing PLA with Sodium Chloride (NaCl) and polyoxyethylene (PEO) in a two-rotor continuous mixer. SEM, DSC and XRD were used to study the effect of PEO contents and mixing parameters on interconnected porous structure, porosity and crystallization properties. The results showed that increasing PEO content and rotor speed improved pore connectivity. Rotor speed also enhanced PLA crystallization.

Fabrication of Biocompatible Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) PBAT Coating for Biomedical Applications
Syed Hussain R. Rizvi, Alicia D?Souza, Mickey Richardson, Tre Welch, Nandika D?Souza, May 2015

The objective of the present study is to investigate the mechanical strength and thermal properties (melting, crystallization and glass transition) of petroleum based biocompatible poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) as well as its synergistic blend with a nanofiller LDH (Layered double hydroxide). In the present study a bionanocomposite with a higher percentage of nanofillers was prepared and deformation response examined.

Laser Imageable Polymeric Film
Patrick Thomas, May 2015

It has been found that polymeric film formulated with a photochromatic pigment offers a substantial advantage over prior art methods of laser imaging film. Polymeric film formulated with a photochromatic pigment which undergoes a white to black color change upon exposed to laser irradiation are durable and abrasion-resistant since the photochromatic pigment is within the body of the plastic film.

Toughening Hollow Glass Microsphere Filled Low Density Nylon Compounds
Baris Yalcin, Mark Williams, May 2015

No Abstract Available.

Formulation Strategy to Achieve Highly Colorable and Weatherable ASA
Steve Blazey, May 2015

ASA polymers (Acrylonitrile-Styrene-Acrylate) represent one family of weatherable polymers often used in outdoor applications requiring long term color and physical properties retention. However, highly chromatic colors are difficult to achieve in opaque weatherable polymers such as ASA. This paper will identify and discuss several factors that influence polymer opacity and discuss examples where highly chromatic weatherable colors are achieved through the manipulation of polymer refractive index, material and color formulation strategy.

Undergraduate Modules for Biobased Plastics
Carol Barry, Bridgette Budhlall, Ramaswamy Nagarajan, May 2015

Educational modules focused on bio-based polymers were successfully developed and implemented for undergraduate curricula. These modules included experiments for (1) synthesis of a biodegradable polymer, (2) characterizing the properties of this polymer and comparing these properties with those of a commonly-used petroleum-based polymer, and (3) melt processing a bio-based, biodegradable polymer. All modules were well-received by and produced significant learning by the undergraduate students.

Content Bridge Value Creation - How In-Mold Labeling and Smart Phone Connectivity Can Add Value to Plastic Products
Robert Travis, May 2015

This paper explores the value proposition of combining the recognized advantages of in-mold labeling with relevant web content to create a permanent link to a molded the part. The result is a content bridge that can be retrieved by smart phone users to create a new level of utility and consumer engagement.

A Practical Example of Film Extrusion Process Troubleshooting and Fine Tuning
Olivier Catherine, May 2015

This case study is a practical example showing the importance of process and material characterization when designing high performance extrusion dies. In this study, we show the approach to troubleshoot a film extrusion process as the initial extrusion performance is not meeting the theoretical behavior.

Warpage Control of Thin-Walled Parts Using Local Mold Temperature Setting in Injection Molding
Ming-Shyan Huang, Shih-Chih Nian, Chih-Yang Wu, May 2015

Computer, communication, and consumer electronics products are currently required to be lightweight, portable, and convenient. Injection molding is among the most used techniques for mass production in plastic processing industries; however, producing thinner parts that do not warp is challenging. Causes of warpage in thin-walled molding are numerous such as material properties, product geometry, mold design, and processing conditions. For example, inconsistent thickness in component geometry, poor sprue-runner-gate or cooling design in the injection mold, and improper molding condition settings may cause plastic parts to warp excessively. Warpage causes unpredictable component shapes, which may cause poor assembly quality. Although mold cooling achieved by adjusting mold temperatures improves warpage, the conventional single mold temperature setting for each male or female mold plate limits the cooling capability. Consequently, this study employs an asymmetric cover for handheld communication devices as a research carrier, and proposes a local mold temperature setting to adjust the deformation of injection molded parts. Particularly, a neutral axis theory for analyzing the temperature distribution at the cross section of the thickness and then predicting the trend of warpage is used. Through CAE simulation and experiment, the feasibility of employing an ideal cooling design featured with local mold temperature setting to reduce warpage has been verified.

Evaluation of Shelf Life of Resin
Shantanu Shivdekar, May 2015

Resin samples were aged under accelerated conditions and post aging Material characterization was performed using analytical techniques such as Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC), Oxidation Induction Time (OIT) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC).

Each technique provided specific polymer evaluation. GPC was used to provide molecular weight information. Molecular weight of polymer is one of the key characteristics since it is related to mechanical properties such as stiffness, tensile strength and flexibility of the material. Molecular weight of polymer is directly related to overall performance of material.

DSC was used to provide thermal properties such as melting and glass transition temperature of polymer. These thermal properties are mainly used in establishing processing conditions (molding and extrusion) of polymers. Any drastic change in the melting point affects process settings and can be related to material degradation via change in the melt viscosity.

The primary source of degradation during shelf life exposure is thermal oxidation. Resistance to oxidation is manifested by a higher OIT. As a result, Samples are placed into DSC testing equipment with continuous exposure to oxygen for set amount of time and temperature. Output is recorded as time (minutes) it takes to observe oxidative exotherm.

In summary, key material properties such as molecular weight , oxidation resistance and thermal property (melting point) were unchanged when exposed to accelerated aging conditions simulating ten years (in case of ABS, Nylon, PEBAX, TPU and PVOH resin will be five years) of shelf life.

Novel Saturated Slip Additive with Superior Oxidative Stability
Adam Maltby, Phil Mcoy, Martin Read, May 2015

Since the 1950?s primary fatty acid amides have been used as additives in polyolefins and other polymers to reduce the coefficient of friction of films, enable easy mould release, enable easy assembly of moulded components and reduce tendency of polymer articles to scratch. Unsaturated amides such as oleamide and erucamide have been recognised the best performing additives in this area giving low friction by rapid migration to the polymer surface to form a coherent lubricating layer or layers. It is also well known that the elimination of the double from oleamide or erucamide offers considerable advantages in oxidative stability over the unsaturates but at the expense of slip performance.

This work illustrates that by manipulation of the alkyl chain it is possible to produce a fully saturated slip additive with excellent stability whilst retaining good friction reducing performance comparable with unsaturated slip agents. Comparison of this new slip additive with conventional slip agents in LDPE film, PP film, PP and bottle closures is reported showing the additive to be largely equivalent to erucamide.

Colour and retention of slip properties after exposure to an oxidising environment is also demonstrated along with good anti-scratch and low visible bloom in a black PP automotive formulation.

High Strain Rate Testing of Glass Fiber Reinforced PEEK
Stuart Brown, David Anderson, Jorgen Bergstrom, Gregory Freeburn, Ethan Ananny, May 2015

Fiber reinforced polymers are used in a wide range of applications involving impact, including automobile and aerospace components, consumer products, and industrial products. These materials, however, are difficult to characterize under high strain rate conditions, particularly at strain rates exceeding 1000 1/second. This difficulty occurs due to numerous factors, including specimen design and size factors, absence of appropriate test equipment for high strain rate characterization, and interpretation of measurement data. This presentation presents high strain rate testing experience on short fiber injection molded thermoplastics. We present stress/strain behavior at different strain rates, and discuss the effect of specimen design and different methods to evaluate high strain rate response and failure

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