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

Compressed Viscose Sponges as Actuators
Jan Spoormaker, Anton Heidweiller, May 2007

Compressed viscose sponges can be applied in devices in which a force is exerted when the compressed sponge is wetted. These sponges are used as actuator in a device to rescue keys attached to the floating device when it drops in water.Experiments have been carried out to determine the magnitude of the exerted force as a function of the mass of compressed sponges, but also as a function of the gap between the sponge and the object on which the force is exerted.From the experiments it was learned that the gap is predominant. Compressed sponges exert a force which is more than 4 times higher than the case when a gap of more than 1.5 mm exists.

Effects of Surface Geometry of Nucleating Agents on Heterogeneous Nucleation
Siu N. Leung, Chul B. Park, Anson Wong, May 2007

Ideal nucleating agents are expected to improve the cell morphology of plastics foams (i.e., higher cell densities, smaller cell size, and narrower cell size distribution) by providing heterogeneous nucleation sites. Surface geometry is one of the factors that govern the nucleating power of nucleating agents. Based on the computer simulation of a batch foaming process of polystyrene/carbon dioxide system, this paper indicates that nucleating agents having numerous crevices of small semi-conical angles, are most desirable for polymeric foaming processes.

Application of Polymer Welding Theory to Industrial Process Design
Ronald D. Moffitt, Wei Zhang, William J. Donohue, Tom A. Zbell, W. Charles Mattox, Wesley J. Queen, May 2007

Welding time shifting expressions based upon time-temperature superposition (tTS) and hot air nozzle spacing were used to establish industrial process scale-up and design relationships for a continuous cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) liner manufacturing process. The application of tTS was successfully demonstrated to apply equally well to the commercial CIPP assembly bonding of thermoplastic polyurethane tape to a coated thermoplastic polyurethane coated felt substrate and to the hot air self-welding of a polyester needle-punched felt.

Characterization of Model Urethanes and Ureas Based on Hydrogenated Methylenediphenldiisocyanate via Solution and Solid State NMR Spectroscopy
Daniel P. Dempsey, May 2007

Models for hard-block segmented polyurethanes were synthesized using a pre-polymer process. Urethane linkages were synthesized using hydrogenated methylenediphenyldiisocyanate (H12MDI) reacted with dimethylol propionic acid (DMPA) and hexanol. Urea linkages were synthesized using H12MDI and hexylamine. The resulting small molecules were then subjected to solution and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the reaction coordinates, to investigate possible side reactions, and to document 13C peaks and reaction times.

PVC Nanocomposites – Methods of Promoting Filler Dispersion
Marianne Gilbert, Noreen L Thomas, Xiaoran Zheng, Styliani Georgiadou, Brian Brooks, May 2007

The most widely used nanofillers for plastics are the organically modified nanoclays, in particular montmorillonite. However these clays cannot be used successfully in PVC, as they contain ammonium groups which accelerate PVC degradation. This paper considers a number of alternative nanofillers for both rigid and flexible PVC, and focuses on methods of dispersion of these fillers (involving mixing, melt blending, and polymerisation), suitable formulations to avoid thermal degradation, and potential for property enhancement.

Failure Analysis of Polypropylene Used in a Hot Water Environment – Effect of Different Stabilizer Systems
Dale B. Edwards, Lawrence J. Broutman, Alan I. Kasner, May 2007

Polypropylene has been used for many years in hot water applications with varying degrees of success. Failures in one instance were traced to a stabilizer package that inadequately protected the polymer in a hot, chlorinated water environment. This same stabilizer system performed extremely well in oven aging tests. The current study involved examination and analysis of failed samples from the field, along with laboratory aging studies designed to replicate the field failures and compare the performance of the stabilizer system in different environments.

New Materials from Polylactide Bioplastics
Rahul Bhardwaj, Amar K. Mohanty, May 2007

Renewable resource based bioplastic are the next generation of materials, which will play a major role in building of a sustainable bioeconomy. Polylactide (PLA) is a renewable resource based bioplastic. The realm of PLA bioplastic is expanding through innovative research methodology, products and processes. There is pressing want to enhance the versatility of this bioplastic, so that it can compete with conventional polymers. Inclusion of nanostructures in polymeric matrices is looked upon as unique approach to create revolutionary material combinations. Harnessing the benefits of nanotechnology in generating new biobased material is considered as a benign approach. Biodegradable polymer-clay nanocomposites have already been explored extensively. The niche application of nanotechnology to bring breakthrough research in the field of biobased polymer is still elusive. Recently, polylactide (PLA) has been modified with a new technology based on nanoscopic hyperbranched polymers (HBP) at Michigan State University. The modified PLA has shown a unique balance of stiffness and toughness. Such modified PLA bioplastic will act as ideal matrix for nano-clay, talc as well as natural fiber reinforcements leading to the development of new materials from PLA bioplastics.

Phosphate Esters as Stress Crack Agents – Case Studies in Failure Analysis
Dale B. Edwards, Alan I. Kasner, May 2007

With a recent push toward non-brominated flame retardants, phosphorus-based alternatives, such as phosphate esters, are used more frequently for various applications. Their use as plasticizers is also well known. However, their function as environmental stress crack agents of various thermoplastics is less well recognized. Two case studies, one - in which a triaryl phosphate was a component of the formulation, the other – in which it was migrating from an adjacent component illustrate some of the problems with their use. Fractographic analysis and various analytical techniques were used to determine a root cause of each of the two failures.

Multilayer Films of Ethylene Co-Vinyl Alcohol Nanocomposite and Polypropylene for Food Packaging Applications
Sarah Schirmer, Danielle Froio, Christopher Thellen, Matthew Mannarino, Jeanne Lucciarini, Jo Ann Ratto, May 2007

Retort is a high temperature sterilization process that is used to prolong the shelf life of military rations. Ethylene co-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) /montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) nanocomposites were co-extruded with retort grade polypropylene (PP) into a multilayer cast film to determine if the addition of MLS to EVOH improved barrier, mechanical, thermal and retort properties. The PP/EVOH-MLS/PP structure showed an improvement in some properties such as water vapor transmission rate, Young's modulus, and seal strength before retort in comparison to the PP/EVOH/PP structure; however, the improvement in properties was lost after the retort process.

Structure and Properties of ?-Polypropylene Cast Films
Dana Hnidáková, Roman ?ermák, Lenka Chvátalová, Jana Výchop?ová, Martin Obadal, May 2007

The effect of ?-nucleation on structure and properties of cast films manufactured from isotactic polypropylenes has been studied. Two commercial-available polypropylenes – homopolymer and random copolymer – were modified by 0.03 wt.% of specific ?-nucleating agent NJ Star NU 100. Cast films were extruded from both starting and nucleated polypropylenes using a slit die and water-cooled chill roll. Supermolecular structure of the films was evaluated using wide-angle X-ray scattering. Tensile testing was used for the preliminary measurement of mechanical properties. A significant effect of the nucleation and solidification temperature on structure and properties of the films was found.

Advancements in Super Low Gloss ABS
Norwin Van Riel, Nigel Shields, Marisa Calhoun, Steve Rogers, May 2007

The character and impression of an automobile interior is greatly influenced by the gloss and appearance of the interior components. This can have far reaching implications on the choice of polymer for molded-in-color parts. Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) and talc filled Polypropylene (PP) resins are both widely used in such applications and each have their advantages and disadvantages, especially in respect to low gloss aesthetics and scratch resistance. Dow Automotive has recently developed a next generation of super low gloss ABS resins for interior applications, called MAGNUM* SLG ABS.Tool and part design for low gloss aesthetics using ABS resins and talc filled PP resins requires specific attention with respect to filling pattern and process conditions. Talc filled and impact modified PP resins are widely used for interior applications including instrument panels, door parts and pillars due to the versatility in part design and superior aesthetics. The impact-stiffness balance of mass-solution produced high impact ABS is very similar to talc filled impact modified PP, but ABS exhibits superior scratch resistance. Often, the Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will set sixty degree gloss targets, for example between 1.8 and 2.5 for talc filled PP on specific grain types and/or textures. Achieving these gloss targets, whilst maintaining good scratch and mar behavior is heavily dependent on the texture applied on the mold surface. In an attempt to balance this demand between gloss and scratch and mar performance, additional mold surface treatments are becoming increasingly widespread in the industry. While in the first instance following seemingly opposing routes to achieve the same goal, we shall highlight the synergy achieved between super low gloss resins and secondary mold etching technologies.With this new development the aesthetical shortcomings of ABS resins have been resolved giving the part designer another material option for uncovere

Monitoring Curing Reactions of Thermosets under High Pressure by Use of Raman Spectroscopy
Javier C. Cruz, Tim A. Osswald, Mark Kemper, May 2007

Reactions of many thermosetting materials may be monitored by the use of Raman Spectroscopy. It allows accurate online reaction monitoring for precise curing analysis. Curing is monitored through direct molecular changes thus reducing inaccuracies present when relating macroscopic variables to molecular level reactions. From the spectral changes in peak height or peak area, the curing behaviors were monitored. A high pressure reaction vessel has been designed with a fully automated temperature control, for monitoring the curing of unsaturated polyester and other thermosetting materials under high pressure or vacuum. Processing conditions such as heating rate and pressure will be related to the reaction conversion and material properties. The curing results for unsaturated polyester and epoxy reactions at constant pressures up to 2000psi will be presented.

Failure Mechanism of Panel Leak Formation in Solution Containers
Henk P. Blom, Mary Ann Murphy, Robert M. Wojnarowski, Michael T.K. Ling, Martin F. Miller, Zenichiro Kai, Lecon Woo, May 2007

Large-volume flexible solution containers are gaining in popularity in the medical products arena in recent years. The composition of these products often involve materials other than PVC. These products present peculiar engineering challenges, particularly in relation to the formation of panel leaks during packaging, storage, and distribution, due in large part to the volume of solution in the container. An extensive investigation of these panel leaks led to the elucidation of a multi-step failure mechanism. Understanding the failure mechanism directed efforts to enhance the robustness of the final product.

Effect of Dynamic Melt Manipulation and Flow Induced Orientation on Biaxial Stress in an Injection Molded Coupon
Gregory S. Layser, Aaron S. Cassebeer, John P. Coulter, May 2007

This study investigates the effect of locally induced molecular orientation imparted by dynamic melt manipulation based injection molding has on the biaxial stress in an injection molded coupon. Melt manipulation refers to a process where the polymer melt is manipulated during molding beyond normally encountered in conventional injection molding. The technique studied in this paper is Vibration Assisted Injection Molding, where a conventional injection molding machine is augmented by oscillating the injection screw (in the axial direction) during the injection and packing phases. The localized final molecular orientation and morphology that results dictates the resultant product response. Typically improved mechanical properties are observed. For this study the ultimate tensile strength of injection molded polystyrene was investigated. A previous study showed a dramatic tensile strength increase in the regions of higher melt manipulation induced molecular orientation along the direction of flow. To elicit the effect on the strength in the transverse direction, smaller test specimens were machined uniformly perpendicular to the flow length and tested. Comparisons were made with specimens tested axial to the flow.

Surface Properties of Hydrosilylated Polyolefins Annealed in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
S.-H. Zhu, C. Tzoganakis, May 2007

Two hydrosilylated polyolefin compounds, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) end-capped PP and a lightly crosslinked PE sample, are annealed in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2). The contact angle, instead of Si concentration, of both samples is found to increase with annealing temperature. Increasing the scCO2 pressure leads to higher Si concentration on the surfaces of both samples, but opposite trends in contact angle: an increase in contact angle on the hydrosilylated PP and a decrease on hydrosilylated PE. The hydrosilylated PP surface shows SiO2 particles after annealed in CO2 at 120 °C.

Distribution of Minor Phase Components and its Influence on the Film-Substrate Interface in Film Insert Moldings
Y.W. Leong, H. Hamada, May 2007

In most cases, the injection molding conditions significantly affect the morphology and subsequently the bulk mechanical properties of the product. This effect is more pronounced when polymer blends or composites are used where the extent of dispersion and orientation of the disperse phases or reinforcements would affect the final property of the molding. In film insert moldings, it is important to ensure that the film is firmly attached to the substrate. Hence, the distribution of the disperse phases (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene in polycarbonate) at the interface is investigated to establish correlations between phase anisotropy, film-substrate adhesion and bulk mechanical properties.

Enhancing the Performance of Polymeric Dyes in Polypropylene
John F. Waters, Thomas C. DiPietro, May 2007

Clarified polypropylene (PP) continues to find increasing uses as polymer and additive improvements allow for its incorporation into applications where resins such as polystyrene or acrylics have traditionally been used [1]. Second and third generation clarifiers have improved the clarity, processing properties, and the organoleptic properties (residual odor and taste), opening the way for more extensive food contact applications [2,3]. With the expanded use of clarified polypropylene comes the need appropriate colorants which will give high clarity, low haze, deep coloration, and no migration. Polymeric colorants have shown to possess these properties, further expanding the market potential for clarified polypropylene. This paper will explore the use of various modified wax compounds and their effects on the residual haze of clarified PP molded with GemToneTM Polymeric Colorants.

Effect of a Polydimethylsiloxane -Modified Polyolefin Additive on the Extrusion of LLDPE
S.-H. Zhu, N.T. McManus, C. Tzoganakis, A. Penlidis, May 2007

A polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) modified polyolefin (PMPO) was found to facilitate the extrusion of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). In comparison to pure LLDPE, the apparent viscosity is reduced, and the extrudate surface roughness only occurs at higher shear rates. The throughput per unit input energy in single-screw extrusion nearly doubles. These are attributed to the decreasing surface free energy of the PMPO with an increasing PDMS content. The friction coefficients of pure PMPO and PMPO/LLDPE blends decrease as a result of the presence of PDMS.

Development of an Extended Predictive Controller for Injection Speed
Ma’moun Abu-Ayyad, Rickey Dubay, May 2007

An approach for controlling the injection speed is developed using a new form of predictive control termed extended predictive control (EPC). EPC is a practical scheme that can be implemented on a wide range of industrial processes. The major contribution of EPC is that only one tuning parameter is used in a simple and effective way to tune the process closed-loop response. The main features of EPC are practically illustrated on controlling the injection speed of a 150 tonne machine and three temperature zones on a steel cylinder that used to melt the plastic material inside the barrel. The control performance of EPC is compared with other predictive controllers with improved results.

An In-Process Ultrasonic Approach to Investigating the Relaxation of Orientation and Disorientation of Polymer Melts
Jiang Li, Zhigang Sun, Jacques Tatibouët, Cheng-Kuei Jen, May 2007

The orientation and relaxation behaviors of a low density polyethylene melt after undergoing a shear flow in a restricted channel were investigated by using ultrasound. A capillary rheometer was used to force the polymer melt through a slit die equipped with pressure, temperature, and ultrasound sensors, and the variation of ultrasound velocity traversing the melt was measured. Experimental results revealed that due to different mechanisms involved, the relaxations of orientation and disorientation processes show different dependences on temperature and shear rate.

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