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

Mold-Making Apprenticeship Program in Georgia
William T. Thielemann, May 2000

This paper will trace the development of the Mold-Making Apprenticeship Program in Georgia's technical institutes, developed to support the plastics industry within the state. It will explain why the program was developed, how it was developed, the content of the program and the results to date. The purpose of the poster presentation is to explain the process and outline the program with the goal of assisting other states with similar programs and ultimately addressing the shortage of trained and available mold-makers. The poster presentation will include three sections: industry growth and potential, team process and program outline.

Regulatory and Experimental Approaches to FDA Food Contact Compliance
Robert L. Pesselman, Melanie McCort-Tipton, May 2000

Tests to determine the migration of indirect additives into actual foods are essential in order to ensure food safety. Recent changes in regulatory protocols and evolving analytical technologies have helped define new ways to receive regulatory clearance for food contact polymers. This poster summarizes the issues to be addressed when designing a test plan and outlines regulatory considerations and experimental approaches applicable to both Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European compliance. In addition, the proper use of food simulants, available extraction cells, and analytical techniques are discussed.

Profit from Recycling Tooling and Leadership Change
Wilhelm O. Morgan, May 2000

This paper is about upgrading tooling that has been built many years ago, or simply to make mouldings to suit our type of manufacturing operation. When these tools were built the techniques and technology used was the latest available to the polymer technologist designer, mould shop and toolmaker. Using tooling technologies as the starting point, I have added management, and more so Leader techniques to show how production can be changed and opportunities gained, by modernising; towards increasing production, saving money, material, and bringing about attitudinal changes. This paper will concentrate on the following topics, and show details where this revisiting process has changed tools and people to make them more motivated about competition, which will result in profitable, faster cycling and be better suited to today's fast operational needs.

Wood Flour Reinforced Polystyrene Composite Using SEBS-g-MA as Compatibilizer
Chen-Jui Hung, Jenn-Fong Kuan, Jaine-Ming Huang, May 2000

A functionalized thermoplastic elastomer, SEBS-g-MA (styrene-ethylene-butadiene elastomer grafting maleic anhydride), has been demonstrated to be an effective compatibilizer in polystyrene-wood flour composite and results in the formation of an in-situ formed copolymer existing between the interface of polystyrene and wood flour and thus enhance the interface adhesion and mechanical properties of the composite. With the addition of SEBS-g-MA, both flexural modulus and impact strength of polystyrene-wood flour composite has been improved substantially and a good interaction between polystyrene and wood flour can be indicated by Scanning Electron Microscopic (SEM) images as well. The result shows that composite with 4phr SEBS-g-MA gives the optimum mechanical property.

Dispersion of Nanoscopic Clay Particles in Thermoplastic Polymers
Grant D. Barber, Christopher M. Carter, Robert B. Moore, May 2000

The formation of clay nanocomposite, hybrid materials will be achieved through the incorporation of organically modified montmorillonite clay particles within a variety of thermoplastic polymers. In order to facilitate a homogeneous dispersion of the clay nanoparticles in the thermoplastic matrix, ionomeric compatibilizers will be utilized. The matrix polymer/ionomer pairs chosen for this study include polystyrene/sulfonated polystyrene, PET/sulfonated PET, and polypropylene/carboxylated polypropylene. Various methods of clay dispersion, including melt-processing, in-situ polymerization, and solution-state mixing will be utilized and compared. The morphology and physical properties of the resulting nanocomposites will be investigated using SAXS, TEM, DSC, TGA, DMA and standard tensile test methods.

Effect of Water Sorption on Mechanical Properties of Fiber Reinforced Dental Resin
A. Prasad, A. Karmaker, May 2000

Composites from different glass fibers reinforced in dimethacrylate based dental resins were prepared for flexural tests in accordance with ISO 10477. Tests were conducted on both dry specimens and on specimens stored in water for 7 days at 37°C. Depending on type and amount of fibers, the strengths were found to decrease from moderate to minor. Loss of strengths correlated with the constituents of fibers.

Wasteless Distribution Medium: A New Development for the Resin Infusion Process
T. Wassenberg, W. Michaeli, May 2000

The typical resin infusion processes like SCRIMP (Seemann Composite Resin Infusion Molding Process) require the use of a distribution medium or system to increase the impregnation speed in large parts. Normally, a substantial amount of surplus resin remains in the distribution medium and has to be disposed with the medium or remains on the part as resin rich domains. A new patented type of resin infusion process is presented, which does not produce any surplus resin waste.

Welding of Polymers Using a Diode Laser
J. Schulz, E. Haberstroh, May 2000

Welding polymers by using a diode laser is a fairly new joining method. The first industrial application is the joining of automotive keys. The process advantages are precisely defined heated zones, minimized melt flow and the realization of three dimensional weld lines. At the IKV a process analysis has been done and the influence of pigments on the weld strength has been investigated. It is possible to weld glass fibre reinforced polyamide, which is transparent for the laser beam, but appears black to the human eye.

Modeling Residual Stresses in Thermosetting Materials
Patricia Prasatya, Gregory B. McKenna, Sindee L. Simon, May 2000

The residual stresses in a composite subjected to three-dimensional constraints are calculated by extending a thermo-viscoelastic model developed previously by Simon et al. [1] to describe the time, temperature, and conversion dependence of the shear modulus for a commercial thermosetting material during cure. Experimental residual stress data as a function of cure are fit to obtain limiting values for the rubber and glassy bulk moduli. The residual stresses are then calculated as a function of cure history using the bulk moduli and the time function obtained in the thermo-viscoelastic model which include the dependence of the shift factor on temperature and conversion.

Crack Propagation in Continuous Glass Fiber/Polypropylene Composites: Matrix Microstructure Effect
M.N. Bureau, J. Denault, F. Perrin, J.I. Dickson, May 2000

The crack propagation behavior of a unidirectional continuous glass fiber/polypropylene (GF/PP) composite with two different matrix morphologies was studied. Changes in the matrix morphology obtained by varying the cooling rates during the molding process resulted in changes in: 1) the flexural strength and strain at failure using three-point bending specimens; 2) the critical strain energy release rate in mode I quasi-static crack growth using double-cantilever beam (DBC) specimens; 3) the fatigue crack growth rates at given levels of strain energy release rate in mode II fatigue crack propagation using end-notch flexure (ENF) specimens. The reduced presence of the ductile amorphous PP phase in the PP/GF composite at lower cooling rates is responsible for the reduction in mechanical performance.

Spectroscopic Studies of Ion Implanted Polycarbonate
James M. Sloan, May 2000

Ion implantation is a process by which ions are accelerated and focused at a rapid speed to a target at energies high enough to bury them just below the target's surface. These ions penetrate the sample surface and form a thin layer below the surface. Until recently this technique was mainly utilized for modification of semiconductors (1) or to improve wear characteristics in metal tooling and polymers (2,3). Now the use of ion implantation has been extended to polymers. Improvements in adhesion (4), electrical (5) and abrasion (6) have been reported. The resulting chemical effect of ion implantation in polymer systems is to increase chain scission and cross-linking., while decreasing crystallinity(7). In this study, the effects of medium energy ion implantation of boron, nitrogen and fluorine into a polycarbonate matrix was examined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and UV/VIS spectroscopy. The implanted polycarbonate linkage degrades upon implantation. Further implantation leads to carbonization just below the surface of the specimens.

Optimization of Composition of Soy-Based Polyols for Rigid Polyurethane Foams
Ivan Javni, Zoran Petrovic, Wei Zhang, Andrew Guo, May 2000

Soybean oil-based polyols can be synthesized with different OH content. Higher OH number polyols display higher viscosity, which may limit their applications in foams. Adding glycerin to a polyol affects crosslinking density and homogeneity of the networks. It would be advantageous to use a lower OH content and a lower viscosity polyol and adjust the OH number with glycerin if the properties would stay the same. Apart from having lower viscosity, polyols with lower a OH number are easier to prepare. It has been shown that rigid foams based on the polyol having an OH number of 180 mg KOH/g have similar properties as those based on the polyol with an OH number of 208 mg KOH/g if the final OH number of the polyol system (polyol, crosslinker and water) is adjusted to the same value, although heat stability (onset of softening) of the former was lower.

Processing and Properties of Polymer Nano-Composites
Hua Wang, Mark Elkovitch, L. James Lee, Kurt W. Koelling, May 2000

Polymer nano-composites are prepared by melt intercalation in this study. Nano-clay is mixed with either a polymer or polymer blends by twin screw extrusion. The clay-spacing in the composites is measured by X-ray Diffraction (XRD). The morphology of the composites and its development during the extrusion process are observed by SEM. Rheological behavior of the composites are measured. It is found that the clay spacing and composite morphology are influenced by the concentration of the nano-clay and the type of polymer used. The addition of the nano-clay can greatly increase the viscosity of the polymer when there is strong interaction. If such polymer/nano-clay mixture is used as the matrix phase, it would lead to improved dispersion and distribution of the minor phase in the polymer blends. The effect of nano-clay on polymers and polymer blends is also compared with Kaolin clay under the same experimental conditions.

Elastomer Matrix Composites for Impact-Resistant Parts
M. Koschmieder, W. Michaeli, May 2000

The impact resistance and energy absorption capacity of most thermoset matrix composites is rather low. Use of elastomer matrix can improve the impact behavior, allowing the design of impact-resistant parts (e.g. crash elements). By using low-viscosity elastomer systems, composite parts can be produced on a commercial filament winding machine. Mechanical tests of filament wound samples show that elastomer matrix composites exhibit superior energy absorption behavior and offer a high optimization potential for impact-loaded composite parts.

Characterization of Multi-Layer Permeation Barriers Made by Microwave Plasma Polymerization
R. Dahlmann, W. Michaeli, May 2000

Plasma polymerization is a suitable process to deposit high quality permeation barrier coatings on plastics substrates. The process allows to stack several layers forming multi-layer coatings. In these studies, the permeation properties of single- and multi-layer coatings made by plasma polymerization are investigated. As a result, the oxygen transmission through multi-layers does not only depend on the structures of the single layers. Also, the arrangement of the layers shows great effect on the permeation properties.

Recycling PVB Automotive Windshield Interlayer
Robert S. Boyd, Daniel M. Sullivan, May 2000

PVB (polyvinyl butyral) windshield interlayer retains physical properties very well, owing to being effectively packaged in glass prior to recycling. However, the cost of removing all of the contaminant has precluded PVB's acceptance in many applications where it might, otherwise, have been usefully recycled. We have found that finely pulverizing the scrap, with its attendant residues, allows melt-process manufacture of products meeting automotive requirements for vibration damping, tensile strength, tear resistance, and flexibility, over a wide range of temperatures.

Effects of Impact Modifiers on the Properties of Rigid PVC/Wood-Fiber Composites
Fatih Mengeloglu, Laurent M. Matuana, Julie A. King, May 2000

This study examined the effects of impact modifier types and addition levels on the mechanical properties of rigid PVC/wood-fiber composites. The formulations of the composites were modified by incorporating crosslinked (all acrylic and methacrylate butadiene styrene) and uncrosslinked (chlorinated polyethylene) impact modifiers at various concentrations. Mixtures of PVC, wood-fibers, impact modifiers, and other processing additives were dry-blended using a high-intensity mixer. The dry-blended compounds were extruded, compression molded, and tested for tensile and Izod impact strength properties. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to discern the effects of impact modification on the mechanical properties of the composites. The experimental results indicated that the impact resistance of rigid PVC/wood-fiber composites depends strongly on the type and content of impact modifier. With the proper choice of modifier type and concentration, the impact strength of rigid PVC/wood fiber composites can be significantly improved without degrading the tensile properties. Methacrylate butadiene styrene and all acrylic modifiers performed in a similar manner and were more effective in improving the impact resistance of rigid PVC/wood-fiber composites than the chlorinated polyethylene modifier.

The Effect of Tie-Layers on Optical Properties of Coextruded Multilayer Films
Dean A. Zimmerman, May 2000

The tie-layer is a critical component of multilayer films and can effect the optical properties of the overall film structure. This paper evaluates various tie-layers for their effect on optical properties of the film. The see-through and contact clarity of the film is explained based on a combination of the physical properties of the tie-layer resin and the effect of the interfacial region on flow instability. Rheology of the interfacial region is discussed based on controlled experiments simulating the reaction that occurs during multilayer extrusion and shows that the shear stress and complex viscosity can be used to estimate the see-through clarity in multilayer coextruded films.

Optimizing the High Speed Machining Process for Hardened Steel Molds
Staffan Gunnarsson, Berne Nilsson, May 2000

Constantly reduced product life cycles and increasing product variety compels the moldmaker to cut down on long production times especially in mold and die making. Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) has been the conventional finishing technique for generating complex free form surfaces. However, the EDM process also generates a brittle, recast layer, which is often detrimental to mold performance. High speed machining technology of today offers an economical alternative to EDM, which does not significantly deteriorate mold surface properties. This paper will evaluate the benefits of a high-speed machined mold compared with conventional manufacturing techniques. It will also investigate the effects of different cutting parameters, in an attempt to optimize the high speed machining process.

Flow Behavior of Sparsely Branched Metallocene-Catalyzed Polyethylenes
Phillip J. Doerpinghaus, Sujan E. Bin Wadud, Donald G. Baird, May 2000

The dramatic effect of chain architecture on the melt flow behavior of polyethylenes is well established. The advent of metallocene and other constrained-geometry catalysts now allows the precise control of molecular weight, branch content, and branch distribution. In the present study, the rheological responses of three different metallocene-catalyzed polyethylenes are analyzed. Despite similarities in their shear properties, the differences in transient extensional viscosities can be attributed to the presence of sparse long-chain branches and/or high molecular weight fractions. Melt fracture observations as well as full-field flow birefringence measurements are collected to further corroborate this idea.










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