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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

The Evolution of Direct Extrusion Using High Speed Twin Screw Extruders
Charlie Martin, May 2002

Historically, 95%+ of high speed twin screw extruders have been used to perform compounding, devolatilization and reactive extrusion operations with the end product being pellets, where dimensional stability is secondary to the mass transfer operations that occur in the twin screw extruder. Although high speed twin screw extruders have been used for many years to extrude products such as sheet, film, profile or fibers, it is only in the past 5 to 10 years that there has been a concerted development effort to perform direct extrusion from this device. The initial applications that utilized twin screw technology for direct extrusion, versus purchasing a pre-compounded material from a toll compounder for processing on a single screw extruder, were mandated, in desperation, for formulations that were adversely affected by the second heat and shear history inherent with the single screw extrusion step. Once the technical viability of direct extrusion was demonstrated, it became readily apparent to the marketplace that substantial cost savings were also possible using this technology. Additional benefits include the ability to adjust formulations in-line to accelerate development efforts, and to maintain a proprietary in-house manufacturing process. Some of the materials that have benefitted from direct extrusion include, but are not limited to, filled olefins, TPE/TPO/TPV’s, polyesters, PVB, woodfiber composites, adhesives, foamed polymers, nylons and degradable plastics.

Exfoliation of Polypropylene/Clay Nanocomposites under Electric Field
Kyung Hyun Ahn, Do Hoon Kim, Jun Uk Park, Jungsook Hong, Seung Jong Lee, May 2002

Polypropylene (PP) is known to form an exfoliated structure only when maleic anhydride functionalized polypropylene (MAPP) is added together. This can be easily achieved by melt processing, however, MAPP costs a lot as to prevent its commercial production.In this talk, we will present a novel approach to make exfoliated PP/clay nanocomposites without adding MAPP. PP/clay systems under large electric field do show the exfoliated structure, which is evidenced by rheometer and XRD. As applying electric field is a physical process, similar effect can be expected in other polymer systems that do not show exfoliated structure in a normal condition.

Expandable Foam from Amorphous Polyester Resin
Chung P. Park, Gerald A. Garcia, Roby G. Watson, May 2002

A resilient foam that is both expandable and moldable was prepared from an amorphous polyester resin using a mixed blowing agent of a high-solubility compound and a low-permeability compound. The high-solubility compound permits a high degree of expansion, while the low-permeability compound renders secondary expandability. The polyester foam remedies the deficiencies of existing bead products. Polystyrene beads retain blowing agents but lack resilience. Polyolefin beads are resilient but do not retain blowing agent. The polyester foam board has a low thermal conductivity as well as excellent dynamic cushioning.

Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Flow Imbalance in a Runner System
Askwini Kumar, Aleksandra Egelja, Eric W. Grald, John P. Beaumont, May 2002

The flow of molten polymer in a multi-cavity injection mold is a complex fluid dynamics problem involving temperature- and shear-dependent viscosity and viscous heating. Recent work has shown that cavities are not filled evenly, even in a geometrically balanced runner. We investigated this phenomenon for two polymers (Nylon 6/6 and Acrylic) using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program FIDAP (Fluent Inc., Lebanon, NH), and compared the results with experimental measurements in a test mold. The results from the CFD model successfully capture the flow imbalance in the runner system for these polymers. The validated flow model can thus be used as a predictive tool to quickly evaluate the new runner system designs.

Experimental Evaluation of Composite-Concrete Interface Properties Using Sandwich Specimen
Katayoun Soulati, Raymond Gauvin, May 2002

The experimental test results on the composite strengthened reinforced concrete beams showed that the failure of composite-concrete interface can originate from an existing concrete tensile crack at the interface. Due to the difference in the properties of the individual materials and due to practical conditions of loading, cracking of the composite-concrete interface involves mixed-mode of fracture effects. Fracture mechanics concept was used to design special types of sandwich specimen, in which a thin layer of composite is sandwiched between two parts of concrete. It is shown that the interface toughness as well as interface failure mode depend on composite type and combination of loading conditions.

Experimental Evaluation of Methods for Characterization of Power Output of High Power Ultrasonic Transducers
David Grewell, Karl Graff, Avraham Benatar, May 2002

This paper reviews the evaluation of different techniques used to characterize the power output of high power ultrasonic transducers. Three laboratory measurement techniques were studied: 1) electrical, 2) calorimetric and 3) mechanical transmission line. The loads were theoretically modeled and their thermal, mechanical, and electrical losses were identified. It was found that the most accurate power measurement was based on multiplication of the measured voltage and current without the use of filters or methods that attempt to differentiate between stored and dissipated energy.

An Experimental Investigation of Solids Conveying - Flow Rate and Temperature Rise in Single Screw Extruders
Gregory A. Campbell, Jason C. Baird, Lonnie Gilette, Matt Bullwinkel, Jennifer Stowe, May 2002

In this paper we will discuss the construction of a new experimental device to evaluate the solids conveying parameters for a single screw extruder. We will describe the device, which works for high modulus polymers, and we will compare the difference of temperature rise and heat flux for polystyrene and polyethylene when extruded under similar conditions. For these two polymers, the effect of retarding pressure on the solid bed regarding output and barrel forces will also be investigated.

Experimental Studies in Gas-Assist Injection Molding to Investigate Residual Wall Thickness and Gloss Levels
Chris Cooper, Jeff Kampian, Jesse McCanna, Rainer Protte, May 2002

Gas-assist injection molding allows designers the freedom to design plastic products that may be considered outside the realm of conventional injection molding. There are basically two design categories for the gas-assist injection molding technique: rod-shaped parts and panel-shaped parts. Rod-shaped parts have very thick cross-sections and include articles such as handles, armrests and structural components. Panel-shaped parts are large area moldings that utilize ribs with gas channels to improve part stiffness; automotive trim and business machine housings are in this category. This paper studies the residual wall thickness (RWT) of rod-shaped parts and gloss level variations of panel-shaped parts.

An Experimental Study of Antioxidants Effects on the Performance of Blow Molded HDPE Homopolymer Packagaing Containers
Erica Hoover, May 2002

This research seeks to address the taste and odor problems that are currently being experienced in blow molded HDPE homopolymer packaging containers. Manufacturers of blow molded packaging containers have been experiencing odor and taste problems in their HDPE homopolymer products with antioxidant additives, especially in the water bottles. The scope of this research will be to determine the optimum idling time and antioxidant levels that will alleviate the taste and odor problems in water bottles. Odor and taste surveys as well as oxidative induction time tests will be used to characterize the performance of the tested blow molded products.

Experimental Study of Gas Penetration in the Gas-Assisted Injection Molding
Jin-Woong Shin, A.I. Isayev, May 2002

Extensive studies were conducted to experimentally determine the effects of processing parameters on the gas penetration of the gas-assisted injection molding (GAIM) process. Experiments were performed in the mold having a standard tensile bar cavity with simultaneous measurements of the screw position, gas pressure, and pressures in the runner and cavity. Two Taguchi methods were applied in the study. The first method was used to determine the most important GAIM processing parameters affecting the gas penetration. In this case, various processing parameters, such as: shot size, gas delay and holding time, gas pressure, injection pressure, injection speed, mold and melt temperature were studied. The second method was used to elucidate a more detailed effect of the parameters on the gas penetration.

Experimental Study of LDPE Melting in a Twin Screw Extruder Using On-Line Visualization and Axial Pressure and Temperature Measurements
Mark D. Wetzel, May 2002

The melting of polymers in a twin-screw (T/S) extruder is an important operation in many industrial processes. Re-cent research by Shih, Gogos, Geng and others has identified the physical phenomena that take place during the phase transition. This paper describes an experimental study of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) melting in a co-rotating, intermeshing T/S extruder using on-line visualization and axial scanning of pressure and temperature techniques. The LDPE melting sequence observed included solid transport in a partially filled screw channel with conductive heating, compaction, pellet deformation, and viscous energy dissipation in the melt with un-melted solids. The effects of throughput (Q) and screw rotational speed (N) are examined. Low and high Q/N ratios have significantly different axial pressure profiles.

Experimental Study of Prepreg Bonded Single-Lap Composite Joint
Su-Seng Pang, Guoqiang Li, May 2002

Neat resin bonded single-lap composite joint has been extensively used in composite structures. Lower strength and longer fabrication time have been identified as technical barriers in practice. In order to increase the joint strength and reduce the fabrication time, two types of prepreg composites were used to bond composite single-lap joints. Test specimens were prepared per ASTM D 3165-95 standard. Accelerated conditioning was conducted to investigate the environmental resistance of specimens. The shear strength of various specimens was obtained using tension tests. Compared to control specimens, prepreg bonded samples exhibit higher tensile strength, higher environmental resistance, and shorter fabrication time.

Experiments and Simulations with Barrier Screws
Rafael J. Castillo, David Strutt, John Vlachopoulos, May 2002

Experiments were performed using four different industrial sized extruder barrier screws extruding two different polyethylene resins, 0.3 MI LDPE and 1.0 MI LLDPE, at two motor speeds. The data collected from these experiments consist of readings of pressure along the axis of the screw, exiting pressure, melt temperature, and output. The extruder motor load, screw speed and barrel temperature settings were also recorded. Experimental measurements are compared to computer simulation results from a flexible extrusion simulation approach which uses relatively simple models for pumping, heat transfer, and melting functions. The calculations are coupled through an iterative process, and are based on a number of assumptions. Reasonable agreement is found between experimental and predicted melt pressures.

Extensional and Shear Rheology of Reactively Extruded Polyethylenes
R. Perera, K. Briceño, E. Iglesias, H. Rojas, May 2002

In this study, the rheological characterization in extension and in shear of melts of reactively extruded low-density and linear low-density polyethylenes was carried out. The polyethylenes were extruded with peroxide, in one case, and with peroxide and diethylmaleate, in the other, using a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. A capillary rheometer with cylindrical and converging dies was employed to obtain the shear and extensional viscosities at 200 °C. The Cogswell, Binding and Mackay-Astarita models were used to estimate the extensional viscosity of the materials. An increase in both the shear and extensional viscosities was obtained due to the presence of long branches produced by the modification processes.

Extensional Rheology of Polypropylene and its Effect on Foaming of Thermoplastic Elastomers
Pieter Spitael, Christopher W. Macosko, Abdelhadi Sahnoune, May 2002

Extensional viscosity of several polypropylene polymers and their blends was measured and compared to the relative foamability of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) containing these polymers. Both linear isotactic polypropylenes and branched polypropylenes were considered for this work. The extensional viscosity is measured using an RME Extensional Rheometer at various strain rates. The TPE foam is characterized based on density and cell size distribution. A small amount of branched polymer substituted for linear polymer was found to lead to improved foamability of the TPE. Results of this study will aid in the understanding of the foaming process in TPEs.

Extruder Output-Pressure Relationships for Power Law Fluids Including Leakage Flow
Chris Rauwendaal, Rufino Ortega, May 2002

In order to predict output for screw extruders it is useful to have relationships of output versus pressure for various degrees of shear thinning. These relationships can be determined using numerical techniques and are usually graphically presented in dimensionless form. Various workers have presented such dimensionless graphs.It is well know that leakage flow, the flow between the flight tip and barrel, can significantly affect output and power consumption. A finite difference program was developed that accurately calculates the effect of leakage flow on output and power consumption. When the flight clearance is made dimensionless with respect to the flight height the family of output-pressure- clearance curves can be used for extruders of any diameter; in fact, creating universal output-pressure- clearance curves. This paper will present data of two different size extruders on output vs. pressure and energy efficiency vs. pressure. The utility of the information presented will be demonstrated with actual examples.

Extrusion Blow Mold Simulation Software Verification of Pinch-Off Design Parameters
Cody D. Greene, Ian S. Laskowitz, John E. McConnell, May 2002

The design of the pinch-off in extrusion blow mold ing has relied on past experience, company recommendation guidelines, and material supplier guidelines. This experiment was implemented to determine if simulation software could be used effectively to design a functional pinch-off design before any steel is cut. Actual bottle measurements from a Design of Experiment (DOE) (1) were contrasted to the results of the simulation software to determine the accuracy of the simulation. The actual DOE that the software was compared to is a three level DOE. The DOE was used to determine the processing parameters and flash pocket depth that produces the strongest weld line strength. The specimens collected from the DOE were tested for tensile strength and impact strength.

Failure Analysis and Redesign of a Polycarbonate Spring
Jan L. Spoormaker, Ihor D. Skrypnyk, Kirill Kaveline, May 2002

An integrated approach is advocated for failure prevention of plastic products by optimising: material selection, design, processing and mould construction. The redesign of a plastic spring for a positioning device, using a buckled strip, illustrates this approach.The initial design suffered from mistakes:A low molecular PC was selected for obtaining short cycle times.The transverse deflection of the spring was too high.The mould was not tapered and caused scratches on the surface.Unlocking the positioning device caused very high bending stresses.By combining mechanical engineering, polymer engineering and practical knowledge about mould design and injection moulding, a reliable spring was redesigned.

Failure Analysis of a Large Diameter Floating Marine Hose
John E. Moalli, Scott Coakley, John Pye, May 2002

Floating marine hoses are often used to transport oil products from tankers to offshore moorings and, as such, their structural integrity is of major importance. Marine hoses are typically composites of various rubber compounds, textile fibers and steel reinforcement, the interaction of which is quite complex, rendering analysis of the structure difficult. In this paper, we present a detailed forensic examination of a failed marine hose, including such techniques as rubber fractography, finite element analysis, mechanical testing, and chemical testing. The various test results are assimilated to deduce the actual cause of failure, which is shown to be fatigue induced from external change.

Failure Analysis of Automotive Assemblies - Part I
Jeffrey A. Jansen, Mary K. Kosarzycki, Michael P. Sepe, May 2002

Failures occurred within assemblies used in a transportation application. The cracking was observed in a relatively high number of parts immediately after cyclic thermal shock testing of the components. The cracking was found at several locations within the overmolded resin in areas immediately adjacent to underlying metal components. The focus of this investigation was a determination of the nature and cause of the failures. The results obtained during the evaluation of the failed components indicated that the cracking was the direct result of severe molecular degradation which occurred during the resin drying and molding operations, in conjunction with stresses induced through thermal shock testing of the parts. This paper will review some of the testing performed to characterize the failure mode and identify the cause of the cracking, while demonstrating the analytical procedure used in a failure investigation.

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