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

A Case Study on the Application of Finite Element Modeling in Ultrasonic Resonator Design
Thomas R. Kirkland, James A. Kosterman, May 2000

This paper discusses the steps taken to develop an ultrasonic horn from concept through final design. Finite element modeling was used to discover the optimum geometry, which in turn resulted in superior welding results.

In Line Monitoring of Poly(ethylene vinyl acetate) Extrusion Process Using Fiber Optic Raman Spectroscopy
M. Dhamdhere, B. Deshpande, P. Patil, M.G. Hansen, May 2000

The extrusion of molten poly(ethylene vinyl acetate) (EVA) was studied using in-line fiber optic Raman spectroscopy. The properties monitored were the content of vinyl acetate (VA) in the random copolymer and the melt index of various grades. Results are presented for independent multivariate regression of VA content and melt index values. This study presents an important development of in-line monitoring techniques that have evolved from off-line bench top measurements.

Extrusion Characterization of Ethylene/Styrene Interpolymers
Kurt A. Koppi, Mark A. Spalding, Mike D. Cassiday, Kevin R. Hughes, Teresa P. Karjala, Steve R. Betso, Charles F. Diehl, May 2000

An investigation of the extrusion performance of ethylene/styrene Interpolymers was performed. These Interpolymers are pseudo-random copolymers of ethylene and styrene synthesized via INSITE* Technology, Dow's proprietary, single-site, constrained-geometry catalyst technology (1,2). Extrusion characteristics such as output rate, specific energy consumption, and extrudate temperature were measured as a function of screw design and processing conditions.

Degradation during Long Term Storage for Post Gamma Polypropylenes
Craig Sandford, Samuel Y. Ding, Michael T.K. Ling, Lecon Woo, May 2000

Medical devices differ from other polymer applications in one major aspect: that the product frequently needs to be sterilized. Due to simplicity and cost effectiveness, sterilization by ionizing radiation has become increasingly popular. Of course, the ionizing radiation that disrupts biological macromolecular structures (bio-burden) can and frequently does damage synthetic polymer chains. We have examined several polypropylenes (PP) subjected to long term ambient storage for up to 18 years after gamma irradiation at different doses. Many of the samples in thin film form have completely disintegrated. However, in many cases the degradation reaction was not homogeneous, with an apparent distinct skin-core structure and very different properties. These results and interpretations with an oxygen diffusion limited degradation reaction model will be presented.

Influence of Processing Conditions on Medical Material Degradation/Failures
Michael T.K. Ling, Craig Sandford, Adel Sadik, Henk Blom, Samuel Y. Ding, Lecon Woo, May 2000

In the medical packaging and devices industries, products are subjected to numerous converting and other downstream processing steps. For example, a vigorous drying step must be in place to minimize the reverse depolymerizing hydrolysis reaction before melt processing for condensation polymers. Another major downstream process for medical products is the sterilization. For medical devices, ionizing radiation has become increasingly popular. Of course the ionizing radiation which disrupts bio-macromolecular structures in bio-burdens can and frequently does damage polymer chains. In this presentation, we will report on case histories of processing modality and severity and their influence on material degradation and subsequent failures. In addition, situations where control limits can be created on manufacturing procedures can be put in place to prevent (minimize) failures due to processing degradation.

3-D Curing Simulation of Thick Thermoset Components
John Viego, Richard P. Theriault, Tim A. Osswald, May 2000

Thick components or sections such as ribs and bosses require a 3-D simulation to fully determine final properties due to the curing reaction and vitrification effects. A finite element simulation has been developed to model curing of thermoset parts, including compensation for diffusion control effects and varying boundary conditions. For diffusion control, the glass transition temperature (Tg) was related to conversion by the DiBenedetto equation. The simulation considers parts molded under realistic industrial processing conditions and has shown that non-uniform curing and thermal gradients occur during processing. These gradients depend on part geometry, cure kinetics, and processing conditions. This paper presents the models used, along with the results of the simulation applied to a sample geometry molded under various conditions.

Investigation of Rotational Moulding Characteristics and Mechanical Properties of Metallocene Polyethylene
X. Wang, R.J. Crawford, A.M. Fatnes, E. Harkin-Jones, May 2000

Metallocene grades of polyethylene offer exciting opportunities for the rotational moulding industry. However, as they have only become commercially available in the last few years, their full potential has yet to be exploited. This paper reports on the results of an experimental investigation in which processing conditions are related to the microstructure and mechanical properties of three grades of metallocene polyethylene. The materials have been characterised by dynamic parallel plate rheological tests, NMR spectra and DMTA. The results obtained from equivalent standard grades of polyethylene are used as a basis for comparison. It is shown that the metallocene materials possess many rheological and physical properties that are desirable in rotational moulding. A detailed understanding of the unique nature of these materials is necessary in order to take full advantage of their properties in rotational moulding.

Biaxial Test Method for Characterization of Fabric-Film Laminates Used in Scientific Balloons
Magdi A. Said, May 2000

Space Structures that require light-weight materials with sufficiently high strength and environmental endurance have been in increasing demand since the early 1980's. However, the biaxial behavior of these structural materials under pressurized loading, is rarely found in the literature. An experimental investigation was conducted to develop a test method and hardware to characterize the biaxial behavior of a fabric-film laminate intended for use as a structural envelope for large balloons. The material tested is a composite laminate of three layers. The three layers are: polyester-based woven fabric, 6 microns film of polyester (Mylar type A) and 6 microns film of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). The laminate structure provides high strength to weight ratio. In this study, a test technique has been developed to measure the biaxial response of the material to known stress ratios. The information gained from the test can be manipulated to estimate Poisson's ratio and the development of a material structural model.

Model-Free Kinetic Analysis of Epoxy Cures
Sergey Vyazovkin, Nicolas Sbirrazzuoli, May 2000

The application of the model-free isoconversional method to differential scanning calorimetry data allows one to study the mechanism and kinetics of epoxy cures. The method yields a dependence of the effective activation energy on the extent of cure. This dependence can be effectively used to draw certain mechanistic conclusions as well as to predict the reaction kinetics outside the region of experimental temperatures. The applications are illustrated by simulations as well as by epoxy-anhydride and epoxy-amine cures.

Broad Shear Rate Viscosity Measurements via Reconstruction of Fluid Velocity Profiles in Contaminant Melts
David W. Riley, Jim Reilly, Andrew H. Schall, May 2000

A method of building velocity profiles from through the thickness, in situ, optical observations in polymer melts is discussed. It is shown that it is not necessary to know particle position across the thickness of the slit to allow for accurate shear rate determination. Coupled with a pressure drop measurement, the accurate velocity profile is transformed in a broad band viscosity vs. shear rate curve. Controversial resolution limitations are discussed along with experimental data.

A Geometry-Based Model for Determining the Filling Time in Resin Transfer Molding Process
Faezeh Soltani, Souran Manoochehri, May 2000

A geometry-based model is developed for determining the fill time in resin transfer molding process. In this model, the preforms are assumed to be thin flat with isotropic and orthotropic permeabilities. The in-plane shape of the preform is arbitrary. The location of the vents, the maximum flow length, and the time required to fill the mold are calculated applying analytical solutions. The variety of preforms and processing conditions are used to verify the model. The mold filling time calculated by the model was in good agreement with those obtained using the C-MOLD filling simulation. Saving in the computational time was the key advantage of this model.

A Rapid Method for Prediction of the Vent Locations in Resin Transfer Molding Process
Faezeh Soltani, Souran Manoochehri, May 2000

A model is developed for predicting the location of the vents in isotropic RTM molds of various geometries. The preforms may contain holes and/or impermeable inserts. The location of the vents required to avoid trapping air bubbles are determined using neural network and geometric-based solutions. The neural network was trained with data obtained from simulation and actual molding experimentation. For a number of test cases, the performance of the method is compared to the prediction of vent locations obtained using a commercial mold filling simulation. It was found that the proposed method can predict vent locations with a good accuracy as compared to the filling simulation results. Applying the neural networks reduced the amount of computational time in comparison to the simulation methods.

Structure-Property Relationships for Propylene/?-Olefin Copolymers: Effect of Short Branch Length
Catherine Jung Hyun Cho, João B.P. Soares, Costas Tzoganakis, May 2000

A single active-site-type catalyst was supported onto silica and used to produce propylene/ a-olefin copolymers with high isotacticity and high molecular weight. The effects of different reaction conditions such as temperature, pressure and hydrogen content on structural properties were investigated. Several comonomers with varying length and bulkiness such as hexene, decene, octene, dodecene, hexadecene, eicosene, and styrene were copolymerized with propylene. With the knowledge of the reactivity ratios and the effect of different reaction parameters on polymer microstructure, copolymers with the same level of comonomer content and similar molecular weight were made with different comonomer types. The produced copolymers were analyzed for their structural and rheological properties using GPC, DSC, CRYSTAF, NMR and RMS. Thus, the isolated effects of comonomer type (length and bulkiness) on structural and rheological properties were studied and correlated.

Morphology Control of Ternary Polymer Blends Using Interfacial Tension
Minhee Lee, Costas Tzoganakis, Jeong-Min Kim, May 2000

Morphological studies for various ternary polymer blends were performed. The blends were prepared using a Haake batch mixer and analyzed using SEM and TEM. Interfacial tensions and spreading coefficients were used for predicting the blending morphology, and the predicted morphology was compared to the experimental results. The interfacial tensions were calculated from surface tensions at 20°C, and the temperature dependence of the surface tension and a harmonic mean equation were also used. All blending systems chosen in this experimental work were expected to have a minor component (B or C) encapsulated by the second component (C or B) in the matrix (A). It was found that many ternary blends (PC/PMMA/PE, PMMA/SAN/PBT, PBT/SAN/PC, etc) agree with the predicted morphology. However, some blending systems show an opposite encapsulation behavior (SAN/PC/PMMA) or a complex blending behavior (PP/PC/SAN).

Effects of Processing Conditions on the Failure Mode of an Aliphatic Polyketone Terpolymer
Nicole R. Karttunen, Alan J. Lesser, May 2000

The yield and failure response of an aliphatic polyketone terpolymer subjected to multi-axial stress states has been studied, with a focus on the effects of processing conditions on the failure mode. Testing has been performed on anisotropic hollow cylindrical samples of this semi-crystalline thermoplastic material. Samples were processed under 5 different extrusion conditions. It was found that the cooling rate has some effect on the failure mode, while the rate of extrusion is less significant. Possible processing effects that may account for the differences in behavior include residual stress, amorphous orientation, or crystal morphology.

Cover Part as an Application Example for Gas-Assisted Injection Molded Parts
Michael Hansen, May 2000

The gas-assisted injection molding process is in use now for several years offering new technical and creative possibilities for injection molding. After a brief survey of the principle sequence of the process and basic process physics this paper comments on an application example for a cover part and provides solutions for the problem s found during the process of fixing existing issues on this tool.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Polymer Melt Flows
Yusuf Uludag, Michael J. McCarthy, Robert L. Powell, Geoffrey Barall, May 2000

A tubular rheometry that is based on obtaining velocity profiles by nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI) and measuring pressure drop of the flow is used for the polymer melts. This technique allows one to get viscosity data potentially over many decades of shear rate region in a single measurement. In this study, we examined polyethylene melt as the flow medium. Despite the low shear rates attained, our results reveal that this non-invasive and non-destructive method is promising for constructing an on-line polymer melt rheometer.

Relaxation Model for FE Analysis of Plastic Product Behavior
Ihor D. Skrypnyk, Jan L. Spoormaker, May 2000

The non-linear creep-based models cause numerical instabilities during FEA calculations because of the necessary inversion of stress-strain relations. From this point of view, the relaxation-based models are preferable for use within FEA. On the other hand, engineers avoid such models, due to complicated tests. Therefore, the goal was to develop the non-linear relaxation model, which uses the data of creep-recovery tests. In this way the model would be comparatively inexpensive and unconditionally stable in FE calculations.

Toughness Enhancement through Conversion of Cyclic Polybutylene Terephthalate to Linear PBT
Sam Miller, James Donovan, William MacKnight, Roger Kambour, May 2000

The fracture toughness of macrocyclic polybutylene terephthalate (simple ring molecules) and linear PBT is correlated with the size of the plastic zone at the crack tip, which is inversely related to the yield stress. Macrocyclic PBT (c-PBT) molecules have a lower melt viscosity than linear molecules of comparable molecular weight, making them easier to process. However, the cyclic molecules are highly crystalline, with a high yield stress, and consequently a lower toughness. A ten-minute heat treatment in the melt opens the rings, and allows molecular entanglement, causing lower crystallinity of the solid polymer, and increased toughness. Therefore, control of the molecular structure of PBT provides a polymer with low viscosity that can be toughened by an easy heat treatment.

Effects of PP-MMA Alloy and Impact Modification on Weathering Performance of Polypropylene
T.A. Glogovsky, M. Finnegan, May 2000

The weathering performance of polypropylene and a novel polypropylene/acrylic alloy with and without impact modifier was investigated. Accelerated weathering testing was completed using Xenon Arc Weather-ometer. Surface cosmetics (gloss and color change), microscopy, and FTIR were used to characterize the surface and bulk properties after exposure to accelerated weathering. Dramatic improvements in weathering performance were observed through the addition of propylene/acrylic alloys and a proprietary impact modifier to the base polypropylene homopolymer. The individual significance of the propylene/acrylic and the impact modifier on weathering performance were similar. The benefit observed with weathering when combining the propylene/acrylic alloy and proprietary impact modifier was additive with respect to weathering performance.










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