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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Mechanical, Thermal and Electrical Property Enhancement of Graphene-Polymer Nanocomposites
In this work, NanoXplore’s proprietary graphene nanoplatelets, heXo-G V20, are melt-extruded into thermoplastics LLDPE, HDPE and TPU. Graphene is shown to effectively increase the stiffness and the strength of a matrix TPU. The flexural and tensile moduli increase with loading levels of graphene whereas the tensile strength increases at low loading levels, but does not further increase at higher graphene concentrations. A ten fold increase in thermal conductivity was achieved by adding heXo-G V20 graphene to LLDPE matrix. The thermal conductivity percolation threshold was reached at 10% loading. At 1% loading of graphene the onset of the decomposition temperature and maximum weight loss temperatures were shifted by about 50°C, significantly improving the thermal stability of the PE matrix. Fourteen orders of magnitude increase in electrical conductivity of HDPE was obtained at 30% loading of graphene. Excellent EMI shielding of 40 dB was achieved with 20 wt% addition of graphene in a TPU matrix.
Influence of Glass Transition Temperature on Mechanical and Self-Healing Behavior of Polymers Bearing Hindered Urea Bonds
Considerable interest has been placed on polymers which can intrinsically self-heal. Numerous studies have shown that polymer networks bearing dynamic covalent bonds exhibit the ability to self-repair. The focus of this paper is to describe the synthesis and characterization of polymer networks of varying rigidity bearing hindered urea bonds (HUB) based on 1-(tert-butyl)-1-ethylurea (TBEU). Results indicate that the partial substitution of Hexamethylene Diisocyanate (HMDI) with an aromatic diisocyanate (m-Xylylene Diisocyanate, XDI) results in a predictable increase in Tg and a corresponding increase in both modulus and tensile strength at break. Furthermore, polymers containing up to 50mol% XDI were shown to self-heal, though the efficacy decreases with increasing XDI content at constant healing conditions (60°C/12 hours).
The Composite of High-Density Polyethylene/Polycarbonate Prepared by a New Co-Rotating Non-Twin Screws Extruder
In this paper, the composites of High-Density Polyethylene /Polycarbonate were prepared by a new co-rotating non-twin screws extruder. The WANCE electronic universal testing machine, Anton Paar rotational rheometer, differential scanning calorimetry analysis and scanning electron microscope (SEM) were used to test composites in our experiments to show the ability and characteristic of new equipment. The results show that the new equipment has excellent mixing ability and the potential to replace the traditional twin-screw extruder with the development of composite materials.
Statistical Characteristics in Uniaixal Ductile and Semi-Brittletensile Fracturein Polypropylene Films
The statistical nature of the tensile fracture behavior of isotactic polypropylene with spherulite morphology was investigated at different tensile speeds. The probability distribution curves of the fracture data (fracture time, fracture stress, fracture toughness) from more than one-hundred tests at room temperature (25°C) and at a lower temperature (4°C) near Tg were analyzed using Gaussian and Weibull distribution curves, respectively. The specimen tested at lower temperature exhibited a shorter fracture time and a higher fracture stress, whereas a similar toughness resulted for the specimen tested at 25°C. These results indicate that the fracture toughness is a criterion for fracturing under uniaxial tension, and is independent of the external test conditions, regardless of the tensile speed or temperature. The specimen tested at 4°C had a shorter craze length, which could be the reason for the stress concentration on the test sample.
Advanced Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of a Tire Sample by Nanoindentation
The viscoelastic properties of a tire sample are comprehensively studied by dynamical mechanical analysis (DMA) using nanoindentation technique with the Nanovea Mechanical Tester. We found that the tire possesses different viscoelastic mechanical properties across the tire layers. Such strategical distribution of the hardness and complex modulus at different layers meets the functionality requirements of the tire. The tire shows increased storage and loss modulus as the loading frequency increases from 0.1 to 20 Hz. The DMA frequency sweep test provides useful information on the viscoelastic behaviors of the tire running at different speeds, which is essential in improving the performance of tires for smoother and safer rides.
Mechanical Properties of Glass Fiber/ Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Hybrid Composites Fabricated by the DFFIM Process
The direct fiber feeding injection molding (DFFIM) process is a kind of new ways which the thermoplastic material is injected with continuous fiber and molded in one operation. The objective of this research is to investigate the mechanical performances of Glass Fiber/ Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene Hybrid Composites. In this work, the hybrid composites were manufactured by DFFIM Process, where GFPP pellets were used as basic reinforcements system, continuous basalt fiber strands were used as hybrid fibers, and the PA6 and MAPP were used as coupling agent during fabrication. Mechanical testing like tensile test were carried out to investigate the hybrid effect. Optical microscope observation was taken to measure and count the fiber length. Scanning electron microscope observation of cross section was used to analysis the combination of fiber and resin. The result shows that the reinforcement of Basalt fibers and Glass fibers hybrid composites significantly influencing on the mechanical properties of the composites, and it’s found that the addition of PA6 and MAPP could also improve the mechanical properties of the GFPP/BF hybrid composites to some extent.
Improving the Adhesion of Polyolefin Elastomers
The adhesion of polyolefin compounds to polar substrates is one of the on-going challenges for many consumer and industrial applications. Due to differences in polarity and surface energy, the bonding of polyolefin thermoplastic elastomers to engineering plastics such as PET, PA, PC, PU, and other polar materials are largely unresolved. This paper discusses the development of an adhesion primer for the surface treatment of polyolefin elastomers to improve its adhesion to PET and PC in lamination and coating processes. Results indicate that adhesion primers containing maleic anhydride functionality or a combination of MAH and chlorine functionality are effective for bonding PET and PC to a polyolefin. Overall, a combination of a surface adhesion primer and the application method can be an effective solution to provide the needed bonding. Such technology can be further applied to resolve the adhesion challenges of polyolefin elastomers to polar fabrics and coatings.
Biodegradability of PLA in Compost Environment
Considering to environment issues, PLA is one of the most popular plastic and commonly used. This study is going to study the biodegradability after produced by compression molding and buried the specimens in the soil and compost condition within 7 weeks. The specimens was produced and followed pattern as following ASTM D882. Specimens are tested the changes of molecular weight, thermal properties and appearance week by week. The results show that PLA could be dissolved and disintegrated in the period. For the thermal properties, the decomposition temperature, Tg and Tm are all decreased by week and week. Molecular weight is conducted by GPC, it shows the molecular weight are dramatic decreasing from 115K to 5.1K of Mw within 7 weeks. PLA happens to absorbed moister, crystallized in high temperature, debonding, cracks, separated pieces, and disintegrated, and finally dissolved in the environment. So the PLA specimens are verified that PLA can absolutely and completely disintegration in the compost environment.
Optimizing Process Condition of Resin Transfer Molding: Determining Material Properties for Numerical Simulation
Herein, we present the recent development in permeability measurement by an optical visualization method. We applied this technique to investigate materials commonly used in wind turbine industry, such as different types of fiber mats, distribution medium, PVC core material. Wind turbine industry utilizes predominately resin transfer molding (RTM) process to manufacture the components. The traditional-trail-error method in this case is not practical due to the high cost of producing the components. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of using an optical method in conjunction with a simulation tool to obtain out of plane (K33) permeability. The results demonstrate the promising potential of permeability measurement by the optical visualization method, and great relevance to industrially important processes such as RTM. The measured material properties are then used in process simulation to obtain optimal process conditions of RTM.
Predict and Solve Stress Mark on Product's Cosmetic Surface Using Controlled Sequential Valve Gating Simulation
Surface defect like stress mark has been a major issue in automotive part produced by Sequential Valve Gating (SVG). This defect may still even show up as uneven gloss after painting and drying, which is critical for cosmetic surface appearance. To solve it, controlled SVG has been developed by which the valve pin's velocity profile can be set. Nevertheless, manufacturers still face challenges in optimizing their velocity profile to avoid the defect. Moldex3D adopts a moving mesh boundary technique to support the pin movement simulation. Viscoelastic (VE) fluid property is also considered to compute and illustrate the appearance of flow-induced residual stress for the stress-mark prediction. The results show that the controlled velocity profile can eliminate the residual stress pattern at the gate which can be an indicator to resolve the uneven gloss for a spoiler product.
Ink-Wash and Warpage Defect Prediction from the in-Mold Decoration Process Simulation
We introduced in this paper a simulation tool designed to predict the most common defects related to the in-mold decoration process. Ink-wash is the most obvious aesthetic problem caused by high temperature or high shear from the incoming melt. Warpage is another dimensional uncertainty defect due to the poor heat conduction of the film. Overcoming these problems often requires mold fixing including critical gate location change. Mold filling simulation could help identify these potential problems in the early mold design stage. However, conventional simulation techniques require tedious work of thin layer mesh making of the decoration film. It is therefore essential to develop a quick preprocess tool without losing simulation accuracy.
Long Fiber Orientation and Structural Analysis Using Moldex3D, Digimat and ABAQUS Simulations
Long fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites open up exciting new possibilities for the green automotive industry, owing to excellent mechanical properties, advantageous weight reduction, and economical fuel consumption. However, fiber microstructure including fiber orientation and fiber length, is a very critical issue to cause anisotropy in mechanical properties and warps. For an injection-molded, long-glass fiber composite part, we use Moldex3D to obtain an accurate fiber orientation prediction. Thus, mechanical properties depending on the predicted orientation is calculated via Digimat. It is ultimate to explore changes in stress with respect to strain in the ABAQUS structural analysis. All of the predictions are compared with experiments herein.
Effect of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on Poly(e-Caprolactone) Foaming Behavior
In this paper, we investigated the effect of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) on the foaming behavior of poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL). The PCL/MWCNT nanocomposites prepared using HAAKE Rheometer, and the resulted composites were subsequently foamed using supercritical carbon dioxide (Sc-CO2) foaming technology. Results showed that the involvement of MWCNT promoted crystallization of PCL matrix and improved the crystallinity of PCL matrix, which is attributed to the enhancement of melt strength. Morphological analysis presented that the MWCNT was well-dispersion in the PCL matrix at low loading. In Sc-CO2 foaming process, the addition of MWCNTs led to higher cell densities, smaller cell sizes and uniform cell morphology in the composite foams. The results indicated that the MWCNT nanoparticle acted as a heterogeneous nucleation agent in the PCL matrix, and provided more nucleation site during the foaming process.
CPET Packaging with Enhanced Seal Characteristics by the Incorporation of a Polyolefin Seal Surface
Polyolefin seal layer was incorporated into crystalline PET (CPET) rigid packages (e.g. trays) to better control the seal and peel performance. The adhesion bond between polyolefins to CPET is destructive and inseparable, which exceeds common means of bonding technology (e.g., adhesives or tie layers) and prevents delamination while peel strength can be tuned with different easy peel lidding options. This new product was also passed preliminary tests under retort and oven conditions. Regrind with PE surface was studied in order to reclaim flakes in the CPET manufacturing process and the compatibility of PE matrix with PET was further analyzed.
Rheology of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene with Hollow Glass Microspheres for Extrusion Process
The influence of hollow glass microspheres (HGM) on the rheological properties of a commercially available Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) polymer was investigated. ABS/HGM composites were prepared with various HGM contents. The rheology of the ABS/HGM composites was characterized to provide insight into the influence of the temperature and sphere concentration on the flow behavior under shear. Linear viscoelastic measurements show that both complex viscosity and storage moduli exhibit about 4 orders of magnitude increase with increasing HGM concentration from 40 vol% to 50 vol%. The viscosity increase is more pronounced at low frequency shear rates.
Influence of Particle Size in Multi-Layer Rotational Molding with a Multiphase Interlayer to Generate Mechanical Adhesion
Rotational molding shows the potential to build up multi-layer parts by sequential adding of different materials into a rotating cavity. The limited compatibility of several materials to each other reduces the potential material combinations significantly. Former investigations showed the general applicability of a multi-phase interlayer to bond incompatible materials during the rotational molding process. Within this interlayer interlocking occurs between the two materials. This work investigates the influence of particle size on the material distribution and peel strength for the material combination Polyethylene and Polyamide 12. It is shown, that the material distribution is depending on the particle size added to generate the interlayer whereas the peel strength is mostly unaffected if the interlayer thickness exceeds the particle size. For thinner interlayers smaller particles show higher peel strengths and a varying interphase region.
Advanced Applications for HDPE Pipe with New PE-RT Material
Canfor’s Prince George Pulp & Paper Mill in Prince George, BC, Canada operates a bleach plant effluent system for the production of Bleached Kraft Pulp. The original underground fiberglass reinforced pipe (FRP) presents an elevated risk to both environment and production targets. Over the past five years there have been over 10 repairs required to maintain integrity of the pipeline. The primary objective of the project was to create a more reliable pipeline and reduce the risk of a major leak event and subsequent consequences. With temperatures up to 75°C, standard PE4710 materials were not suitable for this application. A brand new PE-RT product that expands the use of PE into larger diameter industrial applications allowing continuous operating range from -45°C to 82°C with intermittent temperatures up to 95°C was selected to replace the underground fiberglass piping.
Methodology to Improve Injection Molding Energy Performance: Successful Case Studies
Energy efficiency of injection molding is critical to increase the sustainability indexes of this process and to reduce production cost. The Energy Gap Methodology (EGM) is presented as a valuable tool to prioritize the interventions to increase the energy efficiency in injection molding and other polymer processes. This methodology identifies four gaps: production, process, technological and R&D gaps. Three industrial successful case studies reducing energetic gaps in injection molding are presented, obtaining specific energy consumption (SEC) reductions between 9 and 15%.
Reduction of Energy Consumption in Injection Molding of Polypropylene Parts through the Optimization of Mold Thermal Control
The environmental impact of the injection molding process is mostly due to electricity consumption. This is particularly significant for packaging applications, which are the largest application sector for the plastics industry. In this work, electricity consumption measurements of the process were performed, considering a large packaging plant. In particular, the energy consumption related to mold thermal control were analyzed and minimized through a representative case study. The effects of alternative cooling channels configurations and different process parameters were experimentally investigated, considering also their influence on the quality of the molded parts. The results indicated that the common industrial practice for mold thermal control is highly inefficient. The implementation of electricity consumption measurements allowed the optimization of molds thermal control leading to considerable economic savings.
Material Characterization of CF-Nonwovens with Thermosetting Matrices
Regarding the need of robust and lightweight materials there is an increasing market for carbon fiber (CF). Therefore blending fabrics produce a huge amount of valuable process waste like prepregs which are out of specification and end-of-life products. The carbon fiber is regained from polymer matrix by new recycling methods. These fibers are chopped and can be reused for manufacturing isotropic fleece by wet-laid process. Created fleeces are impregnated with thermosets by resin transfer molding (RTM). At the beginning the isotropy of the fleece is verified by a circular disk and a 4-point bending test. After that the influence of different fiber surface weights and homogeneity, as well as no significant effect of various dispersing agents are identified. In addition to that the interrelation between fiber volume content, fiber length and specific values (tensile strength, flexural stiffness, Young's modulus) is analyzed. Referring to the results for thermosets with virgin fibers the process is transferred to recycled fibers.
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