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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
Basic Mechanisms of Structural Ordering in Uniaxial Stretching of PLA Using Fully Automated On-Line Birefringence Coupled with True Stress-True Strain Measurement
Jake Mulligan, Miko Cakmak, T.Z. Sen, May 2002
Fundamental deformation-structure relationships in melt cast amorphous Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) films were investigated using a stretch birefringence apparatus that allows for direct measurement of true stress, true strain, and birefringence at realistic strain rates. The relationships between stress, strain, and birefringence are strongly affected by the processing conditions: temperature, stretch ratio, and stretching rate. The molecular mechanisms of this deformation and the effects of process variables on these are elucidated in this study.
Basic Principles in Materials Selection for Mechanical Fastening of Thermoplastics
Val A. Kagan, Stephan P. Weitzel, May 2002
In this current paper, we are discussing basic principles in materials selection, which focused on utilization of the light alloys for manufacturing of fasteners for thermoplastics applications.Proposed fastener(s) material replacement (from steel to aluminum) will allow to manage the stiffness considerations, short-term (strength) and long-term (life) performance of the assembled plastic parts for various automotive applications.The results from this investigation provide recommendations on materials pre-selection for the design of fastened thermoplastic components with improved mechanical performance.
Basic Screw Geometry Things Your Screw Designer Never Told You about Screws!!""
Timothy W. Womer, May 2002
In the plastics industry today and as has been since the start of plastic extrusion, the end user has depended on the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and/or screw manufacturer to supply them with the proper screw design for their material and process. Most processors have learned over the years a few critical points pertaining to screw design, but never totally understanding the reason why their suppliers have recommended certain aspects to the screws that they have purchased. Hopefully, this paper will explain some of the basic knowledge needed in order for an end-user to make the proper decisions when using or purchasing a new single screw for a smooth bore application.
Basic Studies on Uniaxial Deformation of Nylon 6 - Clay Nanocomposite Films
Zeynep Ergungor, Miko Cakmak, Celal Batur, May 2002
The changes in the birefringence and the true stress-true strain behavior of cast nylon 6 and nylon 6-clay nanocomposite films are monitored online as they are stretched uniaxially below the peak melting temperature. The effects of draw temperature (100°-140°-180°C) and clay content (2 and 5 volume%) are investigated by means of online measurements and X-ray diffraction. The presence of nanoplatelets in the nylon matrix enhances the uniformity of stretching by suppressing the localized necking behavior at these essentially cold drawing temperatures. At a given stress, the birefringence decreases as the clay content increases. This is quite interesting and perhaps is related to reduction of structural connectivities by reducing the polymer entanglements in the presence of these very small nanoparticles. The development of birefringence correlates well with the strain rather than the clay content or the stretching temperature. The crystalline phase of the as-cast films is ?-form. Stretching promotes the formation of ?-crystals at all draw temperatures for nylon films. At low draw temperatures, the nanocomposite films also assume ?-phase, while at 180°C they display a mixture of ? and ? phases.
Biaxial Stretching and Structure of Various LLDPE Resins
A. Ajji, J. Auger, J. Huang, L. Kale, May 2002
The purpose of this study is to investigate the biaxial stretchability, the structure developed, molecular orientation and shrinkage of linear low-density polyethylenes (LLDPEs) biaxially stretched using a laboratory biaxial stretcher. Seven resins having different molecular characteristics were used in this study. The effect of stretching temperature and rate on stretchability is assessed. Biaxial orientation factors for the crystalline axes as well as that of the amorphous phase were determined using FTIR spectroscopy. SEM was used to reveal the details of the crystalline stacking and shrinkage of the films was determined.
Blends of Polypropylene (PP) and Polycarbonate (PC) Using Functional Polyolefin Elastomer (FPOE) as a New Compatibilizer
Hui Tang, C.L. Beatty, May 2002
Polypropylene (PP) and Polycabonate (PC) is an immiscible polymer pair. When blended together, it separates into two phases. It generally yields poor practical properties. The final morphology of the blend has a controlling influence on its mechanical properties. In this study, Functional Polyolefin Elastomer (FPOE) is used in the blends of Polypropylene (PP) and Polycabonate (PC) as a compatibilizer to control the morphology and to strengthen the interfaces in this blending system. With addition of FPOE, the size of PC domains is reduced and interaction between different phases is greatly improved. The mechanical property of the blends with FPOE, such as impact strength, is significantly improved. FPOE can be applied for the blending of PP and PC as a new effective compatibilizer [1-8].
Blocking of LLDPE Films - Effect of Surface Morphology
Olivier Vincent, Eric Osmont, Françoise Sommer, May 2002
The mechanism of LLDPE blown film blocking has been investigated. Film specimens exhibiting different levels of blocking force were fabricated using resins with various molecular characteristics. The film surface morphology and the chemical composition were studied. Atomic Force Microscopy observations allowed to link clearly blocking with the formation of a soft layer at the films interface. This layer is made of amorphous PE chains, migrated from the bulk of the film during conditioning at 60°C. No evidence of co-crystallisation at the interface was observed. The chemical nature of the soft layer has been derived from its mechanical properties. A predictive model for film blocking is proposed based on a single molecular parameter.
Blown PP Based Coextruded Films as an Alternative for the Flexible Packaging Industry
German V. Laverde, May 2002
New PP resins are available in the market allowing for the production of coextruded or monolayer blown films with particular properties. Some advantages are associated with lower resin densities and higher modulus in comparison with other commodity resins. Currently, PP also has a significant price advantage in many market. High stiffness and high clarity can be achieved when PP is coextruded with PE, allowing for thickness reduction depending on the final application. This paper presents a comparison of mechanical and optical properties among structures using different polypropylene resins and different layer thickness.
Capacitive Sensing Dielectrometers for Noncontact Characterization of Adhesives and Epoxies
Darrell Schlicker, Yanko Sheiretov, Andrew Washabaugh, Neil Goldfine, May 2002
Recently developed capacitive sensor geometries provide new capabilities for characterization and manufacturing quality control of low conductivity dielectric materials. Novel geometries incorporating multiple sensing elements within a single footprint permit profiling of the properties with depth (such as dielectric constant, conductivity, loss tangent, complex permittivity and layer thicknesses) from one side of the material. These sensors permit absolute property measurements with minimal calibration requirements and noncontact measurements where the air-gap thickness is also being measured. This paper reviews the sensing technology and its use in cure monitoring of epoxies and adhesives in thick and thin film applications.
CAPE-VIT - A Different View of Education in Plastics Design
H. Elmecker, A.M. Brito, A.S. Pouzada, May 2002
Education for the growing needs of the plastics industry is recognized as needing a different approach that will enable a quicker integration of the graduates in the working world. Under the auspices of the EU programme Leonardo da Vinci a group of universities and institutions developed a course programme and structure for preparing engineers with skills for plastics design and processing with a sound awareness of the environmental issues. Specific characteristics of the course are the project driven methodology and the integration of training periods in the industry as from the first year of the four-year long course.
Cartography in Flatland: An Overview of Analytical Techniques for Characterizing Nanocomposite Morphology
Anna Ploplis Andrews, Deen Chundury, May 2002
The performance advantages of certain commercial nanocomposites based on montmorillonite clays in thermoplastics are claimed to be great and the markets for these advantages large. Despite this commercial driving force, only a very small number of commercial nanocomposites are available because it has proven difficult to achieve the proper morphology for performance enhancement. Understanding, characterizing and manipulating nanocomposite morphology will play a crucial role in developing commercial thermoplastic nanocomposites. This technical presentation will outline the use of specific analytical techniques to characterize the morphology of polymer-clay based nanocomposites. It will begin by identifying the morphological information necessary in order to make better performing nanocomposites. The various techniques of x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, optical microscopy, dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, dielectric relaxation spectroscopy, and NMR will be described as they apply to nanocomposites.The talk will identify the deliverables of each technique, potential sources of analytical services for the technique, and special considerations associated with applying each technique to nanocomposites. The talk will conclude with a plea for the development of new techniques to provide information currently unavailable but necessary in the custom design of novel nanocomposites.
Cast-In-Place (CIP) for Joining and Repairing Live, PE, Gas Lines - II. Process Development
Arthur C. Eberle, Robert A. Grimm, May 2002
The term cast-in-place (CIP) describes a method for casting a non-leaking sleeve of polyethylene (PE) around the butted ends of PE pipes while the joint is leaking air at pressures up to 582 kPa. Mold development involved flow-through or vented molds with the latter providing better results with smaller injection charges. Sound sleeves were cast on pipe diameters ranging from 2.5- to 10-cm (1- to 4-in.) SDR. Aged pipe that had been buried for years was successfully joined to new yellow pipe material. Contaminants such as dissolved natural gas in the pipe wall or a solution of anti-static agents generate joints with inclusions or bubbles although strengths were good.
Cast-In-Place (CIP) for Joining and Repairing Live, PE, Gas Lines - III. Repair of Holes
Robert A. Grimm, Bob Geoghegan, Arthur C. Eberle, May 2002
The cast-in-place (CIP) approach was adapted to a simplified process for repair of holes in polyethylene (PE) pipes. The approach involves clamping an elastomerlined clamshell around the damage and, after the pressurized flow has been stopped, embedding the clamshell in a shell of PE. This work defines:Design aspects of a low-profile steel clamp including examination of several elastomeric gasket materialsDamage types that can be sealed including roughened and damaged surfacesInexpensive and portable methods for strapping the clamp securely around large holes to seal leaking gas under substantial pressureSuitable lengths for the clamp and the PE shell that is molded around it.The overall approach works quite well and clamp designs were found that will seal leaking gas at pressures up to 770 kPa. The clamp is capable of taking flattened pipe and rounding it as it seals holes that are up to 8-cm long in 6-cm diameter SDR-11 gas pipe. Clamp lengths should be no more than 1/3 the length of the cast PE sleeve.
Catastrophic Failure of the No-Slip Condition at the Wall during Torsional Flows and Development of Gross Surface Irregularities during Capillary Flow of Three Polymers
Halil Gevgilili, Dilhan M. Kalyon, May 2002
Wall slip behavior of three polymers was studied using flow visualization in cone-and-plate and parallel plate flows. The straight line marker technique and high speed cinematography were used to investigate the temperature-dependent wall slip behavior of a high density polyethylene, HDPE, a polydimethylsiloxane, PDMS, and an oxetane based thermoplastic elastomer, BAMO/AMMO. Capillary rheometry was also used to obtain data on the flow curves and to study the surface topology of extrudates. The straight line marker technique allowed the precise determination of the critical shear stress values for the onset of the catastrophic failure of the no-slip condition, which were determined to be 0.22 MPa for the HDPE and 0.073 MPa for PDMS, both of which were independent of temperature. In the vicinity of these critical shear stresses the extrudates of HDPE and PDMS exhibited surface distortions during capillary flow. The thermoplastic elastomer, BAMO-AMMO, on the other hand, did not exhibit any catastrophic failure of its no-slip condition and the surfaces of its extrudates remained smooth even at relatively high shear rates during capillary flow.
Cellulose Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene: Compounding and Properties Study
J.E. Dalpiaz, May 2002
The physical properties and processing limitations of polypropylene copolymer compounded with hardwood and softwood cellulose fiber were investigated in this study. The use of maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene as a coupling agent between the cellulose fiber and the polypropylene copolymer was also explored. The addition of the maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene showed improvements to the tensile, flexural, izod impact, and heat deflection temperature properties of the cellulose fiber reinforced blends. The performance properties of the cellulose fiber reinforced materials are also compared to polypropylene blends utilizing more traditional thermoplastic reinforcements: glass fibers, talc, and wollastonite.
Challenges in Winding Flexible Packaging Film
R. Duane Smith, May 2002
Every Flexible Film Producer is faced with the challenge of producing quality rolls of film products. This paper will assist in overcoming the challenges in winding flexible packaging films. It addresses the definition of a quality roll of film and the importance of inwound tension in consistently producing good quality rolls. It then discusses the winding principles used on all winders to control inwound tension or roll hardness. It explains how to determine the proper amount of web tension for various types of films and the principles of nip and gap winding. Then the basic types of center, surface and combination center/surface winders will be compared with the advantages and disadvantages of each. After the discussion of how roll hardness is achieved, methods of measuring roll hardness are presented. Finally, other roll defects to avoid in producing quality rolls of film will be listed and the book Roll and Web Terminology" will be brought to the audience's attention for them to learn more about the causes and cures of common roll and web defects."
Chaotic Mixing as a Means to Develop Nano-Scale Structures in Polymeric Materials
D.A. Zumbrunnen, May 2002
Nanoscale materials are often produced either by breaking down larger structures or by assembling them directly from their smaller constituents. Another approach is to establish processing conditions where initially large component domains intermingle and refine over time to eventually give materials with nanoscale features. In this paper, the potential of chaotic mixing to develop in situ fine-scale structures and promote molecular-scale interactions are described. Due to induced chaotic motions, melt domains stretch and fold recursively. Structure is evolved in lieu of being broken down as occurs typically in common blending. Hierarchical associations among components can arise with relation to some natural materials. Examples of materials are shown that have been produced. Several opportunities are discussed that may allow the manufacture of bulk quantities.
Characterising the Biaxial Properties of Materials Used in Thermoforming and Blow Molding
N. Martin, E.M.A Harkin-Jones, P.J. Martin, May 2002
In most thermoforming or blow molding processes a heated plastic sheet undergoes rapid deformation into the shape of a mold. Typically a wide range of deformation modes may be observed across its surface, ranging from planar through to equi-biaxial. Data from conventional uniaxial tests is often used to simulate this behavior, but it is recognized that neither the speed nor mode of deformation is correct. In this paper the development of a biaxial testing machine is described. Test results for a number of common materials are presented and the results are compared to uniaxial tests.
Characterization of Apparent Viscosity with Respect to a PVC-Wood Fiber Extrusion Process
Timothy M. Bender, May 2002
Wood fiber-thermoplastic compounds were introduced into the marketplace during the mid-1990’s. These compounds are currently being molded or extruded into useful products.As these products grow in complexity, the variability within these compounds must necessarily be reduced in order to maintain or reduce scrap during these secondary processes. But just how much variability these processes can actually tolerate is a non-trivial problem involving design, process and material variables.This paper will discuss the results of a Design of Experiments conducted to determine the maximum apparent viscosity variability that a profile extrusion process is able to tolerate in a PVC-WF compound.
Characterization of Ethylene-Vinyl Chloride-Like Copolymers Synthesized by Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP)
Catherine H. Stephens, Hongli Yang, Manirul Islam, Stuart J. Rowan, Anne Hiltner, Eric Baer, May 2002
A series of chlorine containing ethylene copolymers with controlled molecular microstructure have been made using ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP). In contrast to traditional methods currently used in industry, this synthesis permits the control of the exact chlorine content along the macromolecular chain. In some cases, the placement of chlorine along the polymer backbone is also controlled. The properties of these ethylene vinyl chloride-like copolymers (EVC) are compared to traditionally chlorinated polyethylene (CPE) as well as to ethylene octene (EO) and ethylene styrene (ES), copolymers synthesized by metallocene catalysis.


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