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

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.

Syndiotactic and Commercial Isotactic Polypropylene Blends
Daniela E.B. Lopes, Juliana D. Rego, Maria F.V. Marques, May 2001

The development of syndiotactic polypropylene (s-PP) was stimulated with the advent of metallocene catalysts. This material exhibits special mechanical and optical properties, like higher impact strength and higher clarity. These characteristics can be used to improve the commercialization of polypropylene produced nowadays. In this work syndiotactic polypropylene was synthesized by ?2C(Flu)(Cp)ZrCl2/MAO system. The resulting polypropylene was mixed with a commercial isotactic polypropylene, at different proportions, resulting in blends with improved processability.

Development of a Notebook PC Housing by Using MMSH (Momentary Mold Surface Heating) Process
Dong-Hak Kim, Myung-Ho Kang, Young Ho Chun, May 2001

MmSH (Momentary Mold Surface Heating) process is an invention that heats only the mold surface over 400°C in few seconds with gas flame and cool it down very quickly again[1,2]. Practically it was tried to produce a shiny surface of 98% light reflecting of notebook PC housing of 20% glass fiber reinforced Polycarbonate. In addition to the outstanding surface quality, physical properties such as falling dart impact strength and heat resistance were improved. And it was carried out successfully with simple attached equipment and specially designed MmSH Mold which is to supply the gas fuel and air between the two parts of mold. The results of injection-molded notebook PC housing with MmSH Process will be discussed in this paper.

The Effect of TiO2 Pigment Particle Size and Masterbatch Rheology on the Dispersion Performance of TiO2 Pigment within the Polyethylene Blown Film Process
G.P. Milligan, G.M. McNally, W.R. Murphy, M. Leathem, May 2001

During the extrusion of pigmented blown film products, film quality can sometimes be affected by inadequate pigment dispersion and in some cases excessive melt build-up around the die lips during extended production runs. These problems are particularly evident during the extrusion of white (TiO2) pigmented films. The rheological characteristics of a range of commercially available titanium dioxide based masterbatches, with different polyethylene carrier polymer melt flow indices, were investigated using a dual capillary rheometer over the temperature range of 190°C to 230°C. Scanning electron microscope studies were performed on the individual masterbatches to determine pigment particle size and the degree of pigment agglomeration. Blown film extrusion trials, using a Killion blown film line, were carried out to determine film quality. The results showed that the masterbatches containing relatively large individual particle size caused more difficulties during film extrusion. Rheological analysis showed that the pigment masterbatch with the higher shear viscosities gave improved pigment dispersion in the film, and improved agglomerate breakdown during the extrusion process.

Revolutionizing Runner Designs in Hot & Cold Runner Molds
John P. Beaumont, May 2001

A next generation runner design is proving to yield unprecedented consistency in multi-cavity molds as well as providing new process aids which can control distribution of melt conditions in a cavity. This paper explains how variations in melt conditions are created in cold and hot runner molds and how they impact Cpk, productivity and molded product characteristics. These variations are rarely understood or appreciated, yet are possibly the most significant influencing factors in the successful production of injection molded products today. A next generation runner is revealed which provides the performance of a small cavitation mold, improves product consistency, and increases productivity and process control of injection molding to a new level.

Structure and Properties of Extruded Corn Starch/Polymer Foams
Randal L. Shogren, J.L. Willett, May 2001

Expanded foam peanuts made from blends of thermoplastic starch and various polymers were studied in order to better understand relationships between structure and properties in these systems. Some polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) gave high radial expansion while others such as EastarBio polyester actually inhibited expansion compared to the control. Poly(hydroxyester-ether) (PHEE) was most effective in reducing friability of normal corn starch foams although there was still some dusting at low humidity. High amylose starch/PHEE foams had zero friability indicating that corn starch chemical modification is not necessary to confer good physical properties. Low friability seems to be correlated with a high surface concentration of polymer (as measured by XPS) and with polymers having a high degree of energy dissipation (low crystallinity, Tg near room temperature).

Blends of Starch with Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)/Ethylene Copolymers for Use in Foam Containers
Geoffrey A.R. Nobes, William J. Orts, Gregory M. Glenn, Gregory M. Gray, Micahel V. Harper, May 2001

The use of foamed polymer packaging such as polystyrene (PS) cups, bowls and clamshells has decreased in recent years because of perceived environmental disadvantages. Blends of starch with poly(vinyl alcohol-co-ethylene), PVOH, a degradable, water-resistant polymer, were processed into viable alternatives to PS providing degradable polymers from renewable resources. Modulated DSC and X-ray crystallography were used to characterize the miscibility and morphology of extruded starch/PVOH blends that contained a series of plasticizers. These included combinations of water, glycerol, triacetin, citrate esters, and amino acids. The optimal blend formulation, based on miscibility, strength, aging characteristics, and capability to replace PS foam was--60-65% wheat starch, -25 -30% PVOH, and -5-10% plasticizer.

Numerical Investigation of the Continuous Electronic Laminate Processing
Mingjun Yuan, Tim A. Osswald, Jose M. Castro, L. James Lee, May 2001

The continuous electronic laminate processing method is a novel method which addresses the major industrial concerns: solvent elimination, void removal, dimensional consistency, and economics. To better understand its process mechanism, modeling and numerical simulation is implemented on resin flow, heat transfer, and conversion process. In this study, the problem of resin flow and heat transfer through the composite channel is analyzed. The channel is assumed to be a two-layer system, one filled with a resin saturated porous medium and the other with a clear resin. The Brinkman - Forchheimer - Extended Darcy equation is utilized for the glass fiber matrix porous region. The viscosity effect accompanied by the resin curing process is coupled into the flow model. For the heat transfer analysis, a uniform heat flux is imposed at the copper plate, and the heat diffusion effect in resin cure is also considered. The laminate thickness variation and the curing degree profile can also be obtained using the numerical simulation.

Use of Cavity Pressure Sensors to Build Viscosity Data for Flow Simulations
Paul Van Huffel, Mike Groleau, May 2001

Mold filling analyses are frequently used in the design of a part or mold, but are rarely validated to verify the assumptions used in the simulation. This includes assumptions about the accuracy of the material property database(s). The purpose of the proposed study was twofold: 1. to reconstruct viscosity data for a material using actual process data from a standard mold geometry; and 2. to validate the data by comparing simulation results with actual cavity pressure data. Validation was performed using different analysis models and processing conditions, and showed promising correlation with actual process results.

Fusion Mechanism in Rigid PVC
Mark T. Berard, May 2001

A classic approach for studying network effects in carbon black containing rubber was applied to PVC with stabilizer. This approach involves measuring the shear modulus with increasing strain. In carbon black containing rubber, the modulus drops dramatically at a critical strain level. This is known as the Payne effect" [1] and is associated with the break-up of the carbon black network. PVC that was fused to different levels in a bowl mixer shows exactly the same behavior and the drop point correlates very well with the fusion peak in the mixing bowl. The relationship between network effects and fusion in PVC will be discussed."

Automatic Design for Parting Line on Injection Mold
Hiroshi Koresawa, Masato Sakashita, Hiroshi Suzuki, May 2001

This study discusses a method for the automatic design of a suitable parting line, which enables a reduction in flash, which occurs at the front edge of the parting line, a molded defect in injection molding. The amount of flash is estimated by the size of the gap, which is calculated at the front edge of the parting line, using numerical analysis by the non-linear finite element method. The parting line is automatically determined, using heuristic search methods of a genetic algorithm. As for the application of this algorithm, its validity will be examined in the following steps in the process of a numerical experiment : encryptation of individuals expressing parting line, the definition of the fitness function to evaluate such individuals, and genetic operation (selection, crossover, and mutation) for the individuals. Our study found determination of a parting line, which almost satisfies the size of the gap and effective stress given as targeted values, and its possibility of automatic design.

Effect of Processing Parameters on Bond Strength for Multicomponent Injection Molding
Shaival R. Mehta, Dipen R. Parikh, May 2001

TPVs already have a number of successful applications in many multiple component parts. Part consolidation and integration resulted in cost saving and added value. Useful attributes, such as soft touch for ergonomics, contrasting color for better consumer appearance and marking for corporate recognition, can be achieved along with better quality and performance. In those parts, TPVs play a very important functional role, as such integrated seals & gaskets for water tight applications, soft touch grips for kitchen wares, living hinges and/or energy absorption elements. Co-process fabrication technology takes advantage of the melt-processibility of TPVs and the heat fusion bonding to a compatible substrate. These multi-material techniques have been creatively used in co-extrusion, tri-extrusion, insert molding, two shot molding and even co-injection [1].

TPEs in Hot Runner Systems: An Elastic Entity
Robert C. Wegelin, Shaival R. Mehta, May 2001

Hot runner systems have been around since the early 1960's. They have provided users with runnerless, finished parts for many technically exciting applications. In producing these parts, materials play an important role in the type of hot runner system used to fabricate them. Hot runner systems lend themselves to multi-shot molding applications, which eliminates the need for three-plate cold runner systems. Hot runner systems are used for a variety of reasons, the main ones being a runnerless system with zero scrap, fast cycle times and, in many cases, improvement of part quality. There are no gates to trim. Cycle times are based on the part itself, and smaller gates can be used to improve the molded part appearance. While all this paints a rosy picture, disadvantages in hot runner systems do exist. Higher mold costs and longer learning curves, along with added personnel training, tend to make using these systems more costly. For high volume production, these systems are ideal and they can improve the ability to engage in a lights out" operation for best efficiencies. In our review we will touch briefly on standard hot runner systems for thermoplastics but the focus will be on hot rudder systems for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs)."

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