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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
Modification of Clay Intercalate Structure and Properties of TPO Based Nanocomposites
D. Merinska, Z. Malac, J. Hrncirik, J. Simonik, J. Trlica, M. Pospisil, P. Capkova, Z. Weiss, May 2001
Intercalated montmorillonite (MMT) is the most important organoclay for production of polymer/clay nanocomposites. Understanding the structure-properties relationship is crucial for the successful development of new materials based on organically modified clays. Structure analysis based on X-ray diffraction and computational molecular modeling reveals details of Na-MMT intercalated with octadecylamine. Properties of polypropylene and polyethylene nanocomposite films prepared from clays intercalated with octadecylamine by ion-dipole method and with alkylammonium organocations intercalated by more conventional ion-exchange method are discussed.
Performance and Structure of Highly Oriented Toughened Polypropylene
N. Chapleau, A. Ajji, J. Mohanraj, A.K. Taraiya, I.M. Ward, May 2001
In this paper, two solid state forming processes, namely roll-drawing and die-drawing were evaluated for inducing high levels of orientation in toughened polypropylene (PP). PP was toughened using a metallocene polymer (mPE) at two levels, 10 and 25 wt%. Orientation, structure and properties of the resulting materials were evaluated. Draw ratios obtained ranged from 1 to 10 using the roll-drawing process and up to 15 using the die-drawing process. Moduli and strengths were affected in proportion to the elastomer content and the die-drawing process showed an improvement in the drawability of the toughened material. Morphological examination revealed the orientation of the dispersed phase domains.
Vibration-Assisted Injection Molding Applied to Recycled General Purpose Polystyrene
Akihisa Kikuchi, John P. Coulter, May 2001
Because of their previous thermal and shear history, recycled plastic materials have properties that are significantly inferior to those of their unrecycled counterparts. Thus, the applications of these materials are limited. With the aid of Vibration-Assisted Injection Molding (VAIM) technology, during the present study the properties of products made from recycled polymeric materials were improved. In this paper, the property enhancements realized with recycled polystyrene are presented compared with those obtained through the convention injection molding of virgin material. Also, a potential theoretical basis for the phenomena is discussed.
A Vision for the Rational Design of Polymer Nanocomposites
Lloyd A. Goettler, May 2001
This paper maps out a systematized approach to the design of nanoscale composite structures in heterogeneous polymer systems to meet application performance requirements, the processing technologies to generate those structures and the resulting material properties. Implementation of such a program would focus materials development on performance objectives while also serving to establish commercially viable process routes and define property benchmarks. It addresses the need to identify and understand nanophase interactions in order to realize desired enhancements in engineering properties. Understanding of these phenomena may best be achieved through a synergistic combination of modeling and experimentation. Examples will be provided to illustrate selected facets of the overall scheme with a focus on commercially significant applications.
The Influence of Processing Parameters on the Properties of Melt-Spun Polypropylene Hollow Fibers
Anne de Rovere, Brian P. Grady, Robert L. Shambaugh, May 2001
Isotactic polypropylene hollow fibers were produced by melt spinning. Spinning speeds up to 1880 m/min were used, and sample hollowness (percent void in cross section) ranged from 0 to 69%. The fiber samples were characterized using dynamic mechanical analysis, birefringence, tensile testing, and differential scanning calorimetry. The hollow fibers were found to have higher crystallinity, orientation and strength than the analogous solid fibers. In general, the polymer orientation in a hollow fiber was larger than the orientation in a solid fiber, even when the spinning speed for the latter was much larger. For a fixed outer diameter, increasing the hollowness improved fiber properties. However, as hollowness was further increased, fiber properties declined slightly. At a given percent hollowness, increased spinning speed increased modulus and tenacity.
Quick Tooling: New Software Applications Bring Power and Compatibility to the Toolmaking Process
Dan Marinac, May 2001
With customers demanding shorter and shorter lead times to get their products to market, profitable moldmaking demands accurate quoting. Design problems that are unforeseen during the quoting process disrupt production and impact your margin. Quick Tooling delivers critical tooling information to salesmen, engineering and shop-owners for timely and informed decisions. This new technology enables moldmakers to compress the mold delivery cycle, elevate critical design variables early in the process, and eliminates repetitive manual tasks. The faster you can establish which constraints will cost you the largest engineering concerns in the tool delivery cycle, the more accurately you can quote, the better the bottom line. Quick Tooling adds value to the tooling development process by providing an environment in which expert tool engineering process knowledge is captured and analyzed, enabling the user to account for upstream constraints earlier in the tool design process. Simulation software enables users to digitally view the actions of the tool before committing engineering hours to the job.
Mixing Behavior of a Model Miscible Binary Polymer System Having Extremely Low Viscosity Ratio
Paul T. Shea, Robert D. Pietruski, Chi-Kai Shih, Donald A. Denelsbeck, May 2001
It is well known in industry that production of multi-component compounds with an extremely low viscosity ratio is a very difficult undertaking. This paper describes an attempt to investigate factors affecting mixing of a model system having a viscosity ratio well below 0.001 using a batch internal mixer. Similar to the findings of Ratnagiri, Scott, Joung, and Shih (1, 2, 3) on morphological development during mixing of immiscible polymers, we have observed similar S-shaped torque profiles during mixing of miscible polymer systems of styrene-isoprene-styrene block copolymers with hydrocarbon oils. The time to reach the upper higher torque branch, i.e., the Phase Inversion (PI) time as defined by Ratnagiri and Scott (2), increased with the amount of low viscosity component in the binary composition. The data could be well represented using an exponential model. We also found the PI Time to be longer at equal shear rates and slightly longer at equal RPM using a larger mixer. We were surprised to find the miscible system also exhibited a similar S-shaped torque profile. A method to reduce the PI Time in blends with a high concentration of the low viscosity ingredient was explored. It was also shown that PI Time could be reduced significantly using a split low viscosity feed addition and that a 25% / 75% split had a shorter time to PI than a 50% / 50% or 75% / 25% oil distribution. This emphasized that a slight lowering of the major component viscosity with small additions of oil was the most advantageous process for decreasing total time for PI.
Deformation and Yielding in Blown Oriented Polystyrene Films
C.C. Chau, J. McGill, R. Gayheart, May 2001
Shear bands were generated in polystyrene upon melt extrusion and film blowing. These bands consisted of two sets with an intersection angle ranging from approximately 36 to 65 degrees. The definition, morphology and intersection angle of the bands varied with film processing conditions. The widely distributed bands are indicative of shear yielding rather than viscoelastic flow that could govern the later stages of film formation. Upon further deformation, new shear bands were generated with the band morphology varied with the draw ratios introduced in film blowing. The bands were fine and diffusive for films with high draw ratios. They were large and localized for that of low draw ratios.
Failure of Thermoplastic Tanks
P.R. Lewis, G.W. Weidmann, May 2001
Thermoplastic sheet polypropylene and PVDC is widely used in corrosion-resistant tanks for storage of fluids, including dangerous chemicals. We report the failure of one such PP tank used to store 40% caustic soda. A weld failed in a full tank 3 months after installation, causing damage to property but no personal injury. The detailed investigation revealed that the basic design was faulty, the tank being built like a barrel rather than like a dam. The excessive hoop stress from the hydrostatic pressure caused the failure of two welds. Other tanks made in the same way were inspected and corrective action taken. Such tanks should be built to the German standard DVS 2205.
Solvent Welding of Abs and Hips-A Case Study in Methylene Chloride Substitution
J. Desai, C.M.F. Barry, J.L. Mead, R.G. Stacer, May 2001
An investigation was conducted to evaluate replacements for methylene chloride in the solvent welding of an acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene system (ABS) and a high-impact polystyrene (HIPS). Fourteen candidate solvents were experimentally considered. These were divided into three general categories: traditional, green and clean." A relative hazard rating was assigned to each solvent by taking the maximum concentration that the solvent could keep in equilibrium in a specified air space and dividing this value by the threshold limit value (TLV). Solvent welding was tested in both bond-in-tension and single-lap shear geometries. Parameters affecting resultant bond strength that were quantified included time polymer in contact with solvent time after surfaces joined temperature (pre- and post-bonding) contact pressure and vacuum."
Product Positioning in the INSITE* Technology Process
Kurt W. Swogger, May 2001
Over the last ten years Dow Chemical has been developing INSITE* technology using Speed" based principles to insure speedier development and faster revenue growth. One of the principles we have been using relates to using marketing to position our products to the various audiences required for a successful launch: our customers our competitors and our people. In general positioning products is not well understood in our company but it is critical to help shape people's perceptions of what is possible how this product relates to other products and what the value of the product is to the marketplace. By positioning INSITE technology and delivering new products to the marketplace Dow's image as a technology leader has been enhanced. The INSITE technology capability continues to encompass more opportunity and the credibility of the technology and products Dow launches grows. The process to establish a positioning and new product delivery are key elements to maximize the value not only of consumer products but also even differentiated commodities. Positioning is a key element in Dow's drive to launch INSITE technology and maximize value of the subsequent product lines."
The Role of Testing in the Failure Analysis of Plastics
Edward W.S. Bryant, Steve Ferry, May 2001
Failure analysis (FA) of products and materials always requires careful observation of the general circumstances involved. The product failure analyst never overlooks external causes or environmental effects. All FA also requires a healthy dose of common sense and a 'Sherlock Holmes' investigatory sense. However, specialized material and product tests are also essential components of successful FA including: material mechanical properties, tests for composition and uniformity, residual stress tests, tests for contamination, identification and quantification of residual solvents, microstructural examination, and many more. An overview of general FA techniques will be presented, followed by specific examples of plastic FA. These specific examples will be discussed in detail, with special emphasis on the key findings derived from specialized laboratory testing. Examples will include plastic piping systems, consumer products, industrial equipment, and sporting equipment. Techniques discussed will include residual solvent identification by GC/MS, various spectroscopic techniques, optical and electron microscopy, thermal analysis, and mechanical properties testing.
Interfacial Tension, Phase Inversion and Co-Continuity in Poly(L-Lactide)/Polystyrene Blends
Pierre Sarazin, Basil D. Favis, May 2001
In this work blends of poly(L-lactide) (PLA) and polystyrene (PS) were investigated. The breaking thread method was used to measure the interfacial tension between poly(L-lactide) and polystyrene at 200°C. The complex viscosity and the storage modulus of the pure components were measured as a function of the frequency. L-PLA/PS blends were prepared by melt mixing the polymers in a Brabender mixer and the level of continuity has been investigated. The interfacial tension was found to be about 9.1 mN/m, whereas the phase inversion was determined to a PS concentration higher than 60%.
Biodegradable Plasticizers for Polylactic Acid
Stephen McCarthy, Xu Song, May 2001
Poly(lactic acid) [PLA] is a well known biodegradable polymer which has been used in drug delivery systems, surgical repair systems such as sutures and bone fracture fixation pins and screws. PLA is biocompatible, has a high tensile strength, and has a high elastic modulus[1,2]. However, one drawback of PLA is the low elongation at break due to a brittle fracture while under tensile and bending loads. The elongation at break of PLA is typically 3 - 5 percent[1]. The reason for this brittle behavior is due to physical aging which occurs during storage at room temperature and has been studied extensively.[3] Plasticization is a common technique used to increase the ductility of a brittle polymer. In the case of PLA a suitable plasticizer must be miscible with PLA so as to decrease the glass transition temperature, as well as be biodegradable and nontoxic so as to provide a useful biodegradable blend. The advantages of the plasticization are low cost, ease of processing, and the ability to alter the properties of the blends by varying the amount of plasticizer. Use of a functionalized plasticizer can be more desirable such that a chemical bond is formed with the PLA polymer thereby preventing loss of the plasticizer through migration.
An Assessment of Dynamic Feed Control in Modular Tooling
J.F. Reilly, M. Doyle, D.O. Kazmer, May 2001
An experimental investigation of the inter-cavity dependencies of a modular tool using Dynamic Feed control is presented. The results showed that part weight and overall part dimension are controlled by the individual command pressure to each cavity and the material's melt temperature. The weight and dimensions of a particular cavity appear independent of the control pressures set to fill the other cavity inserts. This was demonstrated to the extent that weight and dimension showed independence from a deliberate short shot condition in the hardest to fill part. There may be a minor synergistic effect of adjacent cavity pressure and the shorting part but this would need to be confirmed with additional experimentation. Once initially stabilized both traditional machine velocity control and Dynamic Feed weight variations were in the range of +/- 0.025% or less.
Effects of Antiblocking Agents on Polyethylene Crystallization in Bulk and in Dilute Solution
Jim C. Huang, J.W. Teh, May 2001
The effects of antiblocking agents on the crystallization process of linear-low density polyethylene were investigated in dilute solution and in bulk. It was found that the type of antiblock has a more profound influence on crystallization than does macromolecular architecture. Silica was not found to have appreciable influence on the crystallization process either in bulk or in dilute solution. Talc, however, affected the crystallization process in both phases: in dilute solution, it decreased the apparent homopolymer fraction in TREF, and in bulk, it elevated the onset of crystallization and reduced the rate of nucleation, as monitored by DSC and DMA.
Re-Engineering of an Epoxy Matrix for Composite Water Ski Fabrication
Eric N. Gilbert, Brian S. Hayes, James C. Seferis, May 2001
Changes in resin chemistry have a significant effect on the manufacturing parameters and mechanical properties of composite systems. A customized resin was developed for the fabrication of a water ski, which conformed to the initial manufacturing parameters of the commercial resin system. The curing properties of the resins were investigated and laminates were taken from skis to compare resistance to high temperature deformation using stress relaxation experiments. Also, real-time strain measurement systems were built and tested on skis made with both resins. Results showed that the stiffness increased under a 3-point bending load and stiffness was maintained at higher temperatures with the customized resin system.
Investigation of Non-Thermal Effects Produced by Ultrasonic Heating on Curing of Two-Part Epoxy Adhesive
Kin Ming Kwan, Avraham Benatar, May 2001
Rapid curing of structural adhesives by ultrasonic heating has been demonstrated successfully in recent work. Therefore, it is important to examine whether ultrasound would induce non-thermal effects that accelerate the reaction rate of the adhesive. In this paper, Differential Scanning Calorimeter was used to carry out thermal analysis of the reaction kinetics of a two-part structural epoxy adhesive. A chemical model based on a four-parametric semi-empirical equation was developed to distinguish the non-thermal effects from ultrasonic vibration from the thermal effects resulting from ultrasonic heating. It was found that the non-thermal effects was more significant at the beginning of the curing process but it gradually diminished as the heating time was increased. The conversion of the epoxy adhesive produced by ultrasonic curing at 50 seconds was almost three times higher than that obtained by thermal heating.
Modeling of Ultrasonic Forced Wetting Process by Dimensional Analysis
Kin Ming Kwan, Avraham Benatar, May 2001
Wetting of liquids on solid surfaces is very important for many applications including adhesive bonding. Ultrasonic forced wetting has been shown to reduce the contact angle of liquids on solid surface. The application of hydrodynamic analysis to model the process is difficult because of the well-known stress singularity that arises at the liquid/solid contact line. In this paper, dimensional analysis was utilized to establish a semi-empirical dimensionless equation for the prediction of the ultrasonic forced wetting process. Experimental data of dynamic contact angles of three liquids vibrated at different frequencies and amplitudes were produced. By correlating the dynamic contact angle with liquid properties, geometric parameters, ultrasonic vibration parameters, gravity, and thermal effects caused by viscous heating, it was shown that a dimensionless equation can be developed to predict the dynamic contact angle of liquids under ultrasonic forced wetting.
Physical Modeling of Elastomer Extrusion Using the Visioplasticity Method
David C. Angstadt, Wojciech Z. Misiolek, May 2001
The visioplastic method is often used to model material flow for the deformation of metals. The method provides qualitative and quantitative data on material flow such as strain, strain rate and velocity throughout the flow regime. Data obtained is used to evaluate die design, troubleshoot processing problems or evaluate results of computer modeling software. The present study applies this method to the extrusion of elastomeric profiles. An advantage with elastomers is that the actual polymer being studied can be modeled directly. A general discussion of the visioplastic method is provided along with results from the evaluation of selected die geometries.


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