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
Surface Modification of Halloysite for Epoxy Nanocomposite Applications
Songshan Zeng, Christopher Reyes, Paul Rodgers, Samuel Wentworth, Luyi Sun, May 2014
Polymer nanocomposites have been extensively investigated over the past two decades, resulting in a wide range of applications because of their excellent performance. Halloysite, a type of naturally occurring aluminosilicate, has attracted increasing interest in polymer nanocomposite applications, especially for the enhancement of mechanical properties owing the tubular structure of halloysite. Herein, we report a facile approach to achieve a high level of dispersion of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) in epoxy by treating HNTs with a low concentration (0.015mol/L) of sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The NaOH treatment resulted in the formation of hydroxyl groups on the surface of HNTs, leading to a better dispersion of HNTs in polar solvent and epoxy matrix, which was verified by the Zeta potential characterization. Such a higher level of dispersion and strong interface helped enhance the modulus and fracture toughness of epoxy/HNT ( 5 phr HNT) by and 18% and 43%, respectively, in comparison to the neat epoxy. The dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) revealed a 13% increment in the storage modulus of the composite at 50 °C. The SEM images of the fractured surfaces further confirmed the better dispersion of treated HNTs in the epoxy matrix, as opposed to the large agglomeration of untreated HNTs in the epoxy nanocomposite.
Innovative Approaches to the Process Definition for the Quasisimultaneous Welding of Polymers
Kai Holl, Marcell Nickol, Thomas Seul, May 2014
Through transmission laser welding (TTLW) is an established joining process in industry. It is used in the automotive industry, electrics and electronics and medical technology. One possibility to describe the laser process is the line energy. Due to time-dependent heat conduction processes in the joint zone, for quasi-simultaneous welding the line energy is only to be utilized conditionally for the determination of parameters and for the definition of a process window. The aim of this paper is to detect the influences of the individual factors by means of design of experiments (DoE), in order to define a suitable valid and robust process window for TTLW. The users of TTLW shall receive a guideline to define a process window for themselves.
Thermo-Sensitive Copolymers for the Treatment of Arterial Aneurysms
Anup Poudel, Austin Coffey, Shane McGrath, Damian Kelly, Sean Lyons, Niall Murphy, Philip Walsh, May 2014
Aneurysms (blood filled bulges in the wall of a blood vessel) are among the most common of all lethal cardiovascular conditions. While open surgery and minimally invasive techniques can be used to treat the condition, treatment efficacy, follow up treatment and subsequent management of the healing process is often hindered by the occurrence of endoleaks; leakage into the aneurysm sack after endovascular repair. Furthermore, accessing specific treatment sites located in regions of complex tortuosity remains extremely challenging. The premise of this research is to determine the feasibility of deploying smart, thermo-responsive hydrogels as ‘filler’ materials which can be applied to the affected site using a novel, minimally invasive, catheter delivery technique; with a particular focus on the mechanical and thermo-responsive properties of said hydrogel materials. Different concentrations of poly(poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(propylene oxide) tri-block copolymers, with varying solution-solvent ratios, were studied using calorimetric and rheological techniques. Results show that specific solute-solvent concentrations have potential for use when coupled with a temperature controlled catheter delivery system. However, optimal temperature control remains challenging.
Why You Should Consider a Contour Printed Package
Todd Shepherd, May 2014
Contour Print aka distortion printing or preprint is nothing new to the thermoforming industry. We believe every innovative thermoformer has tried registering print at one time or another. What’s different about Contour Print is how it came about and why we think it will become a preferred package for brands, consumers and recyclers. Contour print was developed after attending PackEx, Sustainability/LCA, Product Design & other packaging conferences. Contour print takes into consideration the needs of all parties involved in consumer packaging: brand owners, retailers, consumers, recyclers and converters. By taking prominent recycled material like RPET, standard roll fed thermoforming equipment and adding the distorted printing you get a consumer friendly pack that’s easy to recycle. With public concerns for recycling and consumer confusion, using one material for the entire package greatly reduces this problem. Contour Print also reduces weight by replacing flat printed components with printing that is applied directly to the formed plastic package.
Development of an Absorbable Magnesium-Polymer Fusion Cage for the Cervical Spine
Theresa Kauth, Christian Hopmann, Dorothea Daentzer, Bastian Welke, Christof Hurschler, Bernd Kujat, Daniel Kaltbeitzel, May 2014
Conventional fusion devices (“cages”) are often used to join two vertebrae of the human spine and generally remain in the body for a lifetime and can theoretically lead to any complications. Therefore, an absorbable hybrid fusion cage consisting of a magnesium skeleton infiltrated with absorbable polymer (poly-?-caprolactone, PCL) has been developed. The primary objective of the cage is to ensure an adequate stiffness of the disc space directly after the operation and to encourage the ingrowth of new bone tissue to secure longlife stability. Once a sufficiently rigid bone connection is formed, the implant should be absorbed. Within this paper results of in vitro investigations of the mechanical properties and of in vivo investigation in blackcap sheep are presented.
Investigation of Degradation Mechanism by Copper Catalytic Activity and Mechanical Property of Polyethylene Pipes for Hot Water Supply
Daisuke Tanemura, Hiroyuki Nishimura, Kazushi Yamada, Kazuhisa Igawa, Yuji Higuchi, May 2014
In recent years, polyethylene of raised temperature resistance (PE-RT) type materials have been used successfully in domestic hot and cold water piping systems. PE-RT has a unique molecular structure and crystalline microstructure, which provides excellent long- term hydrostatic strength at high temperatures due to tie molecule entanglement without cross-linking polyethylene chains. However, this is little basic research on the durability and degradation mechanism of PE-RT pipes, i.e. the oxidation mechanism of PE-RT pipes in the presence of active ion such as Cu or Fe. In this study, the oxidation and mechanical properties was evaluated by the acceleration degradation test in the presence of the copper ion. These difference and mechanism are discussed on the basis of the results of tensile test, chemiluminescence (CL) measurement, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation.
Development of Non-Destructive Inspection Method Using Ultrasonic Wave for Degradated GFRP under Chemical Environment
Yoshiaki Tabuchi, Yoshimichi Fujii, Hiroyuki Nishimura, Kazushi Yamada, May 2014
This paper describes the weight change rate and mechanical properties of GFRP after the immersion test in 10% sodium hydroxide and 30% hydrochloric acid solutions and vapors at 40°C. The bending stress and the flexural modulus of the sample immerged in 10% sodium hydroxide solution for one month greatly decreased although these of the sample immerged in 30% hydrochloric acid solution for one month did not change. The generation of the acoustic emission (AE) started early at the bending test for the sample immerged in 10% sodium hydroxide solution. It was also found that there was a large difference of ultrasonic echo level between before and after immerged samples in 10% sodium hydroxide solution.
Influence of Flame-Retardant Materials on the Weld Strength of Plastic Parts
Fabian Evers, Volker Schöppner, May 2014
Fire-safety requirements, especially in the transportation and the electronics industries, are becoming stricter and stricter, meaning that more and more plastic materials include flame retardants (FR) among their constituent elements. This FR process is an endothermic reaction combined with intumescence or foam formation. When welding plastics, the welding process involves high temperatures above the plastication temperature of the thermoplastics, which can inadvertently activate the FR-reaction. This reaction can result in a lower welding strength. In this study the activation of FR-reactions in thermoplastic materials and the strength of the resulting joint will be considered. Joints were welded using three of the most commonly used processes in the industry: ultrasonic welding, laser transmission welding and hot plate welding. The results show the influence of the material, the process parameters, the welding process, the temperature and the ratio of FR-material to non-FR-material on the strength of the welded joint. For example, higher temperatures in the hot plate welding process or higher laser energy in the laser transmission welding result in lower-strength connections because of a higher activation rate of the FR-material. However, the FR-material is not activated during ultrasonic welding. Here, the lower-strength connection results from the FR-material as a filler material and not because of FR activation.
Microcellular Injection Molding of Polypropylene and Glass Fiber Composites with Supercritical Nitrogen
Zhenhao Xi, Xinyi Sha, Tao Liu, Ling Zhao, May 2014
Microcellular injection molding of polypropylene and glass fiber composites (PP-1684/GF-950) was performed using supercritical nitrogen as the physical blowing agent. Based on design of experiment (DOE) matrices, the influences of GF content and operating conditions on cell structure, GF orientation and mechanical properties of molded samples were studied systematically. The results showed the cell morphology and GF orientation of foaming parts were definitely influenced by the cooling and shear effects. The mechanical properties of foamed PP/GF composites could be effectively enhanced by improving the cell morphology, dispersion state and orientation of the GF at optimal weight percentage wGF/wPP=11.8%. And the optimal conditions for injection molding were obtained by analyzing the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio analysis of the mechanical properties of the molded samples, which were a shot size of 36 mm, a supercritical N2 weight percentage of 0.4%, an injection speed of 52 mm/s, a melt temperature of 190 °C, and a mold temperature of 70 °C. The molded specimens of PP-GF composites, produced under those optimal conditions, exhibited very uniform fiber dispersion and microcellular structures with an average cell size less than 30 ?m. And the mechanical properties normalized by weight ratio of the microcellular samples were increased significantly, especially the impact strength.
Comparative Analysis of a Novel Clear Polypropylene Impact Copolymer for Use in Thin-Walled Injection Molding
Peter S. Dias, Rocio S. Garay, Dennis Lipinski, Ed Catalina, May 2014
A new technology from Braskem extends the use of clear polypropylene for thin-walled injection molding applications. Typical high melt-flow rate random copolymers have very poor impact resistance at low temperatures, and commercially available impact copolymers produce opaque containers. A new developmental grade from Braskem, PRISMA 1911, was developed to have high melt flow, relatively high stiffness, high impact, and excellent transparency. The goal of this paper is to compare this new grade with conventional impact copolymers, with random copolymers, and with blends of random copolymers and polyolefin elastomers.
Creep Rupture Failure under Conditions of Static Strain
Jeffrey A. Jansen, Jacob N. Nemec, May 2014
The response of polymeric materials under long-term loading will vary due to several interrelated factors including time, temperature, and the magnitude of loading experienced by the material. A common failure mode encountered in plastic parts under long-term loading is creep rupture. Creep rupture describes a slow-crack growth failure in polymeric parts that is a consequence of molecular disentanglement over time as a result of exposure to continuous stress. This time-related phenomenon can lead to unexpected failures in plastic parts after days, months, or years in service. While creep rupture is more predictable and better understood under constant stress loading, creep rupture resulting from a constant strain condition is frequently encountered in several applications and is more complex to interpret. This complexity is due to the competing mechanisms of plastic creep and stress relaxation. This paper will provide insight into several long-term material behaviors in polymeric materials, with an emphasis on a scenario involving creep rupture as a result of constant strain over time.
Minimization of Part Warpage in Injection Molding through Ideal Wall Thickness Distribution
Mario Studer, Frank Ehrig, May 2014
In this study, a method to reduce the warpage of injection molded parts by optimizing the distribution of their wall thickness is proposed. The method is based on an optimization procedure consisting of mold flow analysis, a parameterization tool for geometry manipulation and an evolutionary optimization algorithm. Starting with the initial design for the mold cavity, the procedure modifies the wall thickness distribution at user-defined area-sections. The result is an STL-file of the optimized design. Application on a warpage demonstrator reveals the effectiveness and plausibility of the proposed optimization procedure.
Modeling of OBSH Decomposition Kinetics as Blowing Agent for Cellular EPDM Rubber
Nora C. Restrepo Zapata, Tim A. Osswald, Juan Pablo Hernandez Ortiz, May 2014
The decomposition kinetics of p’,p-oxybis benzene sulfonyl hydrazide (OBSH) and the change of its behavior when mixed with additives and rubber are determined by using thermal analysis. This study uses Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetry (TGA) to understand the exothermic reaction. Different kinetic models were evaluated using the least-square method to determine activation energies and reaction variables. As a result, it was found that the Kamal-Sourour model is the most accurate reaction model, confirming the information found in literature.
Preliminary Results in Modeling in-Machine Fiber Breakage during Injection Molding
Hongyu Chen, Mark J. Cieslinski, Donald G. Baird, May 2014
This work is concerned with the effect that the ratio of initial pellet length to screw channel width, or diameter, has on the percent of glass fiber breakage during processing in the screw. Experiments were carried out on a lab-scale single screw extruder. Data has been fit using an exponential decay model with a kinetic decay constant and a critical length value. This empirical model has been tested on glass fiber breakage in another size screw with a diameter 1.66 times larger than that of our single screw extruder and reasonable agreement with the empirical exponential decay model and experimental results are observed. For carbon fiber, similar breakage trends were observed.
Data Driven Decision Making for the Injection Mold Designer
Ken Rumore, May 2014
The science of Tribology is generally known only to certain specialists who focus on its study and the effects on industrial materials. It can drive many decisions that are made daily by the injection mold designer. In many molds there are assemblies that benefit from optimizing a surface, to minimize the effect of wear, which can be the result of one surface coming in moving contact with another. The basics of Tribology are important for all designers to understand because it may improve the longevity, of the assembly, through design or to advise the end user of adequate, required maintenance. Component longevity is the goal, but ultimately cost savings is the outcome, when replacement components and lost man-hours make an assembly unaffordable to maintain and maintenance replacements are required too often. When Tribology knowledge can be used to extend the life of specific components so they will last longer and insure the assembly’s practical life, everyone benefits. This paper will review basic definitions, concepts the designer should have in mind, the effect on industrial materials and verification methods. At the very least, this information will lead to an understanding that additional testing and analysis may be required for verification of product life.
Material Characterization of Natural Fiber — Acrylic Thermoset Composites
Andre Bendo, September 2013
PowerPoint Presentation at Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition
More Sustainable Non-Woven Fabric Composites for Automotive Using Coir (Coconut) Fibers
Walter Bradley, September 2013
More environmentally friendly composite materials for automotive manufacturing and building construction have been made by substituting coir fibers for the widely used polyester fibers to make non-woven fabric composites of coir fibers and recycled polypropylene fibers that can be compression molded into a wide range of parts or rolled into flat panels. This more environmentally friendly composite has a greater bending stiffness is more resistant to fire less expensive and without the odor problems that accompany many natural fibers.
Compression Molded Bio-Fiber Reinforced High Performance Thermoset Composites for Structural and Semi-Structural Applications
Leonard Fifield, September 2013
Plant-based bio-fibers can reduce the weight of automotive composites if technical hurdles such as the rampant moisture uptake and loss of composite mechanical properties with exposure to moisture can be controlled. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is developing chemical additives for thermoset resins that enable dramatic reduction in bio-fiber composite moisture uptake and loss of mechanical properties following exposure.
Micro- and Nanocellulose Composites for Automotive Applications
Alper Kiziltas, September 2013
This review of recent work and technical developments by researchers at University of Maine discusses the opportunities challenges innovations and properties of micro- and nanocellulose fiber-filled thermoplastic composites (particularly engineering thermoplastic composites with melting points above 220C) and hydrophobic (polypropylene- and polyethylene-based) polymer composites.
Fluid Assist Injected Molded Parts with FibreTuff - a Natural Fiber Composite
Robert Joyce, September 2013
PowerPoint Presentation at Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition

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ANTEC 2016 - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA May 23-25, 2016. [On-line].
Society of Plastics Engineers
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