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

Characterization of the Twin Screw Extrusion Process
Mark D. Wetzel, Donald A. Denelsbeck, Susan L. Latimer, May 2006

In contrast to the well developed field of polymer characterization, the advances of extrusion process characterization lagged far behind. Engineers have to deal with problems such as process scale-up and product quality control primarily by empirical means. Practically no quantitative expressions exist between the operating conditions and the important process parameters such as degree of mixing, intensity of mixing and melting, the nature of polymer melting or plasticization, or energy consumption. We propose along with new supporting data that the parameters introduced previously, ?P/?Q and ?P/?N, that is, energy per unit of additional mass and energy per unit of screw revolution could be used to characterize the melting behavior of a polymer in an intermeshing, co-rotating twin screw extrusion process. The parameters appeared to be independent upon the extrusion rate (Q) and screw speed (N) in the ranges examined (4.5 to 36kg/hr and 100 to 500RPM). We further propose that additional parameters, such as those defining the kinetics of melting, average residence time (for melting and the over all) and residence time distribution obtainable by the pulse perturbation technique may be required in order to sufficiently define a given extrusion process.One can also predict with excellent agreement the observed specific mechanical energy input of extrusion, defined by extrusion power/throughput (P/Q), with simple linear expressions (Eqs. 1 and 2). The parameters c1 (?P/?Q), c2 (?P/?N), and a constant c3, can be determined directly by steady state extrusion experiments without employing pulse or step perturbation methods.

Ultrasonic Plunge Welding of Polypropylene Nonwovens
Hakan Ozaltun, Avraham Benatar, Satinder K. Nayar, May 2006

Polypropylene blown micro fibers with spun bonded cover web made from Polypropylene and polyester fibers were used for the experimental study of the ultrasonic plunge welding of nonwovens. A face centered central composite design of experiment (DOE) with 3 process variables and 3 levels was used to evaluate the effects of vibration amplitude, weld time and weld pressure. In addition to those settings, three different welding profiles were used resulting in forty-five different welding conditions with five specimens welded for each condition. Increasing the welding time generally improved the weld strength until it leveled off. For high welding pressures physical damage was observed around the welding area. Finally increasing the amplitude of vibration resulted in making the welding seam tougher with higher breaking forces.

Constructing Unique Micelle Structures of Charged Block Copolymers via Co-Assembly with Organic Counterions
Honggang Cui, Zhiyun Chen, Kelly Hales, Kai Qi, Zhibin Li, Karen L. Wooley, Darrin J. Pochan, May 2006

A variety of fascinating micelle structures have been achieved by the assembly of charged triblock copolymers through the interaction with organic counterions in mixed THF/water solution. Essentially, the formation of toroidal micelles was observed in specific conditions of polymer chain constitution, the chain length of each block, the ratio of THF to water and mixing procedures. Our results showed that final assembled structures can be easily tuned by either varying the chain structure of organic counteirons or changing the ratios of THF to water.

Flash Prevention Due to Skin Solidification
Kalan Shah, Mihir Patel, Sonny Nguyen, May 2006

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of skin solidification in preventing flash during injection molding of amorphous and semi-crystalline resins. In conventional injection molding, polymer melt is injected into a comparatively cold mold, resulting in the development of a solidified layer. A null hypothesis of this paper is that the development of a solidified layer reduces the exerted clamp tonnage on the machine and may even prevent the formation of flash under high pressures resulting in improved part quality. A set of Design of Experiments was implemented with control factors including barrel temperature, mold coolant temperature, pack pressure and delay time; the characterized responses included part weight, part thickness, and flash length. The results indicated that the addition of a delay time between the injection and packing stages eliminated flashing in this application.

Study of Ultrasonic Welding of HDPE-Based Nanoclay Composites
Sean Flowers, Seth Humphrys, James Thomas, Abbass Mokhtarzadeh, Avraham Benatar, May 2006

Clay-based nanocomposites have high modulus, high specific strength, and low permeability. They have become popular in many industries because these material properties can be achieved by the addition of small volume fractions of inexpensive clay particles. Ultrasonic welding of four high density polyethylene nanocomposites with 0 wt%, 3 wt%, 6 wt% and 9 wt% nanoclay was investigated. The effects of weld force, amplitude of vibration, and weld time for energy director joints or weld collapse for shear joints on weld strength were evaluated. Three parameter, three level design of experiments (DOE) were utilized to find near-optimum welding parameters. For the best welding conditions for both energy director and shear joints, increasing the nanoclay content resulted in significantly decreasing weld strength. For energy director joints the decrease in strength with increasing nanoclay content was greater than for the shear joints.

Biomimetic Surface Microstructures and Their Replication to Polymeric Materials
Pratapkumar Nagarajan, Katherine Woo, Donggang Yao, May 2006

Biomimetic surface structures such as anti-reflective protrusions on the moth eye and self cleaning pillars on the Lotus leaf have a profound influence in the development of technologically important engineering devices and systems. In this study, we prepared microstructured polymer surfaces that mimic the surface patterns on the pronotum and the wing of dung beetles (Phanaeus vindex) using micromolding techniques. The patterned embossing master was fabricated by electroforming the surface of the dung beetle. The electroformed nickel replica was then used to hot emboss on ABS substrates. The replicated polymer surface patterns were found to be comparable with the original surface patterns on the dung beetle.

In-Situ Synthesis of Nanocomposite Systems by Interfacial Polycondensation
Zehra Sibel Kalkan, Lloyd A. Goettler, May 2006

In this work, layered silicate- and silica-polyamide 66 nanocomposites are synthesized in-situ by interfacial polycondensation to produce highly dispersed nanocomposite products. The two routes involve either incorporating a highly exfoliated silicate structure from a suspension of silicate platelets in one of the monomer phases or generating a silica hybrid through sol-gel chemistry. Two different approaches in the latter route allow the tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) condensation to occur either simultaneously with or sequentially to the nylon polymerization. Transmission electron and x-ray dispersive scanning microscopy, along with TGA, DSC and FT-IR measurements, are used to monitor and characterize the well dispersed structures produced, which are expected to manifest in enhanced thermo-mechanical properties of the nylon.

Effects of Metallization Coating on Ultrasonic Welding of Abs
Abbass Mokhtarzadeh, Avraham Benatar, Chung-Yuan Wu, May 2006

Thin metal coating of plastic parts for increased optical reflectivity, improved EMI/RFI shielding, decreased permeability, or for decoration has gained more importance in recent years in automotive, electronics, medical and toy industries. This coating is often found in the weld area and there are concerns regarding its effect on weldability. Therefore, in this work ultrasonic welding of ABS components with metallic coatings was studied to evaluate their effect on weld strength. Two types of coatings were studied: an aluminium coating with hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) as its topcoat and a stainless steel coating. The coated ABS was ultrasonically welded to uncoated ABS. Three factors, weld time, weld pressure, and amplitude of vibration were varied to find near optimum welding conditions. It was found that the aluminum or stainless steel coating had a very small effect on the ultrasonic weld strength for ABS. The maximum weld strength obtained was 28.5 MPa, 28.2 MPa and 26.9 MPa for uncoated, and for aluminum, and stainless steel coated ABS, respectively.

Ultrasonic Assisted Extrusion of HDPE/Clay Nanocomposites
Sarat K. Swain, Avraam I. Isayev, May 2006

High density polyethylene (HDPE) /clay (Cloisite-20-A) nanocomposites were prepared by using single screw compounding extruder with continuous treatment of ultrasound at different amplitude up to 10?m. The die pressure and power consumption due to ultrasound were measured at different feed rates of materials of various clay concentrations up to 10 wt%. Rheological, mechanical and thermal properties of ultrasonically treated and untreated nanocomposites were studied. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmitted electron microscope (TEM) were used to investigate the dispersion of clay and nanocrostructure of composites. The experimental results showed that sonication enhanced the dispersion during melt mixing of HDPE and clay.

Thermal Transitions and Rheology of Propylene-Ethylene-Based Terpolymers
Abdelhadi Sahnoune, César García-Franco, Sudhin Datta, May 2006

We report on the thermal and the flow characteristics of newly developed propylene-ethylenediene terpolymers. These propylene-rich products were made using single site metallocene catalyst Exxpol™ technology and cover a broad range of chemical composition. The thermal transitions were determined using thermal scanning calorimetry (DSC). The glass transition temperature decreased from about -18 to -28 °C as the ethylene content was increased from 8 to 16 wt%. The crystallinity and the crystallization rate were also strongly affected by the composition. The linear viscoelastic behavior of the different polymers was measured with small amplitude oscillatory shear at various temperatures. The modulus and the viscosity are characteristic of linear polymers and are, for similar molecular weight, independent of chemical composition. The incorporation of un-saturation makes these polymers easily cross-linkable using various chemical or radiation techniques. The crosslinking helps extend their end-use application to elevated temperatures, much higher than their uncrosslinked copolymer counterparts, as demonstrated by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis measurements.

Synthesis of Needle-Like Polyanilines
Woo-Hyuk Jung, Dong-Young Kim, Young-Moo Lee, Stephen P. McCarthy, May 2006

Needle-like polyanilines (PANi) were prepared in aqueous media by chemical oxidation. P-toluenesulfonic acid (pTSA) used to protonate aniline formed good conditions to make anilinium complexes. By slow addition of ammonium peroxydisulfate (APS), polyanilines were prepared in the micelles and grew to be needle-like aggregates potentially useful as conductive fillers for electromagnetic interference and radar absorbing materials. The needle-like aggregates prepared at 15°C showed conductivity up to 3 S/cm and a maximum aspect ratio of 26 L/D, and were observed to partially peel off into fibrils after washing by means of optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The needle-like polyaniline-pTSA complexes prepared with 0.5 M aniline concentration showed good thermal stability up to 200°C. The high conductivity of the needle-like aggregates was ascribed to their well developed crystalline structures compared with those of spherical particles.

Manufacturing and Characterization of PET Single-Polymer Composites
Ruihua Li, Pratapkumar Nagarajan, Donggang Yao, May 2006

A novel approach of using slowly crystallizing polymers to form single-polymer composites (SPCs) was investigated. The approach was demonstrated using poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) as a model system, with which distinct physical forms having a large difference in melting temperature can be readily obtained. Using this approach, the process window can be widened to above 70°C and thus the SPC manufacturability is greatly enhanced. The holding time was found to play a profound role in influencing the properties of the SPC. Excellent fiber-matrix interfacial adhesion was obtained at heating temperature 180°C and holding time 10 s. The results also indicated that the heating rate plays a significant role in affecting the fusion and adhesion of the composite. With reduced heating rates, the adhesion properties are rapidly deteriorated.

Effect of Morphology and Particle Size on the Mechanical Properties of San Composites
G. Canche-Escamilla, S. Duarte-Aranda, M. Rabelero-Velasco, E. Mendizábal-Mijares, May 2006

The effect of morphology (core-shell and three-layer) and particle size on the mechanical properties of a SAN composite was investigated. The core-shell (CS) and three-layer (TL) particles with same global composition (60PBA/40PS) were both obtained by emulsion and microemulsion polymerization to obtain particles with different size.The composites with particles obtained by emulsion, independently of the morphology (CS or TL) and particle size (170 and 220 nm); have at maxima in impact resistance at a 20% of particles content. A different behaviour, however, was observed when particles obtained by microemulsion were used. The composites with TC particles obtained by microemulsion polymerization show a maximum in impact resistance at 10% particles, but impact resistance of composites with CS particles obtained by microemulsion polymerization did not show a maximum and increases with particles content.

The Interactions between TiO2 Surface and Polymer Additives
P. Jernakoff, R.B. Maynard, P.M. Niedenzu, L. Redkoles, May 2006

A common pigment used in many plastics application is titanium dioxide, TiO2. The pigment is a very effective light scattering inorganic oxide for the coloration and protection of plastic articles. Typically, a TiO2 pigment contains a coating on the particle surface that is tailored for plastic applications. For example, for plastics applications that will be exposed to a high degree of outdoor exposure, a coating is placed on the particle surface to mitigate the photo catalytic characteristics of pigmentary TiO2. Additionally, a TiO2 particle coating is used to mitigate the interaction of polymer additives with the TiO2 surface to prevent the formation of chromophores from additive deactivation. This paper proposes a mechanism for chromophore formation for several polymer additives and compares the rate of chromophore formation of various TiO2 materials in a polyethylene matrix.

Precise Curing Analysis of Accelerated Unsaturated Polyester Reactions under Raman Spectroscopy
Javier C. Cruz, Tim A. Osswald, Mark Kemper, May 2006

Raman Spectroscopy has been found to be a novel method for the characterization of thermosetting polymerization reactions. Unsaturated polyester (UP) resin curing reactions were monitored through a half inch quartz lens by Raman scanning at various rates and the results were compared to DSC scans at the same conditions. At optimal parameters where the reaction rate is controlled Raman provides valuable information of the diffusive reaction period as well as of the initial stages of the reaction. From the spectral changes in peak height, the curing process was monitored. Initiators commonly used in pultrusion process where a rapid reaction undergoes were used and it was found that this on-line technique is valuable even in accelerated reaction processes.

A New Class of High-Performance Compostable Plastic Bags and Can Liners
Frank A. Ruiz, May 2006

Heritage Bag Company has developed compostable bags and liners, which are produced from composites utilizing polymer and mineral materials technology of Heritage Plastics, Inc. This product line is based on proprietary blends of different biodegradable polymers which have been modified using mineral reinforcement technology to produce a readily extrudable polymer composite. This modification yields polymer processing, end-use products such as film and bags with characteristics very similar those obtained with higher-alpha olefin LLDPE resins, yet meet the requirements of ASTM D 6400-99.

Mechanical Property Determination of Micro Injection Molded Tensile Test Specimens
Alan M. Tom, Gregory S. Layser, John P. Coulter, May 2006

With the growth and demand for micro injection molded thermoplastic parts becoming ever so popular, an increased need for determination and verification of material mechanical properties at the micro scale level has also become necessarily important for the design and dimensioning phases of micro sized parts. Due to scaling effects, it is a well known fact that material strengths of polymers at the micro scale level are much different than those measured on the conventional macro scale. An attempt at understanding and formulating new underlying mechanical property concepts and applicable theories on the micro scale will be investigated through experimental tests evaluating micro tensile test specimens of constant gage widths and varying thicknesses. Four injection mold brass inserts were developed to produce micro scale tensile specimens of varying gage depths. Micro tensile test specimens were 3275?m long with a gage width of 200?m and varying thicknesses from 400?m to 50?m.

Mechanical and Ballistic Property Evaluations of Aromatic Nylons for Transparent Armor Applications
John W. Song, Joel Lofgren, Kyle D. Hart, Jay N. Hatfield, May 2006

Thermal, mechanical and ballistic properties of two aromatic nylons, TROGAMID® T-5000 (T- 5000) and TROGAMID® CX-7323 (CX-7323), were examined. Upon ballistic impact, T-5000 showed brittle failure similar to PMMA, while, CX-7323 exhibited ductile behavior similar to PC. Although these two materials show different failure behaviors, unlike PC and PMMA, overall behaviors of these two materials were similar each other. The ballistic impact resistance of these two aromatic nylons is noticeably better than PC and PMMA in wide range of thickness. The data obtained from flat plaque indicate that the improvement of ballistic resistance of these materials from the current fielded system could be significant on certain applications.

Incorporating Fluid-Structure Interaction in the Analysis of Polymer Sheeting Dies
Qi Wang, Douglas E. Smith, May 2006

A simulation is presented to predict the flow of polymer melt within a die cavity that experiences deformation due to its internal pressure. In this paper, both polymer melt flow and sheeting die deformation are analyzed with a general purpose finite element program. The approach includes a user element to evaluate the purely viscous non-Newtonian flow in a die that is evaluated with the Hele-Shaw flow approximation. This flow analysis is coupled with a 3-D simulation for die deformation which is also evaluated with the above mentioned finite element program. An example problem is given to illustrate the die analysis methodology.

Fundamental Processing Characteristics in Polymer Micro/Nano Molding
Michael W Boehm, Kurt Koelling, Chunmeng Lu, L. James Lee, May 2006

Recent advances have created a need to understand processing characteristics, e.g. shear effects and the velocity field, during micro/nano molding. Polymers can be used to study these characteristics in shear thinning and viscoelastic systems. Here, we present results for the processing of non-Newtonian polymeric fluids in micro/nano channels during multi-phase penetrating flow. The dynamics of bubble flow (e.g. bubble shape, amount of coating and the flow field in front of and around the advancing bubble) will be investigated in conjunction with the effects of non-Newtonian rheology on coating.

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