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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
Scaleup of Melt Conveying Parameters in Counter-Rotating Non-Intermeshing Twin Screw Extruders
Carl G. Hagberg, Eugene R. Uhl, May 2001
Extruder screws incorporate restrictive elements as melt seals for heating, mixing, shear and separation of devolatilization zones. To overcome the backpressure caused by the melt seals and convey the melt through the extruder, the screw channels upstream of the seal fill and pump the melt. The screw fill length is an important parameter in determining the residence time and ultimate capacity of the extruder. Experimental data on screw fill length was obtained on counter-rotating, non-intermeshing, CRNI twin screw extruders of different sizes. Model equations similar to single screw models were developed and applied to predict the screw channel drag and pressure flows and the apex leakage flow of the CRNI. Scaleup rules and screw design concepts to give equivalent screw fill and melt conveying performance were determined using the model equations.
An Adjustable Pressure Barrel for Counter-Rotating Non-Intermeshing (CRNI) Twin Screw Extruders
Eugene R. Uhl, Carl G. Hagberg, Bruce H. Algayer, May 2001
Extrusion processing requires screw modifications during process startup, process optimization and product changes. Downtime and expenses are required to change out the critical screw elements that provide shear, heating and mixing to the product. The CRNI twin screw extruder uses cylindrical compounding elements in the screw design to add shear, heating and mixing to the process. The performance of these cylinders determines the optimum performance of the screw. Varying the cylinder diameter changes the clearance between the barrel wall and changes the shear and the backpressure developed. In order to optimize the screw and make changes in the cylinder/barrel gap while operating, the AP (Adjustable Pressure) barrel was developed. Using the AP barrel can eliminate the down time and expense of changing cylinder elements. Experimental data was obtained comparing the processing characteristics of the AP barrel with varying diameter cylinder compounding elements. Similar performance was obtained using the new AP barrel demonstrating its viability for commercial operations.
The Effect of Residual Impurities on the Rheological and Mechanical Properties of Engineering Polymers Separated from Mixed Plastics
Ruifeng Liang, Rakesh K. Gupta, May 2001
This paper reports the results of an investigation of the effects of purity level and nature of impurities on the properties of recycled polycarbonate and recycled acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene polymers blended with the corresponding virgin resins. The relevant thermal, mechanical and flow properties were measured. It is concluded that properties of recycled polymers depend not only on the amount of impurity present but also on the kind of impurities and contaminants that are present. The latter factor even plays an important part in relation to compatibility of polymers. However, polymer melt rheology seems less sensitive to impurities than some mechanical properties such as impact strength. More than 99% purity is needed for recycling these polymers back into their original, high-value applications.
Numerical Simulation of Co-Injection Molding
James Wang, May 2001
In the co-injection molding process, two (or more) different polymers are injected into the cavity simultaneously or sequentially. Different properties of these two polymers and their distribution in the cavity greatly affect the applications of this molding process. The skin layer can use special polymers to provide good appearance and texture, strength, chemical resistance, EMI shielding and other functions. The core layer can use recycled or inexpensive materials. Together these can improve part quality and lower the cost. However, due to the dynamic interaction of two polymers in the manufacturing process and their difference in properties, process control becomes more complicated and process design becomes a challenge. The rules used for the traditional injection molding process design may not always be useful for co-injection molding any more. An integrated CAE software can be used to simulate the co-injection molding process. In this study, the capability and usefulness of the CAE tool will be shown. The control of polymer distribution will be discussed. The effects of polymer properties and their distribution on part quality will also be studied.
Large Part Blow Molding (LPBM) of HDPE Resins: Parison Extrusion Behavior and its Relationship with the Resins’ Rheological Parameters
N. Jivraj, K. Sehanobish, R. Ramanathan, A. Garcia-Rejon, M. Carmel, May 2001
In order to find the right combination of material properties and processing conditions (blow moldability) for the production of a molded part that has a set of predetermined final properties, it is necessary to characterise the material behaviour under the actual processing conditions. Relating this to the rheological properties (under controlled experimental conditions) of the material, it is possible to design the molecular characteristics of the material in such a way as to attain the desired processing characteristics. This paper presents the results of a study examining the relationships between some basic rheological properties and the key processing material behavior parameters (swell and sag) governing the blow molding process. The technique has been applied to the intermittent extrusion of three HDPE LPBM resins manufactured using three different catalyst and process technologies.
Injection/Stretch Blow Moulding of Polymer/Clay Nanocomposites
A. Garcia-Rejon, Y. Simard, C. DeGrandpré, May 2001
Injection/stretch blow moulding is expanding into new markets such as packaging of fruit juices, beer and other food products. These new applications demand better material performance that the one's presently available on traditional materials such as polyethylene terephtalate (PET), polycarbonate (PC) or polypropylene (PP). The development of polymer/clay nanocomposites has shown that the addition of a small amount of clay (2 to 5% by weight) to a polymer matrix can improve greatly impact strength, and barrier performance. In this work we have studied the injection/stretch blow moulding of polyethylene terephtalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites. The effect of clay content on top load, hot filling ability and barrier properties has been established.
In-Line Monitoring of Particles in a Polymer Melt during Extrusion Using a Scanning Particle Monitor
L.D. Ing, S.T. Balke, N. Stoev, H. Tamber, M. Planeta, May 2001
The development and application of an in-line scanning particle monitor is described. The monitor consists of an interface, telecentric lens, CCD camera, and computer. The interface provides a window into the process through which the optical system obtains images of particles, such as microgels, as small as eight microns in size. An exceptionally novel aspect is that the monitor can focus upon any depth in the stream to provide images of particles across the flow. Programmable image analysis software yields information on particle concentration, size, color, shape and velocity. The system is useful for both quality control and research.
The Effect of Die Entry Flow on the Rheology of Linear Polymers
Justin R. Barone, May 2001
It is well known that secondary flow will occur in the stagnant area near the die entrance of an extrusion die. The secondary flow may produce large-scale waviness on the extrudate surface if it propagates into the die land. For polymers that exhibit well-defined stick-slip transitions, propagation of the entry flow into the die is usually facilitated by slip flow. In this paper we show how the entry flow can quicken the sharkskin dynamics while only having a subtle effect on the rheology. This phenomenon is observed first hand using a flow birefringence technique. It is also shown how the effect of the die entry angle changes the slip behavior.
Temperature Rise in a Single Screw Pump-Extruder
Gregory A. Campbell, Hongying Cheng, Chicheng Wang, Matthew Bullwinkel, Mary Ann te-Riele, May 2001
The focus of this investigation was to determine the effect of barrel rotation and screw rotation on the flow rate and viscous dissipation inside the screw pump-extruder. The experimental results can be summarized by noting that the pumping capacity of the device was independent of which element was rotated at constant angular velocity and that barrel rotation generated higher temperature rise than screw rotation. Also this analysis suggested that a large amount of viscous dissipation inside this extruder arises from the clearance flow. A new analytical model was proposed to evaluate the viscous dissipation for screw rotation and has good agreement with data.
Structure Development during Film Blowing
M.D. Bullwinkel, G.A. Campbell, D.H. Rasmussen, C.J. Brancewitz, May 2001
The use of simultaneous on-line SALS (Small Angle Light Scattering) and IR (Infrared) temperature measurements to study structure development during tubular blown film extrusion of LLDPE is described. SALS patterns were recorded at various vertical positions along the bubble. For LLDPE, an undeformed spherlulitic structure is formed if the stress level during processing is not too high. The change in average scattered intensity with axial position can be described using multiple step crystallization process. The first step accounts for crystal growth and corresponds to the well-known temperature plateau. The later processes may reflect secondary crystallization and orientation processes. By allowing the processor to track the crystallization process, this on-line SALS system is potentially a useful tool for monitoring process-property interactions.
High Shear Rheology of Calcium Carbonate Slurries
Gregory A. Campbell, Michael E. Zak, May 2001
Several sizes of calcium carbonate were investigated because of their extensive use in the polymer industry as fillers. The investigation focused on developing an analytical tool which would lead to understanding and predicting the flow characteristics of slurries which have a Newtonian continuous phase but have high enough filler concentration to exhibit shear thinning or power law characteristics. We focus on concentrations where the initial yield behavior in not dominant A new function was found which linearly correlates the power law constant, n, to the concentration of the filler. The behavior of this function suggests that the Newtonian to Power-law behavior may be dominated by percolation processes.
Effect of Oil Additives and Injection Molding Process Parameters on the Tensile and Impact Energy of Polypropylene
Gregory A. Campbell, Sara E. Campbell, Matthew Bullwinkel, Joseph Savoka, Lona Ragona, Charles Mosier, May 2001
A factorial designed experiment was run to evaluate the interactions of processing parameters, polymer chemistry and proton irradiation on the tensile and impact properties of polypropylene. Polymer chemistry was the greatest contributor to differences in material properties. Base flake polymers with nucleating agent gave the best tensile properties, followed by the base flake polymer alone, the alternative base polymer and the polypropylene with oil, in that order. Polymers with oil gave the best impact properties with an increase in impact energy of 6000 %. Irradiation had significant impact on most polymer systems with some irradiation/processing interactions. In general proton irradiation was beneficial to tensile properties and detrimental to impact properties. Irradiation/processing parameter interactions were present and were highly dependent on the material chemistry and the material property tested. Those polymers with nucleating agent have a drop in material properties across the experiment, suggesting a time dependent material property change.
Low-Velocity Impacts in Continuous Glass Fiber/Polypropylene Composites
David Trudel-Boucher, Martin N. Bureau, Johanne Denault, Bo Fisa, May 2001
The low-velocity impact behavior of a continuous glass fiber/polypropylene composite has been investigated. Optical microscopy and ultrasonic scanning were used to determine the impact-induced damage. Damage mechanisms were found to be matrix cracking, delamination and a small amount of fiber breakage at the edge of the indentation on the front face. Tensile and flexural tests showed that the post-impact residual strengths and flexural modulus decreased with the incident impact energy, whereas effect on the post-impact residual tensile modulus was negligible. The dynamic fracture toughness was evaluated from the critical strain energy release rate during impact of specimens with an embedded insert used to simulate a delamination. Results are compared with fracture toughness values obtained during steady crack growth.
Model-Based Predictive Control of a DC Motor for Screw Rotation
Rickey Dubay, Bambang Pramujati, May 2001
Electric injection molding machines are becoming more common in the manufacture of high precision plastic components for pharmaceuticals, optics, and surgical tools. Good control of the screw rotating speed is vital when using multi-setpoint and ramp setpoint speed profiles during screw recovery. In addition, the controller should be adaptable for different plastic materials for minimizing overshoot and achieving a fast setting time. A predictive speed controller was developed for a scaled DC electric motor using an inertia and viscous friction loading for variable setpoint trajectories. Good control performance was obtained using an unconstrained optimization approach for determining the control moves.
Plastic Media as a Mold/Screw Cleaning Alternative
John M. Todd, May 2001
Maintaining molds/screws integrity through regular thorough cleaning is a key factor in producing quality plastic molded parts. The ability to clean quickly and economically (while being aware of environmental issues) is a challenge and a goal for all molders. Non-abrasive blast cleaning utilizing plastic media is the answer to all of the above. Not only is plastic media blasting quick/efficient, it will not alter/damage the mold or screw surface, round/erode corner and edges, or alter tolerances. In addition, all this can be attained with a product that is completely non-hazardous, which makes disposal a non-issue. All of the above has been documented through years of research. Data has been gathered on cleaning times, equipment and material costs with consideration for waste disposal costs comparing hand cleaning, chemical cleaning, and plastic media blast cleaning.
Rigid Particle Toughening of Aliphatic Polyketone Polymer
W.C.J. Zuiderduin, C. Westzaan, H. Huetink, R.J. Gaymans, A.A. Smaardijk, May 2001
In this paper the influence of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) particles on the toughening of aliphatic polyketone has been studied. It has been shown that the addition of the PCC particles increase the stiffness of the system and at the same time increase the impact resistance. The impact energy at room temperature was increased from 10 kJ/m2 to 80 kJ/m2. The brittle-to-ductile transition temperature (TBD) was lowered considerably by increasing the calcium carbonate concentration. The debonding of the calcium carbonate particles prior to the yield stress is the dominating step in the toughening mechanism.
A Novel Polymeric Coating for Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging of Medical Devices
S. Mehdi Tavakoli, Ewen J.C. Kellar, Dariush Nassiri, Anton E. Joseph, May 2001
Fine needle aspirates, biopsies and drainage procedures under ultrasound guidance are common, in most hospitals. A dynamic novel coating, consisting of a hydrophilic polymeric matrix and a bubbling agent, has been developed for accurate entry and positioning of the needle. The bubbling agent reacts with tissue fluid as the needle penetrates and produces bubbles within and on the surface of the coating, increasing the backscattering capacity of the coating and generating a brighter image of the device under ultrasound. Coated biopsy needles have been successfully used for in-vitro trials using a tissue-mimicking phantom, and in an isolated animal liver.
Mechanical Testing and Characterisation of a Steel Adherend Bonded Using an Automotive Grade Epoxy Adhesive
S. Mehdi Tavakoli, Ewen J.C. Kellar, Cosmas Vlattas, May 2001
Single lap shear specimens were prepared using a zinc coated steel adherend and an epoxy adhesive and evaluated by static and fatigue tests. Joints fatigue tested in air failed in a cohesive manner with some zinc delamination at the highest load. Joints tested in water failed through a combination of adhesive and cohesive failure. SEM, EDX, and FTIR analyses enabled a detailed characterisation of all the components of the epoxy system. Despite a generally homogenous distribution within the bulk of the adhesive, an interfacial layer, devoid of particulates has been identified next to the zinc layer.
Very High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Obtained through Heterogeneous Cp2ZrCl2 on Aluminas
Moacir de Alcantara, Maria F.V. Marques, May 2001
The heterogenization of Cp2ZrCl2 on different aluminas, under distinct thermal and chemical pre-treatments, produced PEs of very high Mw. Some polymerizations achieved high activities, compared to the homogeneous catalyst. The aluminas owned distinct surface properties. and their different themml pre-treaUnents showed great influence on the supported catalyst activities. Methylalmninoxane (MAO), trinlethvlaluminimn (TMA) mad another cheaper agent were utilized as chenfical pre-treatments on the calcined aluntinas. Their activities were compared. The cheaper agent showed an excellent catalyst activitv.
Polyethylene Produced by Polymer-Supported Cp2ZrCl2/TIBA/MAO Catalyst System
Patricia Aragão do C. Junior, Renata Barbosa M. Costa, Fernanda M.B. Coutinho, Grupo de Polímeros, May 2001
Heterogeneous metallocene catalyst systems have been developed in order to be employed in industrial plants of polyolefins producing with conventional Ziegler-Natta catalyst systems. In this work polyethylene was synthesized using Cp2ZrCl2 catalyst system based on pretreated organic supports employing triisobutylaluminum (TIBA) as impurities scavenger and methylaluminoxane (MAO) as external cocatalyst. The heterogenization of the catalyst caused no significant effect on polymers characteristics. However a slight tendency of increasing on molecular weight and polydispersity was observed.

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