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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MORPHOLOGY DEVELOPMENT IN THE PELLET DURING COMPOUNDING OF RECYCLED POLY(ETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE) (RPET)/POLYPROPYLENE (PP) BLENDS
The morphology of RPET and PP pellets has been shown to have a profound effect on the properties of injection moldings. The size of PP dispersed phase is critical as it dictates the ductility of the blend. It has been shown that the size of a dispersed phase could grow by either coalescence or relaxation during and immediately after extrusion where temperatures are high. This study focuses on the chronological development of PP dispersed phase throughout the extrusion line during RPET/PP blending prior to pelletizing. The effect of compatibilizer content will be correlated to the growth rate of PP phase and also on the mechanical properties of subsequent injection moldings.
ASSESSING AND IMPROVING NANOMATERIALS HANDLING IN EXTRUSION
The compounding of polymer nanocomposites involves the handling, feeding and cleaning of high volumes of potentially low bulk density powders. The Nanorisk Framework document  guides practitioners in how to assess the effectiveness of operations and engineering controls designed to contain nanomaterials and minimize the risk of exposure or environmental release. This paper reviews a new approach for measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of engineering controls and operating procedures when feeding nanofiller powders into a compounding extruder. A method will be described that uses the extruder itself as an effective means to reduce dust generation from the feed system.
IN SITU PRODUCTION OF SLIGHTLY BRANCHED POLY(ETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE) BY SOLID-STATE SHEAR PULVERIZATION: A POTENTIAL SOLUTION TO IMPROVED RECYCLABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Using solid-state shear pulverization (SSSP) to process poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) without addition of chemical agents, we demonstrate that linear PET can be transformed into lightly branched PET, with resulting improvements in physical and mechanical properties. Rheological characterization demonstrates an increase in the melt viscosity of the pulverized PET while intrinsic viscosity characterization yields data consistent with no increase in linear chain length. These results indicate that branching occurs in situ during SSSP via mechanochemistry involving the production of polymeric radicals that result from low levels of chain scission accompanying SSSP. A hypothetical mechanism for this mechanochemical transformation is discussed. The lightly branched PET resulting from SSSP yields a dramatic increase in the crystallization rate of the PET, improving its processability. The ability to increase the melt viscosity of PET by SSSP may contribute to sustainable engineering of PET; a long-standing issue with recycling PET for high-value applications is the fact that melt processingof PET results in reduction of molecular weight and thereby melt viscosity, making the recycled material often unusable for the original application for which it was made.
PROCESS MONITORING AND CONTROL FOR MICROCELLULAR INJECTION MOLDING
The current study tests cavity pressure sensors and in-mold temperature sensors to determine their effectiveness for the process monitoring of microcellular foam injection molding. Piezoelectric pressure transducers were placed behind ejector pins. Exposed junction, microbead thermocouples were installed in the ends of ejector pins, with direct exposure to the melt. Sensors were located near the gate and near the end of fill in a two cavity production mold. Cavity pressure and melt temperature profiles, peak pressures and peak melt temperatures at each position were logged as well as the time to reach these peak values. These process data were then analyzed relative to part weights and part dimensions.
FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS OF HEAT STAKING DESIGN
Staking is a common joining method to assemble similar and dissimilar materials. Ultrasonic staking, hot air cold staking, heat staking, and infrared staking are common techniques used in the industry. Recently, impulse staking and laser staking are also reported. Regardless of the different staking techniques, the concept of staking is to deform a stud or hollow boss to form a button (or mushroom) to mechanically hold two materials together. The varieties of staking design guidelines developed by equipment suppliers possess significant discrepancies. This work utilized finite element (FE) modeling to study the effect of stake geometry on pull strength on a TPO material. Both 2-D axial symmetric and 3-D solid models were constructed to simulate the stake under tensile load. Geometric parameters such as button radius and button height were studied. It was found that mushroom height is the most critical parameter in achieving high retention force. Tall and large button provides highest retention force. However, tall and standard radius button provides compatible retention force and manufacturing advantages.
IMPROVE COOLING EFFECT OF INJECTION MOLDING BY PULSED-COOLING METHOD
In recent years, the variotherm molding technologies is more and more popular; and the pulsed cooling approach is one of the variotherm processing. However, the complicated cooling control system and the transient behavior of the mold made it difficult to optimize the process. In this study, through applying the comprehensive consideration with various operation specifications in simulation method, including pulsed time, coolant temperature, mold open and mold close temperatures, the cycle time can be dramatically reduced comparing to that of conventional method. In addition, experimental study will also perform to verify and realize the core issues in the near future.
COMPARISION OF FLOW STRIATIONS OF VARIOUS SSE MIXERS TO THE RECIRCULATOR AND ELONGATOR MIXERS
The Stratablend (trademark Newcastle), Energy Transfer, Variable Energy Transfer, and DM2 with Eagle mixer are well known single screw extruder (SSE) mixers. They have been diligently compared by mixing black ABS color concentrate pellets into a bright opaque ABS. This contrast reveals color striations and unmelts. The comparison is readily seen by eye. This paper compares a Recirculator screw and an Elongator screw using the same technique. Since no striations could be seen by eye, the extrudate was sectioned and examined by microscope at 100 and 200 times magnification showing no striations with the Elongator screw.
AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MERITS OF USING NATURALLY DERIVED POLYURETHANES BASED ON CASTOR OIL AS A BARRIER MATERIAL IN SALINE AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS.
The sorption and diffusion properties of two castor oil polyurethanes based on an aromatic and an aliphatic isocyanate has been evaluated in various saline aqueous solutions whose pH varied from 4 to 10. These experiments are based on an immersion weight gain method and were conducted at 25 50 and 70 ?§C.Apparent diffusion coefficients have been calculated using Fickƒ??s equation. The results are discussed in terms of the nature of the isocyanate group and the long chain castor oil polyol structure. The changes in the diffusion and sorption experiments are evaluated using neutron activation analysis a technique that measures the amounts of the saline ions namely Na+ Ca2+ and Cl- into the polymer as a function of diffusion time.
FAILURE ANALYSIS OF HINGED HOUSING ASSEMBLIES
Failures occurred within medical housing assemblies. The cracking was observed in a significant number of parts that had been in service, and was found within the hinge bossesused on the various components of the assembly. The focus of this investigation was a determination of the nature and cause of the failures. The results obtained during the evaluation of the cracked components indicated that the failures occurred through slow crack initiation via fatigue and creep rupture mechanisms. This paper will review the testing performed to characterize the failure mode and identify the cause of the cracking, while demonstrating the analytical procedures used in the investigation.
ASSESSING AND IMPROVING NANOMATERIALS HANDLING IN EXTRUSION
The compounding of polymer nanocomposites involves the handling, feeding and cleaning of high volumes of potentially low bulk density powders. The Nanorisk Framework document guides practitioners in how to assess the effectiveness of operations and engineering controls designed to contain nanomaterials and minimize the risk of exposure or environmental release. This paper reviews a new approach for measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of engineering controls and operating procedures when feeding nanofiller powders into a compounding extruder. A method will be described that uses the extruder itself as an effective means to reduce dust generation from the feed system.
IMPROVING SCRATCH PERFORMANCE OF TALC REINFORCED POLYPROPYLENE AND TPO COMPOUNDS
Rio Tinto Minerals has been actively studying scratch and mar performance of talc-reinforced polypropylene and TPO products for a number of years. A summary of major findings in these studies are provided and it is concluded that scratch performance of talc-PP and talc-TPO compounds varies with the type of resin or combination of resins used, and that using submicron talc products could improve the scratch performance. It is also shown that moderate improvement in scratch performance of softer TPO and impact copolymer PP compounds is achieved with Luzenac R7, a surface coated talc product that uses a proprietary additive. However, to maximize the scratch performance of these compounds, higher loadings of proper scratch additives are required. The performance of scratch additives is formulation dependent, and some loss of desired mechanical properties, e.g. flexural modulus, or heat distortion temperature (HDT) may be associated with using the additives especially if relatively high loadings are required. Using high performance submicron talc products along with the scratch additives allows the best combination of scratch and mechanical properties.
EXTRUSION FOAMING OF POLYSTYRENE/ACTIVATED CARBON/CARBON NANOPARTICLES USING CARBON DIOXIDE/WATER BLOWING AGENT
Extrusion foaming using supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most economic and environmentally benign process but it is difficult to control the foam density and maintain the thermal insulation performance. In this study, we added water as a co-blowing agent to better control foam density and introduced carbon nanoparticles/activated carbon (AC) to improve the thermal insulation performance of polystyrene (PS) foam. In order to understand this novel extrusion foaming process, the effects of various parameters such as particle style and content, extruder barrel and die temperatures on foam density, morphology and thermal insulation performance are investigated systematically.
DESIGN OF GRADIENT COPOLYMERS FOR DAMPING APPLICATIONS OVER UNIQUELY BROAD TEMPERATURE RANGES
Gradient copolymers with different incompatibility and gradient steepness were employed to design materials with good damping properties over wide temperature ranges (e.g. 70-100 K). A study was carried out on a styrene/hydroxystyrene system (S/HS) with = 6 and an S/butyl acrylate system (S/BA) with = 0.087.Gradient steepness was controlled by the addition rate of the second monomer during polymerization. The S/HS system showed very broad damping behavior at moderate gradients due to severe incompatibility of its components. Meanwhile the S/BA system demonstrated just slightly broadened damping behavior at moderate gradients but very broad damping was observed at stronger gradients.
ANALYSIS OF CELL NUCLEATION AND MORPHOLOGY OF BATCH-FOAMED POLYPROPYLENE COPOLYMER/POLY(DIMETHYLSILOXANE) WITH CO2
The purpose of this research is to improve the understanding of the interesting phenomenon observed with the addition of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) to the polypropylene (PP) for improving its foaming behavior . Different types of PP/PE copolymers were selected to batch foam with CO2. The in-situ observation of cell nucleation was conducted by using a high-speed camera and microscope. The cell morphology of foamed samples was characterized by using SEM. It was found that the presence of very fine micrometer sized PDMS phase particles led to a bimodal cell structure where the small cell size distribution was very fine and uniform in the order of a few micrometers.
SOLVING PROBLEMS WITH BIOBASED, SUSTAINABLE PLA AND RECYCLABILITY OF PET FOR HIGH-VALUE APPLICATIONS VIA SOLID-STATE SHEAR PULVERIZATION
Solid-state shear pulverization (SSSP) can lead to in situ mechanochemistry and enhanced dispersion relative to melt-state processes. SSSP of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) results in low levels of branching and enhanced dispersion of heterogeneous nuclei, leading to increased melt viscosity and crystallizability, providing a solution to the problem of recycling PET for high-value applications. (PET undergoes molecular weight reduction during melt processing.) Adding 1 wt% microcrystalline cellulose to poly(lactic acid) (PLA) via SSSP can lead to major enhancements in crystallizability and materials with increased heat distortion temperature relative to neat PLA.
A FULL 3D SIMULATION FOR TWIN SCREW EXTRUSION BASED ON AN IMMERSION DOMAIN METHOD. APPLICATION TO MIXING ELEMENTS
A full 3D simulation software has been applied for characterizing the flow conditions in mixing processes (batch mixers, single and twin screw extruders, cokneaders…). The approach is based on an immersion domain approach and uses the Finite Element Method. In the present work, we studied the flow conditions of a Carreau-Yasuda fluid in a portion of twin screw extruder, constituted by different types of conveying elements and blocks of kneading discs. The influence of geometrical parameters (staggering angle, number of tips, disc thickness…) on the flow conditions (pressure and pressure gradients, flow patterns, mixing efficiency…) has been characterized and compared to previous studies from the literature.
STUDY ON CELLULAR STRUCTURE AND SKIN LAYER THICKNESS OF MICROCELLULAR INJECTION MOLDED PARTS USING NEWLY-DEVELOPED EQUIPMENT
Experiments of microcellular injection molded polystyrene parts were carried out on equipment newly developed in this lab. Three processing parameters including the nozzle temperature injection speed and shot size were investigated in terms of their effects on the cellular structure and skin layer thickness of microcellular injection molded parts. The results showed that finer and more uniform cell structure is formed at appropriate nozzle temperatures. Cell diameter decreases cell density increases and cellular structure uniformity improves with the increase of injection speed or shot size. Moreover increasing the injection speed leads to the decrease of the skin layer thickness. Shot size does not show significant influence on the skin layer thickness.
PVC FLOW STREAMS IDENTIFY ELONGATIONAL FLOW
At Antec 2008, a new single screw compounder (SSE) was introduced with newly designed mixers along the screw. These mixing elements had spiral flutes with elongational mixing (SFEM). The Elongator , hereafter SFEM, demonstrated simple processing of RPVC powder with an increased output from the historic limit of 30 rpm to a faster speed of 180 rpm at only 174 ?øC, vented, starved or flood fed. There was no need for a vacuum hopper or crammer feeder with this simple screw design. At Antec 2009, continuing work was presented with mixing tests performed with the smaller SSE using a newly designed SFEM (hereafter SFEM-II). Two tests were performed with the RPVC powder, one using 0.5% color concentrate and the other wood flour. Elongation flow has been shown in single screws to compound to the 500 nanometer level . This paper shows the elongational mixing in cross sections of a mixture of PVC and color on a screw that was stopped and cooled during operation. The boundaries of the flows are visible as well as the progression of mixing.
FACTORS INFLUENCING DIMENSIONS WHEN INJECTION MOLDING MICROFLUIDIC DEVICES
To evaluate the ability to maintain the dimensions of the microfluidic channels during manufacturing polystyrene polycarbonate and PMMA were molded using electroformed nickel tooling. Melt and mold temperature flow direction (i.e. impingement and parallel flow) backing material for the tooling and vacuum venting were systematically varied to determine their effects on channel depths and widths. Replication of channel depths depended on melt viscosity and was enhanced by mold and melt temperature but replication of channel widths depended on cooling and the ability fill the channels. Impingement flow provided better replication of channels widths. Backing material and vacuum venting had no effect on replication.
FRACTURE TOUGHNESS TESTING (KIC) OF PE 4710 PIPE MATERIAL
Plane strain fracture toughness testing is rarely performed on ductile plastics such as polyethylene due to the inherent toughness of the material. In particular the newer bi-modal polyethylene materials such as PE 4710 are extremely tough and rarely are available in sizes to assure plane strain in the test specimen. In this study very large bars of PE 4710 were fabricated and tested per ASTM D5045 Standard Test. The test results Methods for Plane-Strain Fracture Toughness and Strain Energy Release Rate of Plastic Materials demonstrate the superior fracture resistance of the material as well as the difficulty in achieving brittle fractures in materials of this type.
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