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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Designing Impact-Modified Polypropylene for Durability
Polypropylene is increasingly being used as a structural load-bearing polymer in durable applications. Elastomer is usually added for impact toughness improvement but few studies address the selection of elastomer morphologies for resistance to failure due to load conditions over long time. This paper discusses the results of screening some polypropylene-elastomer blends for durability using a recently developed notch sensitivity methodology.
A Fatigue Approach for Lifetime Prediction of PE-HD Pipe Grades
Fatigue crack growth (FCG) experiments were conducted on two high density polyethylene (PE-HD) pipe grades with various test specimen configurations such as compact type (CT) and circumferentially notched bars (CNB). The effects of R-ratio and frequency on the FCG behavior were studied. While FCG rates showed a great dependence on R-ratio in terms of stress intensity factor range, the effects of frequency may be considered significant in the low crack growth region. These experimental data were employed for lifetime prediction based on the crack layer theory.
The Effect of Direct Electrical Heating on the Cycle Time and Mechanical Properties of Rotationally Molded Polyethylene Parts
Direct electrically heated oven-less rotational moulding machines have been introduced to the rotational moulding market over the past few years. Whereas some of these systems used composite mould technologies, the MECH™ system developed by PPA Teo of Ireland, employs conventional steel tools heated directly by electrical elements surrounding the mould. The elements are supplied with current though slip rings. This paper will present the results of an initial study into the moulding and cycle time characteristics of the MECH™ system and compares it with two types of conventional hot air rotomoulding machines. Machine efficiencies, as well as heating and cooling times have been compared for the three machines. The effects of processing parameters on the mechanical properties of the mouldings have also been assessed.
The Effect of Cooling Rate on Rotationally Molded Parts
The quality of a rotationally molded part is highly dependent on its cooling rate, perhaps more so than its heating rate. A trade off between part quality and cycle times is often necessary to ensure economical feasibility. This paper presents an overview of the effect of cooling rate on final part quality. The temperature profile through the part wall during cooling is related to the part’s mechanical properties, morphology, shape and general appearance. Six different mold cooling rates are investigated; they range from quiescent cooling (average 2C°/min) to water spray cooling (average 15C°/min).
The Effect of Thermal Relaxations on the Crack Initiation Resistance of Rotomolded Linear Low Density Polyethylenes
The objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of how test temperature and test frequency affect the crack initiation and propagation energies of rotomoulded materials. Trials were carried out on a range of rotomolded linear low density polyethylenes. Instrumented impact tests and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) were carried out on each material at a wide range of temperatures and frequencies. It was found that there is a linear relationship between the crack initiation energy of the samples and the tan ? values at all test conditions. By using this relationship it is possible to predict the crack initiation energy of a polymer part over a wide range of conditions by carrying out a small number of tests.
Rotational Molding Process Control
Process control for the rotational molding industry has been continually evolving in recent years. Initially, impact strength, and bubble content in the wall of the molded parts, were used to gauge the level of cure and also to control the process. More recently, the development of the Rotolog process control device has provided a more scientific means to ensuring good process control.This paper highlights some recent work that expands upon the methods previously mentioned, applying new methodology to measure and control the process. The effects of various processing conditions are considered, in particular, with respect to the cooling cycle, and how they relate to process variation. The results outlined provide new processing knowledge that can be used to further develop the control of the rotational molding process.
Performance of a Rotationally Molded Thermotropic Liquid Crystalline Polymer
Thermotropic liquid crystalline polymers (TLCPs) have a number of potentially useful physical properties for rotational molding: excellent chemical resistance, good barrier properties, low coefficient of thermal expansion, high tensile strength and modulus, and good impact resistance. However, it is possible that the nature of the molding process is such that full advantage of these properties cannot be obtained. To determine how well TLCPs perform when rotationally molded a commercially available TLCP, Vectra B 950, was studied under static conditions as well as with a single axis rotational molding unit capable of measuring the internal air temperature. The processing temperature was determined by measuring shear viscosity at several temperatures. The tensile strength and modulus of both statically molded and rotationally molded samples were measured. Samples were evaluated for complete densification by inspecting the fractured surface.
Failure Prediction in Polymer Composite, Sheet Metal Forming Dies
This paper presents a systematic approach to predict damage in a sheet metal forming die fabricated from a composite (aluminum trihydrate-filled polyurethane). The dominant die failure mode is determined based on the mechanics governing the forming process, and the fatigue life is predicted. Both numerical simulations and experiments are performed to verify the method.
Annealing Effects on the Yield and Fracture of Bisphenol-A and 4,4'-Dihydroxydiphenyl Copolycarbonates
The annealing effects on yield and fracture behavior of two different polycarbonates, one bisphenol-A-based (BPA) and one copolycarbonate of BPA and 4,4’- dihydroxydiphenyl (DOD), have been investigated. Annealing increases the yield stress, decreases the tan ? intensity at 80°C, and decreases the resistance to crack growth in both materials. The DOD material shows a slightly increased resistance to annealing compared to the conventional polycarbonate based on relative post-yield stress drops and tearing moduli of the materials.
Assessment of Plastic Failure of Polymers Due to Surface Scratches
This paper is concerned with the evaluation of plastic damage of polymeric substrate under surface scratch deformation. Employing a commercial finite element (FE) package ABAQUS®, FE analysis was performed to study the permanent damage imposed by a spherical indenter as it traverses across the surface of a polypropylene (PP) substrate. As compared to the experimental data, the numerical results make reasonably accurate prediction on the onset of scratch damage. Also, the furnished solutions aid in elucidating the fracture phenomenon encountered and the possible damage initiation during scratch.
Investigating Environmental Stress Cracking with In-Situ Contact Angle Measurements
This paper probes a hypothesis for initiation of environmental stress cracking (ESCR) based on a thermodynamic criterion for localized swelling induced by stress on the polymer. The system chosen for study is polycarbonate with oleic acid. An experimental technique involving contact angle measurements of a sessile drop as a function of stress is presented. A novel technique for contact angle measurements using refraction is also introduced.
Metallocene Based Polyolefins for Rotational Molding Applications
Polyolefins based on metallocene catalyst technology appeared in the early 90’. These polyolefins were first used in application like blown film for metallocene polyethylenes, cast film and fibers for metallocene polypropylenes.This paper will highlight the interest of metallocene based polyolefins, polyethylene and polypropylene resins, for rotational molding applications. Polymer characteristics, processing behavior and rotomolded item properties will be compared to conventional Ziegler-Natta based resins. These new polyolefins show a real potential in terms of cylce time, dimensional properties, impact and optical properties improvements.
Effects of Particle Morphology on the Processability of Ethylene Copolymers for Rotational Molding Applications
Polymer sintering plays a major role in processes such as rotational molding, governing the heating cycle and the properties of the final parts. This work aims at determining the impact of changes in the material formulation and processing history on the sintering behavior. These changes are known to introduce variations in the material morphology and thus affect the material processability and properties of the end-product. Variations in the thermal treatment were found to have an effect on the particle morphology but a limited impact on the sintering process. It was also found that the addition of a nucleating agent can be detrimental to the sintering process. The impact of these changes, however, seems to be related to the viscosity of the material as well as the molecular structure.
Plasma Modified Polyolefin Powders for Rotational Molding
Reliable sources estimate that about 75% of molded polyolefin technical parts need surface refinement. Those surfaces have to be lacquered, dyed, glued, coated, or printed. Also, polyolefin resins offering better adhesion to PU foams are requested.The ARPLAS process offers improvements in quality, economics, and flexibility. This plasma process modifies the chemical structure of the polyolefin powder surface, that non-polar, hydrophobic materials become polar, hydrophilic materials, which can be lacquered, coated, and foamed without any other additives.The modification of the powder is achieved by implantation of functional groups into the polyolefin molecules. Characteristics of the material, i.e. impact strength, ESCR, and other major specifications remain unchanged as well as processing compared to non-modified PE.The new ARPLAS technology offers molders new application possibilities, opens up new market sectors, and reduces adhesion problems.If serious sticking/adhesive problems are to be solved, the use of ARPLAS-treated powders make sense. This is also true if an acceptable paint coating is to be applied or a strong bond is to be made with PU foam.
Electrical Conductivity of Composite Nanofibers of Polypropylene/Carbon Nanofiber and Nanotubes
The DC electrical conductivity of composite microfibers consisting of carbon nanofiber and carbon nanotube reinforced polypropylene is examined. Carbon nanofibers with an average diameter of 100 nm can serve as ideal precursor system to carbon nanotubes for the development of polymeric fibers with superior electrical, mechanical and thermal properties. Electrical conductivity of the microfibers was measured over a range in the nanofiber weight fraction of 0.5-10 percent and carbon nanotube fraction of 0.1 to 0.5 percent. The results provide a comparison between the property enhancement levels achieved in the microfiber by the addition of similar weight fractions of carbon nanofiber and carbon nanotube reinforcements in the dilute range.
Low Shear In-Mould Decoration-Processes for the Manufacture of Three-Dimensional Molded Interconnect Devices (3D-MID)
The aim of Molded Interconnect Devices is to integrate in an injection moulded part with structured plated surfaces electrical and mechanical functions. One of the promising manufacturing methods of 3D-MIDs is the In- Mould Decoration-Process, which uses a plastic-film with a circuit-pattern plated on its surface. Problems which occur sometimes in the conventional In-Mould-Decoration- Process are the damage of the circuit structure or the plastic- film due to high shear stress and pressure during injection. Another problem could be the warpage of the device. Different process-variants which are capable to overcome this difficulty like thermoplastic foam moulding and injection compression moulding were evaluated. Of major concern in the investigation was beside the warpage the adhesion between the plastic-film and the substrate depending on different process-variants of In-Mould Decoration.
Crystallization and Chemi-Crystallization of Recycled Photodegraded Polymers
Injection molded bars have been made from blends containing recycled photodegraded polymers, then subjected to further ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Crystallinity measurements have been made at different depths from the exposed surface using X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry. Complementary information in the form of molecular mass distributions has been obtained using gel permeation chromatography, and the crystallinity results are interpreted in terms of molecular scission and photo-initiated molecular defects.
The Design, Construction and Operation of Equipment to Investigate the Response of Open, Coloured, uPVC Profiles to Solar Gain
Laminated and dark coloured uPVC profiles, when exposed to sunlight during normal use, may occasionally suffer deformation. To gain a greater understanding of this phenomenon, a number of test rigs were developed to recreate the temperature increase, through the use of infrared heating elements, to simulate varying intensities of solar radiation.
Considerations for Relating Artificial Laboratory and Natural Outdoor Weathering Durability Testing
This paper reviews considerations for linking laboratory and outdoor reference exposure weathering durability data. Laboratory considerations include designing experiments and developing predictive functions using xenon arc devices. Reference exposure considerations include monitoring meteorological and irradiance exposure variables in Florida and Arizona. Exposure data is compared for polycarbonate.
Control of Directional Electrical Conductivities in Carbon Black-Thermoplastic Exrtrusions Produced by Chaotic Advection
Whereas prior related work involved batch devices, an industrially relevant continuous flow chaotic mixing process has been used in this study to form structured distributions of carbon black in extruded films. Methods were also applicable to other extrusion profiles. Carbon black masterbatch was formed into numerous filamentary striations that yielded conducting states at low overall compositions. A range of electrical properties were selectable via process parameter specification. Differences in directional conductivities along the width and length of the film were controllably obtained. The progressive formation of structure was related to electrical properties and process conditions.
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