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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
Deformation of the Dispersed Phase in Polystyrene / High Density Polyethylene Blends Produced by Ribbon Extrusion
H. Padilla-López, M.O. Vázquez, R. González-Núñez, D. Rodrigue, May 2002
The deformation of the dispersed phase in polystyrene / high density polyethylene (PS/HDPE) blends produced by ribbon extrusion was studied numerically and experimentally. The analysis of the ribbon extrusion showed that parameters such as draw ratio (DR) and film-water contact length (X) influenced significantly the ribbon dimensions. A model was developed which enabled us to calculate the extensional stress (?xx) and the stretching force (Fo) as functions of extrusion conditions. As expected Fo, and hence ?xx, increased with increasing DR values. Furthermore, Fo not only depends on X, but also on the extrusion velocity (Vo) and the matrix viscosity (?m). The deformation of the dispersed phase and the stretching force were correlated theoretically by an uniaxial deformation analysis of the ribbon and the equilibrium shape of the particles determined by a balance between interfacial tension and extensional stresses. The results suggest that Fo is the most important parameter which determines the final shape of the particles. A comparison between the model and the experimental morphology produced a good agreement.
Degradation and Bond Strength Failure of New Dental Composite Resins
Gabriel Adusei, John W. Nicholson, Sanjukta Deb, May 2002
The studies on up-take of water and other fluids by dental composites have been important in the determining some of their properties and successful use in dentistry. Properties such as strength and adhesion using biaxial flexure strength (BFS) and shear bond strength (SBS) of one experimental and three commercial materials stored in different media, dry air, water, saline and artificial saliva were analyzed. Results subjected to one-way ANOVA (p< 0.05) showed that the strength of these materials increases in dry air but deteriorates significantly in wet conditions with time. Such observations are due to, water sorption, hydrolysis and degradation of bonds in the polymerized matrix.
Density Measurement of Thermoplastic Powders during Heating and Cooling Cycles Using Thermal Mechanical Analysis
G.M. McNally, M.P. McCourt, May 2002
The measurement of changes in polymer density during the heating and cooling cycles in rotational molding is important in terms of improved cycle times and improvement in product performance. This investigation uses Thermal Mechanical Analysis (TMA), to continuously measure density changes of a range of thermoplastic powders, during heating, curing and solidification during cooling. Small samples of a range of thermoplastic powders were carefully weighed into small aluminum pans of known dimensions, with the tip of the free moving, weightless TMA quartz probe positioned on the top surface of the pan. The probe displacement was continuously recorded during the various heating and cooling cycles. Compaction of the various powders during heating, followed by compaction of the melt at elevated temperatures were easily recorded for various heating rates, holding temperatures and cooling rates.
Description of the Transport Mechanisms in Planetary Roller Extruders
A. Limper, S. Seibel, May 2002
The compounding process gains importance in the plastic processing industry, due to the increasing demands on the quality and flexibility during the production. The planetary roller extruders (PREs) convinced in comparison with other compounding machines through the thermally careful compounding, the balanced ratio of shear and heat transfer and the narrow residence time distribution [2], [5]. Experimental investigations to analyse the process behaviour of PREs were carried out for the first time. For the experiments, process and material parameters were varied and different materials were used. To model the process both the essential geometric dimensions and the kinematic conditions are presented. It is shown, that the transport mechanisms in the PREs consist of a combination of forced conveying through the gearing, a pressure- drag-flow in the meltbank and flows through head and flank gaps.
Design and Optimization of Planar Automotive Blow Moulded Parts
F. Thibault, P. Debergue, D. Laroche, R. DiRaddo, M. Milliste, May 2002
The key quality requirements of automotive blow moulded parts include weight distribution, geometric tolerance and mechanical performance. This work deals with the optimization of an automotive filler panel used in a sports utility vehicle. The part is moulded with an insulating material (carpet) on one side, which renders the design of the part complex, due primarily to the non-uniform solidification of the part and the tight tolerance requirements of automotive OEM's. The proposed optimization consists of the manipulation of the die gap programming points and the mould temperature in order to optimize the part thickness distribution and to minimize the part warpage.
Design of a Tricycle Frame Using Topology Optimization Software
Christopher Yeagley, Amanda McKain, May 2002
This Project optimizes the design of a child's tricycle frame. This is done using a topology optimization software package. Using specified material properties, this software technique analyzes a simplified finite element model with assigned loads and boundary conditions and returns a model with maximum structural rigidity and a minimal amount of material. The software goes through an internal iterative process of removing material from the model and recalculates the model's structural characteristics until an optimized shape and material distribution are created. The suggested shape may require further refinement to address manufacturing feasibility for an intended process.
Design of Lab Scale Test to Determine Feeding Characteristics of Solid Antioxidants in Industrial Scale Configurations
Ivan Saenz, Elisabeth Papazoglou, John Mara, May 2002
State of the art methods based on mathematical models allow full characterization of the flow behavior of a solid material [1,2]. These methods draw their parameters from shear cell measurements and offer detailed analysis of the flow of the material and its potential problem [3]. Appropriate feeder design can then be implemented to avoid such problems.The following paper describes the use of a self-made shear cell for the measurement of critical flow properties of polymer stabilizers of various physical forms.This detailed analysis is then compared to Carr's empirical model previously employed [4], to characterize such materials.
Design of Software Solution for Setting Price of Flat Film Product
Sarka Vlckova, James Busby, Drahomira Pavelkova, May 2002
Economical analysis software, created as an additional feature to commercially available extrusion simulation software, is presented. The software allows calculating the price of a flat film, coextruded, product based on the structure, material price, equipment price and other economical variables. The link to the simulation software allows getting some values, such as energy consumption from the calculation rather than as an estimate. The simulation software can also indicate that the structure that is the most beneficial from the cost point of view may not be possible to be manufactured.
Design Sensitivity Analysis of Gas-Assisted Injection Molding
Florin Ilinca, Jean-François Hétu, May 2002
Gas-assisted injection molding is an increasingly used manufacturing process that allows production of parts with more uniform properties, reduced shrinkage, warpage and residual stresses. Getting the proper combination of different process parameters such as gas pressure, gas injection delay and melt temperature, makes gas-assisted injection molding more intricate than the traditional injection. Very often a successful design in gas-assisted injection comes at the end of a long trial and error process. Design Sensitivity Analysis (DSA) can help the processors improve the design and can produce substantial investment savings in both time and money. This paper compares two approaches to perform sensitivity analysis for the filling stage of the gas-assisted injection molding process. Solution of the gas-assisted process and the sensitivity of the solution with respect to different design parameters are computed in three-dimensions using a finite element method.
Design, Processing and Biological Behaviour of Starch Based Scaffolds for Bone and Cartilage Tissue Engineering
M.E. Gomes, J.S. Godinho, D. Tchalamov, A.M. Cunha, R.L. Reis, May 2002
The design and processing of appropriate porous 3-D scaffolds is one of the most important steps towards the regeneration of damaged tissues/organs using a tissue engineering approach. Work has been going on designing scaffolds from a range of starch based polymers that combine an appropriate degradation rate, with controlled porosity and adequate pore sizes, as well as tissue matching mechanical properties.Several processing techniques have been specially developed for producing the scaffolds. The developed methods include melt based processing technologies (based on injection moulding and extrusion using blowing agents), combined techniques based on solvent casting and on compression moulding associated to particle leaching, and other innovative techniques such as in-situ polymerization. It has been possible to produce scaffolds with adequate properties and structure. Some of them can be eventually used on minimally invasive surgical techniques. Furthermore, the developed methods have no negative effect on the biocompatible behavior of the starch based polymers.
Designing Screen Packs for Extruders on the Basis of Resin Rheology
Natti S. Rao, Günter Schumacher, Nick R. Schott, Ray Edwards, May 2002
In various extrusion processes, particularly those involving resin blends containing fillers and additives, it is often necessary to increase the melt pressure, in order to create more back mixing of the melt in the screw channel of the extruder. This can be achieved by using screen packs of different mesh sizes. They can also be used to increase the melt temperature to attain better plastication of the resin. Another application of screens concerns melt filtration, in which undesirable material is removed from the melt. In all these operations it is necessary to be able to predict the pressure drop in the screen packs as accurately as possible, as the melt pressure is closely related to the extruder output. Based on recent developments in rheology this paper presents an easy and quick method of calculating the pressure drop in a screen pack as a function of the resin viscosity, extruder throughput and the geometry of the screen. The effect of screen blocking is also taken into account. The predictions agree well with the experiments. Practical worked-out examples illustrate the design principles involved.
Detailed Energy Measurements in Injection Moulding
A.J. Dawson, H.S. Rajamani, R. Collis, L. Owen, D. Owen, P.D. Coates, May 2002
Growing concern for ecological issues, including international standards agreements such as ISO14001, demonstrate a clear requirement to conserve energy for both environmental and cost issues. Energy measurements on injection moulding machines both in the laboratory and in industry demonstrate the potential of process energy measurements in the development of a systematic management approach to the environmental concerns of an organization. The data gathered can also provide useful information to both the processor regarding the performance of the machine in question, and the power companies regarding the specification of supply equipment.Detailed energy measurements during the injection moulding cycle provide data regarding the energy consumption of specific machine components and/or phases of the injection moulding cycle, providing valuable data for machinery manufacturers and processors.
Determination of Molecular Weight and Molecular Weight Distribution of I-PP by Rheological Measurements - A Comparative Study
C.H. Scuracchio, R.E.S. Bretas, May 2002
Four polypropylenes of different grades were used in this study to test the reliability of the use of rheological measurements in the determination of the curve of the molecular weight distribution, MWD. For this purpose, it was used the mixing rule theory based on the double reptation. A commercial software (Rheometric Scientific Orchestrator®) and another one developed in our laboratories were used for this purpose. The final data were compared with curves obtained by gel permeation chromatography, GPC. It was found that curves obtained from the rheological tests had weak agreement with the curves of GPC. However the method showed to be reliable for a comparative study among materials.
Development and Characterization of a New Plastomer Designed for Single-Ply Roofing Membranes
T.A. Glogovsky, May 2002
The development and characterization of a new plastomer designed as the primary building block for single-ply roofing are reviewed. An improvement in mechanical properties over existing soft plastomers having similar flexibility was achieved through the incorporation of various monomers, resulting in the creation of bipolymers which provide toughness and softness performance. A higher total level of the combined bipolymers within a polypropylene random copolymer (RACO) matrix was utilized to achieve the unique properties in comparison to the existing plastomer currently used in single-ply roofing. Controlled blending of two plastomers compounded on standard single screw compounding equipment completed development of the final product. The result of the blending study was then simulated and scaled up to a continuous three-loop gas phase pilot reactor. The final mechanical, thermal, and rheological property profile of these new resins is presented.
Development of a Heat/Pressure Formable Wood Fiber Thermoplastic Composite from Recycled Paperboard
Tom Mase, Lawrence T. Drzal, Bob Jurek, May 2002
In this paper, an engineered material made from paperboard and powdered polypropylene is examined. A wet, paper process was chosen for converting paperboard waste into an engineered, cost effective composite material. Using a fourdrinier, a 30 inch wide continuous sheet of paper/plastic stock was produced for subsequent thermal molding. Tensile modulus and strength of 6,000 and 50 MPa, respectively, were obtained for a material having just less than 30 percent polypropylene. Additionally, moisture content and water absorption was examined. Testing and failure analysis indicate that increasing the percent of polypropylene will improve the mechanical properties.
Development of a High Heat, High Impact ABS for Automotive Blow Molded Spoilers
Thomas Pickett, Greg P. Reny, Tom Traugott, Michael Shoemaker, May 2002
Automotive spoilers (otherwise known as rear deck air deflectors) have been on vehicles since the mid nineteen sixties and have since made the transition from steel to plastics. Several plastic materials are used today to produce automotive spoilers, including Acrylonitrile-Butadiene- Styrene (ABS), Polyamide, Polyesters, Polyurea RRIM, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Polyphenylene Ether blend (PPE blend). A variety of fabrication techniques are in use, including blow molding, injection molding, injection/compression molding and compression molding.The utility of the spoiler, initially created as a means to reduce drag and improve fuel economy and vehicle performance, has changed over the years such that today spoilers are largely added for vehicle appearance enhancement. However, the performance requirements of spoilers are more rigorous than what one would expect from an appearance part. This paper examines the development of a new high heat, high impact, blow moldable grade of ABS for spoilers.
Development of an Integrated Computer-Aided Engineering and Optimization System for Injection Molding
Michael Peic, Lih-Sheng Turng, May 2002
Sophisticated computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools for injection molding have been available and are now widely used in industrial practices. However, a successful application of CAE typically involves numerous iterations of process simulations to evaluate various competing design options, material choices and process settings. To further enhance the effectiveness of CAE, efforts have been made in integrating the process simulation analysis with an optimization tool to automatically and intelligently search for the optimal design and/or process parameters. This paper presents the numerical implementation and experimental verification of this integrated optimization tool and the application of various optimization algorithms for an instrumented test mold.
Development of Inorganic Composites for Production of Structural Elements
Ioan I. Negulescu, Roger K. Seals, Simioan Petrovan, May 2002
The overall goal of the paper is to develop recycled plastic lumber products with improved mechanical properties using inorganic filler consisting of Louisiana residuals, such as phosphogypsum, in conjunction with recycled plastic resins. Blends have been established and samples have been prepared by mixing polyethylene derived from detergent bottles with inorganic fillers in the inner chamber of a Haake rheometer. Reactive mixtures have been made in the same way using maleic anhydride in addition to polyolefin and inorganic filler. The actual composition of blends has been calculated from thermogravimetric data. Tensile properties have been determined for each composition using both an INSTRON machine and a dynamo-mechanical spectrometer.
The Development of Nanocomposites to Enhance Functionality of Materials for Rotational Molding
Darren Martin, Peter Halley, Rowan Truss, Michael Murphy, Simon Meusburger, Oliver Jackson, May 2002
The development of new composite materials with enhanced property profiles for rotational molding represents a key challenge for the industry. The prerequisite attributes of a good rotomolding resin include grindability, sinterability, thermal stability and low moisture sensitivity. This imposes very restrictive limits on the number of promising new candidates.When traditional glass fibres or other mineral fillers such as talc, mica, or calcium carbonate are used, increased stiffness is almost always achieved at the expense of impact properties, ease of processing, wear on equipment, low density and recyclability. Many mineral fillers have been used successfully in numerous high pressure plastic forming processes, however, their successful adaptation has not transposed to the low shear, low pressure environment found in rotational moulding. In addition, large fibres tend to create a natural sieving action when tumbled with plastic powder within the mold and end up lining the inside of the mold serving no useful mechanical purpose. Furthermore, surface finish is generally rougher than that achieved with just the base resin and so it is harder to achieve a glossy finish.Possibly a more successful approach to developing a rotomoldable composite with outstanding engineering properties would be to introduce the matrix and reinforcement into the mold as a curable liquid. This has been done with some degree of success using wollastonite-filled polyurethane (1), although at higher filler loadings impact properties also suffered.In this paper polymer-clay nanocomposites are presented as possible new candidates for rotational molding. Issues and choices relating to the formulation, trials and evaluation of both PE-clay (thermoplastic) and castable polyurethane-clay (thermoset) nanocomposites for rotational molding are discussed. Some key melt rheology results for the PE-based nanocomposites are reported.
Devolatilization of Polymers in a Transparent Double-Screw Extruder
Ingo Gestring, Dieter Mewes, May 2002
Devolatilization is a key-step in polymer processing. Low-molecular-weight components are removed from a polymeric system. On of the most used equipment for devolatilization is the extruder. The mass transfer rate inside the devolatilization section of an extruder depends on the flow regime. A double-screw extruder with a transparent barrel is used for the experimental investigations to correlate the mass transfer with the flow regime. At the entrance section of the devolatilization section the polymer starts to foam. Two-phase bubbly flow exists. There the mass transfer is highest. The intensity of the foam expansion depends mainly on the rotational speed of the screws and the inlet concentration. After the foam has collapsed it may foam again under the vacuum vent. Down stream behind the vent two-phase stratified flow exists. There the mass transfer is low. The flow field along the screws is filmed with a digital video camera.


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