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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Mixing Silica and Other Fillers into Elastomers and Their Agglomerate Breakdown during Mixing in an Internal Mixer and Their Rheological Behavior
The rate of silica particles agglomerate breakdown in an laboratory internal mixer were measured and compared with carbon black, calcite, talc and zinc oxide particles. Silica agglomerates exhibited the highest agglomerate size. The rheological behavior of each compound was investigated. Small silica particle filled system exhibited highest viscosity level.
The Foaming Mechanism in Rotational Molding
Rotational molders are lightweighting their parts by adding chemical blowing agents to their polymers. However, they are finding to their dismay that it is just as difficult to produce controlled voids as it is to eliminate voids. This paper highlights the mechanism of cell formation as an aid to those struggling with foam production.
Fractography of Metals and Plastics
Fractography is critical to failure analysis of metals and plastics. Fractography of plastics is a relatively new field with many similarities to metals. Utilizing case histories, various aspects of failure analysis and fractography are compared and contrasted. Common failure modes include ductile overload, brittle fracture, impact and fatigue. Analogies can also be drawn between stress corrosion cracking (SCC)/stress cracking, corrosion/ chemical aging, dealloying/scission, residual stress/frozen-in stress, and welds/knit lines. Stress raisers, microstructure, material defects, and thermo-mechanical history play important roles in both cases. Key fractographic features for metals and plastics are described.
PEEK / Carbon Fiber Composites: An Evaluation of Particle Size and Processing Method on Composite Properties
This study examines the effects of particle size on the consolidation quality and mechanical performance of carbon fiber-reinforced composites fabricated from dry powder coated carbon fiber tow (towpreg). Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) powder was sieved to produce three different particle size distributions; a minimal polymer powder deposition system was used to coat carbon fiber tow with these distributions and unsieved polymer. Unidirectional composite panels were manufactured from these four batches of towpreg and APC-2 (PEEK / AS4) prepreg using an identical processing schedule. Poor consolidation quality of some panels limited conclusions. However, these results did bring forward several questions concerning the effects of powder particle size distribution on the processing of composites from PEEK/G30-500 towpreg that may be addressed in future studies.
Microcellular Foam Molding: Advantages and Application Examples
The MuCell® molding technology is a proprietary manufacturing process for producing microcellular foamed plastics. The microcellular foam process uses supercritical fluids (SCFs) of atmospheric gases to create evenly distributed and uniformly sized microscopic cells throughout a polymer. Suitable for injection molding, this breakthrough foam process enhances product design, improves processing efficiency, and reduces product costs. This foam process does not require chemical blowing agents (CBAs), hydrocarbon-based physical blowing agents, nucleating agents, or reactive components. The microcellular foam molding technology permits molders to reduce raw material consumption while producing strong, lightweight products, extending considerably the applications of foamed polymers. This paper describes those benefits, shows the effect of processing conditions on cellular structure and reviews some successful applications of the technology.
Model-Based Techniques for Improving Part Development
In this work, optimization strategies that employ model-based technologies are developed for minimising the overall weight and improving thickness distribution of an extruded blow moulded part. The part studied is a plastic dumbbell for the recreational sector. Process simulations and preliminary experimental trials are simultaneously performed to assist in the development of the part. Once the numerical modelling methodology is functional, one can perform a process optimization based on a desired objective function, such as uniform part thickness distribution and/or minimal part weight. The optimization is performed in two sequential steps (weight optimization followed by thickness optimization) by the systematic manipulation of the operating conditions, such as the parison dimensions. Furthermore, a commercial procedure modelling technology (i.e. FirstSTEP™) is employed for demonstrating the reduction in the part development time with the new model-based approach.
Anisotropic Electrical Percolation and Electrostatic Dissipation in Chaotically Mixed Carbon Black Filled Polyethylene Composites
The electrical resistivity and electrostatic charge dissipation characteristics of carbon black (CB) filled low-density polyethylene (LDPE) thermoplastic composites processed by three-dimensional chaotic mixing were investigated. These properties are reported as a function of carbon black concentration and are related to novel microstructures that have been shown to reduce percolation thresholds. Microscopic analysis of emerging structures is correlated to electrical properties of the composite. Electrical conductivity exhibited anisotropy indicating preferred orientation of aggregates formed in situ.
Gloss Control in Rigid PVC-Part II: Effect of Processing Variables on Gloss of Rigid PVC Profiles
This paper describes the results of the study on the effect of extrusion conditions on gloss of rigid PVC profile. Extrusion variables investigated in this study are: extrusion melt temperature, extruder temperature settings, extrusion rate and the die/sizer metal surface condition. It is hoped that this information will help PVC profile manufacturers to optimize their process for achieving desirable gloss.
Gloss Control in Rigid PVC-Part I: Techniques for Gloss Assessment of Rigid PVC Profiles
This paper describes various techniques for assessing gloss of PVC extrusion. It discusses the effect of the incident light angle on measured gloss values and test sensitivity for PVC extrudates. It also describes the relationship between surface gloss and extrudate roughness, analyzed by scanning electron and optical microscopy. Finally, this paper provides recommendations on the most suitable methods for assessing gloss of PVC extrudates.
Laminated Protein Films
The properties of laminated films made from soy protein isolate and corn-zein are investigated. Plasticized corn-zein protein mixture was laminated on one side of a preformed soy protein film to modify the moisture barrier properties. The 250 ?m thick laminated films were dark-yellow, translucent, and somewhat brittle. The water vapor permeability values of these laminates were lower than those of the single component soy protein films. The tensile strength of these laminates was about 5 MPa. Continuous hot-roll film extrusion was also conducted and the process is being refined.
Thermal Imaging Your Process - No Guesswork
Blow molding is a thermal process involving heat and plastic resin. The blow molding machine heats the plastic pellets to a uniform temperature, through the function of heater bands and the friction of the screw, thus forming a homogenous melt that is shaped to a circular tube called the parison. The parison is then placed in a female blow mold that is cooled or heated via a turbulent fluid. Too much heat or too little heat, or too much cooling/heating at the wrong place or the lack of uniformity of heat/cool will cause many production problems. The machine plus the mold continuously strive to maintain these heats/cooling functions, but it is a precarious struggle. Unfortunately, you cannot see the thermal energy, only its effects. Thermal energy radiates in the infrared spectrum, outside the spectrum of visible light, which we rely upon in our daily lives and of course our blow molding environment.
Devolatilization of Polymers by Diffusion and Foaming
Devolatilization is a key-step in polymer processing. Low-molecular-weight components are removed from a polymeric system. The transport of these components takes place by diffusion and in some cases by foaming. In this study the different transport phenomena are investigated independently from each other in a special designed apparatus. The transport in thin films and rotating pools with surface renewal is measured for different parameters. For the diffusive transport a high surface renewal rate and thick films enhance the mass transfer. For foam devolatilization the conditions for bubble nucleation and foam formation are investigated. The bubble nucleation takes place in the rotating pool in the area of high shear velocity.
Wonder Injection Molding with Momentary Mold Surface Heating Process (MsSH Process)
Momentary Mold Surface Heated Process is a invention which heats only the mold surface over 400°C in few seconds with gas flame and cool it down very quickly again. Practically it was tried to produce a shiny surface of 98% light reflecting of the injection molded article of 30% glass fiber reinforced Polycarbonate. And it was carried out successfully with a simple attached equipment and specially designed mold so called MmSH Mold which is to supply the gas fuel and air between the two parts of mold. The results and method of wonder injection molding with MmSH Process was reviewed in this paper.
Constitutive Analysis of the Nonlinear Shear Rheology of Flour Suspensions Obtained from Different Botanical Sources
The evaluation and development of validated models for the nonlinear viscoelastic (VE) behavior of materials is an important area of research which has impact on a number of industrial processes including those in the food industry. Various nonlinear VE models have been developed over the years and evaluated for petroleum-based polymers; however, our understanding of the nonlinear VE behavior of biopolymers of industrial import lags our understanding of synthetic polymers. In the work reported herein, the nonlinear VE behavior of suspensions (20 % by weight in deionized water) of defatted oat flour, oat bran, barley flour, and oat flour were investigated. The rheological properties were measured using a Rheometrics Series IV controlled-strain rheometer equipped with a cone and plate fixture. The measurements were conducted at 23 ± 0.1°C. The rheological data were interpreted using a strain separable K-BKZ type (Wagner) model. The K-BKZ model was found to provide an accurate description of the rheological behavior of the four flour suspensions.
Coextrusion of High Barrier Films Containing Liquid Crystalline Polymers
Thermotropic Liquid Crystalline Polymers (TLCPs) possess the lowest oxygen and humidity permeabilities among commercial polymers. However, TLCPs are highly incompatible with conventional polymers (polyolefins, polyesters), due to their unique composition and morphology. To compatibilize TLCPs with conventional polymers, a variety of polymers were evaluated having various functional groups like maleic anhydride, epoxy, acrylic acid etc. Using Ethylene Glycidyl Metha Acrylate (EGMA), three and five layer films containing TLCPs were prepared by conventional coextrusion. Experimental results have shown that a 10 ?m TLCP layer with polypropylene or polyester, increased the barrier to oxygen by a factor of 120 compared to neat polypropylene and by a factor of 40 compared to neat polyester, respectively. Furthermore, five layer films demonstrated higher barrier and stiffness properties compared to three layers films having identical overall composition. These unique barrier properties of TLCPs containing multi-layer films can compete commercially with EVOH and PVDC containing coextruded films, and can be further shaped by thermoforming and blow molding for high barrier packaging applications.
Development of Polypropylene Plank Foam Products
Low-density plank foam products were developed from both conventional and high melt strength (HMS) polypropylene resins. Bubble stability was achieved by making the foam density low and the cell size small. The use of a multiple-orifice die with an optional use of forming yielded a plank foam product with a large cross-sectional size.
Solid State Shear Orientation of Polymers via Equal Channel Angular Extrusion
The effect of large strain, simple shear deformation induced by the Equal Channel Angular Extrusion (ECAE) process on semi-crystalline poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and amorphous polycarbonate (PC) has been investigated. A through-thickness shear strain of approximately 190% after one ECAE pass is induced in the extrudates. Mechanical tests revealed that the extrudates are anisotropic, indicating that the process is capable of generating highly oriented microstructures. Improved fracture toughness can also be achieved via the ECAE process.
Evaluating the Cutting Behavior of Amorphous Poly(Ethylene Terephthalate) Sheet Using Steel Rule Dies
A technique for measuring the cutting properties of thermoplastic sheet using steel rule dies is presented. This technique can be used to evaluate the roles of die hardness, point size, temperature, and bevel as well as sheet thickness and temperature on cutting efficiency. The technique is demonstrated using oriented polystyrene and amorphous polyesters such as PET and PETG. The cutting mechanisms for these materials are examined by controlling the penetration depth of the steel rule die in order to create a series of partial cuts.
Fracture Behavior of Polypropylene Modified with Metallocene Catalyzed Polyolefin
The fracture and deformation behaviors in polypropylene homopolymer toughened by metallocene catalyzed poly-ethylene elastomer are unknown. It is desired to understand the fracture and deformation mechanisms of PP toughened by the elastomer using standard puncture tests, J-integral fracture initiation toughness and tensile dilatometry. Preliminary results show that impact toughness of PP homopolymer was greatly enhanced in the presence of the elastomer. Volumetric strains were measured to estimate the degree of dilatational deformation relative to volume-conserving shear yielding.
Free Volume and Molecular Mobility in a Styrene/n-Butyl Methacrylate Copolymer Series
In this work a wide series of copolymers of styrene and n-butyl methacrylate are investigated in terms of their physical and free volume properties. The study follows on from recently published work in which the relaxational and intermolecular coupling properties of this copolymer series was examined. It is found that even though the glass transition of polystyrene is higher than that of poly (n-butylmethacrylate), it has a lower density and higher molecular free volume fraction. The free volume fraction behaviour is complex, all copolymer values showing greater free volume fraction than the homopolymers. This correlates with a negative deviation over the Fox Tg behaviour of the copolymer. This is despite the moderately monotonic variation in the individual aspects of free volume (size and number of free volume pores). There are some dramatic changes in these properties at the extreme values of comonomer concentrations.
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