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

Effect of Mixing Element in a Single Screw Extruder on the Microstructure of Polypropylene/Montmorillonite Nanocomposites
Han-Xiong Huang, Chuan-Yang Wang, You-Fa Huang, Guo Jiang, Yong-Hua Zhang, May 2004

Polypropylene/organic-montmorillonite nanocomposites (in pellet form) prepared by using an industrial-scale twin screw extruder were extruded into ribbons by using an industrial-scale single screw extruder equipped with a screw involving different screw elements. Different type and intensity of mixing screw elements, including a fluted mixing element, pin mixing element, and chaos screw, and the Kenics static mixer, were used. The basal spacing of silicates in the nanocomposites was measured by X-ray diffraction. The morphology of the nanocomposites was observed by transmission electron microscopy. It has been demonstrated that the changes of the microstructure of nanocomposites occur after processed using a single screw extruder. Moreover, chaotic mixing is favorable for making polymer chains intercalate into the silicate interlayers and to obtain exfoliated nanocomposites.

Carbon Nanotube Nucleation of Polypropylene Crystals
Brian P. Grady, Francisco Pompeo, Robert L. Shambaugh, Daniel E. Resasco, May 2004

Non-isothermal and isothermal crystallization experiments were performed on polypropylene mixed with carbon nanotubes. Mixing of the nanotubes with the polymer was accomplished by adding the nanotubes to a decalin solution that contained dissolved polypropylene, followed by evaporation of the solvent. Nanotubes promoted growth of the less-preferred beta form of crystalline polypropylene at the expense of the alpha form. In the case of non-isothermal crystallization, the total amount of crystalline material in the sample was the same for the filled and unfilled materials. However, for isothermal crystallization experiments, the percent crystallinity in the filled materials was slightly higher. Most importantly, the rate of crystallization was substantially higher in the filled system.

Effect of Organoclay Structure on the Rheology and Crystallization Behavior of In-Situ Polymerized PA6 Nanocomposites
Kris Akkapeddi, John Facinelli, Darnell Worley, May 2004

PA-6 Nanocomposites containing nanometer-scale, finely dispersed silicate platelets (‘nanoclays’) have been prepared via in-situ polymerization of caprolactam with various types of organoclays. Depending on the chemical structure of the organoclay, a covalently tethered, a nontethered or a weakly tethered PA-6 Nanocomposite was obtained. While all the nanoclays showed a consistent nucleation effect on the PA-6 crystallization, the tethered nanocomposites showed a slower rate of crystallization than standard PA-6 or the non-tethered systems. The melt rheology at low shear rates reflected the clear effects of the tethering in causing a significantly higher melt viscosity and slower relaxation relative to standard PA-6.

Polyol Modified Epoxy-Montmorillonite Nanocomposites
Isil Isik, Ulku Yilmazer, Goknur Bayram, May 2004

New nanocomposite materials were synthesized using DGEBA type of epoxy resin and triethylenetetramine curing agent as the matrix, alkyl ammonium modified montmorillonite as the reinforcing agent and polyether polyol as the impact modifier. X-ray Diffraction patterns showed that the interlayer spacing of the modified montmorillonite expanded from 1.83 nm to 3.82 nm. In samples without clay, the impact strength of the neat resin increased by 160 % at 7 weight % polyether polyol. Tensile modulus increased with increasing filler loading, but showed a maximum with respect to the polyether polyol content.

Synthesis and Characterization of Hierarchical Structure in Supercritical CO2-Fabricated Composites
Terrence C. Caskey, Adam S. Zerda, Alan J. Lesser, May 2004

This paper illustrates the fabrication of two unique nanocomposite materials. These composites are synthesized via a supercritical CO2-assisted process similar to a rim and rtm technique. The use of SC CO2 in the fabrication of fiber-reinforced composites allows for the templated deposition of resin into the fiber’s crystal structure. Utilizing SC CO2 in the synthesis of intercalated silicate nano-composites significantly lowers viscosity and allows for synthesis of nanocomposites containing saturated levels (>40%) of organically modified layered silicates (OMLS).

Effect of Mixer Type on Exfoliation of Polypropylene Nanocomposites
Michail K. Dolgovskij, Paula D. Fasulo, Frédéric Lortie, Christopher W. Macosko, Robert A. Ottaviani, William R. Rodgers, May 2004

Polypropylene/organoclay nanocomposites have been prepared by melt blending in five different mixers: an internal mixer, two lab-scale, co-rotating vertical twin-screw mixers, a 30 mm co-rotating twin-screw extruder, and a multilayer extrusion system. The effectiveness of these mixers toward the dispersion of the clay into the polymer matrix was evaluated by TEM, X-ray diffraction, and melt rheology. Mechanical properties and coefficients of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) were also evaluated for these blends. The vertical twin-screw mixer at lower shear rate appears to provide the best mixing in terms of dispersion efficiency and modulus improvement. The combination of shear rate and residence time in the mixer is discussed in order to rationalize our results.

Interfacial Tension Effects in Ternary Biphasic Blends
Mark A. Barger, Robert L. Sammler, Craig J. Carriere, May 2004

It has been long recognized that properties of multiphase polymer systems are strongly dependent upon supramolecular structure. Examples of controlling supramolecular structure for property enhancement during fabrication include (a) control of molecular orientation and/or crystallization, and (b) establishing optimum morphology in multiphase polymer systems.Interfacial tension strongly influences multiphase polymer blend morphology, and compatablizers are frequently employed to manage interfacial tension in order to encourage the formation of a specifically desired morphology. Interfacial tension has also been found to affect the flow stability of certain multilayer flows.This paper will discus interfacial tension effects in ternary biphasic blends of bisphenol-A polycarbonate, poly(methyl methacrylate), and poly(vinylidene fluoride). PMMA and PVdF are thermodynamically miscible and form one phase of the biphasic blend. The Imbedded Fiber Retraction method was used to probe interfacial tension of the blends with polycarbonate. The interfacial tension function was found to be non-linear with respect to PMMA/PVdF phase composition, and this result will be rationalized by applying surface thermodynamic theory.

Effects of Supercritical CO2 on the Interfacial Reaction of Maleic Anhydride Functionalized Polyethene and Polyamide-6
Anle Xue, Costas Tzoganakis, May 2004

Reactive extrusion of maleic anhydride functionalized polyethylene (PE-MA) and amine-terminated polyamide-6 (PA-6) was carried out in a twin-screw extruder with the injection of supercritical CO2 (scCO2). The extent of the interfacial reaction was quantified by measuring the amount of unreacted maleic anhydride (MA) by means of FTIR. It was found that the final MA conversion increases with CO2 concentration. The increase of MA conversion was explained from the mechanism of interfacial reactions between two melt phases. Dissolution of CO2 into polymer melts increases the free volume, thus enhancing the segmental chain mobility, promoting the reorientation of chain configuration and facilitating contact of reactive functional groups. It was also found that, with the increase of polyamide-6 content in the blend, the effect of CO2 on the MA conversion is less pronounced. At high concentration of polyamide-6 (70%), the MA conversion is very high (80 %) even without using CO2 and injection of CO2 into the polymer melts seems to have no effect on the MA conversion. This is most likely due to the development of a cross-linked interfacial region or the saturation of copolymers at the interface.

Effects of Supercritical CO2 on the Interfacial Tension between Ps and LDPE Melts
Anle Xue, Costas Tzoganakis, May 2004

In this study, the effect of supercritical CO2 (scCO2) on the interfacial tension between polystyrene (PS) and low density polyethylene (LDPE) was studied using the pendant drop method at temperatures from 200 to 240 °C and CO2 pressures up to 18 MPa. The LDPE melt was prepared in a high pressure optical cell and the PS pendant drop was injected into the LDPE melt with a special high pressure syringe. The interfacial tension measurement was taken after saturation of CO2 into both polymer melts. It was found that the interfacial tension between PS and LDPE decreases by as much as 30% at CO2 pressures just above its critical pressure. Further increase of CO2 pressure seems to have small effect on the interfacial tension.

LLDPE-g-GMA to Promote Adhesion of LLDPE with Polyesters
I. Pesneau, M.F. Champagne, M.A. Huneault, May 2004

LLDPE-g-GMAs were synthesized in a twin-screw extruder by free radical grafting of GMA on LLDPE. The grafted GMA content was varied between 0 and 1.8wt% by changing the initial GMA and peroxide concentrations and the viscosity of the LLDPE. The double cantilever beam (DCB) test was then used to measure the adhesion of these materials with PETG. The effect of the grafting level, the presence of unbound GMA and the viscosity of the material was investigated. Good adhesive strength was developed, in particular when the material was purified to remove unbound GMA monomer and oligomers.

Compatibilization of Nylon 6 Nanocomposites/ABS Blends Using Functionalized Metallocene Polyolefin Elastomer
S.-M. Lai, W.-C. Chen, Y.–C. Liao, T.-W. Chen, H.-F. Shen, Y.-K. Shiao, May 2004

The impact behaviors of nanoclay filled Nylon 6 (Nano-Nylon 6) blended with poly (acrylonitirile-butadiene-styrene) terpolymers (ABS) prepared through a twin screw mixing process were investigated here using metallocene polyethylene grafted maleic anhydride (POE-g-MA) as compatibilizer. It is found that impact strength increases slightly for Nano-Nylon 6/ABS blend system with the addition of compatibilizer, but increases remarkably for the conventional Nylon 6/ABS case. These discrepancies could be attributed to a different degree of available reaction sites from amine group on Nano-Nylon 6 and Nylon 6.

Compatibilisation Studies of Blends of Nylon 6 with Metallocene Linear Low-Density Polyethylenes
F. Gribben, G.M. McNally, W.R. Murphy, T. McNally, May 2004

Polymer blends of polyamides and polyethylenes are immiscible and highly incompatible. These blends are characterised by high interfacial tension, a two-phase morphology and poor physical characteristics due to reduced interaction across the phase boundaries. The compatibilising agent, maleic anhydride-grafted-LLDPE, is physically miscible with the polyethylene phase and has a chemical functionality with the polyamide phase. The use of a new generation mLLDPE (ENGAGE ™ by Dupont) was studied to investigate its suitability as a modifier for the polyamide grade. The influence of the composition of the blends and the effect of the addition of the compatibiliser were both investigated for their effect on the mechanical properties. Increased mLLDPE content was shown to slightly decrease the impact values but significantly increase the modulus values. The addition of the compatibiliser improved the properties of the blends.

Nano-Composites Derived from Melt Mixing a Thermotropic Liquid Crystalline Polyester and Zinc Sulfonated Polystyrene Ionomers
H.S. Lee, R.A. Weiss, May 2004

A nanocomposite consisting of rectangular prism-shaped liquid crystalline polymer nano-crystals dispersed in a thermoplastic polymer matrix was produced by melt mixing blends of a thermotropic liquid crystalline polyester (TLCP) and the zinc salt of lightly sulfonated polystyrene ionomers at 300 °C. The conversion of a macroscopically dispersed LCP phase to nano-particles during melt mixing was analyzed directly by torque measurements during melt-mixing and indirectly by wide angle X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy of the resulting blends. Salts other than zinc did not induce the formation of the TLCP nano-particles, so it appears that the formation of the nano-crystals involved a specific interaction of the zinc sulfonate groups with the TLCP. The specific nature of the interaction, e.g., physical or chemical is not yet known.

Oxidized Polypropylene and Ionomers Thereof as Compatibilizers for Polypropylene/Nylon-6 Blends
V. Dang, C. Shu, D. Dong, T. Phan, May 2004

Oxidized polypropylene and ionomers thereof were evaluated as compatiblizers for polypropylene/ nylon-6 (PP/PA-6) blends. For these blends, the ionomer of oxidized PP provided better morphology and physical properties than the oxidized PP. The change in morphology was also reflected in the rheological behaviors that the compatibilized blends showed an increase in melt elasticity. With improvement in flowability and yellowing resistance, the ionomer of oxidized PP also, for the most part, yielded mechanical properties comparable to commercially available maleated PP.

Oxidized Polypropylene as Compatibilizer/Dispersion Agent for Flame Retardants
V. Dang, C. Shu, D. Dong, May 2004

Oxidized polypropylene has been produced with a controlled level of functionality. Applications of this new polymer in both halogenated and non-halogenated flame retardant (FR) formulations were studied. Benefits include enhancement of flame retardance performance and improvement in mechanical properties, processability, and surface appearance. In the melt stage, rheological measurements of G’ indicate that relaxation time decreases significantly when adding oxidized PP, confirming the improvements in PP-FR interfacial interaction and FR dispersion in the PP matrix.

New Miscible Blends of Nylon 6 and Polyhydroxyaminoether Resins
Kris Akkapeddi, Clark Brown, Darnell Worley, May 2004

Nylon 6 (PA-6) was found to form fairly miscible blends with certain types of polyhydroxyaminoether (PHAE) resins as evidenced by microscopy and DSC techniques. Such miscibility between a nylon and a non-nylon polymer is rather rare and novel. However, the observed miscibility and phase behavior was found to depend on both the nylon and the PHAE resin structures. For PA-6, the miscibility was found to occur only when the PHAE contained sufficient amounts of resorcinol moieties and ethanol amine moieties. Other nylons such as PA-66, PA-6I/6T, PA-MXD6 and PA-12 showed an increasing tendency for phase separation and immiscibility.

In Situ Block Copolymer Formation during Solid-State Shear Pulverization: An Explanation for Blend Compatibilization via Interpolymer Radical Reactions
Andrew H. Lebovitz, John M. Torkelson, May 2004

Interpolymer radical coupling leading to block copolymer formation is demonstrated for the first time in the solid state and in the absence of diffusion using solid-state shear pulverization. Fluorescence-detection gel permeation chromatography detected interpolymer reaction in high-molecular weight polystyrene (PS)/pyrene-labeled PS and high-MW poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)/pyrene-labeled PS blends. Proof of interpolymer radical coupling supports prior pulverization studies demonstrating compatibilization, i.e., stability of dispersed-phase to long-time annealing, of PS/high density polyethylene and PS/PMMA blends.

Stabilization of Dispersed Phase to Static Coarsening: Polymer Blend Compatibilization via Solid-State Shear Pulverization
Andrew H. Lebovitz, John M. Torkelson, May 2004

Absolute compatibilization of immiscible polymer blends via a novel, continuous process, solid-state shear pulverization, and without addition of compatibilizing agents is quantitatively shown for the first time by stability of number-average dispersed-phase domain size to longterm annealing. Compatibilization via pulverization is due to in situ chain scission that is supported by molecular weight analysis of PS before and after pulverization, resulting in polymer radicals that can lead to in situ interfacial block copolymer formation.

Compatibilization of PC-SAN Blends by Ultrasound-Assisted Melt Mixing
Hyungsu Kim, Joung Gul Ryu, Hyunsuk Yang, Jae Wook Lee, May 2004

In this study, high intensity ultrasound was employed to induce mechano-chemical degradation during melt processing of polymeric materials. It was expected that generation of macroradicals in polymer mixture can lead to in-situ copolymer formation by their mutual combination, which should be an efficient path to compatibilize immiscible polymer blends and stabilize their phase morphology in the absence of other chemical agents.Ultrasound-aided degradation of PC and SAN was practiced during melt processing of the polymer in a sonicated mixer. We investigated the changes in the morphology of PC/SAN blends for various viscosity ratios of PC and SAN and improvement of mechanical properties of sonicated blends was evaluated.

Simulation of Droplet Breakup Using a Lattice Boltzmann Method
F.R. Phelan Jr., N.S. Martys, May 2004

Droplet breakup in homogeneous shear flow at super critical Capillary numbers and a viscosity ratio of unity is studied using a lattice Boltzmann method. We find that the total number of child drops that form from an isolated super critical drop scales according to a power law relation (n = 3.5). The child drops that form are all below critical, but not wholly uniform in size, and the distribution appears to be log-normal at high drop numbers. It is also found that for large ratios of the Capillary number to its critical value, the total strain required to break up a drop into N sub-critical entities tends to a constant value.

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