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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
Effect of graphite/graphene on morphology, properties and thermal insulation properties of polystyrene foams
Chenglong Dai, Ying-Chieh Yen, Jianfeng Yu, L James Lee, May 2013
Graphite and graphene particles were employed as nucleating agents to fabricate polystyrene (PS) composite foams in both extrusion and batch foaming processes. The foams were expanded by supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2). The results show that the particle concentration, not particle type and size, is important for the morphology and thermal conductivity of PS foams produced by the extrusion foaming process. In the batch foaming process, particles pre-compounded with PS and particles pre-attached onto the PS pellet surface led to very different foam morphology. Their mechanical properties and thermal insulation performance are being investigated.
A Very High Molecular Weight HDPE Resin (VHMWPE) with Improved Chemical and Abrasion Resistance
Stanley Dudek, Dane Chang, May 2013
Applications, such as sheet and pipe, often require polymers that can resist abrasion during use. This is especially true if the application is to handle a slurry or grit. Although typical HDPE resins have good resistance to abrasion and can be broadly used with different chemicals, there are several applications that need a resin with improved abrasion resistance and good chemical resistance. For example, HDPE pipes designed to handle gritty water based slurries, such as mining slurries, may not be adequate to handle petroleum based slurries. This is especially true if the application is normally at an elevated temperature such as 60 degrees C. This paper discusses the evaluation of various HDPE resins and shows their differences in relationship to the environmental parameters encountered in slurry handling applications along with the processing parameters needed for manufacture. The different HDPE resins were tested at RT, 40 and 60 degrees C and at different immersion times in water and solvents. After the immersion conditioning, the resins were then abrasion tested. A modified HDPE resin shows acceptable abrasion resistance at both room temperature and elevated temperatures in both water and solvent based slurries. Evaluation of processability parameters were undertaken using melt index, spiral flow, and both lab and production extrusion equipment.
A Study of the Cure Compatibilization of Devulcanized Tire Tread Rubber and Polypropylene
Prashant Mutyala, Mohammad Meysami, Shuihan Zhu, Costas Tzoganakis, May 2013
The usage of waste tire rubber crumb as a dispersed phase in a thermoplastic matrix has been a topic of study for a long time. In order to obtain ‘value added products’ from polypropylene (PP) and waste ground rubber tire (GRT) crumb composites, the use of compatibilizers was found to be essential. The properties achieved remained inferior and thus GRT based thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) have limited applications. Due to similar reasons not many studies have been carried out on blending devulcanized rubber (DR) and plastics. However, DR being relatively more similar to virgin rubber is expected to perform better than GRT and result in improved properties as compared to GRT. This work expands our previous effort on a statistical analysis of compatibility between DR and PP, and the effectiveness of a sulphur cure system in compatibilization. We further study the role of a peroxide based cure system in detail with respect to compatibilization efficiency.
The Roles of Multiple Factor Concurrency and Statistical Distribution in Plastic Part Failure
Jeffrey A. Jansen, Antoine Rios, May 2013
When a plastic part fails, a tough question is often asked, “Why are a limited number of parts failing?”. This is particularly true with seemingly random failures at significant, but low, failure rates. Two aspects are generally linked to such low failure rates, multiple factor concurrency and the statistical nature of plastic failures. Failure often only takes place when two or more factors take effect concurrently. Absent one of these factors, failure will not occur. Plastic resins and the associated forming processes produce parts with a statistical distribution of performance properties, such as strength and ductility. Likewise, environmental conditions, including stress and temperature, to which the resin is exposed through its life cycle is also a statistical distribution. Failure occurs when a portion of the distribution of stress on the parts exceeds a portion of the distribution of strength of the parts. This paper will review how the combination of multiple factor concurrency and the inherent statistical nature of plastic materials can result in seemingly random failures.
Conformal Cooling Simulation for the Plastic Injection Molding Process Duke Energy Convention Center Cincinnati, Ohio April 22-24, 2013 4SPE 13 Church Hill Rd Newtown, CT 06470 USA P: +1 203-77
Clinton Kietzmann, Lu Chen, Franco Costa, May 2013
Modern injection mold manufacturing technologies allow internal cooling channels to be made to any shape that follow the precise geometry of the part in the mold. This aids in creating a uniform temperature distribution in the part by targeting hot spots on the part surface with arbitrary shaped cooling channels in the mold. Ultimately these result in better quality parts, shortened cycle times, reduced waste and cost reductions. Simulation of these processes requires a fully transient, three- dimensional (3-D), time dependent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solution in these conformal cooling channels. This paper presents the further development of a (3-D) finite element based transient mold cooling simulation capability to include a solution for solving the 3-D flow in cooling channels. This new capability forms part of a future release of Autodesk Moldflow Simulation.
Graphene Nanopaper Enhanced Thermoplastics
Xilian Ouyang, Wenyi Huang, Eusebio Cabrera, Jose Castro, L. James Lee, May 2013
Graphene oxide (GO) and benzenesulfonic acid functionalized graphene (GP-SO3H) nanopapers were successfully prepared from graphite. The GP-SO3H nanopaper with 13.7% functional groups after thermal annealing showed superior mechanical strength and excellent electrical conductivity owing to the well dispersed monolayer graphene nanoplatelets. The GO nanopaper, on the other hand, revealed outstanding gas (H2 and CO2) barrier properties. Both nanopapers could be easily coated onto the thermoplastic surface via thermal lamination or in-mold decoration (IMD) in injection molding. The GO nanopaper based polyester thermal lamination films showed very low water and gas permeation, while the GP-SO3H nanopaper coated thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) plates made by injection molding provided good electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding properties. When used together with thermoplastics as a laminate, these GO/GP nanopapers have great potential for various industrial applications.
Contour Laser Transmission Welding - How Fast is Fast Enough
Philip Bates, Gene Zak, Mingliang Chen, May 2013
During contour laser transmission welding (LTW), energy is absorbed by the laser-absorbing (ie black) material and immediately begins to redistribute itself by conduction inside the thermoplastic material. If the time over which this energy is deposited is quite long (corresponding to either a low scan speed or very long laser beam length), significant heat flow by conduction can occur before all of the laser energy has been deposited at a given point. For this reason, one cannot perform contour LTW with a classroom laser-pointer – the low power would require a low scan speed to deposit the requisite energy and, during that long time, most of the energy would be lost to the surroundings by conduction and melting would not occur. Conversely, if the time over which this energy is deposited is quite short (corresponding to either a high scan speed or very short laser beam length), very little conduction occurs during the heating period. This allows some simplification to the modeling process such as that proposed by Chen [1]. The question addressed by this paper is, for a given set of material and laser parameters, at what laser scan speed can the effect of thermal conduction during heating be largely ignored. The paper shows that the critical speed is related to the material’s thermal diffusivity, absorption coefficient and the scattered laser beam length.
Characterization of Rice Husks for Potential Development of Biopolymers
Ziyong Chen, Shivkumar Satya, May 2013
Rice husk is a major biomass that is abundant, renewable and thus is promising material for the development of biodegradable polymers. The physical structure of rice husks between two different varieties of long grain rice has been evaluated in this study. The results show that the wall of the rice husk consists of 3 different layers with full and hollow fibers with different orientations. The fibers consist predominantly of cellulose and hemicellulose. Rice husk also contains about 10% moisture and about 20- 25% silica. The different varieties of rice husk have a similar structure, but different thicknesses of various layer and different diameters for the fibers. Silica is concentrated mostly in the outer layer and is the main reason why rice husks need to be modified before they can be used to develop biodegradable polymers or employed as reinforcing agents in other polymers.
Ecofriendly Plastic with Incoporation of Lignin
Luke Forde, Bryce Blackbourn, Nick Anderson, May 2013
The University of Wisconsin Platteville, gave a research grant to test and experiment with organic lignin from American Science and Technology (AST) in plastic. The goal is to incorporate a true bond of lignin with plastic, in particular polypropylene, to create a desired set of properties for the customer. A series of tests will be used to examine the compound for these properties, and fine tune the processing parameters. Lignin is known to be found in the second cell wall of most plant life, some algae, as well as trees. It is one of the most common organic polymers found on earth. There is approximately 1.1 million metric tons of lignin used today in various applications. It will be laser cut for tensile testing, notched izod, spectroscopy, weather testing, heat deformation testing, and others. The test data will be analyzed and submitted to the company. This will be a new product that will be used to cut down the cost of production, become the new ecofriendly alternative, and change the way the plastic foot print is viewed in the world today.
Effect of Rice Flour Filler on Heat Seal Strength for Sustainable Designed Sealant Film
Ken Miyata, Motohiro Noguchi, Akihiro Nishioka, Tomonori Koda, May 2013
The packaging materials are spoiled in a short cycle. An environment packaging materials are demanded. The economic cost is one of problems to substitute general plastics for bio-resource sustainable plastics. In this study the potential of rice flour as compounding filler for sealant polymer was examined. Poly(butylene succinate)(PBS) / rice flour composite biodegradable film was processed directly by twin-screw extruder equipped with T-die. Heat seal property of the biodegradable film was investigated. As compounding filler material, the potential of rice flour on heat seal property was studied. At 100 ºC of heat seal temperature, the PBS / rice flour composite film showed high heat seal strength comparing with neat PBS film. By scanning electron microscopy observation, bled out rice flour grains at film surface affected heat seal property. The PBS / rice flour composite film could keep more than 80% tensile strength comparing with neat PBS. However heat seal strength for HDPE / rice flour composite film dropped. To attain high seal strength it needed longer dwell time. The compounded rice flour prevented heat seal property for HDPE. The exposed rice flour particles worked effectively for PBS / rice flour composite film.
A New Method for Synthesis of Micron-Sized Polyamide 12 Microspheres via Phase Inversion Mechanism
Bozhen Wu, Menghuan Zhang, Si Chen, Yanqin Shi, Xu Wang, Guisheng Yang, May 2013
Micron-sized polyamide 12 (PA12) microspheres were firstly synthesized through phase-inversion PA12/PS blends via phase inversion mechanism. The resulting PA12 microspheres are regular sphericity, with volume-average diameter about 19.7 microns and narrow size distribution (2.5), as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Laser diffraction size Analyzer. Furthermore, the study on the PA12/PS blends confirmed that the morphology of PA12 microspheres are closely related to the content of PS in the blends, which indicated that the formation of the PA12 microspheres in the PA12/PS blends can be elucidated via a phase inversion mechanism.
The Fracture Mechanism of Polyamide 6/EPDM-M/Nano-Caco3 Ternary Composites with 'Sandbag' Structure
Menghuan Zhang|Bozhe Wu|Si Chen|Yanqin Shi|Yuxing Dong|Jianshe Bao|Jing Fang|Xu Wang, May 2013
The fracture behavior of Polyamide 6 (PA6)/maleated mixed with unmaleated ethylene–propylene–diene rubber (EPDM-M)/ nano-calcium carbonate (nano-CaCO3) prepared by two step was studied. The fracture energy was studied by a single-edge notch (SEN) tensile test as function of test speed. The morphologies of impact fracture and tensile deformation processes were investigated by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The result shows that ternary composites with “sandbag” structure has higher fracture energy at high test speed, compared to pure PA6. The research of morphologies during different tensile deformation processes illuminates that the sandbag" structure is more effective for resisting the crack propagation compared to the crack initiation which exhibits high crack propagation energy (CPE) but low crack initiation energy (CIE)."
Deterioration Mechanistic Evaluation of PET Film
Takahiro Hayashi, Hideo Hirabayashi, Akinori Iguchi, Kazushi Yamada, Hiroyuki Nishimura, May 2013
In recent years, the solar photovoltaic system has been attracted rising attention as an important power source in the viewpoint of environmental problems and other global issues. However, there are some problems in terms of durability of the each part. The back-sheet consisted of PET multi-layer films plays an important role to prevent moisture from outside into the main-board of the solar photovoltaic system. It is very important to investigate the durability of the back-sheet in order to maintain the usage of this system. In this research, we tried to evaluate the mechanical properties of PET films by applying the accelerated deterioration test. The durability was discussed on the basis of the results of the tensile test, the FT-IR measurement, and the SEM observation.
Reforming useful plastics products into solid-shape energy fuels
JeongIn Gug, William Rhatigan, Margaret Sobkowicz, Jerry Brien, May 2013
Diversion of waste streams, such as plastics, woods, and papers, from municipal landfill and extraction of useful products is an area of increasing interest across the country, especially in densely populated areas. One promising technology for recycling rubbish is to burn the high energy content components in standard coal boilers. This research seeks to reform wastes into block shapes that are compatible with typical coal combustion processes. In order to comply with the standards of coal-fired power plants, the feedstock must be mechanically robust, moisture resistant, and retain high fuel value. Two different type of waste stream, one based on household waste with high papers content, and the other based on construction waste with a significant wood fraction, were processed using a compression molding technique. The resulting mechanical properties, moisture absorption, and generation of energy from burning were investigated. The effects of solid waste particle size, compression pressure and temperature were studied to identify the optimal processing conditions. The feed-stream was augmented with recyclable plastics such as polystyrene and poly (ethylene terephthalate) to enhance the binding attraction for easy transport with improved mechanical properties, and the hardness of the composites was probed for the stability of solid fuels. Water uptake tests were also carried out for prepared samples to examine the durability of samples under humid conditions. Lastly, burning tests were performed to calculate the calorific value of the different samples resulting from the increased plastic contents. This research will contribute to alleviate the environmental problems related to landfill space, while producing an alternative fuel.
The Crystallization behavior of saolid and microcellular injection molded polypropylene and its calcium carbonate composites using carbon dioxide as a physical blowing agent
Jie Chen, Lih-sheng Turng, Tao Liu, Ling Zhao, Wei-kang Yuan, May 2013
This work aimed to investigate the crystallization behavior of microcellular injection molded polypropylene (PP)/nano calcium carbonate (nano-CaCO3) composites. The effects of processing conditions, such as injection speed, mold temperature, and CO2 concentration as well as the filler concentration, on the crystal form, crystal orientation, and crystallinity were studied using 2D-wide-angle X-ray diffractometer (2D-WXRD) and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The ?-form crystal was found in the surface layer of injection molded samples under high injection and mold temperature, due to the high shear stress. The addition of nano-CaCO3 filler promoted the formation of ?-form crystal while the foaming process inhabited its formation. The orientation degree calculated from XRD images by Hermans function showed a high value in the surface layer and it decreased as the distance from the surface increases. Meanwhile, the orientation degree reduced with foaming and the addition of filler, as both the bubbles and fillers disturbed the orientation of molecular chains. The degree of crystallinity of samples was higher in the surface layer and increased with foaming. However, the degree of crystallinity reduced with the addition of fillers and showed no dependence on injection speed and mold temperature.
The Crystalline Behaviors and Thermal Properties Study of Polyamide 46/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites
Xiaoqing Fan, Feng Chen, Jintao Yang, Mingqiang Zhong, May 2013
Polyamide 46 (PA 46)/graphene oxide (GO) nanocomposites were successfully prepared using a solution mixing technique. Differential scanning calorimetry results illustrated that adding a small amount GO facilitated the nucleation of PA 46. Avrami analysis showed a decrease in the dimension of PA 46 crystal growth in the composites because of a constrained environment formation. The equilibrium melting temperature (Tm) of PA 46 increased in the composites,. Laser flash analysis exhibited that thermal conductivity of nanocomposites increased 50 % compared with neat PA 46. The thermal stability of nanocomposites was also improved.
Reparation and Properties of Polyurea/Graphene Oxide Composites
Jintao Yang, May 2013
Two surface modifiers, phenyl isocyanate, and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG800), which have different affinities to the hard and soft segments in polyurea, were used to synthesize functionalized graphene oxides (GO). After the modification, the PEG800-modified (PEG800-GO) and phenyl isocyanate-modified (i-GO) GOs were highly exfoliated and dispersed in DMF. Using the suspension of the functionalized GO,. Polyurea/GO composites were prepared using a solution-blending method.It was shown that PEG800- GO and i-GO are uniformly dispersed throughout the polymer matrix on a nanoscale. The well-dispersed GO platelets improved the thermal stability and mechanical properties of polyurea. PEG800-GO, which has a strong affinity for the soft segments, shows a more significant reinforcing effect. At 2.0 wt% GO, the tensile strength of polyurea was enhanced by ~75%.
The Effect of a Vibration Force Field on the Crystallization and Barrier Properties of Polymer Nanocomposites
Yuejun Liu, Xiumei Pan, Yiwu Liu, Lih-Sheng Turng, May 2013
High-density polyethylene (HDPE)/nano-SiO2 and polypropylene (PP)/nano-SiO2 films have been prepared by two different processing conditions; i.e., under traditional steady state (TSS) conditions and with a vibration force field (VFF). The aim of this research is to study the crystallization and barrier properties of films manufactured under different processing conditions. The results showed that the barrier and mechanical properties of the nanocomposites processed under the VFF condition were superior to those processed under the TSS condition. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to characterize the crystalline structure and morphology of the films, which provided evidence for explaining the distinct barrier and mechanical properties under the two processing conditions. DSC and SEM results clearly showed that an increase in the degree of crystallinity and orientation of the lamella were found in the nanocomposites prepared under the VFF condition.
Conductive Polymer Nanocomposites Made by Selective Laser Sintering
Shaun Eshraghi, Mehdi Karevan, Suman Das, Kyriaki Kalaitzidou, May 2013
This research focuses on manufacturing multifunctional polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) using selective laser sintering (SLS). Carbon-based nanofillers such as carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes, carbon black, and graphene can be used to induce thermal and electrical conductivity in polymers, enabling them for a wide range of applications that require lightweight multifunctional materials. In this study, the SLS processing of PNCs of polyamide-12 (PA) with graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) at 3 and 5 wt% is optimized to achieve PNCs that are nearly fully dense and exhibit homogeneous dispersion and distribution of the platelets. Observation of the filler-coated polymer’s microstructure after compounding and SLS processing shows the most homogeneous dispersion of nanofiller with GNP at 3 wt%. At 3 wt% the highest tensile modulus (2.1GPa) is also achieved. The part density of the optimally SLS-processed neat PA and PNCs are all nearly fully dense (>96%) and the highest density (99.5%) is again found at 3 wt% GNP.
A Moldflow 2012 Validation Study: Material Properties Versus Simulation Accuracy
David A. Okonski, May 2013
The usefulness of thermoplastic injection-molding simulation is influenced by many simulation inputs – such as the modeling of part geometry, mesh type and density, mathematical solution, process settings, and plastic material properties both as melt and as solid. Since 2008, much progress has been made with regards to meshing capability and to having robust solution algorithms, but the material properties data file still remains as a weak link in the simulation process. This paper reviews the results of a validation study that focused on the influence of the material properties data file on the precision and accuracy of Moldflow 2012.


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