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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

Carboxylation of EVOH by Reactive Extrusion and its Blends with Polyamide 6,6
John F. Rushing, May 2004

The carboxylation of poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol) (EVOH) was carried out utilizing varying amounts of succinic anhydride in a reactive extrusion process. The functionalized EVOH was then melt blended with polyamide 6,6 to investigate the effect of carboxylation on blend miscibility and/or phase behavior. All functionalization reactions and melt blending procedures were carried out on a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. The effectiveness of the functionalization reaction was determined through infrared spectroscopy (IR) and titration while the thermal and mechanical properties of the blends were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and tensile testing. IR spectroscopy showed the presence of a carbonyl peak after functionalization, indicating the carboxylation reaction was successful. These findings were reinforced by titration data. While the blends were all immiscible, the mechanical properties of the blends all increased with the carboxylation of EVOH.

A Continuation of the Investigation of the Silane Crosslinking of Polyethylene Polymer Chains
James Nollinger, Michael Alabran, May 2004

Many hot water applications use crosslinked polyethylenes manufactured using methanol based silanes. Although ethanol based silanes are a higher cost material, the overall process using them would result in a lower cost alternative by removing an entire step of the manufacturing process. This experiment is a continuation of work performed on the silane crosslinking of polyethylene polymer chains. The experiment compares properties and manufacturability of methanol based silanes and ethanol based silanes. The results of this experiment are intended to aid in further research of the subject.

Mechanical Properties of Rotationally Molded Laminates of LLDPE and Foamed LLDPE
Elizabeth A. Webster, Nathan Weaver, May 2004

Part weight of plastic articles is reduced by use of foamed material or laminates that include a foamed layer. Traditionally rotationally molded parts may be filled with foam in a post-molding operation. The foam may, or may not, be the same material as the outer skin. It may, or may not, enhance properties. This paper describes the use of a two-step rotational molding process in which a LLDPE outer skin is molded followed by molding LLDPE with a blowing agent by opening a drop box containing the compound. Various ratios of skin-tofoam thickness were produced. ARM impact, tensile and flexural testing compare various ratios of laminate thickness. Results are compared to predictions from a laminate model.

Influence of Organo-Clay Type on the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Poly(L-Lactide)/Clay Nanocomposites
Jeremy Swanson, May 2004

Poly (l-lactide) (PLLA) has received considerable attention recently because it is environmentally friendly, derived from agricultural sources, and biodegradable. However, the mechanical properties of PLLA are typically low compared to other petroleum-based plastics. Recently, properties such as modulus and heat deflection temperature have been improved by creating polymer/clay nanocomposites. This study focuses on the effect of different organic modifiers for montmorrillonite clay on the thermal and mechanical properties of PLLA. Upon the addition of a small amount (1-10 wt %) of these modified clays, the storage modulus and Tg increases for all types of clays. The greatest increase in properties is found using quaternary ammonium ion having a pendant benzyl group.

Rheological and Chemical Modification of Polypropylene with Inorganic Clays
Keino Hamilton, Carlos Monzon, May 2004

Polymer composites were produced by mixing an inorganic clay hydrotalcite (HT), stearate coated (HTC) and uncoated (HTU) at 5 and 30% by weight with polypropylene and modified polypropylene. Torque profiles from blending in a batch mixer indicated significant viscosity changes depending on the type of the particular clay/polymer components. FTIR, MFI, DSC and TGA data suggested corresponding structural changes in the composites. The results showed that coated hydrotalcite produced the highest melt viscosity when added in the modified polypropylene. Tests are underway on flammability and rheology to shed more light into the interactions of the clay and the polymers.

Cross-Linked LDPE as a Rheological Modifier for LLDPE
Hyun Jung Jun, May 2004

Melt strength tests were conducted for blends of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) with cross-linked low density polyethylene (xLDPE) to study the effect of rheological modification on the development of low density, LLDPE foam with improved processability during extrusion foaming. Blends of LLDPE containing various concentrations of xLDPE, cross-linked with peroxide, were prepared in a Brabender batch mixer. Melt strength tests of the prepared blends were conducted through a capillary rheometer. It was found that melt strength increased with respect to increasing concentrations of xLDPE, suggesting optimum foamability at specific xLDPE content.

On the Deformation of a Slender Bubble in a Carreau-Yasuda Liquid in an Extensional Flow
Kai Rine Caroline Mok, Har Boon Raymond Chia, Moshe Favelukis, May 2004

The deformation of a slender bubble in a Carreau-Yasuda liquid in a simple extensional and creeping flow has been theoretically studied. With the assumption of a constant pressure in the liquid, the deformation problem can be described by an ordinary differential equation, which was numerically solved. Analytical expressions for the local radius were obtained close to the center and the end of the bubble. The results for the shape of the bubble are presented as a function of four governing dimensionless numbers. The relevance of this work to polymer devolatilization and foam plastics is discussed.

Development of Monitoring Software for an Extrusion Process
Linda Caldwell, Steve Thompson, Gerry McNally, May 2004

This paper discusses the development of monitoring software to be used in a data acquisition system for a Killion KTS-100 extruder. Central to this computer-based system is LabVIEW software that is particularly good for data acquisition, analysis and data visualisation. Using LabVIEW, a graphical user interface was designed to facilitate the various operational requirements of the process. From here, the operator can set and observe the states of the many inputs and outputs of the system. The potential for such software to be developed to encompass additional functions will also be described.

Non-Reactive Process for Recycling of Cellular Phones
Nathan Tortorella, Woo-Hyuk Jung, Charles L. Beatty, May 2004

The use and production of cellular phones have skyrocketed within the last decade, with the average use lifetime between 1 and 3 years. So, the ability to dispose of and recycle the phones is a pressing issue. These phones are composed of a variety of materials, including thermoplastics (six different types), metals, rubber, and epoxy. This work pertains to the grinding of cell phones, separation of thermoplastics and epoxy from the bulk ground material, and subsequent compounding of the desired materials in an intermeshing, co-rotating, twin screw extruder. Tensile and Izod impact tests were performed on the immiscible blends, whereas SEM and AFM analyzed the fracture surfaces. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis show how thermal properties of the blends change as a function of blend composition. A polyolefin elastomer (PE) was incorporated into the blend and was shown to improve impact properties.

Reactive Process for Recycling of Cellular Phone Housing
Woo-Hyuk Jung, Nathan Tortorella, Charles Beatty, May 2004

The front cover of the cellular phone housing was ground to be as the same size as the original particles before use using the knife mill and the undesired materials were separated with the sink-float process in water and salt. The unprinted glass fiber reinforced epoxy circuit boards were size reduced and pulverized using both the knife mill and the hammer mill. The separated epoxy powder and glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) were added as the additive and the reactive species for the reactive process using the batch mixer and the twin screw extruder, respectively. Izod impact strength at various temperatures, tensile test, particle size distribution analysis for the ground circuit board, SEM on the fracture surface, and dynamic mechanical spectroscopy were performed to characterize the reactive polymer alloys and mixtures compounded by the batch mixer and the twin screw extruder.

Morphology Development and Rheology of HDPE/PBT Blends
Joung Sook Hong, Jeong Woo Shon, Kyung Hyun Ahn, Seung Jong Lee, May 2004

High density polyethylene and a small amount of poly (1,4-butylene terephthalate) (PBT) have been blended in a twin screw extruder, and its rheology as well as morphology has been investigated as a function of extrusion condition. When the blend was extruded slightly below the melting temperature (Tm) of PBT, the dispersed phase forms a curved sheet morphology, and turns into fibril and finally into droplet structure as more shear is applied. On the contrary, when the material was blended at the higher temperature, the dispersed phase forms only droplet structure.Even though the blend contains as small as 5wt% PBT, the moduli as well as shear viscosity of the blend with the sheet structure increases significantly. However, the droplet structure does not show enhancement of rheological properties unlike the case of curved sheet. This means that we can control the blend morphology as well as its rheology, and can enhance the rheological properties by inducing the microstructure like a curved sheet.

2D Composite Models of Modular Tangential Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extruders
Kuen Chang Lin, May 2004

A new 2D composite model with hybrid FEM/FDM formulation was developed for simulating the fully filled and starved regions with the associated pressure profiles of a modular tangential counter-rotating twin screw extruder. 1D composite models combine the screw characteristic curve of individual element to analysis flow of an entire modular screw and the flow fields of the whole domain are not calculated again. Based on the linear relationship of the drag flow rate and the screw rotation speed under the single screw extrusion theory, the new mesh with artificial screw rotation speed boundary conditions was used to simulate the entire flow fields for the counter-rotating twin screw extrusion process in our 2D composite models.To demonstrate applicability, the predictions of individual screw elements via hybrid FEM/FDM agree well with Nichols's experimental studies. The pressure and filling factor profiles in a modular LSM34-34 extruder provided by 2D composite models show good agreements with those of 1D composite models.

The Effect of Different Batches of the Same Polymer on the Flow in Flat Coextrusion Dies
M. Zatloukal, W. Kopýtko, J. Vl?ek, May 2004

Rheological and molecular characteristics (MWD) were experimentally determined for different batches of LDPE. The results show that extensional viscosity may significantly vary for different batches even if shear viscosities and MWDs are very similar. FEM analysis was consequently performed to determine the stability of the coextrusion flow in the flat die for different batches of the material and the effect was found considerable. A recently proposed ‘TNSD sign criterion’ (Zatloukal et al, Int Polym Proc., 16(2) 198-207 2001), which quantifies the relative stretching of the layers in the merging area, was used for this purpose.

An Intelligent Knowledge-Based Plastic Injection Mold Design System
L. Yan, W.M. Chan, W. Xiang, R.D. Jiang, May 2004

This paper presents an intelligent knowledge-based plastic injection mold design system, 'IKB-MOLD', which was developed based on the analysis of injection mold design process and collection design rules from plastic injection mold design companies. A plastic injection mold object and knowledge representation is propose for detailed injection mold design. Since such representation considers both relationships for assembly and relationships for functional, it is possible for automatically generating assembly tree while satisfying the functional requirement during design process. IKBMOLD integrates the proposed object and knowledge representation with many developed tools in a commercial CAD/CAM software environment. And it has been testified in plastic injection mold design company that IKB-MOLD system can speed up the design process and facilitates design standardization.

Effects of Molding Conditions on the Quality of Electroplateable PC/ABS Parts
Pranav M. Bhatt, Carol M.F. Barry, May 2004

The effects of injection molding conditions on the quality of electroplated parts were examined for a plateable polycarbonate/poly (acrylonitrile-butadienestyrene) (PC/ABS) blend. Melt temperature, mold temperature, injection rate, and pack pressures were varied using a design of experiments. The tensile, flexural, and impact properties of the parts were measured using standard test methods. Surface composition was characterized using dye absorption. Electroplating results and mechanical properties were correlated with the migration of polybutadiene within the molded parts.

Evaluation of Flow Instabilities Using Simulations
Siddhartha S. Desai, Carol M.F. Barry, May 2004

Three-dimensional simulations were used to gain insight into the jetting instabilities. With 3D meshing and Navier-Stokes equations, flow instabilities were observed in 3.2-mm thick parts. Inertia produced significant flow instabilities in simulations of polycarbonate and polyacetal. For these materials, this unstable flow correlated with jetting that was associated with slippage of melt along the mold walls. Gravitational effects reduced these instabilities in most materials, but produced highly unstable flow in PBT. No significant instabilities were predicted for polystyrene, polypropylene, polyamide-6, and ABS. In these materials, jetting is usually associated with elastic effects, rather than frictional characteristics. This suggests that the 3D simulations can be used to predict these defects. A viscoelastic constitutive equation should produce more reliable results.

Comparison of Approaches for Optimizing Molding Parameters
Chetan P. Nirkhe, Carol M.F. Barry, May 2004

The effects of two molding parameter optimization techniques, a manual technique and an automated (software-based) method, were compared with respect to the processing conditions, process stability and reproducibility of the molded parts, and the stress retained in those parts. The software-based process optimization resulted in molding conditions that led to more consistent part weights and dimensions than a manual technique. The parts from the former method, however, exhibited somewhat higher retained stress. This was attributed to the low injection velocities and the packing method recommended in the optimization process. The fully automated process optimization was sometimes limited by the software’s selection of injection velocities and shot size increments that could not be achieved in practice.

Automated Design for the Gate Location of Injection Molds
Chang-Yu Shen, Xiao-Rong Yu, Qian Li, Jing-Bo Chen, May 2004

In injection molding, the placement of a gate is one of the most important variables of the total mold design. In this paper, a methodology that automatically predicts the “optimal” gate location for single-gate injection-molds was developed based on the minimization of the maximum equivalent flow length difference between different fundamental flow paths. The objective of optimization is to achieve a balanced filling pattern design within minimum time. A genetic algorithm was used to search the optimal gate location. The models analyzed demonstrate that the proposed method is promising and the computation time is gratifying.

Evaluating Factors Affecting Shrinkage Predictions
Chetan P. Nirkhe, Satish S. Sharma, Carol M.F. Barry, May 2004

The effects of selected assumptions on shrinkage predictions were determined using two materials, polycarbonate and poly(butylene terepthalate). The linear shrinkage of polycarbonate parts increased with melt temperature, but the shrinkage of PBT exhibited little sensitivity to processing conditions. Although none of the simulations provided linear shrinkage results that reflected these trends, volumetric shrinkage did. Modified flow rates had little effect on the predicted linear shrinkage, but incorporating temperature dependent specific heat and thermal conductivity values produced small changes. Three linear shrinkage models incremented or decreased the shrinkage by 10%, with no model matching linear shrinkage at all processing conditions.

Process Identification of Barrel Temperature Control in Injection Molding: A MIMO Approach
Bambang Pramujati, Rickey Dubay, May 2004

Melt temperature is a key variable in injection molding that has to be continuously controlled during the molding process. Its control is generally simplified due to the dynamic characteristics of the melting process and the barrel zones interactions. Therefore, a thorough understanding of these process dynamics is required to achieve accurate control of melt temperature. Multi-input-multi-output (MIMO) deterministic models were derived and employed for predictive control of melt temperature. Simulations and experiments showed that MIMO model could be used as a good physical representation of the overall system.

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