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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

Relationship between Optical Properties and Optimized Processing Parameters for Through-Transmission Laser Welding of Thermoplastics
David A. Grewell, Paul Rooney, Val A. Kagan, May 2002

Previously we reported to Antec our studies on optical characterization (laser energy transmission, absorption, etc.) at a wide range of infra-red wavelength for various nylon based plastics (un-filled and reinforced) with the influence of various colorants. Later we discussed our analysis on optimized mechanical performance of the laser welded joints. In this current paper, we will try to increase the understanding of the plastics engineering community regarding the relations between optical properties of thermoplastics and optimized processing parameters of through-transmission laser welding (simultaneous welding mode).

Reliability Assessment of New Polymer Products with Environmentally Driven Failures
Richard Hage, Anthony Lightfoot, May 2002

A methodology is presented for the reliability assessment of new product offerings, where product failures are driven by environmental conditions. The methodology is valid for the case of limited related product field data and understanding of underlying environmentally driven failure mechanisms. The methodology uses reliability theory in concert with failure mechanistic models to provide high resolution models which can be used to forecast liability exposure of new product offerings. The methodology has been successfully demonstrated for evaluation of Vinyl based products. The quantitative results generated suggest environmental region risks, overall new product risk, and risk relative to existing related products.

Reliability-Based Method for Service Life Prediction of Materials
C.C. White, J. Martin, S. Weber, L. Shultz, May 2002

Standard test methods, such as ASTM C719, evaluate sealant performance though threshold test measurements. This method and its derivatives do not offer reliable predictions of in-service performance. This presentation will detail efforts to move away from the use of threshold tests towards a reliability-based method for predicting the service life of sealant materials. The central role of dose-damage based models in this approach is explained. The central role of accurate, rapid, prediction of in-service performance in developing models to communicate the economic consequences of the materials decisions will be presented.

Reliable Snap-Fit Connections
Jan L. Spoormaker, Natalia E. Ermolaeva, May 2002

The reliability of snap-fit connections depends very much of the stiffness of the plastic parts to assemble. The higher the stiffness, the smaller the required assembly displacements will be. The displacement(s) are the difference between dimensions of plastic parts and the smaller the displacements the higher the relative tolerances of the displacements. In case of small displacements sharp bosses are designed to obtain maximal displacements. These sharp boss tips suffer from high contact stresses and are blunted during assembly.The design aspects will be illustrated of a problem of assembling a push-button on a rod and of mounting a semi-spherical shell on a glass bulb with snap-fits, using FEM calculations.

Resin-Gas Injection Technique for Bonding and Surface Modification of Polymer-Based Microfluidic Platforms
Siyi Lai, Yeny Hudiono, L. James Lee, Sylvia Daunert, Marc J. Madou, May 2002

Polymeric materials have attracted a great deal of attention in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for biomedical applications (BioMEMS) over recent years, due to their low cost, good processibility, and broad range of physical and chemical properties. Polymer-based microfabrication has been developed and studied for years. However, bonding (i.e., sealing the platform with a lid) and surface modification are still challenging issues. In this paper, we present a new method recently developed in our lab: resin-gas injection-assisted bonding. This new approach can easily seal microfluidic devices with micron and sub-micron sized channels without blocking the flow path. It can also be used to modify the channel shape, size, and surface characteristics (e.g., hydrophilicity, degree of protein adsorption). By applying the masking technique, local modification of the channel surface can be achieved through cascade resin-gas injection. Experiments are carried out to demonstrate bonding efficiency and surface modification.

Review of Plastics Pipe Lifetime Evaluation Methods: Predictive Capability and Limitations
A. Chudnovsky, K. Sehanobish, May 2002

A reliable estimation of pipe lifetime (such as at least 50 years or 100 years of useful life) is a very important factor for business decision in selection of plastic pipes in specific applications. Various accelerated tests for lifetime evaluation and test results extrapolation techniques are discussed in this presentation. The acceleration is necessary to complete the evaluation process of the pipes within a reasonable time interval. However, an accelerated test implies the test condition different from that in service. Thus, the criteria of similarity (correspondence) between the service and an accelerated testing shall be clearly identified. At present the widely accepted by plastics pipe industry methodology for material ranking and pipe lifetime evaluation, is based on many years of PE pipes service experience. An analysis of the engineering background and the scientific foundation of the existing methodology are discussed. The limitations of the phenomenological approach to the pipe lifetime assessment is presented and illustrated by an example of failure of the lifetime predictions. The needs for fundamental understanding and theoretical modeling of the failure mechanisms for reliable piping lifetime prediction and a few steps in that direction are also addressed.

Revisiting an Old Tool for Plastics Manufacturing Education
John C. Anderson, May 2002

The small pneumatic ram injection molding machine is a common sight in undergraduate plastics manufacturing laboratories. Although useful for demonstrating basic concepts they are limited in pressure and temperature control, repeatability, and can only use a limited range of materials. They have the advantages however, of inexpensive tooling, a simple easily understood process, and low cost.This paper describes modifications to this basic machine to extend their usefulness in the teaching environment and the development of course materials to accompany them. The modified injection molder supports a broad range of subject matter, including control schemes for temperature (PID, Off-On, etc), design of tooling, design of experiments, and process optimization.

The Rheological and Mechanical Performance of Ethyl-Vinyl Acetate/Polyvinyl Chloride Formulations
D.C. McConnell, G.M. McNally, W.R. Murphy, May 2002

A range of powdered ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymers and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) formulations were compounded at PVC:EVA ratios 100:0, 60:40, 50:50, 40:60 and 0:100 respectively. Two grades of EVA with 20% and 27% vinyl acetate (VAc) (EVA I and EVA II) and two grades of PVC with K-values 56 and 71 (PVC I and PVC II) were used in the investigation. Mechanical analysis was performed on injection moulded samples of these blends and the results showed that the tensile and flexural modulus decreased significantly with increasing EVA concentration. Rheological analysis was performed using dual capillary rheometry and the results showed only slight changes in shear viscosity with increasing EVA content even at lower shear rates. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis showed partial miscibility of the PVC and EVA over the range of concentrations studied.

Rheological Behavior of Blends Based on Polypropylene and Commercial Ethylene-Octene Copolymers
Ana Lúcia N. da Silva, Marisa C.G. Rocha, Fernanda M.B. Coutinho, Rosário E.S. Bretas, Marcelo Farah, May 2002

Rheological studies were performed on polymer blends of different grades of commercial ethlene-octene copolymers (EOCs) and polypropylene (PP). The oscillatory flow properties of EOC, PP and EOCs/PP blends were analysed using a Rheometrics Dynamic Stress rheometer, SR 200. The results showed that the systems with different grades of elastomers presented different rheological behaviors. This fact probably is related to the differences in molecular weight and long chain branch present in the copolymers.

Rheological Characterization of Polyesters Based in Terephtalates
M. Farah, R.E.S. Bretas, May 2002

The objective of this work is to measure the rheological properties of some engineering polyesters based in terephthalates. These polyesters were poly(ethylene terephthalate)(PET), poly(trimethyl terephthalate)(PTT) and poly(butylene terephthalate)(PBT). Materials behaviors in steady, oscillatory and transient flows were studied at different temperatures from 250 to 310°C. Cone-plate and capillary rheometry were used to measure the rheological properties. No significant variation of the power law index was observed when the temperature was increased for the PET and PBT. The relaxation spectrum of the polymers did not show any significant variation for the PET and PBT, but for the PTT a small variation was observed. PET had the highest elasticity in all the experiments, as shown by the normal force (shear), the storage moduli (oscillatory), the elastic recovering (creep) and the stress overshot. PBT was the most sensitive to degradation at the tests conditions, due its longer aliphatic sequence in the chain. This sensibility was the main experimental obstacle to perform reliable measurements.

Rheological Characterization of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives
Fred Mazzeo, May 2002

The rheological behavior of a material is important when mixing, melting, extruding, pumping, pressing, etc... Rheology is used to predict a material's response to differing modes of flow and deformation at any point from the processing step through its final end use. In the pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) field, three terms are generally used to describe its performance: Shear Resistance, Tack and Peel Strength. These properties are directly related to the PSA's response to the application of stress and therefore its rheological behavior.The property of tack describes the ability of a PSA to spontaneously form a bond to another material under light pressures within a short application time. As the contact time increases, higher shear resistance and peel strength properties are found, related to a materials long time flow behavior. It is found that a single rheological test is able to directly determine the response of a PSA to varying deformation times, related directly to its shear resistance, tack and peel strength behavior.

Rheological Cure Monitoring in Blends of PMMA and Epoxy
R. Wimberger-Friedl, P. David, May 2002

The rheological behavior of blends of PMMA and epoxy is investigated. Time-temperature and time-concentration superposition is found to be valid in all cases as long as a homogenous solution is present. During curing of these blends phase separation occurs so that superposability is lost. As soon as the thermoset-rich phase gelates it dominates the mechanical behavior because of the co-continuous morphology, which is obtained with a 50/50 blend composition. The incorporation of reactive solvents in thermoplastic polymers leads to a dramatic reduction of viscosity until phase separation sets in. This makes such blends interesting systems for low-pressure processing for electronic applications.

Rheological Properties and Their Influence on Extrusion Characteristics of HDPE-Wood Composite Resins
Karen Xiao, Costas Tzoganakis, May 2002

The rheological properties of HDPE-maple wood composite resins were studied. The blends studied ranged from 0% (pure HDPE) - 50% 40-mesh size maple wood flour. Shear viscosity measurements and Bagley entrance corrections were performed in a capillary rheometer. It was found that the wood composite resins displayed yield stress behaviour especially at high percentages of wood content. Attempts were made to measure the yield stress using steady shear experiments in a rotational rheometer. Preliminary studies were also done on the extrusion parameters such as melting profiles, pressure profiles and outputs for the virgin HDPE and 50% HDPE-wood resins. Two Brampton Engineering single-stage compression screws with two compression ratios, 2 and 3.8, were used.

Rheological Properties of Phosphate Glass (Inorganic)-PS-LDPE (Organic) Ternary Hybrids
Peter C. Guschl, Joshua U. Otaigbe, May 2002

Binary and ternary hybrids of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polystyrene (PS), and a low Tg tin- based phosphate glass (Pglass) were prepared at compositions ranging from 0 - 50 (vol)%. Phase behavior, rheology and morphology of the PS-LDPE blends and binary and ternary Pglass-polymer hybrids were investigated. Four-region" steady shear flow behavior and transient rheology was observed for the hybrids. Optical shearing and SEM micrographs were employed in order to confirm the evolution of this microstructure under particular shear conditions."

Rheology and Extrusion of CO2 Plasticized Acrylic Copolymers
Michael J. Bortner, Donald G. Baird, May 2002

The effects of plasticizing acrylic copolymers, in particular a 90% (molar) polyacrylonitrile/ 10% (molar) methyl acrylate (PAN/MA) copolymer, with carbon dioxide (CO2) are studied. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is used to evaluate the resulting shift in the glass transition temperature (Tg) following plasticization. Pressurized capillary rheometry is used to evaluate the melt rheology prior to and after plasticization. Dynamic and steady shear rheology data are used to evaluate the thermal stability of the copolymer. An estimated 20°C decrease in processing temperature can be obtained upon CO2 plasticization, which slows the kinetics of the copolymer degradation (crosslinking).

Rheology and Microstructure of Thermotropic Liquid Crystalline Copolyesters
Tianren Guo, Graham M. Harrison, Amod A. Ogale, May 2002

The transient, dynamic, steady shear and extensional properties of molten TLCPs (Vectra A950 and V300P) have been reported. The domain structure in quiescent and shearing conditions has been characterized by using a polishing technique and shearing/hot stage equipment. The steady state viscosity values of the TLCPs form the three-region flow curve at typical processing conditions, with an initial shear-thinning region, a plateau region, and a terminal shear-thinning region. The effective extensional viscosity of Vectra A950 is much higher than the steady shear viscosity and decreases with increasing extension rate (1 to 10 1/s). The trends of the dynamic moduli are different from those found in flexible-chain polymers, i.e., G' and G do not scale as ?2 and ?. A negative first normal stress difference N1 was found at low shear rates. A polydomain structure was found for the TLCPs with a domain size of ~ 10?m under quiescent condition. Under steady shearing at 10 1/s the domains first break up into smaller sizes and then coalesce."

Rigid Toughening of Polyolefin with Calcium Carbonate Particles
S. Wu, C. Sahinoglu, K. Sehanobish, C. Bosnyak, May 2002

Most engineering polymers are toughened by impact modifiers/rubbers and it is known that some inorganic fillers have to be used to enhance the toughness-stiffness balance. Recently, it is reported that toughness-stiffness balance of high-density polyethylene can be enhanced by blending with rigid particles such as calcium carbonate. The objective of this work is to examine the rigid toughening concept and its applications in polyolefins. The toughness stiffness balance of several HDPE/CaCO3 and PP/CaCO3 blends and the rigid toughening mechanisms in these systems are discussed.

Role of Adhesion Promoters in Fatigue Crack Propagation (FCP) Behavior of Glass Filled Epoxy
Takafumi Kawaguchi, Raymond A. Pearson, May 2002

Understanding the fatigue crack propagation (FCP) resistance of materials is of great importance because most materials exhibit crack growth below critical fracture loads under cyclic loading conditions. In this study, the FCP behavior of glass-filled epoxy composites was characterized using linear elastic fracture mechanics. The role of adhesion promoters in FCP behavior was determined by treating the glass fillers with silane-based adhesion promoters. Special attention was paid to the effect of moisture on FCP behavior. Epoxy composites reinforced with glass spheres showed improved resistance to FCP as compared to neat epoxy. FCP behavior was dependent on the type of the adhesion promoters used, especially in moisture treated specimens. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies revealed that the differences in FCP behavior was attributable to different toughening mechanisms present which in turn, depended on the type of adhesion promoter used.

The Role of Fundamentals, Visual Observation and State-Of-The-Art Instrumental Methods in Solving Plastics Failures
Myer Ezrin, May 2002

While experience is a valuable asset, a novice failure analyst can solve even complicated plastics failures using a logical approach and utilizing the most appropriate analytical and test methods. By including old as well as state-of-the-art new methods, the test results often point right to the cause of failure. The eye, by itself, and with moderate magnification early in the investigation can provide information which helps point the way to solving the problem. Observations and test results are assessed as to which of the three major factors in plastics performance are involved - design, material, processing or combinations thereof.

The Role of Simulation and Computer Aided Analysis in Injection Molded Products
Philip Adetunji, May 2002

Simulation and computer aided analysis of the injection moulded process is known to many, but rarely employed. Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) affords the opportunity to reduce costs.This is a case study of the rectification of the inconsistent surface finish concern involving rear mudguards used in automotive applications. The cause of the problem was difficult to diagnose accurately, and attempts to remove the problem by speculation guided by experience failed. CAE software was used as an instrument, to diagnose the cause of the problem via process simulation and analyses of the results. The information obtained was then applied to provide recommendations, which not only solved the problem but also improved the molding process. By showing the benefits CAE added to the final product design and process, it was concluded that process simulation and computer aided analysis is too important a tool for saving time, material, human resources, and consequently money, to remain under utilized.

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