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

Scanning Electron Microscopy, Spectroscopy and Viscoelastic Studies of Nano Low Density Polyethylene
Kamal K. Kar, Pradip Paik, A.S. Suresrao, Joshua U. Otaigbe, May 2004

Low density polyethylene nanopolymer is characterized by scanning electron microscopy, particle size analyzer and BET surface to prove the formation of nanopolymer over a range of diameter from 0.17 to 70 ?m. BET surface area reveals that its mimimum surface area is 17.0 m2/gm. The findings prove that the small diameter low density polyethylene nanopolymer is proved to be able to show good properties without any confinement that limits its material dimensions. Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction studies are also used to characterize it.

Kinetics of Gas Sorption and Diffusion in Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites
Allan Manninen, Hani E. Naguib, A. Victoria Nawaby, Michael Day, May 2004

Gas solubility and transport properties control cell structure during polymer foam processing. This study reports the sorption and diffusion kinetics of sub and supercritical CO2 gas in nanocomposites of poly(methyl-methacrylate) containing organically modified smectite clay. Various methods for preparing the PMMA-clay nanocomposites were investigated and a solution co-precipitation method was selected. PMMA-clay nanocomposites containing 2, 4 and 6 wt. % nanoclay loadings were prepared. Using wide-angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) the resulting materials were found to have well dispersed intercalated clay structures. CO2 solubility studies at 45°C and pressures up to 60 atm using an in situ gravimetric technique were performed on compression molded films. From the results diffusion coefficients were determined using the appropriate transport models for these test conditions.

Moisture Resistant Nylon - Dimensional Stability
Jerry S. Chung, Timothy Woo, Charles W. Oakley, John F. Osterndorf, Viggy Mehta, May 2004

The effects of moisture absorption on dimensional stability and mechanical properties of various polyamide/polyolefin blends are being studied. The morphology of the blends has also been investigated by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Furthermore, the correlation between the morphology of the blends and their moisture absorption rate and dimensional changes upon absorbing moisture has been examined as well.Results of this investigation indicate the moisture absorption rate, dimensional stability and mechanical property retention of polyamide and polyolefin blends are strongly affected by the degree of compatibility of the blend. The finer the dispersion polyolefin particles, the slower the water absorption rate, and the lower the dimension changes after being equilibrated at 50%RH or 100%RH.

Effect of Additives on the Solubility and Diffusivity of CO2 in Polystyrene
Caroline Vachon, Jacques Tatibouët, May 2004

Carbon dioxide is widely recognized as an environmental-friendly blowing agent for foam extrusion. However, it is also more difficult to process than other gases because of its low solubility and high diffusivity. In order to improve processing, it might be suitable to use additives. The aim of this work was to study the effect of such additives on the solubility and diffusivity of carbon dioxide in the solid state and to validate their effectiveness in a foam extrusion process.Three “CO2-philic” additives were added to polystyrene and sorption experiments were conducted to measure the solubility and diffusivity at room temperature. Results show that all three additives had a small but measurable effect on gas solubility, which was a consequence of the free volume increase in the polymer blend and in some cases, due to the specific interaction of carbon dioxide with the compounds. Diffusion was also affected depending on the concentration of additive.

Fundamental Understanding of the ABS-CO2 Interactions, its Retrograde Behavior and Development of Nanocellular Structures
A. Victoria Nawaby, Y. Paul Handa, May 2004

The fundamental transport parameters for Acrylonitrile-butadienestyrene, ABS – CO2 system was determined using a high pressure gravimetric technique. Solubility in the range 0 to 65°C and pressures up to 55 atm were determined and values as high as 25wt% were obtained at 0°C and 34 atm. Diffusion coefficients derived from the sorption kinetic data resulted in determination of the plasticized glass transition temperatures. The existence of the retrograde vitrification for this system was confirmed and thus used to develop nanofoams. The favorable interaction of CO2 with ABS has resulted in foams with average cell size of 0.47 ?m and cell density of 2 × 1012 cells/g at a processing temperature of 60°C. Heat of sorption and activation energy for diffusion of CO2 in ABS was determined from the experimental data and found to be -15.5 and 28.3 kJ mol-1 respectively.

An Investigation of Microcellular Injection Moulding on the Structure-Property Relationships of Engineering Thermoplastics Used in Exterior Automotive Applications
Scott A. Edwards, Joe Kennedy, James Nicholson, Namita Roy Choudhury, Maria Provatas, May 2004

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of MuCell processing on the structure-property relationships of critical engineering thermoplastics. Such techniques as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as well as a variety of standard testing equipment were used to show that through an effective design of experiment, the expected decrease in performance of key physical, mechanical and thermal properties can be minimised, and even improved in some cases.

Fundamental Study of CBA-Blown Bubble Growth and Collapse under Atmospheric Pressure
Donglai Xu, Remon Pop-Iliev, Chul B. Park, R.G. Fenton, Hong Jiang, May 2004

This paper focuses on gaining a fundamental understanding of the bubble growth and collapse phenomena occurring in a CBA-based foaming of plastics under atmospheric pressure. The behavior of CBA-blown bubbles exposed to various processing conditions was observed using a hot-stage optical microscope-based digital image processing system. A mathematical model that accounts for the effects of diffusion, surface tension, viscosity, and elasticity has been employed. It has been found that the processing temperature, diffusivity, and gas bulk concentration have dominant effects on the lifespan of CBA-blown bubbles.

Nucleation in Foams as Assessed by In-Line Ultrasonic Measurements
Jacques Tatibouët, Richard Gendron, May 2004

The conditions that induce the bubble nucleation for the thermoplastic foam extrusion process in which physical foaming agents (PFA) are involved are obviously linked to the solubility parameters, i.e. temperature and pressure at a given PFA content, conditions that can be modified adding a nucleating agent. An in-line detection method based on ultrasonic sensors, sensitive to the onset of the phase separation, was used to investigate the influence of both talc and HFC-134a blowing agent concentrations on the nucleation cell density and degassing conditions for polystyrene foaming.

Comparison of SS-Based and SL-Based Estimation of Gas Solubility
G. Li, J. Wang, C.B. Park, P. Moulinie, R. Simha, May 2004

Most solubility data that is available has been determined by taking into account the swollen volume, which is estimated by the Sanchez-Lacombe (SL) equation of state (EOS). The swollen volume is typically determined with an interaction parameter that is chosen to minimize the differences between the experimentally measured and theoretically calculated solubility data.This paper presents a similar approach to ascertain the solubility based on the Simha-Somcynsky (SS) EOS. As a case example, we measured the apparent solubility of CO2 in a polystyrene melt at elevated pressure using a magnetic suspension balance. The solubilities determined by the two EOS were observed as being the same value below 1500 psi. When the pressure was above 1500 psi, the buoyancy effect was enhanced significantly because of the increased swollen volume and increased CO2 density. Consequently, the corrected solubilities that were determined by the two EOS at elevated pressures were observed to be different and the difference was 10% at 3000 psi.

Physical and Mechanical Properties of Composites Based on Syndiotactic Polistyrene
Ewa Kowalska, Wincenty Skupinski, Zbigniew Wielgosz, Slawomir Galka, Stanislaw Pasynkiewicz, May 2004

The process of polymerization of syndiotactic polystyrene formed in presence of catalysts CpTiCl2(OC6H4Cl)/MAO was investigated. At the moment syndiotactic polystyrene is produced in pilot plant. The yield of syndiotactic polystyrene obtained in the reactor 240 dcm3 was about 7- 15 kg/charge. The molecular weight of syndiotactic polystyrene was about 200 000 g/mole and syndiatacticity about 96%. After process of synthesis composites based on syndiotactic polystyrene have been obtained. The powder of syndiotactic polystyrene has been granulated with stabilizers, and modifiers in twin-screw extruder with double degassing. Irganox 1076 have been used as the stabilizer. Syndiotactic polystyrene was reinforced by glass fiber or talc. Syndiotactic polystyrene was modified by polyoxyphenylene, linear polyethylene and hydrocarbon resin. The structure and physical and mechanical properties of composites were investigated.

Isothermal Crystallization Kinetics and Morphology of Polypropylenes and Propylene/Ethylene (P/E) Copolymers
C.H. Stephens, B.C. Poon, A.R. Kamdar, S. Chum, P. Ansems, K. Swogger, A. Hiltner, E. Baer, May 2004

The bulk isothermal crystallization kinetics and spherulite growth rate of a (1) metallocene polypropylene (m-PP) and metallocene propylene/ethylene copolymers (m-P/Es), (2) Ziegler-Natta polypropylene (ZN-PP) and Ziegler-Natta propylene/ethylene copolymers (ZN-P/Es), and (3) a new (n-PP) polypropylene and Development Performance Plastomers (DPPs) were studied. Crystallization half time (t1/2) and spherulite growth rate (G) as a function of melt crystallization temperature were analyzed for the three homopolymers and their corresponding copolymers containing 4, 8, and 13 mole % ethylene, respectively. With increasing ethylene content, all three polymer systems exhibited increased t1/2 and decreased G. At low comonomer contents, n-PP and DPPs exhibited slower t1/2s and Gs, however at high comonomer contents, m-PPs exhibited slower kinetic behavior.

Comparison of the Elastomeric Properties of Developmental Performance Elastomers (DPE's) and Ethylene-Octene (E/O) Elastomers
P. Dias, A. Hiltner, E. Baer, P. Ansems, S. Chum, May 2004

The time-dependent elastic properties of a new Developmental Performance Elastomer (DPE) product family made with propylene-ethylene copolymers are investigated. These materials were previously referred to as new propylene-ethylene copolymers".Although these materials show some degree of permanent set upon initial tensile deformation the materials created as a result of a tensile "conditioning" process exhibit almost complete instantaneous strain recovery after a long period of stress relaxation. The stress relaxation behavior of the new DPE's are compared to that of elastomeric metallocene propylene-ethylene and ethylene-octene copolymers."

Structure-Property Relationships and Applications of Novel Flexible TPO Based on Blends of Developmental Performance Elastomer and Polypropylene
W. Cheung, P. Cham, C. Diehl, S. Ethiopia, M. Prieto, R. Wevers, May 2004

Blends of developmental performance elastomers (DPE), produced by INSITE™ technology, and polypropylene exhibit a superior balance of flexibility and heat resistance. These blends provide a new family of flexible TPO that can be engineered to meet performance requirements of many applications. Generalized blend design strategies for flexible TPO based on thermodynamic considerations are reviewed. Thermal, dynamic mechanical and tensile properties of the blends will be presented. The utility and potential applications of these blends will be highlighted.

Novel Propylene Based Fibers
S. Ethiopia, A. Chang, K. Stewart, R. Pepper, P.S. Chum, May 2004

Fibers made with novel propylene based polymers produced with INSITE™ technology from The Dow Chemical Company have been shown to offer distinctive processing, mechanical, and thermal characteristics. These unusual properties were attributed to differences in structure as measured by a variety of methods. The performance capabilities of these new fibers have been shown to offer properties previously unavailable with homopolymer polypropylene fiber and Ziegler-Natta polyethylene fiber. As a result, these novel propylenebased polymers were shown to expand the product offering capabilities of current fiber conversion technology.

Design of a Foaming Simulation System with a High Pressure Drop Rate
Qingping Guo, Jin Wang, Chul B. Park, Masahiro Ohshima, May 2004

The pressure drop rate is one of the most important parameters used to control the cell density of foams for a given processing pressure, temperature, nucleating agent content, and blowing agent content. In this paper, we concentrate on the experimental and theoretical analysis of the pressure drop behaviors in an experimental foaming simulation system using a visualization window. Both CO2 and N2 were used in the experiments and the simulation. It was observed that the maximum pressure drop rates obtained were 2.5 GPa/s and 0.4 GPa/s for CO2 and N2, respectively. Some simulation results at high-pressure drop rates are also shown.

Microporous Films from Polymer Blends and Composites - Processing/ Structure/Property Relationships
M. Xanthos, J. Wu, May 2004

This presentation will cover recent advances on selected inorganic and organic micron or sub micron fillers, which in addition to their primary functionality of modifying bulk mechanical properties provide also unique secondary functionalities. Inorganic particles (e.g. surface coated CaCO3) dispersed in polyolefins and organic particles (e.g. polystyrene with or without adhesion promoters) particles dispersed in polypropylene may promote the formation of micro/nano porous structures by post extrusion stretching of flat precursor films. The effects of filler concentration and process conditions on the resulting morphology and properties are discussed with applications in separation membranes and water breathable films.

Analysis of Solubility and Spinodal Decomposition for Thermoplastic Foams
Chien-Yueh Huang, Lining Zhu, Jenny Jun, S.T. Lee, May 2004

Using Sanchez-Lacombe Theory, we have calculated the solubility and spinodal surfaces for solutions of inert gases dissolving in thermoplastics. The gas solubility surfaces are compared to known experimental data and can be used for simulating the kinetic path of foaming on the pressure-temperature plane in batch or continuous extrusion processes. Relations of experimental data of cell density and the pressure superheat are studied and are compared with the classic nucleation theory. A critical superheat surface is suggested for explaining the gap between theoretically predicted and experimental measured nucleation rates.

Microcellular Wood Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Composites: A Comparative Study between Injection Molding and Extrusion Processes
Andrzej K. Bledzki, Omar Faruk, May 2004

Microcellular processing techniques have been applied at a experimental level to both extrusion and injection molding plastics processing, using wood fiber as a reinforcing filler. The focus of the current research is the investigations of these processes using chemical foaming agents and comparative studies of physico-mechanical properties of materials. Results of using different chemical foaming agents (endothermic and exothermic), the variation of their content for producing wood fiber-polypropylene microfoamed composites and the effect of a coupling agent on the composites are presented. Microcells morphology, cell size, shape and distribution were investigated using scanning electron micrographs.

Validation of Shrinkage Predictions for Injection Molded Parts
Shubha Prasad, Satish Sharma, Mihir Jariwala, Carol M.F. Barry, May 2004

Shrinkage predictions from a commercial simulation package were compared with shrinkage of parts molded from neat and glass-filled grades of polycarbonate, poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT), polyamide-6, and polyamide-6,6 various over a range of processing conditions. For both the neat and filled materials, the simulations overpredicted in-flow shrinkage and cross-flow shrinkage near the gate. Cross-flow shrinkage at the end of fill was underpredicted for glass-filled materials, did not correlate with values predicted for neat materials. The validation of shrinkage prediction for thin walled parts was also done using PC+PET blends.

Effect of Decompression Rate and Foaming Temperature on Cell Density
Keiichi Muratani, Minoru Shimbo, Yasushi Miyano, May 2004

The polystyrene specimens were foamed under various foaming temperatures and decompression rates, and the equivalency of decompression time that can obtain from decompression rate and foaming temperature about cell density was examined. As results, it was found that cell density has time and temperature dependence that cell density increases with a decrease in decompression time and foaming temperature, and cell density decrease with an increase in decompression time and foaming temperature. And it was found that the time-temperature equivalency seems to be held to the decompression time and foaming temperature, which affect cell density.

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