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
In-Line Compounding and Molding of Long-Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastics (D-LFT) - Insight into a Rapid Growing Technology
Maël Garnier, May 2004
Long-Fiber reinforced Thermoplastics (LFT) encounter an increasing success in the molding of structural parts, especially in the automotive industry where LFT applications are experiencing tremendous growth. The following paper discusses the different LFT processing technologies – GMT, LFT-pellets and D-LFT – and exposes their distinctive trend for the near future. It also discusses the average fiber-length inside the parts involved by each technology and shows its distinctive influence on stiffness, tensile strength and impact strength. The paper focuses particularly on the Direct-processing of LFT (D-LFT) and shows how this technology can improve the economics although involving technological risks and high investment costs. This paper provides an impartial understanding of the different LFT technologies and highlights the cases in which benefits could be got from the D-LFT processing. In covering both D-LFT injection and compression molding, it also provides information that help the reader to decide which of them could be the most appropriate.
A New Mass Production Process for Lightweight Structural Parts and their Application-Field
Andreas Rüegg, Norbert Stötzner, Diego Jaggi, Stefan Ziegler, May 2004
A new mass production process combining unidirectional endless and long fiber thermoplastic (E-LFT) has been developed. This one-shot production process is a combination of the well-established LFT process with the direct implementation of unidirectional endless fibers and enables low cost mass production of complex structural lightweight parts. The unidirectional endless fiber tapes (EF) provide excellent mechanical characteristics and can be inserted three-dimensionally, following exactly the paths of load, while the LFT provides high design freedom. First prototype parts have been produced and show that this process allows the substitution of components previously manufactured as metal structures only.
One Piece DLFT Automotive Running Boards
Charles D. Weber, Scott Ledebuhr, Garek Barum, May 2004
Decoma International has developed a one piece composite running board utilizing Composite Products’ patented Advantage™ inline compounding technology. Running boards are currently in production on the F250/350 Regular, Super and Crew cabs, Explorer and Mountaineer vehicles. The replacement of the 43 piece metal and plastic assembly translates into a running board that meets or exceeds performance requirements at a significant cost savings to the OEM at half the weight. Composite Products, Inc. has commercialized this in-line compounding technology to produce long fiber thermoplastic composite solutions for various automotive applications. Advantage™ systems continuously compound thermoplastic resin with fiber reinforcements such as chopped fiber glass, carbon or natural fibers to produce finished composites with outstanding toughness and excellent exterior appearance characteristics.
Static Charging Methods and Graphic Material Properties for Low Scrap In-Mold Decoration
Robert Travis, May 2004
The use of static charging techniques has been investigated to understand which methods produce the most highly repeatable results for in-mold decoration. The techniques studied were the direct and remote charging methods.In addition to charging methods, the study evaluated material properties, gate location and environmental conditions that contribute to the success and repeatability of in-mold decoration.The optimal method, environmental conditions and material properties were found that produce low scrap results. Conclusions were made regarding optimal charging methods and graphic label constructions.
Precision Printed Films & In-Mold Decorating Technologies
May 2004
There are a multitude of definitions and processes associated with the decoration of plastic components within the injection molding cycle. In-mold decorating is otherwise known as IMD and either term can be used loosely to describe any process where a part is decorated in some manner “in-mold” or within an injection tool. There are many process names associated with IMD including; in-mold labeling (IML), in-mold priming, the injection of paints into a mold (In-Mold Paint), printing in-mold, et cetera. Many of these have variations between processes from one company to the next. Combining the various trade names and generic process names can form a veritable manufacturing and injection molding alphabet soup.
A Study on the Influence of Surface Roughness and Injection Moulding Parameters on the Gloss of ABS Parts
M.J. Oliveira, A.M. Brito, L.F. Costa, M.C. Costa, May 2004
Plates from ABS, with surface texture varying from very smooth to very rough, were injection molded. They were used for studying the influence of the processing parameters on the morphology, topography and gloss of the surface. It was observed that the mold temperature is the more influent parameter on the final roughness of the moldings. The injection temperature and hold pressure follow next. Higher values of these parameters improve the replication accuracy that causes a decrease in roughness (and increase in gloss) of the very smooth surfaces and the opposite effect in the rougher surfaces.
Understanding the Effects of a Compounding Process on the Production of Co-Extruded Vinyl through the Utilization of Design of Experiments (Part II)
Keith Effertz, May 2004
There are many ways to add color to the windows of your home. For many window companies, a weatherable PVC is used on the outside of the window to provide for a durable, low maintenance, and weatherable exterior. The market demands a variety of different colors within a short time; thus an understanding of rapid adaptability to the market demand is needed. This paper is a continuation of a project presented last year. This paper will discuss the results of a Designed Experiment (DOE) conducted to determine the variables for successfully developing a process window model. This model can be used for current and future colors; thus shortening the development time.
Using a Hierarchical Model of Cognition to Enhance Polymer Education
Douglas E. Hirt, Christopher L. Cox, David A. Bruce, Charles H. Gooding, Graham M. Harrison, Scott M. Husson, S. Michael Kilbey II, Richard W. Rice, Deborah M. Switzer, May 2004
A hierarchical model of mental growth can be used as the basis for developing critical thinking skills in polymer science and engineering undergraduates. Specifically, mental growth constitutes a progression through a hierarchy of cognition. The critical thinking and judgment required of scientists and engineers lies at an upper level in the hierarchy, and to reach high levels, an individual must master cognitive skills and reorganize knowledge gained at lower levels. Teaching and learning devices that exercise low-level cognitive skills and that support effective development of critical thinking are presented. Assessment instruments that monitor student growth and evaluate the effectiveness of these teaching and learning devices are also described.
An Innovative Alternative for Plastics Training & Certification
Peter M. Myers, May 2004
Training and certification have been hot topics in the plastics industry for a number of years, but we have had little success in establishing a relevant certification strategy or making major improvements in the way we train employees. We all seem to recognize the need for a welltrained and highly skilled workforce in order to compete in today’s knowledge-based economy but our approach to training hasn’t changed much over the years.This paper presents a new competency-based training and certification model which can provide a framework that leverages the collective knowledge of the industry and empowers the learner to clearly identify their own learning needs. This unique approach also ensures that learning takes place within the work context of the learner, ensuring maximum retention and application on the job.It will review the work that has gone into the development of this model including the completion of an in-depth industry needs assessment and a Master’s degree in advanced educational techniques and technologies. Individuals who have a stake in ensuring we have a well-trained workforce will find this session of great interest. Copies of the original thesis, which expands on the points brought forward here, is available by email request.
How to Tell when the Emperor is Naked
Stephen DeHoff, May 2004
A near-fad mentality to source in China has developed in buyers of plastic products. Major company senior managements are declaring that sourcing should only be done in China in a near-total absence of strategic comparison data that is relevant to their products. Their employees then stop thinking critically and do as they are told regardless of the impact. Many of these off-shore sourcing decisions are inappropriate and very costly both for the buyer and for the North American suppliers they didn't but probably should have used. A review of case studies permits some understanding of the key elements that both suppliers and buyers need to assess in making intelligent sourcing decisions. Further strategic assessment reveals some specific differences in strategy and methods that should be considered by mold builders, molders, and buyers to know when the emperor is naked.
Critical Chain Project Management
Geoffrey Engelstein, May 2004
The ability to execute projects is of critical importance to the success of today's organizations. Unfortunately out-of-control projects that overstress people, organizations, and budgets are the rule rather than the exception. Several years ago a new project management methodology called Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), was introduced by Eliyahu Goldratt, promising substantial gains in the ability to monitor and manage projects, along with a potentially dramatic reduction in overall project duration. This paper presents an overview of CCPM and discusses the benefits and hurdles the author encountered implementing it in his organization.
The Impact of Biotechnology and Nanotechnology on the Chemical and Plastics Industries
Margaret H. Baumann, May 2004
Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and an increased awareness of the environment are generating new and emerging technologies that could have a disruptive effect on various segments of the plastics industry.This paper will discuss the areas where the greatest disruption will occur and how. For these emerging technologies to be adopted in the mainstream they will need to demonstrate performance advantages as well as total cost performance benefits. This transition is beginning to occur. Taking the time to understand where these new technologies could change the way we do business will keep us ahead of the competition and help us determine the opportunities which are available to us.
Plastics in the Twenties
Françoise Pardos, May 2004
Plastics are to continue their growth in the next twenty years and beyond, from 160 million tons in 2000 to 550 million tons in 2020.The general quantitative forecasts, however, show varying rates of growth, with:Population growth tapering and average income fast growing, Faster growing areas, outside the traditional Triad, USA, Europe, Japan, Faster growing applications, in structural and durables, New plastics coming, high performance, alloys, composites, silica based, And, maybe, entirely new paradigms for the next 25 years, with the decline of fossil fuels as energy The paper is divided into three parts:The world economic scene and forecastsPlastics end-uses, markets and applicationsWorld plastics consumption and forecasts
Effects of Heat Aging on the Properties of Rigid Medical Packaging Materials
D. Dimov, A. Costa, May 2004
Retention of physical, thermal and optical properties at an elevated temperature of 50°C was monitored in a heat aging study of two materials, following conditions of ASTM D-3045. XT® polymer acrylicbased multipolymer compounds were stable through 24 weeks of aging, with only minor optical changes. In contrast, EASTAR 6763 copolyester suffered significant property changes, notably embrittlement and higher glass transition enthalpy. Ethylene Oxide (EtO) sterilization further widened the performance gap. Retained strength of rigid medical packages is important for adequate protection through the rigors of storage and transportation.
Simplifying Failure Analysis for Adhesive Joining Operations
Patrick J. Courtney, May 2004
Troubleshooting a failure in an adhesively bonded joint can be a daunting task due to the wide variety of processing and performance variables that can affect joint performance. Fortunately most failures can be attributed to one of four causes: No/Poor Cure of the Adhesive; Poor Bond Strength to a Substrate; Insufficient Adhesive for the Joint; or Wrong Adhesive for the Application. In this paper, techniques for identifying these causes of joint failure and solutions will be described.The adhesive families most commonly used for bonding plastics on medical devices are cyanoacrylates and light cure acrylics. This paper will provide background on both chemistries, give a detailed review of the potential causes of each of the main failure modes associated with these adhesives and potential solutions. It is hoped that this will aid the reader in applying the same failure mode analysis to other adhesives that are not covered in this paper. To help illustrate these concepts, some real life examples of adhesive failures and the steps in the process used to resolve them will be discussed.
Electron Beam Compatible Polymers
Orpha James, May 2004
An overview of electron beam systems provides a summary of system configurations and significance of important energy measurements related to systems capabilities. The overview includes the benefits of direct vs. indirect systems, horizontal vs. vertical beam sources, and the importance of power and energy values to throughput and penetration of systems.The radiation effects on polymers are described and the mechanisms of these changes are defined. The responses of a number of polymers important to the medical industry are summarized. A few key guidelines for polymer selection are:Selection of the highest molecular weight polymer to help reduce any effects of degradation.Aromatic polymers exhibit better radiation resistance than aliphatic polymers.Antioxidants can often be added to improve radiation stability.Less oxygen dissolved in the polymer and surrounding the polymers will help reduce oxidative degradation.The material properties required for radiation resistance and suitability for electron beam sterilization are delineated and discussed.
Superior Stabilization of Polypropylene for Radiation Sterilized Medical Devices and Packages
Robert C. Portnoy, May 2004
Hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS) have been used for decades as some of the principal stabilizers for the protection of polypropylene from the effects of sterilizing doses of high-energy radiation. ExxonMobil Chemical Company has now found proprietary (HALS) additive packages that provide superior stabilization to radiation-sterilized polypropylene. When further improved by blending with small amounts of metallocene-catalyzed, ethylene-based plastomers, these formulations are highly resistant to degradation after irradiation and useful for a broad range of medical device and packaging applications.
Micro Molding Challenges
Donna M. Bibber, May 2004
As miniature molded parts approach micro or nano in size, several challenges exist to molding them in a production environment.This paper explores some of these challenges such as polymer property changes induced by shear stress through near micron-sized gates, humidity control for extremely small shot sizes, and integrating macro to micro technologies to produce near micron level geometry in precision, micro mold components.New mold manufacturing technologies exist to remove variation from micromolded features and further work is being done with scientific micromolding process control, both of which are critical to long-term micromolding process capability. ANTEC
Plastic Bio-MEMS Sensors
Andrew W. McFarland, Jonathan S. Colton, Mark A. Poggi, Lawrence A. Bottomley, May 2004
A novel method for the production of polymer microcantilevers is described, along with the characterization (i.e., determination of stiffness and resonant frequency) of parts produced with said method. The manufacturing method consists of casting a polymersolvent solution upon a glass base, gold-coating and precision cutting of the produced film, and mounting of the cut film pieces onto injection-molded bases for characterization in a commercial atomic force microscope (AFM). The technique is repeatable and has produced polymeric beams of micron thickness, with lengths up to 25 mm and widths down to 25 microns. With this wide size range, production of polymeric beams with stiffnesses commensurate with those of probes used in atomic force microscopy is possible, and indeed the stiffnesses of the beams produced for this work range from roughly 0.001 N/meter to 0.1 N/meter.
TekFlow Processing for Miniature and Micro-Size Applications for Medical Plastics
Thomas Hicks, J.P. Ibar, May 2004
The number of micro-sized medical applications is increasing each year due to advances in equipment used for medical / pharmaceutical testing and also as components in new minimally invasive surgical devices. These applications involve miniature and micro-size devices which rely the processor's ability to fabricate smaller plastic parts, parts with thinner walls, parts with micro features (like holes, channels, or posts) or even micro-surface textures. Unfortunately, most engineering grade plastic materials also exhibit low flow characteristics and are processed at higher temperatures. The result is that it is difficult to fill thin wall sections and small features with molten plastic. Even when the plastic does fill these thin, small sections, often it shrinks so much afterward that the dimensional stability is compromised and the tolerances are unacceptable. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the benefits to micro-processing which are proposed by TekFlow Processing, a disentanglement technology which reduces the processing temperatures and pressures normally required, thereby assisting the fabricator/ processor to create challenging miniature and micro shapes and tolerances. The lower processing temperatures and pressures also allow the processor the option of using thermally or pressure sensitive inserts or additives.


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