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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Clear and High Heat Resistant TPEs
There is a market need for soft (35 - 70 Shore A) clear TPEs with heat resistance high enough for repeated boilable applications. Flexible PVC meets most of the requirements, but it is out of the scope of this work. Styrenic Block Copolymer based compounds have been developed to fill this need. Important parameters, such as molecular weight of the base polymer, surface quality of the molded part and rheology of the material, have been correlated with clarity and heat resistance. Some of the myths about the clarity of SBC compounds will also be discussed.
The Impossible Part-On the Verge of Failure?
There have been several occasions in the past where part designs have been proposed which require non-traditional approaches to manufacturing. Even with run-of-the-mill designs it seems prudent to do computer flow simulations to verify that a part is manufacturable. The case history described below details how a product was deemed impossible"; the flow simulation verified that it was "impossible" and yet the project was pursued and has now passed the prototyping stage. This paper describes a project where some risk was taken and may provide the drive to explore new limits."
Studies on the Rotomolding of Liquid Crystalline Polymers
This paper is concerned with the rotomolding of thermotropic liquid crystalline polymers (TLCPs) for the purpose of generating tank liners with excellent barrier to oxygen. The major issues involved include whether the TLCPs can be ground to provide resins suitable for rotomolding (~40 mesh size powder) and their ability to fuse together to provide adequate strength and barrier properties. With the use of appropriate grinding techniques, the TLCPs were found to fuse well to provide strength and stiffness significantly greater than that of HDPE.
Designing a TPO Using ETP Modification Technology
Elastomeric Thermoplastic (ETP) is a patented alloying technology that utilizes ethylene copolymer resins to modify flexible thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) systems. It is based on the reactive blending of a partially neutralized acid copolymer (ionomer), an epoxy functionalized ethylene copolymer, and a standard TPO. The reaction between the epoxy groups of the ethylene copolymer and the free acid groups of the ionomer results in a partially cross-linked system that forms an in-situ alloy with the TPO. This alloy imparts increased melt strength to the TPO, permitting significant increases in thermoforming performance and grain retention. By varying the amount and type of Surlyn® ionomer within the alloy, a desired mix of mechanical properties, forming performance, and hand can be obtained. As the automotive industry moves toward developing interior components based on thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs), this ability to customize a TPO-based material for specific applications provides a key advantage for the design engineer. For example, instrument panel skins can now be produced with reduced weight, reduced fogging, and better resistance to heat and UV radiation relative to PVC/ABS, but yet possess the ability to undergo deep draws during thermoforming while maintaining grain definition. Alternatively, formulations have been developed specifically for molded-in-color injection-molded soft-touch surfaces, which require a different balance of melt behavior and physical properties. In this study, we report on the relationship between ionomer content and physical properties in ETP modified TPO systems. The effect of incorporating an ionomer containing a softening acrylate comonomer on the feel" of the modified TPO material as quantified by flexural modulus and durometer is also discussed."
Design of Experiment (DOE) Procedures to Evaluate Ultrasonic Weldability of Materials
Usage of Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) is a common trend for automotive interior parts. TPO is a copolymer of Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE) for rubber constituent and the TPO evaluated contains 20% of talc. Considering the facts that PP and PE are semi-crystalline thermoplastics with high molecular weight and that TPO contains rubber, talc, and reground material, weldability of the material has been always in question. Especially since the ultrasonic welding process deploys several tens of microns of vibration amplitude for welding, energy from ultrasonic vibration can be dissipated easily before effective heating of materials for welding. Therefore, evaluation of material weldability is an important requirement for material selection.
Effect of the Interaction Coefficient in the Prediction of the Fiber Orientation of Injection Molded Glass Fiber Reinforced Polycarbonate
The mechanical properties of injection molded parts in glass reinforced materials is sensitive to processing. A successful design requires a good estimate of performance before production. The product performance is strongly affected by the fiber orientation field. It is complex and varies tri-dimensionally in the moldings. Some commercial simulation programs already allow the prediction of the fiber orientation induced by the injection flow. However the simulations depend on the definition of the fiber interaction coefficient. C-Mold simulations were made to determine the best fit to experimental results varying the interaction coefficient between neighboring fibers in center gated circular flat discs.
New Technology for Dyeable Polypropylenes
Approximately three billion pounds of polypropylene is consumed annually in fiber applications. Despite this success, one of the drawbacks to using polypropylene fiber remains its inherent lack of dyeability. In this paper we describe how a polypropylene resin can be modified via a blending process to produce a material that is readily dyeable and colorfast. In order to make the polypropylene dyeable, a reaction product of a maleated polypropylene and a polyether amine is blended into the fiber grade resin. The polypropylene portion of the maleated polypropylene co-crystallizes with the base resin, thus locking in the polyether portion of the molecule. This polyether molecule, with its high polarity, then allows the dyes to be absorbed. In these experiments fibers were spun using this modified material, fabrics were knitted, and dye testing was carried out. The results reveal that this modified polypropylene dyes several times better than the unmodified control.
Critical Conditions for the Onset of Unstable Flows of Molten Polymers
A simple method to predict the critical shear stress and the critical shear rate for the onset of melt flow instabilities in capillary flow is presented. The method, earlier reported for polyisoprene, employed a bulk stable viscoelastic constitutive equation that contains a hardening parameter ?. The parameter ? is solely determined by the molecular characteristics of the polymer. Below we compare predictions of the critical shear stress with experimental data for some common polymers.
A Unique Benzoate Plasticizer for Reducing Viscosity and Fusion Temperature
Plastisol viscosity reduction and control is an important property specification in many vinyl plastisol formulations. A unique benzoate plasticizer is under development that functions as a viscosity reducer. It also is a high solvating plasticizer in standard plastisol systems. Data will be presented on the effect of the new benzoate plasticizer on phthalate and benzoate containing plastisols and vinyl sheet properties.
Using Branched Polypropylene as a Melt Strength Modifier-Improvement in Sheet Sag Resistance
Blends of conventional polypropylene (PP) and branched PP (bPP) enable PP to perform well in applications where extensional flow dominates, such as blow molding, thermoforming and foaming. Sag resistance tests shows a significant improvement in sag time of extruded sheet as the content of bPP increases, up to 30-wt.%. These blends (PP/bPP) show synergistic increases in melt tension while providing excellent processability by maintaining low viscosity.
The Establishment of a Processing Window for Thin Wall Injection Molding of Syndiotactic Polystyrene
This study examined the effects of injection molding conditions and critical design parameters on the filling, dimensional stability, and crystallization of syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) parts. Part wall thickness was the primary factor affecting filling, shrinkage, and crystallization. While injection velocity was secondary influence during, mold temperature was the minor factor for crystallization and shrinkage. Melt temperature and gate dimensions had little or no effect on filling or part properties.
LCP Droplet Deformation in Fiber Spinning of Self-Reinforced Composites
The development of morphology during fiber spinning of blends of polyesters (PET and PBT) with LCP (PET/HBA) was studied. The quantitative predictions of the blend morphologies under isothermal and non-isothermal conditions were obtained using a droplet deformation criteria based on the reduced capillary number and the affine deformation theory. The temperature, radius, velocity, and strain rate profiles of 60/40 polyester/LCP fibers along the spin line were calculated using Kase and Matsuo's theory for fiber spinning under the steady-state condition. Simulation of breakup of LCP phase during fiber spinning of the blend based on the dimensionless breakup time indicated the absence of their breakup. The flow curves of the blends at various temperatures required to carry out simulation were obtained. Initial and final sizes of LCP phase were examined by SEM and image analysis. The calculated diameters of LCP fibrils in the fibers were found to be in agreement with the measured values.
On-Line Rheological Measurements
Rheometers are being used increasingly as sensors for process control. This is because of the sensitivity of rheological properties to polymer characteristics such as molecular weight. The process rheometers now being used are mostly of the on-line, pressure flow type, in which a gear pump feeds a capillary or slit, and the pressure drop is measured. For process control applications, the signal delay associated with the flow of melt from the main flow to the capillary or slit slows the system response, and this problem has been addressed by the use of a larger sampling line together with a bypass around the rheometer. Other recent advances are aimed at providing a more extensive characterization of the melt.
A New Generation of High-Performance PVC Alloys
Newly developed alloys of flexible poly(vinyl chloride) [PVC] and polyolefin elastomers have been shown to exhibit improved physical properties compared to conventional flexible PVC control compounds. In particular the new alloys display enhanced electrical properties, better high temperature stability, greater low temperature flexibility, and superior gas barrier properties. In addition, the following study demonstrated that PVC/polyolefin rubber alloys have potential utility in many applications where conventional flexible vinyl compounds do not meet certain end-use performance requirements.
Mid-Infrared Process Control Systems for Polymer Melts and Film
The applications of on-line mid-infrared analysis in the polymer field comprise the detection and quantification of additives in polymer melts; compositional analysis of copolymers and polymer blends; control of polymerization processes: end-group determination; network characterization: determination of degree of cross-linking; reaction monitoring: reaction profiling, curing processes, kinetics, end-point determination; in-situ spectroscopy of molecular interactions: fluid impregnation, diffusion, drying, dyeing and extraction; monitoring of extrusion processes; safety and environmental monitoring, gas analysis, This paper examines in particular the current prospects of on-line (multi component) additive analysis in the polymer melt by means of mid-infrared spectroscopy.
Multilayer Films Using PP/PPgAA Blends
Blends of polypropylene (PP) with 0 to 100% wt of Polypropylene grafted with Acrylic Acid (PP-gAA) were prepared by melt mixing and then coextruded as external layers with a central layer of nylon-6 on three layer coextruded flat films The effect of the modified polymer content and its molecular weight on interfacial adhesion between PP and nylon was determined by T-peel strength measurements. The effect of melt temperature and contact time during coextrusion on peel strength was determined. The observed increase on T-peel strength of the films when using 10% and higher levels of functionalized PP in the blend, suggest good interfacial adhesion between layers. Besides PPgAA content, its molecular weight has a notorious effect on interfacial adhesion between PP and nylon-6 (PA6).
Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Product and Process Control
The main applications of near-infrared spectroscopy relating to polymers are quality control, monitoring of textile fibers, remote identification/classification of polymeric materials (recycling), monitoring of polymer melts for additive and/or (co)polymer composition, and polymerization monitoring (of polyolefins, epoxies, nitrogen-containing polymers). Diffuse reflectance and transmission, transreflectance and reflectance modes are being used. Examples of the aforementioned applicational areas will be given with the main emphasis on the on-line (multicomponent) additive analysis in the polymer melt by means of near-infrared spectroscopy.
Extruder Analysis Utilizing a Transparent Extruder and Simulation Software
Experiments using a glass window extruder are presented. These provide direct observation of the different melting behavior among various polymers. Simulations performed using commercially available software showed good correlation with the observations. The data obtained provides valuable insight into the melting behavior which, can be used to evaluate and ultimately improve the capabilities of simulation software as well as screw designs.
How to Add Value and Solve Mold Problems - With Steel
Mold designers and mold builders know many different ways to solve mold problems.. Yet a surprising number of our colleagues have not yet used the wide variety of proven mold steel on offer in to-day's market place. This paper reviews the range of available grades of steel; it cites examples of mold problems that have been solved by selecting better and more appropriate alloys; it lists the worldwide availability of innovative mold steels, and finally, it shows that better steel adds value to a mold at very modest cost.
Melt Processed Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites: Properties and Applications
The melt compounding route is a powerful approach in the preparation of polymer-clay nanocomposites as existing technologies can be utilized and easily scaled to commercial quantities. Polymer-clay nanocomposites have been developed via melt compounding. Dramatic increases are exhibited in heat distortion, stiffness, and barrier properties compared to the neat resin. Other benefits include low specific gravity, processing ease, surface appearance, etc.
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