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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
In-Mold Decoration for Structural Weatherable Applications
Randall Myers, September 2005
A method has been developed to produce unpainted high surface quality weatherable thermoplastic composite parts. This process utilizes aspects of both traditional compression molding and large part in mold decoration (IMD) and requires minimal secondary operations. The multi-layer system consists of a LEXAN* SLX film reinforced by AZLOY* laminate a polycarbonate based glass mat thermoplastic (GMT) produced by Azdel Inc. The process consists of first thermoforming the weatherable film trimming and compression molding the composite to for the final part. Applications which may be a fit for this technology include those which require a higher modulus and which have aesthetic and/or weatherable requirements such as automotive exterior panels hoods trunk lids fenders boats and personal watercrafts outdoor vehicles snowmobiles and tractors.
Exterior Long Glass Fiber Polypropylene System for Automotive Applications
Dan Fuller, September 2005
Long glass fiber technology is used to reinforce both polyolefins and engineering thermoplastics. There is a large potential for growth in polypropylene (PP) and opportunities for LGF-ABS automotive applications. There are two primary processes for introducing long glass fiber into composite systems which are used in the industry today: direct and pellet processes. The direct processes include new extrusion-compression and injection molding equipment whereas the pellets are formed via pultrusion type processes. These processes can be used in applications where design and material are optimized for metal replacement or other material substitution opportunities. Potential benefits include part consolidation and weight reduction as well as improved economics. In this work a long glass fiber composite material was developed for use in the direct extrusion compression process which met stringent part performance needs including molded-in-color aesthetics customer weathering specifications mechanical properties and impact performance. Application requirements were achieved by the use of functionalized masterbatches in conjunction with olefinic base resins in a materials system approach.
Development of a New Composite Material with Improved Structural & Acoustical Properties for Automotive Interiors
Arthur Blinkhorn, September 2005
The use of thermoplastic composites is growing rapidly in the automotive interiors segment. Headliner systems are getting more modular and use of audio-visual and other electronics is increasing. With the introduction of the FMVSS 201 requirements for head impact the conventional substrate technology used today is becoming costly. In this paper we present the development of a new type of thermoplastic composite material with enhanced acoustic and semi-structural properties. This new substrate material of glass/PP is manufactured using a proprietary process and is available at various weights and glass contents. The material can be molded to shape and the special re-lofting characteristics of the composite allow parts of varying thicknesses to be molded in a single shot. This allows greater design flexibility as both stiffness and acoustics can be controlled to meet today’s changing requirements in automotive interiors. This new composite is usually made in three weights—800 1000 & 1200 gsm although it is possible to make it in both heavier and lighter weights if required. The composite is usually supplied with a scrim on one side and an adhesive film on the other. Headliners made from the composite have a much simpler structure than conventional polyurethane headliners.
Development of Lightweight Hybrid Steel / GMT Composite IP Carrier to Meet World Crash Requirements on Passenger Vehicles
Philippe Vatel, September 2005
A new 2-piece hybrid steel / glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composite instrument panel (IP) carrier reduces weight noise / vibration / harshness (NVH) and cost while simultaneously improving parts consolidation and assembly vs. traditional steel-intensive multi-piece systems. In fact for the first time ever in a single carrier design this IP retainer meets or exceeds all world crash requirements. The award-winning design is currently featured on 6 IPs in 12 vehicles from Ford Volvo and Mazda. This paper will discuss design development and testing of this common carrier plus the technology breakthroughs that helped make it possible.
Composites in the Trucking Industry
Edward Zenk, September 2005
Over the years the transportation industry has incorporated more and more composite materials into its vehicles. The automotive industry has used composites for exterior body panels e.g. hoods fascias hatches and doors as well as under the hood and structural reinforcements. The truck industry followed by introducing composites for hoods doors roofs bumpers and fairings. This paper will focus on the advancements made in composite materials from hand-spray up open molded parts to the various improvements in sheet molding compounds to liquid molded resin materials. It will concentrate on parts used in the trucking industry and how quality especially in cosmetic and surface properties has improved over the years.
Automotive Composites Consortium B-Pillar Molding Program
Stanley Iobst, September 2005
The Automotive Composites Consortium is conducting a program to develop a design and manufacturing strategy for a composite intensive body-in-white (BIW). This BIW is to have 60% mass savings compared to a corresponding steel structure meet all structural requirements and be manufactured at 100000 units per year at cost parity to current processes. A key element of this design was to use a liquid molded chopped carbon fiber reinforced composite with a fiber volume fraction of 40% for the body side component of this structure. This process has the advantages of producing variable section thickness to optimize the structure at minimum mass while each element in the process has been demonstrated to have a 4 minute cycle. Preforming and molding tools representing the B-pillar portion of the body-side design were designed and built. These were used to investigate the processing of high fiber content chopped fiber composite in the shape of the main contours of the body-side. The first phase of this program was to develop the basic preforming and molding with glass fiber roving. Once this is accomplished the program will move to carbon fiber. This paper reports the development of preforming molding bonding and testing in the initial phase of the B-pillar program.
Seating Structures and Other Structural Applications with Locally Unidirectional Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites
Andreas Ruegg, September 2005
A new mass production process combining unidirectional continuous (endless) and long fiber thermoplastic (E-LFT) allows the product ion of highly loaded structural components. This one-shot production process is a combi nation of the well-established LFT process and a new process for unidirectional continuous fibers which enables low cost mass production of complex structural lightweight parts. The continuous unidirectional fiber tapes (EF) provide excellent mechanical characteristics and can be inserted three-dimensionally following exactly the paths of load. Serial production will start by the end of 2006.
Profiles of Mold Ejector Pin Melt Density Sensors
Frederick Buja, May 2005
Ejector pins in a two-cavity mold were retrofitted to sense injected melt flow and volume of the molding process. Two materials, two mold clamp forces, a cold runner sprue, and replaceable hot sprue bushing capability were run in an electric molding machine.Profiles of the sensed melt cavity volume and differences will be presented.
A System Analysis for Injection Molding Screw and Screw Tip
Jingyi Xu, May 2005
A system analysis for the screw and screw tip in injection molding is one of the keys to promote the machine performance. It explains several critical issues of plasticizing and injecting performances. This is a model to analyze the screw and screw tip with different materials at different machine parameters as a system and to optimize the performance in injection molding.
Increasing the Flexural Modulus of Rigid PVC at Elevated Temperatures
Henry E. Wiebking, May 2005
The use of PVC building products in hot climates has demonstrated the need for formulations that exhibit increased stiffness at elevated temperatures. Talc has been used as an additive to increase flexural modulus but this approach can produce an unacceptable drop in impact strength. This report presents the results of laboratory work designed to find ways to increase the stiffness of rigid PVC compounds at elevated temperatures while maintaining their room temperature impact performance
Computer Scale-Up Model for Desolventizing Highly Viscous Polymers in Kneader Equipment
Daniel U. Witte, May 2005
A concentrated rubber solution (less than 20 % solvent) is fed to a high volume kneader in order to remove the solvent down to ppm level. A simulation program has been developed to describe this devolatilization step.The program predicts final solvent content, the filling level and the mechanical torque build-up. The program can be used to refine process control and the scale-up of this type of process.
Comparison of Devolatilization Technologies for Viscous Polymers
Pierre-Alain Fleury, Daniel Witte, May 2005
Devolatilization of solvents from viscous polymer cement is realized through stripping of solvent with steam in stirred vessels or directly by evaporating the solvent from the polymer. The later so-called direct desolventizing is realized in extruders or high volume kneaders. All 3 methods involve additional energy to drive out solvent either by partial pressure through additional steam (steam stripping), building and releasing pressure in order to explode the polymer bulk (extruder) or dynamic surface renewal (kneader).
Concurrent Engineering Approach for Designing a Novel Plastic Pallet
Magda M. Castillo, Agustín Torres, Luis Marín, Facundo Méndez, May 2005
The concurrent engineering approach was used to design a lightweight, one-piece-tailored and very resistant pallet. Three CAD/CAE software programs were involved in the designing process. The pallet design went back and forth between the software until it was optimized and the part met all the functional, mechanical, processing, and machining requirements at the lowest pallet weight possible.
Material Selector for LLDPE/LDPE Blends for FFS Applications
Nelson Colls, Agustín Torres, Facundo Méndez, May 2005
There is a delicate balance between processability, mechanical properties and seal performance when LDPE/LLDPE blends are used. Choosing the right blend proportion is sometimes a very difficult job, and high resin and time consuming. An easy to- use selector that can run in most spreadsheet programs was devised based on DOE approach.
Properties Predictor for HDPE/LDPE/LLDPE Blends for Shrink Film Applications
Agustín Torres, Nelson Colls, Facundo Méndez, May 2005
A technique that involves design of experiments was developed to generate set of equations that predicts processing, mechanical and shrink properties of HDPE/LDPE/LLDPE blends. The results are presented in an easy-to-use spreadsheet that can be used even in pocket computers.
Effect of Ultrasonic Energy on Polymer Amalgamation
Michael D. Schulte, Lynn L. Faulkner, Richard P. Heggs, Douglas B. Pape, Micah M. Kattner, May 2005
Ultrasonic energy was demonstrated to promote amalgamation between a polymer melt and polymer solid during injection molding. Advantages include the ability to injection mold at significantly reduced temperatures while achieving favorable bond strength. In addition, ultrasonic energy promotes joining chemically dissimilar polymers, bonding to inserts, and co-molding or overmolding dissimilar polymers.
Effect of Atmospheric Plasma Treatment on the Surface Energy of Polymers
Rachel M. Thurston, John D. Clay, Michael D. Schulte, May 2005
This paper describes experiments to quantify surface energy changes on polymers after exposure to atmospheric plasma. Atmospheric plasma treatment permits the functionalization of surfaces at near-ambient temperatures. Various polymers were treated with the plasma unit, and the surface energy changes as a function of time and adhesion characteristics were monitored.
The Vented Barrier Screw
Stephen J. Derezinski, May 2005
The typical barrier screw (high efficiency screw) concept has been modified to provide for venting (devolatilizing) of polymer through a bore in the drive-end of the screw. The bore is connected to the melt channel by a vent hole in the melt-channel screw-root. The melt channel is deep so that a free surface of polymer melt and path exists to release gasses to the vent. The screw design was tested and shown to process and devolatilize PET powder, PET pellets, and PEN pellets at greater rates and with less power than a conventionally vented two-stage screw in the same extruder with the very same polymers.
Extrusion Process and Screw Design Investigation via Experiment Design and Computer Simulation
John R. Wagner, Jr., John Perdikoulias, May 2005
This paper explores the value of Design of Experiments (DOE) statistical analytical techniques and mathematical modeling of extruder behavior to characterize extrusion performance.
Improved Dispersion of Yellow Metal Azo Pigment in Polyethylene Film
Darrin Colquhoun, Helen Skelton, Mark Vincent, May 2005
Pigment Yellow 62 (PY62) is widely used in the extruded polyethylene film industry. Increasing demands for throughput, quality and reduced wastage led to the need for a new grade of PY62.Research showed that control of PY62 particle size and dispersion directly affected properties such as film transparency, colour development, extruder pressure build and processing time. Using this knowledge a new PY 62 for polyethylene film was developed and successfully tested.


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