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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
Smarter Materials Systems Designs for the Future
Clive P. Bosnyak, Alexander Chudnovsky, Shaofu Wu, Hoang T. Pham, May 2007
The term Smart Materials" has been coined to those materials which change behavior when stimulated by light pressure thermal electrical or magnetic fields. Early applications of smart materials are for example electrorheological fluids for clutches and piezoelectric sensors for airbags. The challenge is to create significant additional value to large plastics markets by bringing enhanced functionality through smart materials systems designs. Smart materials systems designs require integration of multidisciplinary skills from materials science through to fabrication and lifetime prediction. Here in this review we address the issues of advancing the technology of polymers into "smarter systems". In particular we identify the needs and challenges to create significant additional value to large plastics markets via smart materials systems designs."
Environmental Stress Cracking in Polycarbonate – Prediction of the Long Term Behavior by the Use of Short Time Tests
Walter Michaeli, Jan Henseler, May 2007
The environmental stress cracking is the most common failure reason of polymer parts during their use. There are already many tests to verify the stress crack resistance. Most methods use combinations of an external strain and aggressive liquids to achieve a quick test result. The extrapolation to longer time periods is only successful with the help of the expert knowledge of the raw material producers. The development of a new testing method enables a simulation of the material long-term behavior on the basis of a short time test of plastics under the influence of a medium.
A New Procedure for Dimensioning Plastics Parts with Similar Consideration of Tensile and Compression Values
Walter Michaeli, Thorsten Krumpholz, Tim Arping, May 2007
Today, the usage of plastics extend also to fields, where they have to stand high compressive loads. Because of the lack of compression values, a technically safe and economically meaningful dimensioning is often a problem. The quantitative comparison of tensile and compression values within the underlying work has shown, that it is possible to calculate the compression behavior from the belonging curves under tensile load with the knowledge of only one compression curve. Further investigations concerning plastics pipes have shown, that the usage of material models, which are calibrated with both values from tensile and also from compression tests leads to a 30% saving of wall thickness.
Curing of Bisphenol M Dicyanate Ester under Nanoscale Constraint
Qingxiu Li, Sindee L. Simon, May 2007
It is well known that the properties of materials are affected by constraint at the nanoscale. Although thermosetting resins have been cured in the presence of nanoparticles and nanotubes, cure of thermosetting resins under the well defined nanoscale constraints imposed by controlled pore glass (CPG) or similar matrices has not been previously documented. In this work, we investigate the isothermal curing of bisphenol M dicyanate ester/polycyanurate under various nanoscale constraints, including in unsilanized controlled pore glass, in silanized controlled pore glass, and within an alumina nanofilter. Differential scanning calorimeter is used to monitor the evolution of the glass transition temperature (Tg) as a function of pore size and pore surface chemistry. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is applied to study the degree of cure of polycyanurate in the bulk state and under nanoscale confinement. For the glass transition temperatures of the polycyanurate networks cured in the silanized controlled pore glasses, only the nanoconfinement effect is observed; whereas for the material cured in the unsilanized controlled pore glasses, both the nanoconfinement and surface effects are observed. Furthermore, nanoscale constraint accelerates the cure of bisphenol M dicyanate ester. FTIR study confirms the full conversion of the polycyanurate networks under nanoscale confinement.
In-Mold-Graining in Thermoforming
Edmund Haberstroh, Lennart Ederleh, May 2007
The feasibility of In-Mold-Graining (IMG) has been proven through initial applications. Despite this, there is still a lack of detailed knowledge about the correlations that ensure the uniform reproduction of structured mould surfaces in thermoforming. The processing of multilayer laminates for soft-touch applications constitutes an additional challenge. In this paper, a heating concept for trilaminate materials (grainable layer/foam layer/compact layer) is presented to ensure an optimum forming result through a selective temperature distribution over the thickness of the material. The local pressure conditions between the trilaminate and the mold surface are investigated as a dominating influencing factor with respect to product quality.
Enhancing Productivity of Solid-State Microcellular Panel Production by Partial Gas Saturation in the Retrograde Region
Krishna V. Nadella, Vipin Kumar, May 2007
In the production of microcellular panels by the solid-state constrained foaming process, the time needed for saturating ABS sheets with CO2 gas has been recognized as a bottleneck to developing a viable industrial process. Significant improvements in the productivity of this process are achieved by a) using partial (non-equilibrium) gas saturation and b) conducting the gas saturation in the retrograde region [1, 2]. Using a combination of these two approaches, the time required to reach the needed CO2 gas concentration in 4.75 mm thick ABS was reduced by 60%.Results on the panel density and the skin thicknesses achieved are reported and micrographs showing gradient microstructures are presented.
Simulation of the Die Swell behind an Orifice Die
Walter Michaeli, Björn Fink, May 2007
During the flow through an extrusion die the melt is deformed. Due to the viscoelastic behavior the melt stores portions of introduced shear and elongational deformation as stresses. At the die exit the stresses lead to die swell. The prediction of die swell is still a big challenge in plastics processing today. In an orifice die the flow conditions, stresses and die swell behind the outlet are calculated using the finite element analysis. Two different materials are modeled using different viscoelastic models. The calculated die swell is compared to experimentally measured die swell and the two different models are evaluated.
Enhanced Barrier Improvement for Pet-Bottles by Combination of Interior and Exterior Plasma Assisted Coating
Walter Michaeli, Dirk Binkowski, Andreas Hegenbart, May 2007
Even though PET-bottles gain more and more market shares one crucial point is their insufficient permeation barrier. To overcome this disadvantage and to extend the shelf-life plasma assisted coating is a well known technique, which is industrially used. The coating is either deposited on the interior or exterior of the bottle. Typically barrier improvement factors (BIF) around 4 can be achieved for the gas carbon dioxide (CO2). A combination of both techniques leads to a significant increase of the BIF. Hence the technology enables applications for even more sensitive goods.
Novel Metal/Polymer Blends for Highly Conductive Applications
Walter Michaeli, Tobias Pfefferkorn, May 2007
For many electro-technical and automotive applications plastics components have to fulfill enhanced demands on their electrical and thermal conductivity. A novel material combination of metal fiber reinforced thermoplastics and low melting metal alloys allows a significant increase in the maximum filler content and therefore in the electrical conductivity in comparison to just solidly filled polymers, because the low-viscous alloy is already molten during manufacturing. The material can be processed economically to complex shaped parts by conventional injection molding. The material composition, the processing behavior and the resulting part characteristics will be discussed in this paper.
Applicability of Advanced Constitutive Equations for Coextrusion Flows of Polyolefin Melts
M. Zatloukal, R. Pivokonsky, M.T. Martyn, P. Filip, May 2007
The fitting/predictive capabilities of three models (eXtended Pom-Pom, PTT-XPP and modified Leonov model) are tested for both, steady as well as transient shear and uniaxial extensional flows of mLLDPE and HDPE. The applicability of these constitutive equations has been investigated from the coextrusion flow modeling point of view. Finally, the FEM and modified Leonov model has been employed for the stress analysis in the coextrusion flow domain and predicted stress fields have been compared with the stress measurements from the flow coextrusion visualization cell.
Effect of Die Geometry on Foaming Behaviors of High Melt Strength Polypropylene with CO2
Patrick C. Lee, Wanrudee Kaewmesri, Jing Wang, Chul B. Park, Jantrawan Pumchusak, Rick Folland, Andreas Praller, May 2007
A systematic study is conducted to investigate the effect of die geometry (i.e., pressure and pressure-drop rate) on the cell-nucleation and growth behaviors of noncrosslinked high melt strength (HMS) polypropylene (PP) foams blown with supercritical CO2. The experimental results show that the cellular morphologies of PP foams are sensitive to the die geometry. The initial expansion behavior of the foam extrudate at the die exit is recorded using a high-speed CCD camera, which allows the study of die geometry effect on both initial expansion behavior and final cellular morphology. The effect of die temperature on the cell morphology is also studied.
Shape Memory Elastomers Prepared from Ionomer/ Fatty Acid Salt Compounds
Elise L. Kamieneski, S. Mandelbaum, P. Vemuri, R.A. Weiss, May 2007
Shape memory elastomers were prepared from mixtures of a sulfonated EPDM ionomer and fatty acid salts, FAS, (ZnOleate),. Physical crosslinks in the ionomer that arise from inter-chain ionic interactions provide a permanent shape, while the crystalline low molecular weight FAS provides the means for a temporary shape. The material can be deformed above the melting point (Tm) of the FAS and the new shape can be fixed by cooling the material under stress to below Tm of the FAS. Polar interactions between the ionomer and the FAS stabilize the dispersion of the FAS in the polymer and provide the continuity between the phases that allows the crystals of the FAS to provide a second network of physical crosslinks.
Patterning of Conducting Polymers on Flexible and Insulating Polymeric Substrates
Ming Wei, Jia Shen, Carol Barry, Joey Mead, Sivasubramanian Somu, Xugang Xiong, Ahmed Busnaina, May 2007
In this work, we report the electric field assisted patterning of a conductive polymer, polyaniline (PANi), on an insulated and prepatterned template, followed by transfer of the pattern to a secondary substrate. Conducting PANi was selectively assembled on the negative electrodes of the template. After deposition, it was demonstrated that by compression molding, patterned PANi can be transferred to a polyurethane film. Unlike transfer by solution casting, however, the transfer of patterned PANi by compression molding was not complete. This may be the result of poor mobility of the polymer molecules. This work provides a promising nanomanufacturing approach for cost effective and high performance flexible nanoelectronics and biosensors.
The Effect of the Injection Point Location on the Fiber Glass Length
S.L. Villarroel, R.A. Morales, M.V. Candal, A. Gordillo, May 2007
The objective of this study was the development of a methodology to evaluate the influence of the fiber glass length contained in injection molded, flat PP specimens. The initial fiber length used was 12 mm. Flat specimens with 1mm of thickness were injected varying the injection conditions (injection velocity, melt temperature and cycle time). The mechanical properties were evaluated in longitudinal and cross-sectional sense respect to the flow direction in a universal testing machine, varying the position with respect to the injection point. When the cycle time and melt temperature were increased, variations in the size and fiber length distribution were not observed.
Polyvinylidene Fluoride Containing Long Chain Branching for Blown Film Applications
Nafaa Mekhilef, Sara Reynaud, Lotfi Hedhli, Gilberto O. Pasquariello, May 2007
In this work the effect of long chain branching in polyvinylidene fluoride on its rheology and blown film processing is investigated. Branched samples prepared by a conventional polymerization process were compared to commercial resins in terms of their rheological properties in shear and extensional flows. The branched samples showed an enhanced elasticity allowing a higher melt strength as well as strain hardening when subjected to extensional deformation. The enhanced rheological properties in the branched samples resulted in better processing performance in a blown film application where higher blow-up ratios and thinner films were achieved.
High Melt Strength Polyvinylidene Fluoride for Thermoforming Applications
Nafaa Mekhilef, Lotfi Hedhli, Sara Reynaud, Gilberto O. Pasquariello, May 2007
This paper discusses the properties of high melt strength polyvinylidene fluoride (HMSPVDF) and their correlation with the thermoforming process. Resins having different molecular weights and extents of chain branching (CB) were prepared and compared to commercial resins considered linear polymers. The presence of chain branching enhances in the melt strength of the branched samples while the melt viscosity remains identical to the reference samples. HMSPVDF also shows a significant improvement in sag resistance over the reference samples and suggests better performance in thermoforming.
Interfacial Interpretation of Autohesion of Ethylene/1- Octene Copolymers by Atomic Force Microscopy
Hailing Yang, Wei Zhang, Ronald, D Moffit, Thomas C. Ward, May 2007
The T-peel fractured surfaces of bonded ethylene/1- octene copolymer films were characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and analyzed by fractal analysis. A stitch-welding" autohesion mechanism was proposed on the basis of that fractal analysis results suggesting that amorphous chains interdiffused while unmelted interfacial crystal structures remain essentially unaltered during the autohesion process. The fractal dimensions and the characteristic sizes determined from the fractal analyses are strongly dependent upon 1-octene content bonding temperature and peel rate."
Numerical Simulation and Moldability Investigation of Micro-Features
Shia-Chung Chen, Li-Chi Su, Cheng-Yi Chang, Hsin-Wei Hung, Wen-Hsien Yang, May 2007
In micro-injection molding, the preservation of precise micro-feature is one of the most important indications to ensure proper functionality and quality. A new technique, Induction Heating" which is advanced in heating up the mold quickly and accurately is adopted to control mold temperature during filling phase. This paper aims to analyze the technique specifically for a part with micro-feature of a high aspect ratio. Meanwhile it probes into the result of numerical simulation and actual experimental investigation. The result shows that some critical factors have a dominant effect on the molding mechanism and this result will be beneficial to the development of micro-injection molding technology."
Numerical Simulation and Experimetal Investigation of Fiber in Injection Molding
Hsien-Sen Chiu, Ya-Yuen Chou, Wen-Li Yang, Chia-Hsiang Hsu, Yamabe Masashi, May 2007
A lot of plastic parts are made of fiber-reinforced engineering materials for its superior mechanical properties. Since the flow induced fiber orientation is complex 3D behavior, the final properties of the injected parts become very complicated. In this research, a ribbed flat plate geometrical model is conducted to examine the effect of fibers with various design consideration on injected parts both numerically and experimentally. Results show that the flow induced fiber orientation both numerically and experimentally in a good agreement. Also, it shows the fiber orientation will affect the final injected parts significantly.
CO2 and Water Vapor Permeability in Polymer Nanocomposites and Foams
Zhihua Guo, L. James Lee, David L. Tomasko, May 2007
Permeation properties are important for the design and implementation of polymer nanocomposites and polymer nanocomposite foam products. The literature is quite limited regarding permeation studies on these materials. In this paper, we focus on permeation properties of polystyrene nanocomposites (two types of nanoclay and carbon nanofiber) and their respective foams. Commercial instruments (PERMATRAN-C Model 4/41 and PERMATRAN-W Model 3/33 from Mocon) were used to measure steady state permeability coefficients of CO2 and water vapor at three temperatures: 10°C, 25°C, and 40°C. From these data permeation rates and permeation activation energy are compared based on nanocomposite morphology.


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