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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Polymer Raw Material, Process and Production Fingerprints in Injection Moulding
In-process monitoring of polymer melts is found to provide a fingerprint of the: • polymer (process-relevant polymer rheometry); • the process (injection pressure-time curves which reflect the material-machine-mould combination, including polymer batch to batch variation and machine dynamic repeatability); and • production trends, with 'process indices' offering an efficient basis for 100% automatic inspection, Statistical Process Control, and even insight into factory housekeeping. Specific pressure indices in an indentified low noise region of the primary injection stage of injection moulding have been found to provide a sensitive indicator of changes in a polymer, including batch to batch changes and process-induced changes, as such measurements are closely related to the rheology of the polymer melt. The same information has also been found to provide sensitive indications of variation in the processing operation for a given polymer-mould combination, and also consequently to allow meaningful statistical analysis of trends in the injection moulding process. Laboratory and factory data for raw material, process and production trend analysis (the latter involving data from substantial production runs) are presented.
A Three-Dimensional Analysis of Coextrusion in a Single Manifold Flat Die
The coextrusion of two polymers through a single manifold flat die is examined. The three components of velocity and the pressure are determined in each layer along with the interface between the layers. It is shown that even when the viscosity ratio is one (i.e., single layer), flat layers" entering the die will not remain flat but will be distorted by the die. For coextrusion of two polymers the distortion of the interface profile at the exit of the die and thus the uniformity of the layers depends upon the viscosity and flow rate ratios of the two polymers as well as the geometry of the die."
Design for Rotational Molding
This paper will cover the details of piece part design particular to the rotational molding process. Ribs, bosses, wall thicknesses, parallel walls, internal and external corners, openings, draft angles and undercuts will be discussed. Joining features, such as inserts, hinges and molded-in threads, will also be reviewed.
Designing for the Process? (Design Details to Avoid)
At first glance the Rotomold process is a fairly simple one. Its capabilities are exiting and have opened new avenues for creative industrial designs including complex shapes and rugged structural parts. Successful Rotomolded designs can be obtained by keeping a few guidelines in mind from concept through to product generation. This portion of the program will cover the areas that need to be considered during the design process. Items to be highlighted are basic design guidelines, features that can compromise, complicate and delay a project and what to ask a molder about specific designs.
Novel Small and Large Scale Flow Visualisation of Polymer Melts
A novel small scale (<30g of polymer) recirculating flow visualisation cell has been designed and built. The unit comprises a single screw extruder, gear pump and variable geometry inserts making a flow recirculation loop. The recirculation flow cell is capable of being used with a range of entry geometries, including abrupt entry and hyperbolic, with a polariscope for stress birefringence, and a CCD camera and image processing system for particle streak velocimetry. This new facility complements existing larger scale flow visualisation cells in our laboratory, fitted to a single screw extruder. Information from flows in both scales of flow cell are presented for an LDPE melt.
Viscoleastic Properties of Reactive and Non-Reactive Styrene-Maleic Anhydride / Olefinic Blends
Reactive blends of styrene-maleic anhydride (SMAH) with polyethylene/methyl acrylate/glycidyl methacrylate (PE-F) and non-reactive blends of SMAH with polyethylene/methyl acrylate (PE-NF) were produced and characterized in terms of morphology and viscoelastic properties in order to understand the reaction characteristics between anhydride/epoxy functional groups. Storage modulus, G', loss modulus, G and complex viscosity ?* of reactive blends at 25 % and 50 % PE-F were higher than those of non-reactive ones. At 25 % PE-F a maximum in complex viscosity was obtained for the reactive blends. In morphological analysis the reactive blends showed finer morphology than the non-reactive ones."
Simultaneous Measurement of Torque, Axial Normal Force and Volume Change in the NIST Torsional Dilatometer-Experiments and Analysis
The NIST Torsional Dilatometer measures simultaneously the torque, axial normal force and volume change in response to a torsional deformation. While the torque is a linear function of the angle of twist per unit of length, the normal force and volume change are effects of geometrical nonlinearities. In stress-relaxation experiments with an epoxy cylinder near its glass transition temperature, the torque and normal force decay monotonically, but the volume change associated with the torsion shows a significant non-monotonic decay at lower temperatures. The measurements are investigated with a series solution for torsion of an elastic, compressible material [Murnaghan, F.D. (1951) Finite Deformation of an Elastic Solid. Wiley, New York.].
Standard Reference Materials: Non-Newtonian Fluids for Rheological Measurements
NIST develops Standard Reference Materials for calibration, quality assurance and research into improved measurements. Two fluid standards are being developed to exhibit shear thinning and normal stresses typical of polymeric fluids. SRM 2490 is a solution of polyisobutylene dissolved in 2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane. At this time, SRM 2491 is expected to be a poly(dimethylsiloxane) melt, giving less temperature dependence than SRM 2490. NIST will certify linear viscoelastic behavior and the shear-rate dependence of the viscosity and first normal stress difference at 0 °C, 25 °C and 50 °C. A round robin with the fluids will investigate variability in rheological measurements. We report progress on the project.
Comparing the Long Term Behaviour of Tough Polyethylenes by Craze Testing
The initiation, growth and final failure of a craze at the site of a flaw is known to precede slow crack growth under low constant load in polyethylene pipe. Most established slow crack growth tests rely on being able to generate high constraint at the crack tip in order to promote damage and micro-voiding. However, for recently developed PE80 and PE100 type grades of polyethylene, such methods cannot achieve constrained brittle fracture due to extensive crack tip blunting and the formation of large crack tip craze zones, thus invalidating the use of a conventional fracture mechanics analysis. An experimental method is described here wherein deep notched tensile specimens are used to analyse craze behaviour in tough polyethylenes under plane strain conditions. Under constant load conditions, stress - time characteristics of the craze provide good discrimination between various grades within acceptable times. Under constant speed conditions, traction - separation properties of the craze have been measured directly, yielding a rate and temperature dependent work of separation(?) which may be thought of as equivalent to Gc. Rate dependent trends in ? distinguish well between the grades allowing assessment of long term properties. The intrinsic physical justification of the method lies in the measurement and analysis of separation properties locally at the craze interface. A cohesive zone modelling technique using the 'Finite Volume' method is introduced indicating how the results may be applied to the prediction of slow crack growth in other geometries.
Aesthetics, Industrial Designers, and Designing for Rotational Molding
Roto-mold is a versatile process which accomplishes many objectives which are difficult or impossible in other processes. It also has some special problems which complicate the aesthetic aspects of a design. Industrial designers working with engineers are uniquely qualified to design for this process.
The What, How and Why of Rotational Molding
Rotational molding is a plastics molding process that is noted for producing seamless, hollow parts. The process is capable of molding complex, thin-walled, hollow parts in small and extremely large sizes. This paper will explain what the process is, how it works, and why the manufacturers of durable plastic products should be aware of this process's impressive capabilities.
Nylon and Moisture: The Real Story behind the Effects of Drying Resin and Conditioning Molded Parts on Final Properties
The influence of absorbed moisture on the performance of nylon products is well documented. Similarly, the effects of excess moisture on the processing of nylon are well established. But confusion often arises in the processing community regarding the reasons for the brittle behavior of nylon parts. This paper is designed to follow the role of moisture from the pellet through to the conditioned part and separate the fact from the fiction regarding the effects of moisture on nylon properties.
Degradation of an Acetal Plumbing Fitting by Chlorine
It has been known for many years that both types of acetal plastic are susceptible to oxidative attack, or stress corrosion cracking (SCC) when in contact with chlorine. It was thought that high levels (>30ppm) of free chlorine in cold water are needed to initiate attack, so that acetal injection moulded fittings could be used quite safely in potable water supplies where free chlorine levels are very much lower (<1 ppm). The case study to be described here of a fracture in a water supply which caused substantial damage, indicates that attack probably can occur at such levels, especially if the fittings exhibit extensive weld lines near stressed zones. High chlorine concentrations can arise due to chlorine surges in the water supply, especially when the water company overdoses the supply after a major leak.
3D Numerical Simulation of Gas-Assisted Injection Molding Process
This paper presents a finite element algorithm for solving gas-assisted injection molding problems. The solution of the three-dimensional (3D) equations modeling the momentum, mass and energy conservation is coupled with two front-tracking equations, which are solved for the polymer/air and gas/polymer interfaces. The performances of the proposed procedure are quantified by solving the gas-assisted injection problem on a thin plate with a rib. Solutions are shown for different ratios polymer/gas injected. The effect of the melt temperature, gas pressure and gas injection delay, on the solution behavior is also investigated. The approach is then applied to a thick 3D part.
3D Simulation of the Packing-Cooling Stage in Polymer Injection Molding
This paper presents a finite element algorithm for solving polymer injection molding problems. The methodology consists in solving for the three-dimensional (3D) equations modeling the momentum, mass and energy conservation. The packing and cooling stages of the injection molding process are modeled by including the compressibility effects. The procedure is aimed by problems in which three-dimensional effects are important but is also effective for thin parts. The performances of the proposed approach are quantified for the injection of a thin plate for which experimental data are available. The procedure is then applied to a thick 3D part. The method results in accurate solutions and it proves to be a useful tool to quantify the solution behavior on cases otherwise difficult to investigate.
Compaction of Fillers, Flame Retardants and Other Additives to Improve Flowability and Accelerate Compounding Rate
A process has been developed to compact fillers commonly used in plastics to improve mechanical properties - mica, nanoclays and wollastonite -and flame retardance - magnesium and aluminum hydroxides. Such fillers are produced in very fine particle size or high aspect ratio. They are fluffy, entraining much air, which must be removed. Aerated fillers do not flow well and require special feed devices. Voluminous filler takes up machine capacity, limiting the production rate of filled compounds. Entrained air reduces thermal conductivity and thus the flux rate of the polymer. Compaction improves the handling, feeding and incorporation rate of such fillers into compounds.
New Boron Nitride Processing Aids for the Extrusion of Molten Polymer
It is already known that the use of Boron Nitride (BN) in the extrusion of molten polymers may eliminate surface melt fracture and postpone the critical shear rate for the onset of gross melt fracture to significantly higher values depending on resin type and additive content. In this work several new Boron Nitride powders (Carborandum Co.) are tested that exhibit superior behavior from the previous studied ones. Critical parameters for this unique behavior (elimination of gross melt fracture) are good dispersion, small average particle size and free of agglomeration. The equipment used for the testing of the new powders include both an Instron capillary rheometer with special annular dies (Nokia Maillefer wire coating crosshead) attached to the rheometer, and a parallel-plate rheometer. A metallocene polyethylene with all types of boron nitride is tested at various additive concentrations. The additive having the finest particle size and that is free of agglomeration was found to have the greatest influence on the gross melt fracture performance of the polymer tested in crosshead dies and tips. Moreover, one of the additives was found to enhance melt slippage and as a result relieved internal shear stresses. This action is believed to eliminate surface melt fracture and postpone the critical shear rate for the onset of gross melt fracture to significantly higher values depending on the additive concentration. The influence of the boron nitride type and its concentration on the polymer rheology is also discussed.
Effects of Aspect Ratio on Performance Properties of Mica Reinforced Polypropylene and Nylon
This paper reviews a study designed to determine the effect of aspect ratio on properties of mica reinforced polypropylene and nylon composites. The study was made possible by recent developments in particle analysis software that permits determination of aspect ratio of non-spherical materials.
Virtual Instruments for Polymer Characterization and Processing
It's expensive in terms of time and equipment to give students the necessary exposure to a wide variety of polymer behavior in different areas of characterization and processing. 'Virtual instruments' (VIs) consist of interactive software that simulates the response of a particular characterization instrument or a process. A characterization 'suite' contains many thermal instruments; other instruments are under development. A blown film process line has also been assembled relating film properties to operational parameters.
Predicting How the Cooling and Resulting Shrinkage of Plastics Affect the Shape and Straightness of Extruded Profiles
During the extrusion of complex plastic profiles, the parts often distort and bow during the cooling phase of the process. The traditional methods of dealing with this are to use heat lamps to re-warm certain sections to remove the bow or to apply jigs to distort the part in the opposite direction so that when it cools, it comes back into the proper shape. A method to look at the cooling requirements of a particular profile is proposed along with a method to calculate how the part should be cooled in order to avoid distortion and bow.
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