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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

PRECISION CONTROL OF MORPHOLOGY,ORIENTATION AND FUNCTION WITH FIELD ASSISTED ALIGNMENT TECHNIQUES ON NOVEL ROLL TO ROLL MANUFACTURING PLATFORMS
Miko Cakmak, May 2012

There is a significant excitement brewing in the application of polymers for functional films for new applications such as transparent conductive flexible electrodes for flexible electronics, high throughput high selectivity separation membranes and ultrahigh density storage devices. These are enabled by the recent developments in roll to roll manufacturing that combines multiple functions in one machine to add desired properties. For example, at National Polymer Innovation Center at University of Akron, we developed a hybrid roll to roll manufacturing line that facilitate incorporation of continuous conductive nanofibers into polymer solutions/or photocurable monomers to produce flexible transparent conductive electrodes to enable flexible displays, photovoltaics and OLEDs. This was possible by integrating a large farm of nanofiber generators to single and multilayer casting system to produce pilot scale films that can be flexed many hundreds of time around sharp radius without loss of initial conductivities and transparencies. We will illustrate the utility of this R2R line in producing die sensitized flexible PV devices. In traditional polymer processes involving flow, the anisotropic phases inevitably oriented with details of the flow field and rarely if at all these phases/nanoparticles are oriented normal to the surfaces of the products in particular films. In order to achieve this “Z-orientation” or phases/and or particles normal to the film plane, we also developed a brand new 70ft long machine to orient and organize polymer phases, nanoparticles normal to the film plane. This is achieved by application one or more of following external force fields: electric, Magnetic and thermal gradient fields. These are incorporated in this pilot scale line. In this presentation, we will show illustrations of the use of this line in anisotropic nanoparticle alignment, block copolymer phase alignment in the Z-direction.

EFFECT OF TYPICAL MELT TEMPERATURE NON-UNIFORMITY ON FLOW DISTRIBUTION IN FLAT DIES
Olivier Catherine, May 2012

In this study, the influence of non-uniform incoming melt temperature profiles on the flow in a flat die is evaluated. Flat film die flow channels are typically designed to provide uniform flow distribution at the die exit assuming uniform incoming melt temperature profiles. However, in real extrusion conditions, it can be challenging to obtain an ideally uniform melt temperature delivery to the die. There are many reasons why the melt temperature non- uniformity is obtained. Two typical scenarios are evaluated; (i) the temperature profiles generated by an incorrect melt pipe design will be calculated and input in a die flow model as inlet boundary condition and (ii) the influence of a polymer subject to excessive viscous dissipation in the extruder. This work uses 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models.

A SINGLE MACHINE SCHEDULING STRATEGY FOR ENERGY SAVING IN INJECTION MOLDING PROCESS
Guixia Gong, Ningyun Lu, Jianhua Lu, Yi Yang, May 2012

A single machine scheduling strategy is proposed for minimizing the global energy consumption of an injection molding machine with multiple products. The total energy consumption contains three parts: switchover energy, transitional energy and stable operation energy. The transitional energy consumption model is developed. The scheduling problem is formulated as a typical travelling salesman (TSP) problem, which will be solved by a GA-based lexicographic optimization framework. Experimental results show the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed energy-saving-oriented single machine scheduling strategy.

EFFECT OF EPOXIDIZED SOYBEAN OIL ON MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF POLYLACTIC ACID BLENDS
Yong Qing, Fu Zhao, Chen Quan, Huan Zheng, Gui Wu, Zhang Zhen, Qu Jin Ping, May 2012

Epoxidized soybean oil (ESO), as a plasticizer, was melt blended with polylactic acid (PLA) in an internal mixer. The effects of ESO on the mechanical properties of the PLA/ESO blends were studied by means of the tensile, flexural, and impact tests. The elongation at break for the PLA/ESO blends was obviously improved with an increase in ESO loading, and was 16.8 times than that for pure PLA when the ESO loading was 5 wt %. Compared with pure PLA, the blends appeared lower tensile strength, tensile modulus, flexural strength, and flexural modulus. However, ESO improved impact strength for PLA matrix. Impact strength for the blends increased at first and then decreased as the ESO loading increased, which arrived a maximum of 2.9 times than that for pure PLA when the ESO loading was 10 wt %.

REAL-TIME TRACKING OF BIREFRINGENCE, WEIGHT AND THICKNESS DURING DRYING/CURING OF SOLUTION CAST POLYMER COATINGS AND FILMS
Mukerrem Cakmak, Emre Unsal, Jason Drum, Orcun Yucel, Isil Nugay, Baris Yalcin, May 2012

This paper describes the design and performance of a new instrument to follow the drying behavior of polymer solutions and monomers during drying/photocuring. This real-time multisensory instrument follows the in-plane and out-of-plane birefringence, weight, thickness and surface temperature during the course of drying of coatings and films in a controlled atmosphere. It is specifically designed to simulate the behavior of polymer solutions inside an industrial size, continuous roll-to-roll solution casting line and other coating operations that are typically used in manufacturing of functional films including flexible electronics and membranes. Processing variables including air speed and temperature, initial cast thickness, solvent type and solute concentration are controlled to study the effect of each parameter on the real-time drying behavior of polymer solutions and their final properties. The instrument can also be modified to investigate the UV curing of non-solvent systems. Several polymer solution systems were tested and the data will be presented during the presentation

DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF THERMOPLASTIC HAND HOLDS FOR PASSENGER SAFETY IN MASS TRANSPORT SYSTEM
N. Venkatesha, May 2012

Hand holds are the safety devices used in mass transport vehicles to provide support for the standing passengers to hold. The conventional handles are manufactured by metal fabrication process involving lot of secodary operations. The metal handles generally have problems such as poor product consistency, lower productivity, higher cost and weight etc. Engineering thermoplastics is the right choice of material for this application as it offer design flexibility and better aesthetics but the challenge is to ensure long term performance requirements. Designed Innovative thermoplastic handle with finger grip impressions for better comfort. Manufactured using Gas assisted injection molding technology to maintain product consistency, improved productivity, reduced weight and cost. Extensive part testing and validations were done to ensure performance before commercialization. The objective of this paper is to cover in detail the application development process starting from concept to reality meeting all the technical requirements. This successful application development opened up new market space for SABIC Innovative Plastics business and there is huge translation opertunities in Global Mass Transportation market space.

SUBSTITUTING F-PVC WITH THERMOPLASTIC POLYOLEFIN ELASTOMERS
Lisa Madenjian, Jeff Munro, Jeff Liu Madenjian, Jeff Munro, Jeff Liu, May 2012

Flexible polyvinyl chloride has found suitability in a number of injection molded applications over the last several decades. While the material offers a very good balance of properties and processibility, it has come under scrutiny because of its plasticizer content and recyclability, especially in Europe. As such, there are many active programs to replace f-PVC. This paper will review design considerations beyond the datasheet to use when selecting a thermoplastic olefin elastomer to replace f-PVC.

VISCOELASTIC PROPERTIES OF CNT-PC COMPOUNDS: EFFECT OF COMPOUNDING METHOD, CNT-TYPE AND TESTING PROTOCOL
E. Ray Harrell, Joseph C. Golba, Jr, Jill Kunzelman, Jane M. Spikowski, May 2012

Frequency-dependent viscoelastic properties are used to elucidate the relationships among the method of compounding, the types of CNT used within the CNT-PC composite and the changes in structure (CNT-PC interaction) and molecular weight of the base PC. CNT-PC interaction increases increasing CNT content and CNT aspect ratio. Addition of the CNT to a TSE at entry ports after attainment of a PC melt provides higher CNT-PC interaction. Increasing TSE residence time by using multiple passes, significantly decreases the molecular weight of the PC within the CNT-PC composite that is attributed to chain-scission that is intensified by the presence of the CNT-PC interaction.

DETERMINATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS CRACKING FAILURE MODE IN INVESTIGATIONS OF CPVC FIRE-SUPPRESSION SPRINKLER PIPE FAILURES
Anand R. Shah, Dale B. Edwards, May 2012

This paper discusses three separate failure analysis case studies involving Chlorinated Polyvinylchloride (CPVC) fire suppression sprinkler pipe(s) alleged to have failed due to Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) from exposure to an incompatible chemical. The investigations highlight the importance of the interpretation of fracture surface morphology, review of background information regarding service history, performing material characterization testing, as well as developing an understanding of the interaction of various chemicals with CPVC material when attributing a failure of CPVC sprinkler pipe to ESC. The case studies discussed are helpful in understanding the ESC mechanism in CPVC sprinkler pipes, which is a complex failure mode. This paper discusses the technical issues that should be addressed in determining whether ESC is the primary cause of failure in a CPVC fire suppression sprinkler pipe system.

TRANSCRYSTALLIZATION OF IN-SITU MICROFIBRILLAR PP/SAN BLEND PARTS MOLDED VIA WATER-ASSISTED INJECTION MOLDING
Bin Wang, Han-Xiong Huang, May 2012

In this work, the crystal morphology of water-assisted injection molded (WAIM) parts of in-situ microfibrillar polypropylene/acrylonitrile–styrene copolymer (PP/SAN) blends with four weight ratios were studied. The results showed that transcrystalline structures formed in the inner layers of the WAIM PP/SAN blend parts at the SAN contents of 4, 6, and 8 wt%, but were absent at an SAN content of 2 wt%. The formation mechanism of the transcrystalline structures was interpreted with the aid of stress and temperature ?elds of the melt within the mold cavity under high-pressure water penetration during the WAIM. It was found that the high shear stress and cooling rate in the inner layer were responsible for the formation of the transcrystalline structures.

EFFECT OF POLYMER VISCOSITY ON POST-DIE EXTRUDATE SHAPE CHANGE IN COEXTRUDED PROFILES
Mahesh Gupta, May 2012

Bi-layer flow in a profile coextrusion die was simulated. Prediction of post-die changes in extrudate profile was included in the simulation. Mesh partitioning technique was used to allow the coextrusion simulation without modifying the finite element mesh in the profile die. Effect of polymer viscosities on the change in profile shape after the polymers leave the die is analyzed. It is found that a difference in the viscosities of the coextruded polymers can lead to a highly non-uniform velocity distribution at die exit. Accordingly, post-die changes in extrudate shape were found to be widely different when the polymers in the two coextruded layers were changed.

INVESTIGATION OF HIGH POWER ULTRASONICS FOR DEPOLYMERIZATION OF POLYLACTIC ACID
David Grewell, Gowrishankar Srinivasan, May 2012

This research work explores the feasibility of ultrasonics to recycle lactic acid by depolymerizing. Post consumer PLA chopped up to 1mm2 was exposed to high power ultrasonics with water or methanol as the suspension media. The treatments were carried out in the presence of organic and ionic salts of alkali metals such a potassium carbonate and zinc chloride as the catalysts. The treatments were replicated by replacing ultrasonics with Hot water bath as the energy source. Analysis with HPLC indicated PLA to Lactic acid conversion was achieved with yields up to 90% utilizing ultrasonics. Energy calculations indicated that Ultrasonics used 30% less energy to achieve the same yield levels as achieve with hot bath technique

BIO- ACRYLONITRILE BUTADIENE STYRENE (BIO-ABS): CREATING A NEW GREEN POLYMER THROUGH MELT BLENDING
Ryan Vadori, Manjusri Misra, Amar Mohant y, May 2012

In this paper, the method for design of a bio-based green material for use in electronics applications is discussed. The aim is substitution of currently used petroleum-based acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) with a bio-based polymer blend of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and ABS. In this method, polymers will be melt blended and extruded to test their thermal and mechanical properties. The goal is to achieve performance of the blend equal or better to currently used ABS, as well as be a cost competitive alternative.

ALL GREEN STRUCTURAL COMPOSITES FROM KENAF FIBER AND POLY(FURFURYL ALCOHOL)
Harekrishna Deka, Manjusri Misra, Amar Mohanty, May 2012

The search for natural resource based composites for a spectrum of commercially viable “green products” is drawing a great importance in recent time. In this regard, natural fibers have become an attractive substitute for synthetic glass fibers in polymer composite systems. The natural fibers have advantages such as lower cost, eco- friendly nature, biodegradability, high specific strength, and good mechanical properties as compared to glass fiber. Amongst the biobased matrices, poly(furfuryl alcohol) (PFA), possesses high chemical and heat resistance properties. This makes it suitable for chemical resistance, corrosion resistant and heat stable type applications. As such, an overview of the recent development of PFA based natural fiber composites in terms of their overall properties and their future prospective is evaluated in this work.

IMPROVED UTILIZATION OF CO-PRODUCTS FROM BIOFUEL INDUSTRIES IN NEW MATERIALS USES: A MOVE TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE BIOREFINERY
Amar Mohanty, S. Vivekanandhan, Nima Zarrinbakhsh, Manjusri Misra, May 2012

Ever increasing energy demands, instability and uncertainty of petroleum/fossil fuel sources, and concern over global climate change have led to resurgence in the development of alternative energy that can replace fossil transportation fuel. Biomass conversion into biofuels, results a huge amount of residues or downstream products called as co-products such as distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS), protein meals, crude glycerol, hemicellulose and lignin. As the production of biofuel continues to grow, surplus amounts of co-products become a critical issue and new value addition is needed for their effective utilization. A successful biorefinery begins with the productive usage of all components of biological feedstocks for value-added fuels, chemicals or materials that parallels the traditionall approach used in “petro-refineries”. Still biorefienry is risky investment, with respect to commercial benefits and finding value added uses for their co-products creates economic returns and lead to their sustainability. Thus present articles summaries the prospects of improved utilization of co-products from biofuel industries for new industrial applications.

SYNTHESIS OF CROSS-LINKED, PARTIALLY-NEUTRALIZED POLY(ACRYLIC ACID) BY SUSPENSION POLYMERIZATION IN SUPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXIDE
Yazan A. Hussaun, Scott J. Smith, Joseph M. DeSimone, Tao Liu, George W. Roberts, May 2012

Particles of cross-linked, partially-neutralized poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) were synthesized in high yield via suspension polymerization of an aqueous solution of acrylic acid and sodium acrylate in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2). Siloxane-based surfactants were used to produce particles with an acceptable size range for superabsorbent polymer applications. Several different surfactants were tested and the particle yield was used to compare their performance. The effects of surfactant concentration, degree of neutralization, and agitation rate on the yield and morphology are discussed.

PREDICTING PHASE MORPHOLOGY DEVELOPMENT OF POLYMER BLEND IN CONVERGENT-STRATGHT CHANNEL
Quan-Jie Wang, Han-Xiong Huang, Zhi-Yong Peng, , You-Fa Huang, May 2012

Reduced capillary number theory was used to predict the flow field-induced morphology development of polypropylene/polyamide 6 (PP/PA6) blend with a compatilizer in a convergent-straight channel. Numerical simulation was carried out to predict the flow fields in the channel. The predicted results showed that the dispersed phase featured a droplet structure and a fibrous structure near the center line and wall of the channel, respectively. The predicted results were verified by the experiments. Between the center line and wall, a clear transition of the morphology of dispersed phase was predicted. The predicted transition location was compared to the experimentally-determined result and a good agreement was obtained.

POLYMER NANOCELLULAR FIBERS VIA SUPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXIDE BASED EXTRUSION FOAMING
Wenyi Huang, Cailiang Zhang, Shuai Zhang, Chenglong Dai, L. James Lee, May 2012

The quest of novel materials for making lighter fibers for textile and non-woven fabrics applications prompts us to exploit the nanocellular fibers. Thermoplastic polyurethane nanocellular fibers were prepared by extrusion foaming using supercritical carbon dioxide as the blowing agent. Nanoparticles such as nanoclay, multi- walled carbon nanotube, and graphene nanosheets were added as the heterogeneous nucleation agents in order to achieve high-efficiency nucleating effects. Surface functionalizations on nanoparticles were conducted in order to ensure the high-degree dispersion of nanoparticle in the polymer. Optimization of processing conditions is necessary for achieving uniform foams with cell size below 1 m in the fiber having a diameter of less than 30 m. The density of nanocellular fiber was reduced by 30- 50% as compared with that of bulk polymer.

SYNTHESIS OF FUNCTIONAL GRAPHENES FOR HIGH-PERFORMANCE NANOPAPERS
Wenyi Huang, L. James Lee, May 2012

Functional graphenes were synthesized from graphene oxide, which was obtained from low-cost graphite via oxidation. In order to prevent the precipitation of graphene during the reduction process, graphene oxide was partially reduced using sodium borohydride and then treated with diazonium salts having –SO3H or –COOH groups, followed by complete reduction with hydrazine. Functional graphenes were prepared in such a way that they could be well dispersed in water, and as a result, nanopapers could be obtained by flow-directed assembly of individual graphene nanosheets via simple filtration. The presence of functional groups in the graphene also allows the formation of covalent bonds between nanosheets by crosslinking with other polymers. The resulting nanopapers have high electrical conductivity with excellent mechanical properties close to those of steel. These functional graphenes are also promising for the applications in water purifications, ultracapacitors, lithium batteries, and electronic materials.

ALKYD RESIN COATING SYNTHESIZED FROM POST-CONSUMER PET BOTTLES FOR WOOD-PLASTIC COMPOSITE
Sawinee Klinrod, Nattakarn Hongsriphan, May 2012

Three formulas of alkyd resins were prepared from phthalic anhydride, glycerol, linseed oil, and ethylene glycol or glycolysis product from post-consumer PET bottles. Linseed oil content of 50 wt% was selected aiming to be suitable for WPC. Surface chemistry was studied by contact angle. Coating properties such as drying time, hardness and adhesion strength were studied. It is found that alkyd resin film from glycolysis-product alkyd resins had better than those of conventional alkyd resins.










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