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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Influence of Process Parameters on Edge Replication Quality of Lab-On-A-Chip Micro Fluidic Systems Geometries
The growing demand to manufacture, with high accuracy, structures enabling transportation, treatments and measurements of minuscule biomedical samples on polymer substrates is pushing the process capability of technologies such as injection molding to their limits. To characterize and asses the replication quality of molded micro-features on cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) a tool insert collecting critical channel cross sections was manufactured. The master was made by UV lithography and subsequent nickel electroplating. Effect of packing phase parameters (packing time, packing pressure) and mold temperature were investigated. Moreover, consequences of different positions, directions and nominal channels width were considered. Edge replication quality was quantitatively characterized, analyzing calibrated scanning electron microscope (SEM) images with a digital imaging processing software. Results showed better replication fidelity mainly influenced by the higher mold temperature and also by higher packing pressure, whereas poor edges quality was observed for the smallest replicated test structures.
Temperature Modeling For a Multivariate Injection Molding Sensor
An infrared temperature sensor is detailed using a thermopile with an incorporated thermistor into a standard Dynisco snout. A testing apparatus was built to measure the temperature of various heated polymers, with sapphire and zinc selenide windows of varying thickness. Simulation was also developed to determine the heat transfer from the hot polymer to the thermopile including transmission, absorption and reflectance. The results indicate that a combination scattering, emitting, and absorbing effect is occurring regarding the transfer of infrared radiation to the thermopile. This effect can be calculated, and lead to accurate prediction of melt temperature.
Melt Flow Simulation of an Injection Molding Cavity For Validation of a Multivariate Sensor
Utilizing mold filling simulation to validate a multivariate molding sensor is described. The multivariate sensor uses an infrared thermopile for temperature measurement and a piezoelectric ring for measuring pressure. A zinc selenide window is used in order to transmit melt radiation, pressure, and prevent leakage. Velocity is estimated based on the rise time of the melt temperature signal. Viscosity is estimated using the pressure and velocity based on constitutive rheological models. Results indicate that the frozen layer thickness is significant in estimating the shear rates and viscosity, but an accuracy of ±5% can be obtained across a wide range of processes.
Improved Exfoliation and Dispersion of Nano-clays in Nylon 6 Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
The use of supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) as a processing aid to help exfoliate nanoclays and improve their dispersion after melt blending in polymer matrices has been reported in the literature. Previous work has focused on nonpolar polymers such as polypropylene. In this work, the supercritical aided melt blending method was applied to a Nylon 6/ organoclay composite system with favorable organoclay/polymer interactions. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), rheological results, and tensile tests are provided to investigate the effect of processing with scCO2 on the final composite properties and morphology. It was found that the scCO2 aided method improved the composite properties compared to reported twin screw results in literature. At 7.6 wt% the modulus is observed to reach about 4.75 GPa which is one of the highest increases (~1.7 GPa) reported for these materials at intermediate concentrations. We note that beyond 7.6 wt% the improvement due to scCO2 processing only matches that of direct blending. It is possible that with the use of a twin screw extruder, or reduction in processing steps, the modulus would continue to increase.
FEM Simulation of Brittle Damage Features Developed during Scratch
Brittle damage features, such as crazing and cracking, formed on polymer surfaces during scratch are to be avoided if at all possible. Successful simulation of the evolution of these deformation processes would allow for deciphering the fundamental mechanics involved and for establishing correlation between the material/surface properties and the brittle damage features induced during scratch. In this work, attempts are made to simulate microcrack formation in the scratch groove. The FEM simulation results show good agreement with experimental observation reported in the literature.
Synergistic Effect of Hybrid Fillers on Thermal Conductivity and Mechanical Property of PA6 Composites
In order to obtain high thermally conductive composites and research the synergistic effect of the hybrid fillers on the properties of the composites, three kinds of PA6 composites were prepared by melting blend with one, two or three kinds of AlN, SiC and BN fillers. The microstructure, crystal behavior, thermal conductivity and mechanical property of the composites were characterized by SEM, DSC, DSC combined with LFA, and electronic tensile testing machine separately. The AlN, BN and SiC fillers were almost homogeneously dispersed in PA6. The addition of BN fillers promoted the generation of ? crystal form of PA6. The hybrid fillers had obviously synergistic effect on thermal conductivity of the composites, specially the AlN and BN. However, the tensile strength of PA6/SiC was the highest among the composites.
Design and Fabrication of Polymer/Ceramic Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
Bone tissue engineering is a rapidly developing field, and seeks to offer an alternative treatment for bone defects by restoring and maintaining the function of bone tissue. One of the most established approaches is using polymer scaffolds seeded with osteoblast and other growth factors to speed the body’s natural healing processes, decreasing rehabilitation time for patients. The biomimetic design of the scaffolds will need to replicate the structural and mechanical properties of the tissue and be stiff enough to withstand immediate weight bearing. The effectiveness of this approach is determined by examining the properties of the scaffold including porosity, interconnectivity, and mechanical properties. The goal of this study is to create viable polymer/ceramic scaffolds through melt processing of polycaprolactone (PCL) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), combined with hydroxyapatite (HA) and salt (NaCl), followed by porogen leaching. The effects of polymer ratio, ceramic and salt content, and the pressure applied during the fabrication process have been examined in this study. These results will be used to create a factorial design of experiments (DOE) to determine the optimal scaffold fabrication parameters.
Chain Extension of Virgin and Recycled Poly(Ethylene Terephthalate): Rapid Estimate of Molecular Weight Increase
This work is concerned with the determination of changes in molar masses of virgin and recycled PET resulting from the action of a chain extender additive compounded in a laboratory internal mixer, based on the processing data provided by the mixer, without further analysis. Results obtained show that the additive increases the molecular weight of both, virgin and recycled PET. Actual values depend on the amount of additive used and processing conditions. The additive tested is more efficient increasing the molar mass of the virgin versus the recycled resin (more additive is needed to obtain the same relative increase).
Effect of Loading Level and Granulometry on PHB/Begetal Fiber Eco-Composites
The present work is concerned with the preparation and characterization of composites of poly(3- hydroxibutirate) (PHB) and vegetal fiber from the mesocarp of the babaçu palm tree fruit. Composites with 5, 10 and 20% micronized babaçu fibers of two different granulometries were prepared in an internal mixer, and characterized by melt flow rate (ASTM D1238) and optical microscopy. Results indicate that the PHB is thermally unstable at all admissible processing conditions, and that partial degradation of the matrix in the resulting composites must be taken into consideration. On the other hand, the analysis of low-magnification optical microscopy images showed that excellent dispersion was obtained for all loadings and particle sizes tested.
Developing Polymer/Ceramic Scaffolds via Thermally Induced Phase Separation for Bone Tissue Engineering
Biodegradable polymers are used to fabricate porous scaffolds for tissue engineering. Among different scaffold fabrication techniques, thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) is valuable because of producing highly porous scaffolds with interconnected structures. The effect of adding hydroxyapatite (HA) to poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds as well as other TIPS parameters was investigated in this study. The ultimate goal is to fabricate porous scaffolds that are mechanically functional, while they provide the desired porosity and pore interconnectivity for cell migration, cell growth, and transport of oxygen and nutrients.
Study of Morphology on Microcellular Injection Molded Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
In this research, injection molding was combined with a novel material combination, supercritical fluid processing, and particulate leaching techniques to produce highly porous and interconnected structures that have the potential to act as scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. The foamed structures, molded with Poly(?-caprolactone) (PCL) and Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) with salt as the particulate, were processed without the aid of organic solvents, which can be detrimental to tissue growth. The pore size in the scaffolds is controlled by salt particulates and interconnectivity is achieved by the cocontinuous blending morphology of biodegradable PCL matrix with water-soluble PEO. Nitrogen (N2) at the supercritical state is used to serve as a plasticizer, thereby imparting moldability of blends even with an ultra high salt particulate content, and allows the use of low processing temperatures. Interconnected pores of ~200 ?m in diameter and porosities of ~72% are reported and discussed.
Improving Cellular Structure of Microcellular Polystyrene Foams with Injection-Compression Molding
The rectangular foamed polystyrene plates were molded using microcellular injection-compression molding (MICM) and standard microcellular injection molding (without compression, MIM). The cellular structures of both MICM and MIM samples were investigated. The results showed the compression can further change the cellular structure formed in the injection stage of MICM. Taking 4 mm-thick sample as an example, the thicknesses of the outer zone, where irregular striations-shaped cells dominated, decreased about 25% at different positions along the melt flow direction. In the inner zone dominated by ellipsoidal cells, the cell size distributions at different positions, especially near the sprue, became narrow. Finally, a cellular development mechanism in the compression stage of MICM was proposed. The narrow cell diameter distribution in the inner zone resulted from the collapse of some small cells and decrease of some large cells.
Determination of Extensional Viscosity of Polypropylene Melt by the Rehotens Test
In this work, the extensional viscosity of polypropylene (PP) melt was determined by the rheotens test. Three different extrusion velocities were employed and the extensional viscosities were calculated following a “Newtonian local approach”. A new test mode, the “steady state rheotens test”, was tentatively used to obtain a reliable extensional viscosity. The results indicate that the extensional viscosity increased with the increase of extrusion velocity in the standard rheotens test. In the steady state rheotens test, the influence of extrusion velocity on the extensional viscosity was eliminated and a superposition of the extensional viscosity curves appeared at relatively low extrusion velocities.
The Optimal Gate Design of a Metal Injection Mold for a Hinge
The metal injection molded hinge product is breakdown after sintering. The goal of this research is to find out and solve the problem. According to the moldflow simulation, the welding line is created nearby side holes which are thinnest regions of the part, because of the race tracking effect. First of all, a suitable polymer material is selected to simulate the flow pattern of metal powder polymer melt and is proved by injection molding short shot experiment. The result shows that the deviation between both of simulation and experiment is less than 3%. In addition, the gate design, such as location, number, and type, is optimalized. The optimal gate design is proposed to move the welding line to a thicker region and the quality of welding line is improved, therefore, the hinge never breakdown after sintering.
Evaluation of Degradation of PET film for PV backsheet by partial discharge
Since the introduction of the feed in tariff programs, the construction of large-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plants is rapidly increasing in Japan. As the lifetime of the PV system is demanded for minimum 20 years, some PV panels installed for long time have a reduced ability to generate electric power. The performance degradation of PV panels can be evaluated by only measuring electric-generating capacity at present. It was considered by degradation of a polymer material which is used for the PV backsheet as a possible cause of decreasing electric-generating capacity. In this study, the most commonly used PET film for the PV backsheet was evaluated. The rate of degradation of PET film was investigated by mechanical properties and partial discharge characteristics. It was found that the rate of degradation of PET film could be effectively evaluated by the partial discharge characteristics.
Interactions of Carbon Nanotubes and Silicon Particles with Sorbitol/Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsequioxane Complex in Development of Polypropylene Nanocomposites
The synergistic non-covalent interactions originating from hydrogen bonding and n-n stacking between sorbitol and tri-silanol phenyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (tri-POSS) yield a low viscosity liquid complex [1, 2]. In this research, the influence of carbon nanotubes and nanosilicon is investigated on the stability of the complex liquid and development of composites with isotactic polypropylene (iPP). The values of draw down ratio of spun fibers and viscosity of iPP blends were analyzed.
Natural fiber Composites for low cost automotive systems
The objective of this study is to develop a polymer matrix based composite technology for its use in low cost mass transit (automotive) System, considering the matrix/fiber compatibility, stiffness, strength, hardness, damping and moisture absorbance characteristics of Natural fiber Composites. This objective is achieved through formulation of a low cost composite material which meets the required demands for mass transit system and identifying the most economic manufacturing/fabricating process to produce components to be used in mass transit systems as the next crucial step. For manufacturing continuous laminate, commonly used reinforcement materials such as glass fiber as well as new materials such as natural fibers including, grass, bamboo and jute will be investigated in this study. Both hand layup and RTM method using unsaturated polyester resin matrix were used to fabricate continuous fiber laminate. The mechanical properties are measured and compared with respect to the reference material glass fiber composites manufactured through compression molding process. The investigation shows that Natural fiber Composites have mechanical properties as high as glass fiber composites or even higher in some cases. The effect of water absorbance in the case of natural fibers on their mechanical properties was also determined. Such good mechanical properties in combination with light weight and lower cost, makes the use of these natural fiber composites very attractive for low cost mass transit (automotive) industry. The composite performance is analyzed in terms of constituent properties and product quality.
Effect of graphite/graphene on morphology, properties and thermal insulation properties of polystyrene foams
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
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
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.
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