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
Biocomposites Based on Regenerated Cellulose Fiber & Bio Matrix
Sunil Kumar Ramamoorthy, September 2013
Wood pulp-based regenerated cellulose fibers like Lyocell and viscose which are from natural origin have high and even quality and can be used to develop superior composites with good properties. In this project Lyocell and viscose fibers were used as reinforcements ina chemically modified soybean-based bio-matrix of acrylated epoxidized soybean oil (AESO) and formed by the compression-molding technique. Mechanical properties of the resulting composites were characterized by tensile flexural and impact tests dynamical mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) was used to evaluate viscoelastic performance and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to provide morphological analysis. In general Lyocell composites had better tensile and flexural properties and better elastic and viscous response than viscose-based composites. Hybrid composites also were formed by fiber blending and these showed better impact strength. The results show the good potential of these composites to be used in automotives and construction industries.
Design of Thermoplastic CF Composites for Low Pressure Molding
Takeshi Ishikawa, September 2013
The design of a thermoplastic carbon fiber composite which induces high moldability is presented. The composite design of controlled carbon fiber length and its orientation is established by the regularly laminated prepreg sheet which has well designed with a slit pattern. Since the flowability of composite is improved by the slit pattern — not only in the in-plane direction but also in the lamination direction — the process requires relatively low pressure even if a large amount of fiber is contained. The material can be formed by compression molding and several kinds of thermoforming processes. The short cycle time of this thermoplastic composite process is an advantage for high-volume production of vehicular parts. Structural performance can also be controlled in a similar manner via flow design. This allows for tailoring and balancing of composite weight flowability and mechanical performance.
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composite Waste: An Environmental Assessment of Recycling Energy Recovery & Landfilling
Jan-Anders Månson, September 2013
The environmental benefits of recycling carbon fiber- reinforced plastic (CFRP) waste are assessed against other end-of-life (EOL) treatments. Recycling via pyrolysis incineration with energy recovery and disposal via landfilling are compared. To account for physical changes to materials from use and recycling equivalence between recycled and virgin materials is calculated based on the ability to produce a short-fiber composite beam of equivalent stiffness. Secondary effects of using cecycled carbon fiber (RCF) in a hypothetical automotive application are also analyzed. Results underline the ecological constraints towards recycling CFRPs and demonstrate that benefits from recycling are strongly linked to the impacts of the selected recovery process the materials replaced by RCF in a secondary application and also to the type of secondary application in which they are used.
What’s the Difference: Thermoset vs. Thermoplastic Carbon Fiber Composites?
Allan James, September 2013
The challenge of improved fuel economy or lower CO2 emissions is unrelenting. The transportation industry is seeking ways to lower the mass of their vehicles realizing lower weights can result in the reduction of the size and hence mass of other components. Two classes of materials are vying for applications on the automobile: thermoset and thermoplastic carbon fiber-reinforced composites. This presentation explores the fundamental differences between thermoplastics and thermosets and evaluates the resultant effect when implemented on an application on a vehicle
Compaction Behaviour and Permeability of Cellulosic Fibre for RTM Applications
Damien Maillard, September 2013
With the current driving force to use more sustainable and/or recyclable materials the automotive market is considering cellulosic fibres and biocomposites with a growing interest. However for those fibres to be used efficiently in thermoset liquid processes such as resin transfer molding (RTM) reinforcement compaction response and permeability must be well-known as they govern resin flow injection time and void formation and therefore are key to success. In this presentation the compaction response and permeability of flax and hemp mats were investigated and compared to traditional glass fibers.
Direct Long Biofibre Thermoplastic Composites for Automotive Aerospace & Transportation Industries
Victor Bravo, September 2013
Natural fibres such as flax hemp jute and wood are increasingly being used in various industries as reinforcing materials for composites to reduce weight cost and environmental impact. These fibres can have the added benefit of producing equal or higher stiffness-to- weight ratios than glass fibres. However processing natural fibres presents a number of challenges some of which are common to other types of fibres such as the ability to de-bundle mix and uniformly distribute them throughout the entire volume of a composite part. One particular challenge for natural fibres is the processing temperature limitations determined by their propensity to thermally degrade after long exposure times. This paper deals with the challenges of using biofibres as rein forcing materials for hermoplastic resins. The research work involves the use of short flax fibres in a continuous compounding process and flax fibres in the form of rovings and slivers in a Direct-Long Fibre Thermoplastic (D-LFT) process. The materials were compounded and moulded to produce parts for characterization. Polypropylene (PP) was used as polymer matrix because of its proven performance in automotive applications. Flax fibres were chosen given their combination of good mechanical properties availability and relative low cost compared to other bast fibres. Different formulations using heat stabilizers antioxidants and coupling agents were implemented with the objectives of preventing material degradation and improving bonding between the fibres and the thermoplastic material. Formulations with PP and 20% wt. discontinuous fibres showed an increment of up to 30% in tensile strength and 50% in tensile modulus when compared with virgin PP. Experiments using commercial flax rovings and slivers (continuous fibres) in conjunction with glass fibres (i.e. hybridizing of fibres) on an industrial large scale D-LFT line showed the viability of the processing technique for the manufacturing of hybrid reinforced the
Eco-Friendly Acrylic Copolymers Offering Clean Manufacturing Reduced VOC Emissions Excellent Performance
Gero Nordmann, September 2013
A new (to North America) family of cross-linkable acrylic-copolymer binder resins is providing unique new opportunities for the production of durable eco-friendly composites with comparable or improved performance vs. common thermoplastic and thermoset offerings in a variety of industries. Already used in Europe for automotive interior components cork flooring and various nonwoven fabrics the technology is thermoplastic in its “B-stage” and of very-low viscosity allowing for easy impregnation of a wide variety of fibrous and particulate reinforcements. This in turn may be used to produce either nonwoven fabrics or thermoplastic prepregs or semi-finished goods which subsequently are cured to form very-durable thermoset composites with excellent thermomechanical and physical properties. Unlike most thermosets these polymers neither contain any hydrocarbon solvents or other volatile-organic compounds (VOCs) nor produce toxic emissions during cross-linking so no special airhandling equipment is required during processing. In fact the only reaction by-product is water. This presentation will provide an overview of the technology and how it is typically used. 15 2010 A b s tract s of Spea k er P re s entation s
Lightweight Bio-Composites with Acrodur® Resin Technology
Henning Karbstein, September 2013
The technical performance and sustainability value of natural fiber/thermoset acrylic composites has been demonstrated over the past few years. Recent development updates and further value-chain improvements in North America support further cost efficiency towards economical competitiveness. Local North American sources of natural fibers disconnected from Asian sources are now being established and offer greater reliability and affordability for the industry. New inline processing equipment to coat and dry nonwoven natural fiber or glass mat also has entered the market allowing for improved energy-efficiency and small production footprint plus higher quality process stability as well as other opportunities. The combination of these advances enables sustainable bio-composites that offer tremendous lightweight potential at competitive costs today.
Lightweight Sustainable Substrate Materials for Automotive Interiors
Matt Barr, September 2013
This presentation provides a global overview of natural fiber composite materials and processes highlighting current research as well as the next generation of lightweight automotive interior substrates. It discusses both pros and cons of various lightweight sustainable substrate materials (including the wide family of resinmatrixed composites with an assortment of fibrous additives ranging from wood to flax) taking into account material suitability for automotive interior substrate applications. The goal of this talk is to encourage discussion of uses and benefits of natural wood composites to reduce weight and increase product sustainability.
High Performance Moldable Bamboo Fiber-Epoxy Composites
Senat Mohanty, September 2013
Auto-rickshaws or motorized tricycle passenger taxis are a common form of transportation in India. These vehicles are often used at loads beyond specifications and under difficult road conditions. Part failures negatively affect earnings of the operators who play at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Use of bamboo fiber–epoxy composites has been nvestigated in these applications. The composites typically contain 30-40 wt-% fibers although loadings to 60 wt-% fiber can be used and fillers such as carbon black and fly ash can also be added. The composites exhibit tensile strengths of 140 MPa flexural strengths of 160 MPa and notched Charpy Impact strengths of 60 kJ/m2. These composites were subsequently molded into auto body parts (dashboarddoors and panels) and are under investigation with an auto-rickshaw manufacturer. Additionally helmets made with these composites were taken through drop tests similar to Snell Memorial Foundation Test Standards (ISO 17025 and American Association for Laboratory Accreditation A2LA). Bamboo-fiber composites positively impact the socio-economic health of the local community since bamboo is a renewable source it need not be chemically processed it reduces the petrochemical component of the composite and is known to help in waste-land reclamation and for combating soil erosion.
Toughening PLA Composites with Natural Fibers and ENR
Abdul Shakoor, September 2013
Biocomposites are recent advancements used to develop cost-effective sustainable materials for numerous applications in response to the mounting needs to find substitutes for polymers based on fossil fuels. Polylactic acid (PLA) is an aliphatic and is the most promising in the bioplastics’ family although its use can be constrained by its poor mechanical properties lower thermal stability and processing difficulties. The objective of this research was to investigate and improve mechanical and thermal properties of PLA by developing PLA composites reinforced with hemp natural fibres results of which are discussed in this presentation.
Protein Polymer with Cellulosic Filler Compatible in Various Thermoplastic and Thermoset Systems
Tim Bearnes, Raymond Schenk, September 2013
Distillers grain a by-product of the ethanol process has been used to produce thermoset and thermoplastic polymers that can replace a portion of and/or enhance traditional petroleum-based resins in various plastics manufacturing processes. The process results in unique characteristics and allows inclusions into finished plastics products at rates of up to 40% final bio content. The pellets produced are consistent with the standard feedstock materials used by plastic manufacturers in thermoplastics and currently are being tested with polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) and the bio-based polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and polylactic acid (PLA) resins in some applications. Trials are underway in injection molding rotary molding and extrusion molding. Test results have indicated improvements in some properties of finished goods with good processing characteristics when run at temperatures below 193C. Further testing in thermoset bulk-molding compound (BMC) has resulted in lower specific gravity while retaining physical properties and good surface finish.
Application of Vacuum-Assisted High-Pressure RTM-Process for the Series Production of CFRP Components for Car Bodies* NOTE: this is a PowerPoint Show.
Patric Winterhalter, September 2013
Lightweight design with CFRP is not just a catch phrase. A South German car maker has installed a total of ten lines for the large-scale series production of CFRP-parts used in a passenger cell for e-cars made of CFRP. On these lines the vacuum-assisted high pressure RTM-method is applied on parallelism-controlled 36000 kN presses equipped with twin-shuttle moving bolsters. This presentation begins by exploring the motivation for CFRP lightweight design continues with an explanation of the applied vacuum- assisted high-pressure RTM method including both press and automation technology that complies with the special requirements of the RTM process and the logistics of both preformed and final parts. The presentation ends with a systems overview of the complete RTM process chain leading from the production of preform parts via automation to the final pressed CFRP part and the introduction of a new development in press technology.
Carbon Fiber Engine X-Brace
Leland Decker, James Truskin, September 2013
This presentation will discuss the design development and performance refinement of the 2013 SRT Viper carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) X-brace. The single-piece all CFRP X-brace was developed from lightweight carbon fiber composite material to maximize weight reduction opportunities and meet the stringent vehicle performance targets of the all-new Viper. The design process was driven extensively by virtual engineering which applied computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis and results to optimize the design and improve the design efficiency. A close partnership between Chrysler Body Engineering Chrysler Product Design Office and tier 1 Plasan Carbon Composites lead to the completion of this part which will be sold in the aftermarket by Chrysler’s Mopar parts division.
The Application of Composite Design Principles for Light Weighting Structural Components using Discontinuous Carbon Fiber Materials
Tim Langschwager, Matt Kaczmarczyk, September 2013
The primary focus of this presentation will be the use of lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced thermoset compounds (AMC®Advanced Molding Compounds) for a comprehensive approach to design and validation of structural components. Discussion will include the use of discontinuous carbon fiber sheet molding compound (CF- SMC) for light weighting structures. The presentation also will cover variations in high-flow vs. low-flow compression molding mechanical properties and variation in carbon fiber tow size as it relates to mechanical properties and notch sensitivity. Also covered will be applications for CF-SMC and how they compare with competitive technologies.
Development of Molding Process of Hollow Sections in PCM (Prepreg Compression Molding) Technology
Koichi Akiyama, September 2013
Development of Particle-Core Compression Molding CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) is a proven material that can significantly reduce vehicle weight although it has not been widely used for automotive applications due to the lack of a high-cycle production process. Recently PCM (Prepreg Compression Molding) based on rapid-cure prepreg suitable for compression molding was introduced as a high-cycle compression molding process. The PCM process can produce high quality parts like the autoclave process with equally high efficiency as compression molding which has long been used for high volume production in automotive applications. The PCM process can also provide high mechanical properties required for automotive structural applications. Hollow sections can effectively stiffen structures without adding much mass. but it has traditionally been difficult to mold hollow sections by compression molding because of high molding pressures. This presentation discusses development of removable particle core technology a new molding technology to produce parts with hollow sections by the PCM process which enables molding of hollow section by high-cycle compression molding greatly increasing the stiffness of PCM parts.
Alternative Precursors for Sustainable and Cost-Effective Carbon Fibers usable within the Automotive Industry
Hendrik Mainka, September 2013
Lightweight design is an essential part of the overall Volkswagen strategy for reducing the CO2 emissions. Carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP) offers an enormous lightweight potential. The use of CFRP is limited in mass series applications by the costs of the conventional C-fiber precursor Poly-Acrylic-Nitrile (PAN). The investigation of novel alternative precursors enabling a significant reduction in the costs of CFRP automotive parts is essential to make carbon fibers ready for a mainstream use within the automotive industry
High Performance Composite Body Panels via the Resin Spray Transfer Process
Dale Brosius, September 2013
The increasing need to reduce mass in automobiles is driving interest in newer materials like carbon fiber composites. While the use of prepregs and autoclave processing is acceptable for racing cars and high cost supercars a need exists for processes that can deliver higher volumes in much faster cycle times and lower costs. Compression molding and high-pressure RTM are options for highest volume applications that can justify the high equipment and tooling cost. For volumes in the 2000 to 25000 vehicles per year segment Resin Spray Transmission (RST) offers a balance of low material costs low tooling costs and cycle times under twenty minutes per part while delivering a Class A finish straight out of the mold for thin carbon fiber body panels. This presentation will cover materials and process development associated with the novel RST solution.
A Study of the Effects of Rapid Cycling Pressurized Water Heating/Cooling on Composite/Injection Mold Tool Temperatures
Kip Petrykowski, September 2013
There have been several technologies used to bring mold surface temperatures above/to a polymer’s glass transition temperature (Tg) in order to improve part finish appearance and mechanical properties. Steam cartridge heaters induction and high-temperature pressurized water have all been successfully applied. Due to the inherent energy savings high-temperature spectrum precise temperature control and fast ramp rates pressurized water offers numerous advantages over these systems when applied to composite and injection molding of various materials.
High-Pressure Compression RTM — A New Process for Manufacturing High Volume Continuous Fiber Reinforced Composites
Raman Chaudhari, September 2013
The current paper addresses High Pressure Compression Resin Transfer Molding (HP-CRTM) for the manufacturing of continuous fiber reinforced composites with high fiber volume content. The HP-CRTM process is a combination of resin transfer molding (RTM) and compression molding. In this process the preform is placed into the mold cavity and then the mold is closed partially to obtain a small gap between the mold surface and the fiber preform. The resin is introduced through a suitable injection point into the gap and flows easily over the preform and may partially impregnate the preform as well. Once the required amount of resin is injected into the gap and the injection point is closed the mold closes further and applies high compression pressure to squeeze the resin into the preform. In this step the preform is compacted to achieve the desired part thickness and fiber volume fraction. The objective of the proposed study is to investigate the effects of parameters such as mold opening distance and fiber orientation on the quality of the HP-CRTM components. The influence of these process variables on the component quality and the mechanical properties is analyzed. Finally the applicability of the HP-CRTM process for high volume manufacturing is discussed.

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