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
Create Sustainable Flexible Packaging Solutions, Together
Mosha Zhao, February 2020
It will be a presentation to discuss about flexible packaging (film) sustainable efforts and solutions based on polyethylene and polypropylene.
PP Sustainability Development - An Update
John Layman, February 2020
At P&G, environmental sustainability is embedded in how we do business. We have a responsibility to make the world better — through the products we create and the positive impact our brands and Company can have in communities worldwide. We’ve established ambitious goals to minimize our environmental footprint, to innovate with the best and safest ingredients from both science and nature, and to create products that make responsible consumption irresistible for people everywhere. This tutorial will provide an overview of P&G’s environmental sustainability programs including an in-depth discussion of P&G’s polyolefin recycling efforts.
ASTM Testing - An Overview
Paul O'Connell, February 2020
An overview of the ASTM will be presented. Topics covered will include a brief background on the ASTM and the needs for standards. The structure of ASTM committees will be discussed and their role in developing and approving new standards. The various types of standards (Methods, Guides, Specifications etc.) will be shown and a ‘walk-through’ of a typical standard highlighting the various sections and the critical parameters that the user needs to be aware of when developing tests to a specific standard. The Proficiency Testing Program (PTP) and training offerings from ASTM will be shown and lastly there will be a brief look at other national and international standards with emphasize on ISO.
Sorting Through Plastic Waste: Is Chemical Recycling a Solution?
Steven Slome, February 2020
Single use plastics remain under fire from the public, but do they deserve the hate? Single use plastics remain the most sustainable option in many cases. Improving the end-of-life options for single use plastics and polyolefins in particular, can do greatly to improve the sustainability of these plastics and perhaps lessen the ire of the public. Several options have emerged for chemically recycling polymers that until now have remained "unrecyclable". This presentation is a broad overview of chemical recycling options available to plastics, with a particular focus on sustainability and single use plastics. Technology options, economics, drivers, as well as issues for commercialization are discussed. The data presented is supported by recent reports available for subscription. 
Quantitative Determination of Interfacial Strength in Commercial Coatings and Laminates
Hung-jue Sue, February 2020
Delamination in coatings and multilayered polymeric sheets and films, which compromises the mechanical integrity and intended functionalities, are commonly found in commercial products. Known acceptable approaches, such as the double-cantilever-beam test, for quantifying adhesive strength in commercial coating and laminated products are difficult to implement. The practical ASTM D3359 and ISO 2409 crosshatch-cut and tape-pull standards are too crude and gives inconsistent results. In this presentation, two new test methodologies have been developed for quantitative determination of interfacial adhesion in coatings, semi-rigid sheets, and soft multi-layer polymeric films. These new test methods involve the utilization of a highly instrumented machine to perform the tests, followed by finite element methods modeling to obtain the associated stress magnitude for determining the interfacial strength in coatings, semi-rigid laminates, and soft multilayer films. Consequently, fundamental structure-property relationship can be established based on commercial products. Examples of success based on a few commercial coatings and polymeric laminates will be presented.
A 30 Year Retrospective of BASF Antioxidants for Polyolefins; 1990-2020
Rick King, February 2020
By the end of the 1980s, the combination of phenolic antioxidants and phosphite based melt processing stabilizers had been firmly established as the traditional cornerstones of a representative stabilization system for polyolefins. Even so, there was still room for improvement. Accordingly, over the next thirty years, an enormous amount of work was done to continue developing new stabilizer chemistries, and to further advance the frontiers of polymer stabilization. An overview of selected products will be provided, along with examples of how some of these products became unique solutions to help polyolefins continue advancing as the preferred material of choice in the plastics industry. Most recently, we have been exploring novel approaches to use our BASF Antioxidant technology platform to further enable the goals of “Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle."
Effects of Molecular Weight of Thermoplastic Fluorinated PPA on Various Melt Index LLDPE Polymers
David Seiler Sr., February 2020
The paper will study the performance for a series of fluorinated thermoplastic polymer process aids (PPA) in different LLDPE polymers with varying melt index from fractional melt to 3.6 dg/minute. The study compares results for fluorinated thermoplastic PPAs of different molecular structure in LLDPE and will help in the understanding of how the variation of LLDPE Melt Index (MI) can lead to selection of the preferred PPA for optimum processing. The study utilizes a flat-die extrusion testing method to evaluate key performance results such as speed of melt fracture elimination, speed and amount of pressure reduction, other observations, and how these performance enhancements vary depending on the MI of the LLDPE.
The Next Generation of Non-Alkylphenyl Polymeric Phosphites: Increased Phosphorus and Performance
Michael Jakupca, February 2020
Phosphites are widely used to improve the thermal stability of polymers during melt processing. The performance of a phosphite is related to the percent of phosphorus in the molecule, higher levels of phosphorus result in increased melt flow stability. Dover Chemical has previously introduced a polymeric phosphite that has many benefits, such as good process stability, excellent color retention during melt processing and aging, low migration, no compatibility or plate-out issues and unique melt fracture synergy with polymeric process aids. A new polymeric phosphite will be introduced in this paper, that has the same beneficial properties, but with a 50% higher phosphorus level. This presentation will examine the performance of this second generation high performance liquid polymeric phosphite.
Plastic Additives, Fit for Use in Sensitive Applications, Safe Pure Transparent
Tracey Malone, February 2020
Plastic Additives can be used in sensitive applications such as food contact and/or water pipes. Supplying these products into the global marketplace requires that standards and practices must be established that can assure the products are of a purity suitable for the intended use. Global regulations supply the requirements for assessing the safety of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS). Since many plastic additives undergo chemical transformations as they perform their functions during plastic fabrication and use, identification and evaluation of these substances and Good Manufacturing Practice requirements for plastic additives during synthesis and blending have become more explicit. NIAS that originate from various sources must be assessed and controlled. We will share BASF’s programs to identify and mitigate risks in this area to ensure safe products and our commitment to responsible care.
Creating High-Value Added Glass Fiber Reinforced Polypropylene via Polymer Additives Technology
Yota Tsuneizumi, February 2020
Utilization of plastics is expanding in the course of the development of compounding and additivation technologies for a light weight solution in automotive, insulative and advanced design in E&E application. Among plastics, polyolefin in particular, polypropylene is one of the key materials from the standpoint of well-balanced physical/mechanical properties and cost. Glass-reinforced polypropylene (GFPP) and Talc-filled PP are already being used in these application to replace engineering plastics and metals. These compounds are used in structural components that require high levels of stiffness, strength and heat resistance, predominantly within automotive, appliance and furniture applications. However, it is well known that polyolefins degrade rapidly by auto-oxidation reaction under extreme conditions. There are also disadvantages to polypropylene by filling glass fiber, such as increase of brittleness and decrease in flowability. In this paper, the contribution of the additives in GFPP is explained. Against the severe processing temperature of GFPP, a combination of antioxidants showed remarkable stability. Nucleating agents can improve the mechanical properties, resulting in weight reduction of the polypropylene composites and the reduction of cycle time. By the use of specific NA, data suggests that the amount glass fiber could be reduced while maintaining the compound’s mechanical properties, which will contribute to weight reduction. Additionally, the flame retardancy which could be achieved by an intumescent type flame retardant (FR) in GFPP will also be discussed.
Interactions Between Sorbitol Nucleator and Other Common Additives in Polypropylene
Olivier Nguon, February 2020
Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most produced thermoplastic polymers, offering excellent physical properties, good processability, and low cost. The performance of this material is contingent on its semicrystalline structure. One common method to enhance the crystallization rate is the addition of nucleating agents. Sorbitol compounds, in particular, have proved effective, at low concentrations, at improving both mechanical and optical properties while shortening processing times. Other additives have widespread use to facilitate processing and prevent polymer degradation. For instance, fatty acids and antioxidants are frequently compounded with PP. However, the interactions between the different additives are generally unknown, and may yield antagonistic interactions, nucleator deactivation, and inferior properties. We studied the synergistic and antagonistic interactions between 1,2,3-trideoxy-4,6:5,7-bis-O-[(4-propylphenyl)methylene]-nonitol (TBPMN) and four additives (processing aids and antioxidants). We showed improved crystallization temperature (Tc) in presence of the antioxidants, while calcium stearate was found to inhibit nucleator activity. The performance of TBPMN in presence of mono-glycerides was found to highly depend on the processing conditions. From 1H NMR, and FTIR analysis, we posit that hydrogen bonding and/or oxidation of the nucleator took place with these additives, and inhibited the network formation in the polymer matrix. The method of addition of nucleators and other additives to polypropylenes is an important parameter to achieving the best performance in the final product.
Beyond Antioxidants: Using Microcompounding to Evaluate Stabilizer-Systems in Polypropylene
Niall Marshall, February 2020
It has been shown that studying the processing stability of polypropylene using continuous micro-compounding provides comparable results with statistical repeatability to the traditional multiple extrusion approach but with the added advantage of being quicker and requiring less material. Using this approach we have further compared the performance of different stabilizer systems made up of primary- and secondary-antioxidants at different loadings to evaluate the efficacy of stabilizer systems rather than of the various antioxidants themselves.
Talc as Antiblocking in LLDPE: Evaluation of Performance in LLDPE Films of Talc Versus Other Mineral
Ercoli Malacari Piergiovanni, February 2020
As many plastic films tend to stick together, making difficult to separate film layers, some mineral additives are used to improve this situation. Specifically, in LLDPE films micronized talc is often used as antiblocking agent. Thanks to the micro-roughness achievable on film surface, talc acts as a spacer between the film layers minimally affecting transparency and other mechanical properties. The presence of talc in the LLDPE film formulation interacts with other additives, creating a unique set of properties that makes talc a very effective additive for film applications. In this paper, talc will be investigated for its intrinsic characteristics in comparison with other known mineral antiblocking additives to evaluate their effect in LLDPE film. A comprehensive evaluation of several properties will be performed to rank each single tested additive for the antiblocking function, considering all the side properties including mineral additive abrasivity and bulk handling It will be also introduced a novel talc antiblocking additive characterized by free-flowing appearance and dust-free behavior, for innovative solutions in talc handling.
Enhanced Stabilization System for Polyolefin Water Pipes
Jungdu Kim, February 2020
Polyolefin materials by itself are not suitable for long-term applications due to their too high sensitivity to oxidation. The major technology step to slow down the oxidation of polyolefins in the solid state are sterically hindered phenols (often referred to as phenolic antioxidants). This principle technology, developed already in the 1970s, enables service lifetimes of polyethylene thick section articles (e.g. pipes) in excess of 50 years. This technology had later-on to be finetune for (drinking) water pipes to avoid the extraction of the phenolic antioxidant during the contact with water and to ensure service life in the presence of free chlorine in drinking water. Particularly polypropylene-random copolymers (PP-R) has been a material of choice for use in the production of plastic pipes for hot and cold water for more than 20 years. Long-term thermal stabilization (LTTS) was traditionally based on phenolic antioxidants and thioesters. The thioester was later dropped, as it had a negative effect on the taste and odor of the water. Nowadays, single phenolic antioxidants or combination thereof are the key components for LTTS. In the drinking water system chlorine dioxide (ClO2) prevents the formation of germ or bacteria, however it is much more aggressive than hypochlorous acid and chloramine and leads to premature failure of polyethylene pipes. The paper presents solutions to significantly to extend service life of PP-R in water extractive applications and improve the stabilization of polyethylene pipes in contact with water containing ClO2.
Analytical Technology to Meet the Challenges of a Sustainable Plastics Economy
Robert Bruell, February 2020
Additives are widely used to tailor polymer properties like clarity and mechanics, and long-term characteristics like durability for particular applications. Due to the constant emerging of new additives a continuous development of appropriate methods for their analysis is required. While analytical methodologies have been developed concomitant with the use of additives, these do not fulfil the current needs, set by legislation and modern material development. In this sense, the comprehensive separation of additives, including their metabolites, from the polymer is a gap of technology. Drivers behind the need are regulatory issues (REACH) and the efforts towards a circular plastics economy, where the multiple reuse of plastics becomes a rule. As a consequence the quality of recycling technology has to be ensured, and, structure-property relationships for their products need to be mapped. While the questions in the case of Post Industrial Waste are still fairly straightforward, Post Consumer Waste significantly expands the range of analytical challenges. These are, for example, set by the presence of multiple additives in a compositionally non uniform polyolefin matrix. Furthermore, possible contaminations, brought in from the first life cycle, need to be tracked. A newly developed analytical approach will be presented, which in future can become part of the industrial routine portfolio and thus foster the transformation towards a circular plastics economy.
Advancements in Stabilization for Polyethylene in Rotational Molding
John Sigler, February 2020
Abstract As polyethylene production has increased and the rotational molding market has expanded, there is a growing demand for improved performance in thermal and ultraviolet light stabilization for end-use applications. These requirements, coupled with the current drivers towards sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions, present opportunities for additives in polyethylene. In this presentation, we present solutions that enable players throughout the supply chain to produce products that enhance durability, reduce energy cost in production, increase throughput, and accommodate rework and recycle requirements.
Evaluation of High Performance Phosphite in PP and HDPE
Hayder Zahalka Hayder, February 2020
Wide range of sterically hindered phenols (primary antioxidants) are used in conjunction with organo-phosphites (secondary antioxidants) for adequate stabilization of Polypropylene and Polyethylene for meeting specific application requirements. These antioxidants inhibit polymer autoxidation throughout the value chain from manufacturing to end use applications and recycling. The guidelines for phosphite selection include % phosphorous, chemical structure, thermal stability, solubility in resin and efficacy. In this presentation we will focus on the quest for robust and high performance stabilization system (lower additive loadings, better color retention, resistance to gas fading etc) for Polypropylene and HDPE for meeting specific performance requirement.
Bio-based Antimicrobial Additive – Safety with Sustainability
Amrita Poyekar, February 2020
Polymers have become a significant part of our lives, owing to their extended range of applications. The possibilities to achieve more impressive functionalities makes this material promising for the future advancement. One of such application, which is gaining attention, is bacterial control properties imparted to plastics by using suitable additives. A suitable antimicrobial additive plays a crucial role in making plastics safer for us. Further, the presence of microbes may also negatively affect the aesthetics and properties of the product (such as mechanical, electrical and other properties). The bio-film formation may exhibit severe dust pick-up and may also impart foul odor in the plastic articles. The traditional solutions typically include metal-based compounds, nanoparticles, toxic element containing compounds or other categories, wherein the biocide properties can be attained. The trend of bio-based and safer additives poses the demand for more benign products. FinaGuard AM is well-suited for such requirements, as it is a unique naturally derived antibacterial additive, free from metal/nanoparticles offering excellent performance in Gram (-) & Gram (+) bacteria. It brings forth manifold benefits such as effective antimicrobial performance, sustainability as well as safety during handling & service life. FinaGuard AM is an internal additive, therefore, can be incorporated in plastics via a masterbatch route. It has been tested by JIS Z 2801: 2010 in polyolefins and PVC. The potential application spectrum for FinaGuard AM is evidently wide, for instance – medical apparatus, domestic products (e.g. kitchen utensils, flooring, bath mats, shower curtains), fabrics/clothing, furniture (e.g. chair handle, table tops, door handles) and construction materials/interiors (e.g. tiles, wallpaper, flooring).
Bioadditives: Renaissance and the Latest Scoop
Rudolf Pfaendner, February 2020
Most plastic additives are manufactured today from fossil resources through established chemical processes. Additives from natural resources (“Bioadditives”) are known as well and representatives of several additive classes have been used for many years. However, the need for bioadditives is increasing to replace traditional fossil based additives. Moreover the growth of biopolymers enforces the requests for natural based additives to offer fully biobased systems to the market and to support circular economy. Within the extensive variety of additives biobased products are found in the class of plasticizers, antioxidants, lubricants, antifogging agents and clarifiers. Plasticizers from different natural resources (citric acid esters, succinic acid esters, isosorbide esters) have captured a significant market share. Lubricants such as fatty acid esters and their salts are well-known standard products. On the other side several large additive areas such as flame retardants, light stabilizers or impact modifiers are still not represented. Phenolic structures are omnipresent in nature and can be isolated from many plants [1]. Vitamin E (“Tocopherol”) is the classical example of a naturally based antioxidant providing excellent processing stability to polyolefins [2]. However, secondary antioxidants such as phosphites are not found in nature. To benefit from the well-known synergism of primary and secondary antioxidants in polymer stabilization a natural based alternative to phosphites is mandatory. The presentation will give an overview on bioadditives for plastics and will show new stabilizer concepts fully based on natural resources.
New Advances in Polyolefin Modifiers (Paper)
Charles Olsen, February 2020
The most recent developments in grafting technology for polyolefins have been applied on an industrial scale to help solve challenges in performance and processing of these ubiquitous materials. Through the use of solid phase grafting, the unique properties of each polymer can be retained while reducing undesirable side reactions. This approach has been applied to a wide range of polyolefins to address key performance needs; specifically the creation of Polyolefin Alloys. These grafted side chains of LDPE / PS, LDPE / SAN, PP / SAN modify the properties of the bulk polymer. This paper will illustrate the resulting properties when incorporated into blends of other polyolefins, ABS, PLA, and PC blends. The use of solid phase grafting technology also allows for the facile addition of MAH to a range of polyolefin backbones. The effectiveness of the method results in polyolefins which retain a high MFI, a high percent of MAH functionality and low volatility / residual MAH levels. HDPE, PP, POE, EBA, LLDPE grafted with MAH have all been successfully prepared and tested. These novel graft polyolefins exhibit excellent performance in a wide range of thermoplastic compounds and composites. In addition, a new approach to incorporating low MW functional additives into the polyolefin melt has been developed. Porous granules which can adsorb up to 80% by weight are now available in a variety of polymers including LLDPE, PP and EVA. The porous polyolefin carrier absorbs the liquid additive and allows the resulting dry granule to be metered into the compound as with any other solid additive. The result is a much better match of melt viscosity with more thorough mixing and incorporation into the compound. A wide range of liquid additives and additive blends have been successfully incorporated into polyolefin compounds including; Crosslinking of PE through the Monosil process; Vinyl Silane / peroxide, Addition of Boron based HFFR, Addition of MAH, Silicone oils and gums Antistats, anti-fog, slip aides and other low MW additives.

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