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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Synthesis and Characterization of Poly(Butyl Acrylate-Co-Styrene)/PMMA with Gradient Composition
Formerly, gradient polymers made by sequential polymerization have been studied for systems having a rigid matrix. There, the gradient structure has raised performance compared to material of global equivalent composition with homogeneous structure. In this work, a converse material was synthesized, preparing a Butyl acrylate (54 mol %) - Styrene photocopolymer to use it as matrix. MMA was then diffused at low temperatures and photopolymerized in situ to obtain a certain composition with homogeneous or gradient structure. Chemical composition throughout the slabs was established by IR. Stress - Strain and dynamic mechanical properties showed the performance superiority of the gradient materials.
Mechanical Behavior of Fabric-Film Laminates
Inflatable structures are gaining wide support in planetary scientific missions as well as commercial applications. For such applications a new class of materials made of laminating thin homogenous films to lightweight fabrics are being considered as structural gas envelops. The emerging composite materials are a result of recent advances in the manufacturing of lightweight, high strength fibers, fabrics and scrims. The lamination of these load-carrying members with the proper gas barrier film results in a wide range of materials suitable for various loading and environmental conditions. Polyesterbased woven fabrics laminated to thin homogenous film of polyester (Mylar) are an example of this class. This fabric/film laminate is being considered for the development of a material suitable for building large gas envelopes for use in the NASA Ultra Long Duration Balloon Program (ULDB). Compared to commercial homogenous films, the material provides relatively high strength to weight ratio as well as better resistance to crack and tear propagation. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the mechanical behavior of this class of multi-layers composite and to highlight some of the concerns observed during the characterization of these laminate composites.
Eliminating Density and Heat Capacity Requirements in Transient Thermal Conductivity Measurements
Transient thermal conductivity methods have benefited from the rapid nature of the testing. The drawback has been the need to measure density (?) and heat capacity (cp) for the materials in order to calculate thermal conductivity. For speed, nominal values of ? and cp have been used, producing questionable thermal conductivity results. If ? and cp are measured, the increase in time reduced the benefit of the transient measurement. This difficulty has now been removed. A new technique has successfully been demonstrated which produces thermal conductivity directly. The only additional parameter that is necessary is material thickness. This new technique uses existing instrumentation without the need for hardware modification.
Stress Relaxation of Poly(Ethylene Naphthalate): Isothermal, Isochromal and Isostructural Responses
The physical aging response of polymers is generally examined in isothermal conditions by following the viscoelastic behavior as a function of aging time. It is then often asked if time-aging time superposition applies at a single temperature. If so, it can then be ascertained if time-temperature superposition applies to the aging time reduced curves obtained at different temperatures. In prior work from this laboratory we showed that isothermal time-aging time superposition did not apply to amorphous PEN. In this work we describe the surprising result that samples aged at 100 °C and then tested at 30 °C, 50 °C, 70 ° and 90 °C, that is iso-structurally (constant fictive temperature) seem to follow time-temperature superposition.
Low-Temperature Toughening Behavior of Polyolefin Blends and Composites
The low temperature impact properties of glass fiber reinforced Polypropylene and polyolefin blends with two different rubbers are investigated. Our results reveal that the impact strength increases with decreasing temperatures when glass fibers are highly loaded. The thermomechanical analysis over a wide range of temperatures is employed to elucidate the possible cause of the pronounced temperature dependence of the impact strength. It is found that the average thermal expansion coefficient of the highly filled composites significantly deviates from the linearity of a simple mixing rule. This significant reduction in the thermal expansion coefficient caused by the addition of glass fibers can provide a useful strengthening of the bond between fiber and matrix by increasing the compressive pressure exerted on the fibers by the matrix at low temperature. Meanwhile, the increase in the impact strength of polyolefin blends with some rubbers was also observed below room temperature. The examination of fractured surfaces of these blends clearly demonstrates the different toughening behaviors at low temperatures. We suspect that the difference in thermal expansion coefficient between rubber and matrix possibly causes the increase in the interfacial stress between rubber and matrix at low temperature.
Membrane-Inflation Rheometry - A New Way of Measuring Biaxial Deformation Behaviour at Process-Relevant Conditions
In blow-moulding, film production and other processes, polymers are biaxially stretched. For the layout of those processes, for Finite-Element Analysis (FEA) and for raw material development, the mechanical material behaviour of the polymer materials must be known. Therefore, the stress/strain behaviour of the material at forming temperatures and high strain rates is investigated in this paper. A new measurement device is described called the Membrane-Inflation Rheometer. It is capable to measure stress/strain behaviour of polymers under equibiaxial deformation and process relevant conditions concerning temperature and strain rate. The algorithm for data evaluation is explained. Some results for different polymer materials are presented.
Fast Design of Mixing Sections by Means of Network Theory
Single-screw extruders make use of mixing and shearing sections to ensure good thermal and mechanical homogeneity at high mass throughput rates. Nowadays, these sections are usually designed empirically or with very simple estimation formulas. Therefore, important interpretation criteria, like pressure loss, temperature increase, average shear rate or residence time profile are only determined very inaccurately. The 3D finite-element analysis (FEA) can determine these parameters very precisely, but with very long computation times. The network theory allows an economic calculation with a sufficient accuracy of the aforementioned data. This paper describes the modelling of extruder mixing sections and the solution of these models by means of the network theory.
Quality Control of the Discontinuous Compounding Process in a Rubber Internal Mixer by Regression and Neural Networks Process Models
The discontinuous processes in the rubber manufacturing are sensitive to low deviations in the processing method. The main reasons for these deviations are the fluctuations into the process parameters or deviations of the quality of raw materials or the manual operations. The on-line quality prediction of rubber compounds based of the mathematical models for the mixing process in an internal mixer is an important step in direction of quality control. For most applications the models based on regression or neural networks lead to quality predictions of over 90% for various compounds and machine sizes. Such a measure and control unit has been successfully tested at a laboratory mixer.
Optimization of the Wall Thickness Distribution of Pharmaceutical Press-Through Blisters
The wall section of medical press-through blisters may reduce the stability of the packed medicine. A homogeneous wall thickness over the entire capsule chamber enables the manufacturer use a thinner starting foil without a lack of quality, which leads to the saving of raw material and other expenditures. Three thermoforming methods are tested on an industrial form-fill-seal" line. the temperature profile of the raw film before forming the friction coefficient between films and molds or plugs and the biaxial rheological properties of the foil influence the resulting wall thickness distribution."
The Centrifuge - An Alternative to the Filter for Highly Contaminated Polymer Melts
The recycling of thermoplastics gains more and more importance. For removing the contamination one-or-two step filtration units are state of the art, but due to high material loadings or running costs they often reach their limits. Therefore IKV examines whether a centrifuge, which is fed with polymer melt, might be an alternative. In preliminary tests IKV showed that centrifuges built for low-viscosity materials can also be used for polymer melts. A centrifuge was installed into an extrusion line. Up to 10 weight-% of contamination could be removed out of the polymer melt successfully.
Combining Liquid-Silicone-Rubbers with Thermoplastics to Rigid-Flexible Combinations Using 2-Component-Injection-Molding
Since multi component injection molding techniques are well established, the development of rigid-flexible combinations is increasing. Besides combinations between thermoplastics and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) which are used in various applications, the combination of Liquid-Silicone-Rubbers (LSR) and thermoplastics becomes more important because of their better thermomechanical and mechanical properties in comparison with TPE. Concerning the adhesive strength of these combinations which depends on the properties of the materials, the process parameters in the molding process and the mold-technique there is only insufficient knowledge. To solve this techniques are developed to improve the adhesive strength between the materials.
Process Analysis and Machine Technology for the Injection Molding of Microstructures
In micro injection molding two different tasks can be distinguished: These are the injection molding of small parts (> 1 g) with microstructured details and the direct production of micro parts, i.e. parts with a part weight down to milligrams (mg). Until now there are no suitable injection molding machines available for the production of single micro parts, so injection molders produce big, but precise sprues to achieve the necessary shot weight. To solve this problem, the IKV is developing a micro injection molding machine that meets the molder's demands. First, the injection molding process with differently manufactured micro cavities is analysed.
Gas Assisted Injection Molding of a Vacuum Cleaner Body
Gas-Assisted-Injection-Molding (GAIM) was applied to a vacuum cleaner body made of PP that had a higher shrinkage and a lower strength than ABS. The CAE analysis was carried out to examine the factors in the mold design and processing such as the gas injector location, the gas channel size, the gas pressure level and profile, etc. Although the mold was machined according to the analysis result, actual molding conditions were optimized again with Taguchi method because the CAE analysis could not reflect the complexity of the actual process. The optimized molding conditions agreed well with the result of the CAE analysis.
Study on the Processability of Recycled PET Fiber
Recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) (R-PET) used in blends with a fiber grade material (F-PET) has been investigated in this paper. As-spun fibers of R-PET, F-PET, and R/F-PET blends were made at winding speeds ranging from 1000 to 4000 m/min (mpm), and subsequently drawn in the range of 5.4 to 1.35X to bear the same total extension ratio. The properties of fibers spun at high and low wind-up speeds with low and high extension ratios have been compared in terms of the orientation, crystallinity, and mechanical properties. The fully oriented yarns (FOY) prepared from R-PET show a tensile strength of 90% of the fiber grade, with 4.4 g/d (R-PET) to 4.8 g/d (F-PET). On the other hand, R-PET fibers spun at low wind-up speed with high extension ratio show better physical properties than that spun at high wind-up speed with low extension ratio, with 4.4 g/d (1000 mpm/5.4X) to 3.7 g/d (4000 mpm/1.35X). The results indicate that for R-PET material, the low wind-up speed with high extension ratio process provided advantageous environment for developing crystalline fiber structures.
Three Dimensional Filling Analysis of the Gas-Assisted Injection Molding
A three-dimensional finite element model combined with a volume tracking technique has been developed to simulate the mold filling phase in gas-assisted injection molding. The model deals with the polymer melt flow having two moving interfaces, i.e., the gas-polymer interface and polymer front. A mixed finite element formulation using four node tetrahedral elements is employed to solve the 3D Navier-Stokes equations. A robust volume tracking technique is developed to track the gas-polymer interface and the polymer front surfaces. When compared to 2D shell models, 3D modeling is capable of predicting accurately the important flow features in complex parts as well as the gas core shapes and locations.
Swelling Interaction, Plasticization, and Antioxidant Extraction between Fiber Optic Cable Gels and Polyolefins
The effects of various waterblocking gels are investigated in relation to swelling behavior of polyolefins. Gel absorption is studied in polyethylene and polypropylene/ethylene copolymers as a function of temperature for a density range of 0.868g/cc to 0.948g/cc for polyethylene and 0.88 to 0.91g/cc for propylene/ethylene copolymers. The effect of swelling on antioxidant extraction is also studied as a function of antioxidant molecular weight and degree of swelling. Both factors show a strong influence on the amount of antioxidant extracted. A direct correlation is found between antioxidant extraction by gels and reduction in thermo-oxidative stability.
Compatibilization of PET/LLDPE Blends with MAH-g-LLDPE
Blends of Polyethylene terephtalate (PET) and Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) compatibilized with maleic anhydride-grafted-LLDPE (MAH-g-LLDPE) were characterized. The addition of MAH-g-LLDPE produced a fine dispersed phase morphology and improved processability of blends. A decrease on the crystallization temperature and on the degree of crystallinity of the polyester and an increase on the elastic modulus and on the stress at break were observed. These effects could be attributed to the reduced interfacial tension as a result of the promoted interaction between the polymers by the functionalized polymer.
Prediction of Service Life in a Chemically Active Environment Using Stress-Rupture Data
The effect of chemical exposure on the stress rupture behavior of polyurethane, polyacetal and four acrylic materials was investigated. The polyurethane and polyacetal stress rupture data was used to provide the basis for verification of the expected service life of products made from these materials. The stress rupture data from four different acrylic materials was used to differentiate the materials on the basis of long term strength. The stress rupture data (applied stress vs. failure time) was obtained using a custom designed and built constant tensile load (CTL) testing apparatus.
Continuous Polymerization of Polyetheramide Tri-Block Copolymer in a Modular Intermeshing Counter-Rotating Twin Screw Extruder
Polyetheramide tri-block copolymers have been polymerized in a modular counter-rotating twin screw extruder under a range of processing conditions, including temperature profiles and screw speeds. Polyetheramide tri-block copolymers had not been previously polymerized in a twin screw extruder. Thermal analysis and viscosity measurements clearly demonstrated that the formed copolymers have two separated domains arising from two different block segments. Studies were also made of melt spinning polyetheramide tri-block copolymer into oriented filaments. The formed filaments were characterized using birefringence. The melt spun fibers of polyetheramide tri-block copolymer showed higher elongation than those of polyamide 6 due to the existence of elastomers.
Novel BEM Simulation of Mixing in Polymer Flows Including Non-Linear Effects
When numerically analyzing mixing in polymer processes, there are several difficulties that the engineer will encounter; such as moving boundaries, complex geometries and non-linear material behavior. The Boundary Element Method (BEM), as a technique which requires only boundaries (surfaces) to be meshed, is ideal to simulate problems with moving boundaries and complex geometries. However, the introduction of non-linear material behavior requires domain information. This study applies the Monte Carlo technique to integrate the domain and keep the boundary-only discretization. Results show the influence of non-linear effects, such as shear-thinning viscosity, when characterizing mixing in polymer processing equipment.
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