SPE Library

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

Non-Isothermal Crystallization Kinetics of Polypropylene – The Use of a Modified Kissinger Method
CC Chau, W. Patchen, May 2007

Kissinger method of kinetic analysis was modified for crystallization of polymer from melt to include both the uncrystallized concentration and differential temperature as the driving forces. The modified expression allowed an apparent energy presumably related to the growth behavior of the crystalline structure to be determined. From non-isothermal crystallization data the apparent energy of a polypropylene copolymer increased moderately from 2.98 to 3.44 KJ/mole as the talc content increased from 0 to 1%. The variation of apparent energy was correlated with the Avrami and Ozawa exponents. Both the modified Avrami exponent and the Ozawa exponent measured at Tc increased with talc content and cooling rate suggesting the increase of complexity in nucleation and growth due to talc.

Nonwetting Low Friction Nylon 6/ Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS®) Hybrid Nanocomposites
Rahul Misra, Sarah E. Morgan, Bruce Fu, May 2007

Hybrid polymer nanocomposites based on polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS®) molecules with improved surface properties are of interest for a wide range of engineering applications. POSS molecules exhibit remarkable ability to modify polymer surfaces. Nylon 6/POSS Nanocomposites based on two different classes of POSS, a closed cage octaisobutyl POSS and an open cage trisilanolphenyl POSS, were prepared via extrusion. Surface topography and friction properties were evaluated utilizing atomic force microscopy. Contact angle investigation reveals enhanced hydrophobicity. Relative surface friction of Nylon 6 was also reduced by 45% by the appropriate selection of POSS molecules.

Plastics Industry: The Ability Age
Harrison Yu, May 2007

The American plastics industry is in the Ability Age created by outsourcing, industry consolidation, the power of Wall Street, the Information Age, and dynamically changing rules and environments.The challenges of this age are continually making right decisions and providing leading global valued growth while facing dynamically changing rules and environments. The opportunity of this age is having sufficient resources and information to act quickly.Coming from this age will be a new set of hypotheses aimed to continually make right decisions and provide leading global valued growth. One such hypothesis on using internal emerging technologies to lead outsourcing is proposed in this paper.

Crystalline Polymer Microgels with Surface Interactions
Gerald H. Ling, Montgomery T. Shaw, May 2007

We report one rheological and microstructural investigation of dispersions of polyethylene microgels in squalane. Emphasis in literature has mainly been limited to systems that depend largely on polymer-solvent interactions and little is known of systems that exhibit both intra- and inter-particle crystallinity. The majority of similar reported systems are prepared using a bottom-up approach while the described system is prepared from recycled bulk XLPE via mechanical grinding and fragmentation by sonic energy. Bulk rheological properties and particle surface interactions are explored using conventional rotational and oscillatory rheometry.

Effect of Nano-Clay on the Microcellular Structure and Properties of High Internal Phase Emulsion (HIPE) Foams
M.Y. Serry Ahmed, Y.H. Lee, C.B. Park, N. Atalla, May 2007

High internal phase emulsion (HIPE) polymerization foaming process is controlled for production of novel foams with various microcellular structures and morphologies. In this study, organoclay, C10A and C20A and natural clay, Sodium montmorillonite (NaMMT) was introduced at different concentrations to control the microcellular morphology, cell size and open cell content. Scanning electron microscopy was used to observe the microcellular morphology and open cell contents, volume expansion ratio and cell sizes where evaluated. It was found that the open cell content increased as organoclay content increased, due to lowering the viscosity ratio of dispersed to continuous phases due to the addition of high molecular weight clay into the oil phase of emulsion. A correlation for the open cell content and volume expansion ratio depending on clay content was attempted and the result was quite satisfactory.

Birefringence Distribution in Injection Molded Parts with Weld Lines
Han Jian, Yan Chenguang, Shen Changyu, Liu Chuntai, May 2007

The effect of processing conditions on the birefringence distribution in Polystyrene injection molded parts with weld lines was investigated. The gapwise averaged birefringence of injection molded parts was measured by photoelasticity method. Birefringence at weldline area generated by different obstacles was also investigated. It was found that melt temperature and packing pressure are the two dominant factors that determine the birefringence development of the molded parts. Birefringence distribution has an appreciable distinction at weldline area, which is attributed to the molecule orientation distribution, local flow behavior and melt meeting angle at the melt front.

Effects of Tooling and Injection Molding Conditions on Nanoscale Replication of Thermoplastic Elastomers
Michael W. Alabran, Joey L. Mead, Carol M.F. Barry, David J. Carter, Ahmed A. Busnaina, May 2007

The effect of tooling geometry and processing conditions on the ability to injection mold nanoscale features was investigated for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs). While pattern geometry was not as critical as feature size in determining good replication, TPUs exhibited enhanced replication quality when compared to a polycarbonate control. Melt temperature was limited by polymer degradation, but increasing mold temperatures provided better replication. Very high mold temperatures, however, did not improve replication and were detrimental to cycle time.

Ionic Liquids as Additives for Thermoplastics
K.I. Park, M. Xanthos, May 2007

In attempts to develop new process modifiers for thermoplastics, two ionic liquids with long chain hydrophobic cations and different anions were introduced in a biodegradable polymer. Methods of incorporation included melt blending, solvent casting and microencapsulation from w/o/w systems at concentrations up to 10 wt%. The modified polymers were characterized rheologically and by TGA to determine process and thermal stability, respectively, and by DSC to determine miscibility and types of the polymer-ionic liquid interactions. Potential applications in plasticization, lubrication and emulsification are discussed for selected polymer-ionic liquid combinations.

Prediction of Continuous Kneader Reactor Processes from Batch Data
Boyd T. Safrit, May 2007

Batch trials were performed on a kneader reactor where a bulk co-polymerization was carried out. Polymerization conversion, viscosity build, reaction kinetics, and heat transfer calculations were performed using the experimental data from the batch trials. A continuous process was proposed for this bulk copolymerization and the models and results from the batch trials were used in designing the continuous process. Predictions of the continuous process using the batch trial data are compared to the actual continuous process, with a focus on polymer conversion, heat transfer, and torque prediction.

Development of Conducting Polymer Using Stabilized Gold Nanoparticles for Chemical Sensor
R.Vedaiyan, A.V.Harinath, C.Banerjee, Jag Sankar, J.Lou, May 2007

In this paper, we describe a method for preparing thiol capped Self Assembled Monolayer (SAM) of gold-nanoparticles. Because of the variety of functional groups that can be supported using SAM techniques and due to the relative stability of the monolayers generated, we believe these materials will be useful for developing a variety of chemical or gas sensors. Thiol-capped gold nanoparticles are used as conducting filler for poly dimethyl siloxane matrix in the detection of organic vapors. Thin films of nanocomposite is deposited using Continuous Ink-Jet printing system (CIJ) on the interdigitated microelectrodes (IDE) thus forming chemiresistors" and are analyzed by exposing to different analytes (N-methyl pyrolidine tetrahydrofuran methyl ethyl ketone

Vibration Welding of Hard TPO to Soft TPO
Chung-Yuan Wu, Beth Wichterman, May 2007

Hard and soft thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs) have been used in the automotive industry for many years. Most of the applications did not involve interaction between these two materials. Recent developments have combined these two materials together. Therefore, there is a need to understand the weldability of these two materials.This study examined the weldability of these two materials using vibration welding in a T-joint geometry. A two factor and two level DOE was used to evaluate the weld strength of several TPE-TPO combinations. It was found that the weld strength was not sensitive to the welding parameters selected in the study. It was also found that the weld strength was dominated by the soft TPO used in the system, not the hard TPO. Additionally, the failure mode was also dominated by the soft TPO. A ductile failure mode was possible for some soft/hard TPO combinations with appropriate welding conditions. and toluene) at very low concentration and different relative humidity (RH). The chemo resistive response is measured by four- probe method for different analyte at various concentrations and the results show a linear profile of concentration vs. conductivity at different RH. The response time and percolation threshold vs. conductivity of this novel chemiresistor compares favorably over conventional carbon black (CB) polymer composite."

An Investigation on the Effects of Fine-Particulate Filler on the Properties of a Rotomolding-Grade Polyethylene
Wirote Sae-Chieng, Alongkorn Kanokboriboon, May 2007

This paper examines the influence of adding a fine-particulate industrial by-product namely fly ash as reinforcing filler into a rotomolding-grade polyethylene. The compounds of various filler contents were added either by dry-blended or by-meltcompounded, and their rotomolded parts were analyzed to check fro their appearances, processabilities, and mechanical properties.In terms of rotomoldability, it was possible to add the filler up to about 10% without dramatically affecting the part removal capability. In terms of stiffness, a slight improvement was made at such filler loading; however, the impact properties were drastically reduced even a small amount of the filler was present.

Effect of Electron Beam Radiation on the Melt Rheology of Polyvinylidene Fluoride and its Copolymers
Nafaa Mekhilef, Ramin Amin-Sanayei, Stephan Moyses, May 2007

The effect of electron beam radiation on the shear and extensional rheology of polyvinylidene fluoride and its copolymers with hexafluoropropylene is investigated. The samples were exposed to low levels of radiation ranging from 0 to 5 Mrads at room temperature. The shear rheology showed an increase in the storage modulus, as the level of radiation increased while the viscosity at high frequency remained unchanged. These results suggest the formation of chain branching and/or the formation of a second population of higher molecular weight. The results were corroborated using size exclusion chromatography combined with light scattering (SEC-MALLS), which confirmed both the presence of chain branching and the formation of a higher molecular weight tail. Extensional rheology showed strain hardening as the level of radiation is increased.

Effect of Process Conditions on the Micro-Domain Structure and Mechanical Behavior in Cylindrical Block Copolymer Systems
Mohit Mamodia, Alan J. Lesser, May 2007

The effect that different process conditions have on the structural characteristics and the mechanical response of cylindrical block copolymers is investigated. It is observed that structural characteristics such as domain size and spacing change due to different process conditions and thermal treatment. Subtle changes in dspacing (from small angle x-ray scattering) are shown to correlate with the material's stiffness. This change is explained by the temperature dependant segregation between the styrene and rubbery phases at a particular process/annealing temperature.

Filling Balance Optimization by Best Gate Location
Ruggero Baesso, Giovanni Lucchetta, May 2007

The quality of an injection molded part is strongly influenced by the filling balance of the mould cavity. This paper presents a method and the relevant software application to determine the best gate location for an injection molded part. The proposed optimization method automatically and iteratively calculates the gate position that maximizes the melt flows balance during the filling phase. The software is based on the Moldflow Plastics Insight®/Microsoft Visual Basic® interface and uses a non-linear optimization algorithm based on the Gauss-Newton and Conjugated Gradient techniques. The effectiveness of the developed method is demonstrated through some significant case studies.

Solubilities of Blowing Agent Blends
G. Li, S.N. Leung, J. Wang, C.B. Park, May 2007

Investigating the solubility of blowing agent blends in polymer and the phase equilibrium of multicomponents mixture system is a challenge due to the following reasons: (1) the composition ratio in the vapor phase is not the same as the composition ratio of blowing agents dissolved in polymer, and (2) one blowing agent has an effect on the solubility of the other blowing agent. This paper describes the general thermodynamic model that simplifies these investigations. The model is established by measuring sorption with a magnetic suspension balance, and not only predicts the overall solubility for the blowing agent blend but also calculates the solubility of each component dissolved in the polymer melt.

Potential Ultrasonic Compaction of Zein and Distiller's Dry Grain (DDGS)
Julius Vogel, Melissa T. Montalbo, Gowrishankar Srinivasan, David Grewell, May 2007

As the demand for ethanol as fuel additive increases, a consequent rise in the production of distiller's dry grain with solubles (DDGS) and commercial zein is expected. Corn dry milling processing produces two major coproducts; ethanol and DDGS. In wet-milling, pure zein is a high value by-product of corn processing. This study evaluates the potential of ultrasonic compaction of zein and DDGS composites to produce biodegradable biorenewable plastics. Various amplitudes, compaction times and compositions were characterized in terms of tensile strength. It was found that samples could be formed within a few seconds with tensile strengths as high 12 MPa.

Study of Orange Peel Phenomena in Rotational Molding
E. Soos Takacs, M. Emami, D. D’Agostin, J. Vlachopoulos, May 2007

The term orange peel" describes a surface defect that is characterized by irregular grooves and pitting—much like the topography of the outer skin of an orange. Although similar phenomena have been reported for high-pressure processes such as injection molding the root causes of orange peel in rotational molding are essentially unknown. The presence of orange peel is undesirable not only for aesthetic reasons but also for its potential negative effects on the functional properties of the final product.A fundamental study was conducted to determine the root causes of the orange peel in rotational molding. The effects of material properties such as density rheological thermal and powder properties and process parameters were investigated. In addition comparisons are made between the dry blended and melt blended samples in terms of orange peel development."

Melt Blending Graphite into Poly(Ethylene-2,6-Naphthalate)
Hyunwoo Kim, Christopher Macosko, May 2007

Graphite can be an attractive reinforcement for polymers due to its high stiffness and low thermal expansion as well as high electric conductivity. Graphite was melt blended into poly(ethylene-2,6-naphthalate) (PEN). After molding extruded composites into films via biaxial squeezing and uniaxial stretching, their stiffness, thermal expansion and gas barrier properties were tested. Even though graphite in PEN matrix appeared to form unintercalated or partially intercalated morphology, noticeable enhancements in composite stiffness and hydrogen barrier properties were observed. Less improvement in dimensional stability was found. We evaluated average aspect ratios of anisotropic graphite sheets embedded in PEN by interpreting experimental data with composite theories. Young's modulus and dimensional stability of composites were dramatically improved by film drawing.

Impact of Approximating the Initial Bubble Pressure on Cell Nucleation in Polymeric Foaming Processes
Siu N. Leung, Hongbo Li, Chul B. Park, May 2007

According to the classical nucleation theory, the free energy barrier for bubble nucleation and thereby the nucleation rate are functions of the bubble pressure, Pbubble. In computer simulations of polymeric foaming processes, almost all previous research has approximated the value of Pbubble by the saturation pressure, Psat. In this paper, the thermodynamic equilibrium condition and the Sanchez- Lacombe (SL) equations of state (EOS) are employed to determine the value of Pbubble. It is shown that the Pbubble approximation using Psat will lead to significant overestimations of the nucleation rate and the final cell density.

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