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
Failure Analysis of Cross-Linked Polyethylene Pipe in Residential Plumbing and Heating Systems
Phillip Sharff, Arthur Davies, May 2015
A rash of failures in PEX-AL-PEX piping in residential domestic hot water and hydronic heating systems in the United States and Canada led to an investigation into the nature and cause of the failures. Failures, which occurred after less than 10 years of service, were characterized by blistering and splitting of the exterior pipe wall, preceded by darkening and bulging of the outer PEX layer. Laboratory examination of field samples revealed brittle microcracking of the inner PEX layer and corrosion holes in the aluminum layer precipitating hydrostatic rupture of the outer PEX layer. Tests showed that the PEX material had low gel content (indicative of inadequate crosslinking), and early depletion of the antioxidant, thus lowering the resistance to oxidative degradation. This study shows the importance of proper formulation and testing of the antioxidant package for ensuring satisfactory performance of thermoplastic pipe for the intended design life.
Rubber De-Vulcanisation Using a Planetary Extruder
Michael W. Batton, Thomas J. Malzahn, Michael Gerdon, Ralf Quack, May 2015
Elastomers are wide-meshed cross-linked (vulcanized) polymers and recycling is difficult. Thermoplastic materials can be molten by exposing them to thermal energy and put into different shapes or mixed with other ingredients to form new compounds. Elastomers do not have a melting point, in order to put them into different shapes or mix them with other materials, first the cross-linking has to be broken and the elastomer plasticized again, in other words ?de-vulcanized?. Since this is much more difficult than just melting, in comparison to thermoplastics, elastomers, due to this difficulty, were mainly reduced in size and added as filler in other materials or burned for energy and not recycled into the original raw materials. However, until today there existed no continuous economical process that has been established in the industry.
Stress-Relaxation of Polycarbonate Resins
Pierre Moulinie, Steven Owens, Daniel Williams, Yong Zhao, May 2015
The stress-relaxation behaviors of several PC-based materials are compared after being subjected to various levels of tensile strain for up to 48h. All resins tested showed decreases in stress over the course of the experiment, with most of the relaxation occurring within the first 6h. At 0.6% tensile strain, the PC-based materials we studied showed force decreases from 9-20% after 48h, much lower than what we observed for ABS or a copolyester. The consistency of our results for the PC resins studied suggests that stress-relaxation is not significant when comparing their ESCR behavior.
Microstructural Design of Porous Membrane for Effective Sound Absorption Performance
Shahrzad Ghaffari Mosanenzadeh, Hani Naguib, Noureddine Atalla, May 2015
Porous materials and foams are widely used for sound absorption purposes in different sectors. To answer the needs for light weight compact noise insulation material with high sound absorption capability, the microstructure of porous membranes can be designed for optimum performance while occupying the same volume with the same weight. Such engineered structures are known as Functionally Graded Material (FGM). In the present study, novel functionally graded foam with superior sound absorption is introduced and compared to uniform foams of the same porosity. The designed graded membrane demonstrates 20% improved performance. Foams are fabricated from bio-based polymer (Polylactide (PLA)) and are environmentally friendly.
Compliant High Friction Surfaces on Ice Made Using Polymer-Fiber Composites
Reza Rizvi, Helen Song, Hani Naguib, Tilak Dutta, Geoff Fernie, May 2015
This paper details the development of compliant surfaces possessing a high coefficient of friction (COF) through the use of fibrous composites. The fibrous composites consist of a hard glass fiber phase reinforcing a compliant thermoplastic polyurethane matrix ? fabricated using twin-screw compounding and compression molding. Furthermore, the skin layer is mechanically removed to expose the glass fibers. The coefficient of friction of the composite on ice is 0.25 versus a coefficient of friction of 0.04 for molded polyurethane. Using mechanical alignment, the coefficient of friction can be as high as 0.32. The exposed glass fiber phase exhibits a ?micro-cleat? effect for fracturing the ice and providing the high friction force
New Highly Flexible Cyanoacrylates: Loctite? 4902? and Loctite? 4903?
Michael Pomykala, May 2015
Speed and flexibility have always been known to be a tradeoff for adhesives. Current cyanoacrylates, light cure acrylics, hot melt adhesives, two-component silicones and polyurethanes can provide either flexibility and/or relatively fast fixture speeds. In most cases, however, there exists a tradeoff with shear strengths, adhesive cost, ease of dispense, or ability to cure at all (i.e. bonding opaque substrates with a light cure acrylic). Henkel has developed two Loctite instant adhesives that offer high flexibility and fast fixture speed while maintaining high strength on a majority of substrates. Thorough testing of Loctite? 4902TM (product A) and Loctite? 4903TM (product B) has confirmed that these new formulations perform equally, if not better, in standard cyanoacrylate categories such as fixture speed, shear strength, and heat aging. Testing as also proven that while maintaining these desired performance parameters, the new formulations have also increased sealing reliability on common flexible substrates.
The Effects of Particle Type, Size and Compounding Conditions on the UV Durability of Thermoplastic Elastomers
Mark D. Wetzel, May 2015
It is well established that the addition of solid particles that absorb light across ultra-violet (UV) wavelengths can improve the environmental durability of plastics. Thermoplastic polyester elastomers are sensitive to UV degradation in both exterior and interior applications. This paper describes an experimental evaluation of the improvement in UV performance of a polyester elastomer, Hytrel?, with the incorporation of a conventional chemical UV stabilizer along with different UV absorbing or scattering solid fillers. A rapid screening method is described that measures mechanical elongational properties as a function of UV exposure time. The results show that the particle type and size, the dispersion quality and melt compounding conditions affect UV durability.
Melt Rheology of in-situ Polymerized Polyamide 6/Cellulose Whisker Nano-Composites
Shahab Kashani Rahimi, Joshu U. Otaigbe, May 2015
Polyamide 6 composites reinforced with various cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) contents were prepared by in-situ polymerization technique. Melt rheological properties of these composites were studied in both linear and non-linear viscoelastic regimes. The results showed that incorporation of cellulose nanocrystals even at low loadings results increased storage and loss modulus, complex viscosity and development of elastic properties in the melt. The composites showed shear thinning behavior especially at higher CNC loadings. The low frequency linear viscoelastic region showed the onset of the formation of percolated network structures of CNCs within the polymer matrix. The structure break-up and recovery tests further confirmed the evolution of CNC agglomerates and development of elastic properties, as well as, high shear-rate dependency of the filled samples.
A Method for Creating Internal Geometries in Injection Molded Parts Using Water Soluble Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVOH) Inserts
Jason D. McNulty, Hrishikesh A. Kharbas, Lih-Sheng Turng, May 2015
In this study, we experimented with using water solu?ble polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) patterns to create internal geometries within injection molded parts. By overmolding sacrificial PVOH patterns with a ? shell, and subsequently dissolving the inserts, diverse internal features were fabricated with traditional injection mold?ing equipment. Metrological study perform?ed on the components has shown that precise control of the internal dimensions is possible over a wide range of processing temperatures and conditions. White light interferometry analysis conducted on the surfaces of the PVOH patterns and shell materials show that the process is capable of replicating microscale features and decora?tions onto the internal surface of the molded components. It is suggested that, in the modern global market, compa?nies differentiate on the basis of innovation and speed of development. This process can help develop and mass-manufacture complex parts with internal geometries and undercut features faster and more economically than the industrial alternatives.
A New Perspective of Surlyn? Modified Polyamides: Expanding the Role of Surlyn? from a Modifier to a Blend Partner for Polyamides
Richard T. Chou, Karlheinz Hausmann, Herbert V. Bendler, May 2015
Technologies that enable ionomers to be blended with polyamides in high loading for attaining synergistic effects of both components are explored. A new ionomer that contains reactive functional groups forms blends with nylon 6 of nanoscale morphology with particle size of 60-90 nm and almost monodispersed size distribution. Nanoscale morphology is observed in all blend compositions, which enables to make nylon 6 blends possessing properties similar to nylon 11 and nylon 12. Poor ZnCl2 salt resistance is known to be a deficiency for short chain polyamides, such as nylon 6 and nylon 66. Nylon 6 modified with Na/Zn ionomer at a loading of 35 wt. % or higher was found to exhibit excellent ZnCl2 stress cracking resistance. The discovery opens a new avenue to manage salts resistance for developing flexible polyamides based on lower cost polyamides.
When Permanent Really Means Permanent. Polyfuze, the New Heat Fused Graphic for Polyethylene, Polypropylene and Other Olefin Resins
Jason Brownell, May 2015
The intent of this paper is to demonstrate the truly permanent nature of a new patent protected heat fusion process for the transfer of graphics to polyethylene, polypropylene and other olefin products. As stated in Wikipedia, ?Heat fusion (sometimes called heat welding or simply fusion) is a welding process used to join two different pieces of a thermoplastic. This process involves heating both pieces simultaneously and pressing them together. The two pieces then cool together and form a permanent bond. When done properly, the two pieces become indistinguishable from each other. Dissimilar plastics can result in improper bonding.?

This paper will:
Explain the difference between the new Polyfuze Graphic and other labeling processes such as In-Mold Labels (IML), Hot Stamp (Foil), Screen/Pad Printing and adhesive backed stickers.
Define the environmental significance of each of these decorating methods vs. heat fused graphics.
Colorant Solutions to Meet Global Packaging Regulations
Sharon M. Ehr, May 2015
Colorant Solutions to Meet Global Packaging Regulations
Sharon Ehr, Technology Manager
Uniform Color Company

Today?s packaging regulations are confusing at best. Compliance with global food contact and cosmetic regulations has become standard practice rather than the exception.

Identifying the proper regulation for a specific application and geographic area can be challenging. Food and cosmetic packaging regulations can vary drastically from country to country. Often times regulations are ambiguous and in some cases conflict with each other.

Proper colorant and additive selection depends on defining the final application, how that package may be used and the product inside the package which may come in contact with the plastic part. Clear understanding of these parameters can provide end users assurance that the proper colorant package is used for the appropriate application while offering the broadest possible colorant palette.

A Method for Determining the Seven Coefficients of the Cross-WLF Equation
Wei Zheng, Justin Claus, Jesse Pischlar, Bryce Holm, Adam Kramschuster, May 2015
Commercial simulation software employs mathematical models to simulate the plastics flow and to provide useful guidelines on the process set-up. One such model is the well applied Cross-WLF viscosity model. With seven material coefficients, the model is able to predict the viscosity as a function of temperature, shear rate, and pressure. However, to the best knowledge of the authors, there is no readily accessible methodology for determining these seven coefficients, which presents a challenge for users pursuing such information. In this work, we present a methodology on determining such coefficients using thermal and rheological data generated for a polylactic acid. The methodology presented is expected to be robust at least for amorphous plastics.
Inline Detection of Material Storage Effects on Processing Behavior of Rubber Compounds
Michael A. Fasching, Gerald R. Berger, Walter Friesenbichler, May 2015
Due to the chemical activity of rubber compounds, storage temperature and -time of the material prior to processing do have a significant influence on the processability of rubber compounds in injection molding.
The aim of this work is to quantify storage-induced material changes in the laboratory as well as to evaluate how these changes affect the injection molding process. Furthermore, two key process indicators (KPIs) are presented which allow the evaluation of the material condition inline.
Therefore, a batch of a NBR model compound filled with carbon black was produced to be used for injection molding experiments in its fresh state as well as for repetitive experiments after a storage period of three months at cooled ambience. This is generally the maximum storage period for commercially processed rubbers.
Several process settings were varied systematically to identify the most important parameters regarding the processing stability of the compound. Simultaneously to the injection molding experiments, the material was characterized in the laboratory for its changes in rheological, thermodynamic and curing behavior in dependence on the storage time.
While a significant viscosity increase with storage time was observed, the incubation time of the rubber decreased which diminishes the possible processing window. The results of the injection molding experiments clearly show that the material changes observed in the laboratory can also be monitored in the injection molding process. With two KPIs based on machine signals, the inline evaluation of the material storage condition is possible and allows timely triggering of counteractions to ensure process stability as well as the estimation of expectable part quality.
Extrudate Swell of HDPE Melts with Application to Manufacturing of the New Generation Fuel System (NGFS?)
Mahmoud Ansari, Ehsan Behzadfar, Haile Atsbha, Ulrich Karsch, Savvas G. Hatzikiriakos, May 2015
The axisymmetric and flat sheet extrudate swell is studied with application in the optimization of a New Generation Fuel System (NGFS?) manufacturing process for the automotive industry. A series of extrudate swell measurements for HDPE melts are carried out using an optical micrometer attached to the capillary rheometer in order to study the effect of die geometrical characteristics, temperature (isothermal and non-isothermal) and gravity on extrudate dimensions. It is found that temperature plays a significant role in the extrudate swell when isothermal measurements are performed; i.e. temperature of exit is maintained equal to temperature in the die. As a single value cannot characterize the extrudate swell, the whole profile of the extrudate at the exit is determined and reported. The ultimate extrudate swell that corresponds to the swell when all stresses have been relaxed was also studied, and this can be significantly different from typical extrudate swell values measured at the die exit.
Extrudate Swell of High-Density Polyethylene Using Integral and Differential Constitutive Equations
Vinod Kumar Konaganti, Mahmoud Ansari, Marzieh Ebrahimi, Anna Bardetti, Zohir Bernabah, Robert DiRaddo, Haile Atsbha, Christoph Hilgert, Savvas G. Hatzikiriakos, May 2015
The polymer extrudate swell phenomenon is studied to understand the effects of parameters such as past deformation history, die design characteristics, viscoelastic characteristics and process conditions. Accurate prediction of extrudate swell is very crucial in applications such as blow molding, extrusion and fiber spinning. The integral K-BKZ and differential PTT constitutive models are used to simulate the extrudate swell phenomena of a high molecular weight HDPE in capillary extrusion, under various geometric and operating conditions. The simulated swell results were further compared with experimental observations. It was found that the K-BKZ model overpredicts and the PTT model slightly under-predicts the experimental measurements. An attempt has been made to explain the discrepancy between swell predications using K-BKZ and PTT models by studying various material rheological functions using these rheological models.
Biocomposites and Bioblends Based on Engineering Thermoplastics for Automotive Applications
This paper presents innovative solutions concerning the utilization of engineering polymers in bioblends and biocomposites designated for automotive applications. The studied biomaterials have lower-cost, lower-weight, and at least same performance comparing with the current engineering thermoplastics used in automotive parts. Polyamide (PA6) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) were formulated using different types and concentrations of cellulosics, polylactic acid (PLA) as a bio-sourced polymer, and in a combination of cellulosics and PLA. These biomaterials were characterized in terms of morphology, mechanical properties, and heat deflection temperature. The extruded biocomposites, foamed in injection molding process, presented similar properties as the unfoamed and reference counterparts while being around 25-30% greener, lighter and less expensive.
Effect of Pigments Compounding on Product Performance
Rakshit Amba, May 2015
As global leader in custom colored engineering thermoplastics SABIC is committed to investigating sustainable methods in process and analytical techniques. SABIC has long history partnering with customers to differentiate their products by developing desired looks and aesthetics for unique branding. SABIC and its COLOREXPRESSTM is therefore, capable in handling complex color matching, formulation to meet product performance and utilizing expertise in delivering long term product performance regardless of lot size.

Processors commonly use color concentrate or master batch for product coloring during molding or extrusion. This process involves modification of screw design or feeder for optimal product quality. Custom compounders such as SABIC use pigments with various polymers and additives, with optimized formulation, screw design, and feeding methods. Therefore providing customers with convenience and superior product performance than color concentrate or master batch.

General concerns include pigments dispersion, its effects on engineering thermoplastics properties and surface appearance. Theory behind agglomerate break-up and its effects on experimental molded samples are discussed in the paper.

For this study samples were produced using different pigment feeding methods including standard pigment compounding method and use of color concentrates. Also, SABIC?s proprietary method was compared. It is critical that pigments be evenly dispersed and distributed in the polymer matrix while maintaining consistent viscosity and optimal mechanical properties.

Commonly used pigments in polymers include titanium dioxide and carbon black. Typically color compounds incorporate more than one pigment which adds to the complexity. Experimental findings from the various compounding methods on mechanical properties, surface, heat/hydro aging and color appearance are presented. This paper also compares and reveals some superior pro
Lower-Cost, Ligther and Greener Polypropylene-Based Biocomposites for Industrial Applications
This paper discloses the viability of the formulation, processing, and performance of advanced biocomposites and bioblends based on polypropylene (PP) designed for industrial manufacturing. The PP was compounded with three different types of cellulosic fibers, in a bioblends with polylactide (PLA) as bio-sourced polymer, and in PP/PLA/cellulosic biocomposites. These biomaterials were characterized in terms of morphology, mechanical and thermal properties. Tensile strength, tensile modulus, and the heat deflection temperature of the bioblends and the biocomposites presented at least equivalent values comparing with virgin PP and with PP current industrial grades. The extruded biocomposites, foamed in injection molding process, presented similar properties as the unfoamed and reference counterparts while being up to 25 wt.% lighter, up to 50% less expensive, and up to 50% greener.
Importance of Processing and Fiber Orientation for Realistic Performance Prediction with Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics
Recep Yaldiz, Angel Yanev, Dave Brands, May 2015
Current industrial state of the art for predictive engineering of fiber reinforced thermoplastic materials relies on isotropic material modeling. This approach gives inaccurate predictions, where orientation and length of fibers play a critical role. An innovative approach is developed in the last years with consideration of the anisotropic behavior of the material. Mechanical material modeling, which is considering correct processing and fiber orientation, can significantly improve the accuracy of mechanical predictions.

The authors follow the innovative approach of combining the processing conditions of the fiber reinforced materials with obtained fiber length and orientation in the end applications. Influence of the processing conditions and fiber orientation on mechanical properties will be elaborated. Differences between the current isotropic and innovative approaches will be displayed in chosen show case applications.

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