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
Trends in Automotive Plastics
Norm Kakarala, May 1999
This briefing on trends in automotive plastics will delineate the differences in plastics application areas between North American and overseas markets. The key themes addressed include: • Although mass savings are widely thought to be a key driver in metal replacement by plastics, increasingly automakers are more interested in the contribution of plastics to styling, occupant safety and comfort, and functionality. • Plastics are increasingly specified for their design freedom. They make possible the consolidation of parts and consolidation of functions, minimizing manufacturing costs while maximizing function and value. • Competition among automotive plastics is relentless and intensifying, resulting in improved forecasted growth for some plastics at the expense of others. • Plastics application trends will be compared between North America and overseas in four sectors: Interiors, Exteriors, Under the Hood, and Chassis and Powertrain. • Greater attention is being given to polymer composites in the U. S. for exterior body panels and some structural applications, with minimal interest in other countries. • Finally, more progress is being made in the recycling of plastic manufacturing scrap than in the recycling of plastic parts/materials from scrap vehicles. This is so because manufacturers have control over process scrap, which improves recyclability and the value of recycled materials. The use of plastics in vehicles is steadily increasing. This trend is expected to continue. On average, current vehicles use about 113 Kg (250 Lbs) of plastics and that amount is estimated to grow to 137 kg (300 Lbs) per vehicle in the next ten years. Historically, vehicle weight savings has been a primary driver in replacing metals with plastics on vehicles. However, today styling, end-use functionality, and better manufacturing economics through parts consolidation are the key factors in choosing plastics to replace other materials in vehicle applications. In addition, fut
Investigation of the Crystallinity of a Hindered Phenolic Antioxidant by Differential Scanning Calorimetry
Robert E. Lee, Subramaniam Narayan, Luciano Pallini, John M. Zenner, May 1999
The effectiveness of polymer stabilizers has allowed polymers of all types to be used in increasingly critical applications. The performance of these additives is not only determined by the chemical efficacy of the molecule, but also by the ease with which it can be incorporated into the polymeric material in need of stabilization. Compounds which exist in several discrete crystalline or amorphous physical forms may behave in a profoundly different manner in terms of melting points and rates of dissolution.. Octadecyl 3-(3',5'-di-t-butyl-4'-hydroxy-phenyl) propionate (AO1) behaves in just this manner. Our investigation of the various crystal forms as well as an amorphous state demonstrate the care which needs to be taken to ensure that the optimum physical form is obtained.
Analysis of the Failure of a Polyethylene Natural Gas Service Line
Donald E. Duvall, May 2000
Leaking natural gas from a 23 year old polyethylene pipe service line migrated into the basement of a public building. The explosion which occurred upon ignition of the gas destroyed the building and killed six of the seven occupants. Fracture of the line was found to have occurred at the connection of the polyethylene pipe to a service tap on a steel gas main. The critical issue of this investigation was understanding whether the pipe resin had acceptable creep rupture strength for the application and was over stressed or had inadequate long term strength to resist typical stresses to which buried polyethylene gas lines are exposed. This presentation will examine some of the considerations involved in arriving at a conclusion as to which condition existed in this incident.
Polyurethane and Silicone as Non-Allergenic Alternatives to Latex for Medical Balloons
Tilak M. Shah, May 2000
Recent developments in the formulation and processing of polyurethane and silicone have resulted in making these polymers viable non-allergenic alternatives to natural latex in the medical products field. Advancements in the dip molding of polyurethane and silicone enable a variety of products to be produced in volume, including low-pressure balloons for cardiovascular, oncology, and urology products, as well as gloves, condoms, stent coatings, scope tubing, and multifunctional sleeves. These polymers can provide the same advantages offered by latex, without the negatives, and are especially well-suited for medical balloons.
Design of Stiffening Features in Rotationally Moulded Plastic Parts
R.J. Crawford, May 2000
Polyethylene is a very convenient and popular material for rotational moulding because it is readily available in powder form and it has good thermal stability. Unfortunately polyethylene is one of the least strong plastics and it has a low modulus. It is a feature of rotationally moulded parts that designers have to use shape very effectively in order to impart stiffness to the end product. This is not a straightforward matter because rotational moulding does not easily create features such as ribs. Increasing the wall thickness of the part is often the simple solution but more cost-effective designs involve the use of corrugations or unique configurations such as kiss-off" points. This paper describes the results of experimental and analytical studies to optimise the design of corrugated sections for rotationally moulded parts. Factors such as corrugation shape width depth spacing etc are considered and designs are optimised to give maximum axial and transverse stiffness for minimum weight. The use of a solid skin with a foamed core is also considered particularly in regard to the best ratios of skin to core thickness. Charts are provided to assist designers in deciding the best shapes for rotationally moulded parts."
Are You Ready to Sell in the Next Millennium? Identifying the 12 Key Functions of Selling, Rating Them and Improving Them
Martin K. Pottle, May 2000
Successful managers and their companies continually (and holistically) assess the effectiveness of their organizations. This paper addresses the 12 separate functions within a firm’s sales and marketing structures and explains how other companies rate whether any or all of these areas: 1) fall below acceptable standards; 2) can be enhanced with small improvements; or 3) are in excellent shape. From this information and insight, readers will be able to go back to their companies armed with new and better techniques to spot sales shortfalls and their causes.
An Experimental Investigation on the Influence of Barrel Temperatures on the Output of a Constant Depth Screw with Grooved Barrel Feeding
Timothy W. Womer, John R. Wagner, Jr., Gary Harrah, Dean Reber, May 2000
Output for a grooved feed extruder with constant channel depth of 0.210 [5.33mm] was measured for the extrusion of a LDPE and found to be influenced by grooved feed bushing temperatures below 100°F [38°C]. Comparison to an earlier work shows reasonable agreement between experimental and calculated outputs. Further work needs to be done at deeper screw channel depths."
Dispersion in High Viscosity Ratio Polyolefin Blends
Michel A. Huneault, Frej Mighri, Glen H. Ko, Fuminao Watanabe, May 2000
This study will focus on dispersion in high viscosity, low interfacial tension PE/PP and PP/PP blends. Typically, in high viscosity ratio blends, the particle size distribution can be wide ranging, with particles as large as a hundred microns and finer dispersed ones in the sub-micron range. In this study, the dispersion state will be examined by several techniques to measure particle size from the sub-micron to the 500 mm range. The effect of material and processing parameters will be investigated.
Bank Measurement Leads to Improved Quality of Extruded Sheets or Films
Heinz G. Gross, May 2000
High quality thermoplastic films and sheets are run through a nip of a polishing roll stack while being produced. During the extruding procedure the quality is decisively affected by the size and distribution of the bank of melt which builds up in front of the nip of the polishing rolls. Thus it is extremely important to measure the bank and optimize it. With the help of the new developed measuring system WUMSY the size and the exact location of the bank can be measured for the first time. Based on the exact knowledge of the bank size and the bank distribution over the width of the roll stack the operating people can further optimize the production line. As a result of this optimization differences for instance in the thermoforming behavior over the width of the product, as often occur with conventional extrusion techniques, can be reduced by eliminating bank differences in the nip. Thus films or sheets with a more isotropic behavior will be achieved.
Latest Developments Concerning Slit Dies with Integrated Flexible Adjusting Membranes
Heinz G. Gross, May 2000
The successful development of the Membrane Technology which more and more replaces conventional restrictor bar dies started in the beginning of the nineties. The first membrane die was presented to the public on a running pilot line during the 18th Kolloquium of the Institut für Kunststoffverarbeitung (IKV) in Aachen (Germany) 1994. The technique is now protected by various patents being granted in most of the important industrial countries and it is distributed all over the world by eight licensees. The basic construction ideas are explained by describing some important practical industrial applications. Finally the actual situation of the development of the third generation of the Membrane Technology is explained.
Anticipated Electrical Guidelines for the Upcoming Mold Safety Standard
Thomas P. Linehan, May 2000
The Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) has a working committee to address safety issues with injection molds. Part of this committee's work is to address electrical aspects of safety. To do this, a Mold Electrical Safety Sub Committee has been created under the Committee on Mold Safety specifically to review electrical standards for injection molds. Proper design of hot runner system wiring is one of the key areas of focus because of the adverse environment these systems operate in. This paper will seek to give a heads-up" in what to expect in one part of the electrical safety standard that is to be released in the next couple of years. A proposed method for proper selection of heater conductors (wires) will be reviewed as there are no existing guidelines for applications that expose wire to this high a temperature and conductor bundle size (number of conductors)."
The Effect of Feeding Mode on Dispersive Mixing Efficiency in Single-Screw Extrusion
P.H.M. Elemans, J.M. van Wunnik, May 2000
In the case of dry colour compounds, where polymer granules are coated with a pigment powder, the latter tends to form agglomerates during extrusion, due to the hydrostatic pressure that prevails in the screw channels. In single-screw extruders, this pressure is due to the Coulombic frictional transport in the solids conveying zone. The formation of agglomerates can be prevented to a considerable extent by operating the extruder in an underfed mode. This result has emerged from a study of the problems encountered when dispersing pigments in poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT), but can also be applied in the case of numerous compounds where a fine dispersion of solids in polymers is required.
Enhancing Dry-Colour Efficiency in Starve-Fed Injection Moulding
P.H.M. Elemans, May 2000
As in the case of extrusion, the formation of agglomerates can be avoided to a significant degree in the injection moulding of dry colour compounds by starve-feeding the machine. This involves dispensing of the granules (powder-coated with pigment in these tests) to the screw by means of a vibrating trough while the screw is rotating; during the injection phase, the feed is zero. A measure of the filled length is the plasticating time, which is greater in the case of starve-feeding than if the machine were to be operated in a flood-fed mode. Experiments reveal that, using a plasticating unit having a standard three-zone screw, products can be obtained which have a good (albeit still not perfect) pigment dispersion, which is markedly better than in the case of conventional injection moulding. This process offers application possibilities in the field of coloured formulation development.
Die Geometry and Polymer Processing Additive (PPA) Efficiency
Claude Lavallée, Susan S. Woods, May 2000
The effect of varying: • Die Gap, • Shear Rate, • Backpressure, and • Output on the ability of Dynamar™ PPA to eliminate melt fracture from linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) blown film was evaluated. Correlations between time for melt fracture elimination and the various process parameters were made.
The Three-Level Stack Mold
Joseph R. Klanfar, Henry Rozema, Vincent Travaglini, May 2000
Development of new technologies is crucial for the injection molding industry as a whole. This is especially true when Rigid Thin-Walled Disposable Packaging is concerned. Increased competition in this market has led to the evolution of stack molds. The goal: to produce a product of higher quality, in a shorter time and at a lower price. In this industry, where profit margins are measured by fraction of a second, innovation is the key to success.
Production of Profiles from Thermoplastic Composite Towpregs
J.N. Mota, J.P. Nunes, A.S. Pouzada, May 2000
The production of towpregs of continuous fibers and thermoplastic matrix is a convenient way of impregnating thermoplastics in fiber tows. The processing of these towpregs brings about technical difficulties when producing end user products. A pultrusion head was developed and tested for the producing of a U-shape profile of continuous carbon fibers and polycarbonate matrix. The methodology and theoretical models used to design pultrusion head and the results of preliminary tests made to pultruded the U-shape profiles are presented and discussed.
The Advantages of Direct In-Line Compounding Systems
Marvin J. Voelker, Charles D. Weber, May 2000
Composite Products, Inc. has commercialized in-line compounding technology to produce thermoplastic composites. Turnkey systems continuously compound thermoplastic resin with reinforcements i.e. ½ inch chopped glass, carbon or natural fibers to produce finished composites with outstanding toughness. Coloring, recycling of plant regrinds and use of recyclates are accomplished in-line with the molding process. The patented technology provides molders the ability to contain costs and simplify complex scheduling logistics to meet Just-In-Time shipping schedules.
Electron-Beam Processing of Plastics: An Alternative to Chemical Additives
Michael Stern, May 2000
Modifications in polymeric structure of plastic materials can be brought about either by conventional chemical means, usually involving silanes or peroxides, or by exposure to ionizing radiation from either radioactive sources, or highly accelerated electrons. Chemical cross-linking typically involves the generation of noxious fumes and sensitizing by-products of peroxide degradation. Increased utilization of electron-beams (e-beams) for modification and enhancement of polymer properties has been well documented over the past forty years. Of specific interest to the plastics industry has been the use of e-beam processing (EBP) to improve thermal, chemical, barrier, impact, wear, and other properties of inexpensive commodity thermoplastics, extending their utility to demanding applications typically dominated by higher-cost engineered materials. EBP of cross-linkable plastics has yielded materials with improved dimensional stability, reduced stress cracking, higher service temperatures, reduced solvent and water permeability, and significant improvements in other thermomechanical properties. The purpose of this paper is to review the basic effects EBP on polymers, as well as to highlight several specific recent cases of its utilization to improve key properties of selected plastic products.
Backmixing in Screw Extruders
Chris Rauwendaal, Paul Gramann, May 2000
Mixing is a critical function in most extrusion operations. One of the most difficult mixing tasks is backmixing. An extrusion operation where good backmixing is very important is when a low percentage color concentrate, CC, is added to a virgin polymer. In this case, the initial distance between the CC pellets may be 100 mm or greater. If the final striation thickness needs to be reduced to the micron level, the reduction of the striation thickness needs to be at least five orders of magnitude - this is quite a tough task! This paper will analyze how the velocity profiles, axial mixing, and residence time distribution are related. It will be shown why simple conveying screws have poor axial mixing capability. New mixer geometries that are specifically designed to improve backmixing will be discussed. Results from extrusion experiments will be presented.
Non-Return Valve with Distributive and Dispersive Mixing Capability
Chris Rauwendaal, May 2000
The screw of the plasticating unit of an injection molding machine (IMM) typically consists of a single stage, single flighted conveying screw with a non-return valve at the end. Mixing sections are usually not incorporated into the screw design. One reason for this is the fact that most plasticating units a relatively short; the typical length-to-diameter ratio is 20:1 in IMMs. This does not leave much space to incorporate a mixing element. Another reason may be the mistaken believe that mixing is not very important in the injection molding process. A convenient method to improve the mixing capability of the plasticating unit of an IMM is to design the non-return valve (NRV) such that it has mixing capability. Such a dual-purpose NRV allows an increase in mixing capability without affecting the melting and conveying capability of the plasticating unit. This paper will describe a NRV mixer based on the CRD mixing technology developed for single screw extruders.


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