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

Morphogloy Evolution of Binary Polymer Systems Using Microfabricated Samples
Yong Yang, L. James Lee, Kurt W. Koelling, May 2002

Binary polymer blends with well-defined initial structure were prepared by Computer Numerical Controlling (CNC) machining, photolithography and micro-embossing. Using the methods, we designed the size and distribution of the dispersed phase and the composition of the blends. Compatibilizer can also be easily placed at the interface of the two components during sample preparation. With the micro-fabricated samples, the dynamics of phase inversion and the morphology evolution of binary polymer blends were studied in simple shear flow under isothermal conditions. The effects of interfacial tension, viscosity rate, blend composition, and shear rate on rheology and morphology evolution were investigated.

Morphological Development and Mechanical Performance of Injection Molded Starch Based Composites
Rui A. Sousa, Rui L. Reis, António M. Cunha, Michael J. Bevis, May 2002

Conventional injection molding and Multiple live Feed Molding (MLFM) has been used to process starch based biodegradable composites aimed for load bearing bone replacement/fixation applications. Blends of starch with : (i) poly(ethylene vinyl alcohol) and (ii) cellulose acetate were studied. Both polymers were reinforced with bone-like ceramics (hydroxylapatite) in amounts up to 50 % wt.. The use of MLFM allowed for the inducement of molecular anisotropy into the moldings. However it was necessary to prevent material degradation associated to shear dissipation effects and to the longer residence times.

Morphological Studies on Poly (Trimethylene Terephthalate) (PTT) / Clay Nanocomposites
Xianbo Hu, Alan J. Lesser, May 2002

A series of intercalated Poly (trimethylene terephthalate)/ montmorillonite (PTT/MMT) nanocomposites were produced by a melt intercalation process. The PTT/MMT nanocomposites were shown to have similar d-spacing, about 3.1nm. More coherent stackings of silicate layers were observed at higher clay concentrations and shorter blending time. Compared to conventional PTT filled with MMT, the nanoscale dispersed MMTs are more effective nucleating agents and enhance the crystallization of PTT. The influence of nano montmorillonites on the crystallization and melting behavior becomes distinct when the concentration of MMT is greater than 1%.

Morphological Study of Polyamide-6/Polysyrene/Polyethylene Ternary Blends
Seo Hwa Kim, Minhee Lee, Bong-Keun Lee, May 2002

The morphology of Polyamide-6 / Polystyrene / Polyethylene blends was predicted based on spreading coefficient of three components, and the predicted morphology was compared with the actual blending morphology. Without any treatment such as compatibilizers and changes in mixing sequence during the melt blending, it has been observed that PE domains are exclusively located in the PS phase in PA6 matrix, as expected by the spreading coefficient. In this study, trials to control the locus of the PE domains were also performed. It should be noted that the locus of the PE domains is successfully controlled. Thus, the PE domains can be dispersed in PS phase exclusively, in PA6 matrix exclusively or both in PA6 matrix and in PS phase. Effects of SMA and PS on the PA6/PE blending morphology were also investigated. It was found that SMA reduce the size of the disperse PE domains dramatically, in spite of no specific interaction expected between SMA and PE. This phenomenon was successfully explained by the spreading behavior of PS on PE in PA6 matrix. A small amount of PS added also affects the co-continuity of PA6/PE blend.

Morphology and Properties of Oriented mLLDPE Films
Srivatsan Srinivas, Patrick Brant, Yu Huang, Donald R. Paul, May 2002

Cast films of a metallocene Linear Low Density Polyethylene (mLLDPE) have been cold-drawn along MD in two sequential steps to form ultra-oriented films. The initial films are cast under low shear conditions to form essentially isotropic films. The first draw yields oriented films, which display block-shear type morphology. Under controlled conditions, void formation occurs during the second draw and the ultradrawn films whiten and display a fine crystalline morphology. In their ultra-oriented state, the water vapor transmission of the films is equivalent to that of poly(vinylidenedichloride) (PVDC). Independent experiments show that this ~13x decrease in the WVTR is due to an increase in the degree of crystallinity and increase in tortuosity due to the blocky crystalline morphology. Additionally, it is hypothesized that an increase in the amorphous phase density also contributes to the decrease in permeability.

Morphology and Stress-Relaxation of Biaxially Oriented Crosslinked Polyethylene Films
Arthur Bobovitch, Emmanuel M. Gutman, Sven Henning, Goerg H. Michler, May 2002

In the present work the morphology and stress-relaxation of crosslinked polyethylene films were investigated. The stress-relaxation of crosslinked films was studied as a function of temperature and as a function of the irradiation dose applied. The relaxation time spectra of crosslinked films were observed to display additinal relaxation times. Irradiation dose and temperature were shown to influence the relaxation time spectrum of crosslinked and non-crosslinked films. The crystallization of crosslinked and non-crosslinked polyethylene was compared. It was shown that the lower mobility of the crosslinked molecules affects the final crystal size.

Morphology Development in I-PP Articles Moulded via Cryogenic Gas-Assisted Injection Moulding
R. Magalhaes, M.C. Cramez, G.F. Smith, May 2002

The current experimental study investigates the development of the micro-morphology across the residual wall thickness and along the gas channel of specimens moulded via a recently developed cryogenic gas-assisted injection moulding process. This novel method was developed as an alternative to conventional gas-assisted injection process (GAIM), targeting cycle time reduction by improving the internal heat transfer from the polymer melt to the gas. The cryogenic GAIM process employs the injection of nitrogen gas at cryogenic temperature into the polymer melt stream and its controlled manipulation throughout the gas holding phase. The effects on the morphology induced by the injection of gas at cryogenic temperature are investigated using polarised light microscopy and the results compared with the structure produced at conventional GAIM temperatures. Differential interference contrast (DIC) is used to characterise the morphology of the internal surface.

Morphology of PMMA/PP/PS Ternary Blend Based on the Interfacial Tension between Their Components
Augusto Teruo Morita, Nicole Raymonde Demarquette, May 2002

In this work, the morphologies of ternary blends of PMMA/PP/PS with different compositions were studied. Core-shell and separated dispersions morphologies were observed. The morphologies were compared to spreading coefficient and minimal free energy surface theories using interfacial tension data presented here. Excellent agreement between observed and predicted morphologies was found. It was observed that the interfacial tension influenced the number of particles present in the shell phase in the case of core-shell morphology.

Multi-Component Laminate Moulding (MLM)
P.S. Allan, M.J. Bevis, A. McCalla, Y. Mubarak, K. Yasuda, May 2002

A new injection moulding technology is described in which a laminate structure of two or more polymers moulded in combination can be controlled. The new technology is referred to as 'Multi -Component Laminate Moulding (MLM) Technology'. The principle of the process is demonstrated with reference to a two component application. The material combinations chosen were a general-purpose polystyrene with a high-density polyethylene (GPPS/HDPE) and a general-purpose polystyrene with a high-impact polystyrene (GPPS/HIPS). The processing conditions, physical property and micromorphology relationships of conventional injection mouldings of the individual component materials were compared with multi-layer mouldings produced from them. Bright Surface Moulding (BSM) was also used to influence the layer structure of the multi-layer mouldings. The results of this study showed that the multi-layer mouldings composed of both combinations produced by MLM possessed desirable characteristics of both resins. The impact strengths of the multi-layer mouldings were, however, found to be in the range of 1.5 to 10 times greater than that of the individual components. It was also shown that the MLM process could be applied to component resins that have a large difference between their viscosities.

Multlayered Monocomposite Polypropylene
Robert M. Bjekovic, Andzej K. Bledzki, Goerg H. Michler, May 2002

Multilayered monocomposite polypropylene is a new composite material. It captures the exceptional mechanical properties of oriented polypropylene tapes in a polypropylene matrix.Low density, high stiffness, high tensile strenght and outstanding impact and abrasion resistance provide the opportunity to make parts with an extraordinary performance. Due to missing reinforcement fibers like glass or carbon fibers this material is a 100% thermoplastic and totally recyclable.This paper describes the influence of manufacturing parameters (pressure, temperature, time) on semi-finished material. Afterwards an exemplary vehicle application is discussed with attention to the specific advantages of this material.

Nanocomposite Modeling and Simulation
Charles Swannack, Christopher Cox, Douglas Hirt, Anastasios Liakos, May 2002

Nanocomposite polymer films are known to exhibit increased barrier properties at low additive loadings. These films, particularly at low loadings, are of interest to the food packaging industry. Current 2D models do not fully account for the characteristics of typical polymer-clay systems. The results of a new permeation simulation using Monte Carlo techniques will be presented.Efficient Monte Carlo simulations were run in three dimensions to determine the effective diffusion coefficients for typical polymer-clay systems. Systems with loadings between 0.5 and 50 vol% were simulated. The results were compared to existing models to examine the effects the added dimension had on the diffusion coefficient. The results were also viewed using Java3D to examine the diffusion path.

Nanocomposites Study of Ethylene Co-Vinyl Alcohol and Montmorillonite Clay
Jeanne M. Lucciarini, Jo Ann Ratto, Bryan E. Koene, Bert Powell, May 2002

Nanocomposite films consisting of an ethylene co-vinyl alcohol (EVOH)/clay system were investigated to determine the effect of the nanoclay on the film properties. EVOH and montmorillonite clay at 5% loadings were compounded using a twin-screw extruder. Subsequently, these formulations were further processed into blown films using a twin-screw extruder. The morphological, mechanical, thermal and barrier properties of the films were examined. The delamination and dispersion of the clay improved in the blown films compared to the compounded material. Young's modulus and tensile strength increased significantly for the nanocomposite compared to the pure EVOH. Dramatic reduction of oxygen transmission rates occurred as a result of incorporation of the nanoclays. With improved barrier properties, these films could be used in military ration packaging systems in order to meet shelf life and survivability requirements.

Nanocomposites: A Single Screw Mixing Study of Nanoclay-Filled Polypropylene
Jae Whan Cho, Jason Logsdon, Scott Omachinski, Guoqiang Qian, Tie Lan, Timothy W. Womer, Walter S. Smith, May 2002

Polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites were prepared by two steps: a predispersed organoclay masterbatch was first prepared by using a twin screw extruder; the masterbatch was then letdown into base PP by using a single screw extruder. The effect of single screw mixing type on organoclay dispersion and nanocomposite properties was evaluated. The results indicated that the composites obtained from the masterbatch letdown with a single screw extruder showed better dispersion and better mechanical properties than the composite obtained from the direct compounding with twin screw extruder. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of these composites from masterbatch single screw letdown process is as good as the composite obtained from masterbatch letdown with a twin screw extruder. A rheological study also shows PP nanocomposite has the same flow characteristics as neat PP, indicating the new technology can drop in the current machine set up, without adding additional cost to end users.

Natural-Fiber Composites of High Performance Thermoplastic Polymers
Alberto Prieto, Sadhan C. Jana, May 2002

A new method was investigated for development of natural fiber composites of high performance thermoplastic polymers considering polyphenyleneether (PPE) and wood flour as example system. The large gap between high processing temperature of PPE, typically between 280-320°C, and low decomposition temperature of wood flour, about 200°C, was reduced by using a reactive solvent, a low molecular weight epoxy. The epoxy component reduced viscosity of the blends and accumulated around polar wood flour particles upon polymerization during the fabrication step. These composites offered lower density and better mechanical and physical properties than commercial engineering polymer blends filled with short glass fibers.

A New Approach of Parts Design for FMVSS201U Using Simple Deformation Model and CAO Technique
Tomoo Hirota, Yoshiaki Togawa, May 2002

To reduce head injury of occupants in automobiles, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published FMVSS201U that ruled required parts performance of impact energy absorption using HIC(d) calculated from time-acceleration curve of Free Motion Head Form (FMH) . From the complexity of the calculation, it is difficult to design time-acceleration curve which minimizes HIC(d). In this paper, we propose a method of minimizing HIC(d), using CAO (Computer Aided Optimization) technique and deformation model which is constructed with energy balance between interior parts and FMH. As the results, we get time-acceleration curves which make HIC(d) smaller than rectangular wave.

New Developments for Biaxially Stretched Polyolefin Films with Linear Motor Driven Simultaneous Stretching Technology
Juergen Breil, May 2002

The simultaneous stretching technology with linear motors provides new possibilities for the production of biaxially stretched polyolefin films, e.g. BOPP and BOPE shrink films. The development of new film types is done in the first stage on a discontinuous frame stretcher on a laboratory scale and from there, transferred in a continuous process onto a pilot line. This development environment represents the basis for the transfer to production scale and has meanwhile been realized on several large scale production lines. The given examples shall outline the outstanding properties of shrink films achieved with this technology.

New Developments in Co-Rotating Twin-Screw Extrusion for Production of Long Glass Fiber Composites
Daniel Schwendemann, May 2002

Long fiber reinforced thermoplastics have excellent mechanical properties and stiffness-weight ratio, which is of particular interest to the automotive industry. The new Inline-Compounding processes for long fiber materials offer users more flexibility, as they are able to both compound and process such materials in accordance with their own formulation and also use ready-made com-pounds. The following process combinations are possible:E-LFT; In-Line-Compounding and Direct Extrusion to Profile or PlateD-LFT; In-Line-Compounding and Compression MouldingS-LFT; In-Line-Compounding and Injection Moulding

New Developments in Long Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites
Klaus Gleich, May 2002

Long fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites have reached the state of processing and applications development comparable to the well known production processes GMT and SMC compression molding. The long fiber reinforced thermoplastic compounds also share a high level of market acceptance. The In-line compounding process using fiber glass, resin and additives to form a LFT part has opened possibilities for a wide range of new applications. These applications became possible due to the newest advancements in the In-line compounding process.The author will also discuss In-line compounding processing parameters, resultant material properties and the overall economics of in-line compounding as compared to other composites processes. and special blends in combination with glass, carbon and synthetic fibers.

New Enhanced Ethylene Acrylate Copolymers for Crosslinked Foam Applications
Richard T. Chou, Wayne C. Whelchel, May 2002

Ethylene acrylate copolymers, particularly ethylene-methyl acrylate (EMA) with high MA content, made from a high-pressure tubular process are studied for foam applications. The crosslinked foam is soft, low density and highly resilient. With easy processing and excellent compatibility with EVA, the EMA can be used to modified EVA to attain lower density foam with balanced properties desirable for footwear foam applications. As compared with EVA foam, the EMA-modified EVA foam has a higher foam expansion that leads to lower density foam. The EMA modified EVA foam is softer and highly resilient, without sacrificing other physical properties. EMA is compared to metallocene polyethylene (MPE) as a modifier for EVA. While similar physical property results are seen, EMA provides superior compatibility, which results in improved processing and adhesion characteristics.

New Extruded Sheet Opportunities Utilizing Biodegrading Polymers
John Hudson, Rick Bass, Lawrence Dumont, May 2002

The need for biodegradable thermoplastics continues to grow as waste disposal remains an environmental problem. In order to meet these needs, alloying of biodegradable plastics may expand the markets in which they are used. Initial evaluation of mechanical properties of selected blends suggests that Biomax®, which is a somewhat brittle material, may be toughened by the incorporation of a low modulus copolyester, Bio® GP. Also, blends of CAPA® 6500 and Bio® GP offer a group of mid to low modulus biodegradable polymers. The suitability of blends of Biomax® and CAPA® 6500 are unknown at this time. Assessment of the mechanical properties suggests that miscibility is suspect. The addition of ECM Masterbatch Pellets® to a polyolefin is another approach for developing degrading polymers. The addition of the concentrate did not significantly change the mechanical properties of a polyolefin resin.

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