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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Measuring the Diffusivity of Additives in Polymer Films Using In-Situ FTIR-ATR Spectroscopy
In many polymer-film applications, additives migrate from the bulk of a film to the film surfaces. For these cases, it is more realistic to measure the additive diffusivity in a diffusion-out mode rather than using a mass-sorption (diffusion-in) experiment. This is particularly true for additives that are solids at the testing temperature. This research focuses on the evaluation of additive diffusivity in a diffusion-out mode via in situ FTIR-ATR spectroscopy, which has the advantage of requiring only small samples of thin films. The technique will be described, including methods to obtain reproducible contacting pressure between a film sample and an ATR crystal and to perform in situ experiments at elevated temperatures. Diffusivity results are presented for the migration of an erucamide slip agent in LLDPE films.
The Use of Morphology Data in the Design of Injection Moulded Flat Products
Thermoplastics are one of the first choices that engineers consider for many practical applications. Most of those parts, often used in automotive or appliance products, are required to have high mechanical performance and are mostly made by injection molding. Strength and dimensional stability under stress are common requirements. Moreover, the quick completion of the development and production process before entry in the market is a mandatory specification for many plastic products. The design process of plastic parts follow the general pattern of the engineering design activity, which was partially reorganized for time-delivery shortening by implementing the concept of concurrent or simultaneous engineering . The overall process flow chart can be structured as shown in Figure 1.
Microwave and Optical Applications of Metallic Conductive Polymers
Recent progress obtained in the synthesis of conductive polymers with a well controlled structure have shown that high levels of conductivity can be achieved with a metal like character. The consequence is a large modification of their dielectric properties, especially in the microwave and optical range. So far, applications such as EMI shielding, microwave absorption or optical modulation have been developed with this class of materials. We are presenting here a survey on these works and we shall show how metallic conductive polymers represent, beyond their pure scientific interest, strong potentialities for microwave and optical applications.
Solubility of HFC-134A, HCFC-142B, and HFC-152A in Polystyrene
The vapor-liquid phase equilibria of HFC-134a, HCFC-142b, and HFC-152a in polystyrene were measured at temperatures from 348 to 473 K and pressures up to 3.2 MPa by using a volumetric method. The solubility of these blowing agents decreased with temperature. Amount of HCFC-142b, HFC-152a, and HFC-134a in polystyrene decreased in that order. The solubilities measured were correlated by the Sanchez-Lacombe equation of state. Agreement between the experimental solubilities and the correlations with a temperature-dependent binary interaction parameter was satisfactory. The interaction parameters linearly varied with temperature.
Evaluation of Additive Concentration Profiles in Multilayer Films
The diffusion of additives in single-layer polymer films has been characterized using FTIR microspectroscopy. This research extends that work to multilayer films. In particular, this investigation focuses on the diffusion characteristics of an erucamide slip agent in press-laminated bilayer and coextruded trilayer LLDPE films. The objective was to monitor the extent of additive partitioning between the various layers and to the outside surfaces of the multilayer films. Results demonstrate the effect of initial additive loading on the spatial distribution of additive and the apparent surface concentration as a function of time.
Proper Utilization of Porous Mold Steel to Solve Venting Problems
Since its introduction to the North American mold making market, this porous, self-venting mold steel has proven remarkably successful. This porous steel has allowed molders to reduce injection pressure, cycle times, shot size and scrap rates. Additional benefits have included elimination of flow lines, short shots, and material burning and ghosting on edges of textured parts. Design consideration should include: 1. Resins Used 2. Tool size 3. Prevention of Problems 4. Whether to use 3 micron, 7 micron or 20 micron porosity Additional considerations should be given to regular maintenance and cleaning of porous inserts.
Organic Solar Cells - Stabilization by Plastic Encapsulation
Due to the simple chemical tuning of the electronic properties of organic molecular semiconductors these materials are investigated in optoelectronic devices, covering the field from laser diodes to solar cells. In all these applications the stability of the active organic layer is crucial. Photo-oxidation is one of the biggest problems when using organic molecules for solar cells. We show how encapsulation affects the lifetime and performance of such devices. We present examples of organic solar cells based on poly (para) phenylene vinylene (PPV) and sexiphenyl (PHP). Its spectral response and electrical characteristics were tested under laboratory conditions and under AM1.5 conditions in the desert.
Thermal Expansion and its Effect on the Normal Force for a Modified Force Rebalance Transducer
Prior work in this laboratory [Niemiec, et al, J. Rheology, 40, 323-334 (1996)] showed that anomalous normal forces could arise in rotary shear measurements when thermal expansion of the force rebalance transducer (FRT) superimposed a squeezing flow on the shear flow. Transducer heating results from the current to the magnetic coils in the FRT necessary to counteract the applied torque. Partly due to this work, the manufacturer redesigned the transducer by replacing stainless steel components with Invar, an alloy with a very low coefficient of thermal expansion. Tests on the new transducer show that the thermal expansion is significantly reduced. The behavior of the new transducer is described.
A Nonlinear Fluid Standard Reference Material: Progress Report
A new NIST Standard Reference Material (SRM 2490 - Nonlinear Fluid for Rheological Measurements) demonstrates shear thinning and normal stresses typical of polymeric fluids. SRM 2490 consists of polyisobutylene dissolved in 2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane (pristane), giving a stable fluid with a wide temperature range. NIST will certify the linear viscoelastic behavior and the shear-rate dependence of the viscosity and first normal stress difference between 0 °C and 50 °C. NIST will also use the fluid in a round robin to help the polymer community identify sources of variability in rheological measurements. Here we report progress on the project.
Pressure Flow in the Barrel: The Relationship of Fluid Elements in the Cavity to Original Barrel Locations
Pressure-driven flows dominate the injection molding process. A pressure flow is established in the barrel of the injection molding machine initially when the screw moves forward to inject material into the cavity. The laminar shear flow established by this action exhibits a parabolic velocity profile with the highest velocity in the center of the barrel and zero velocity at the barrel walls (Figure 1). With plastic melts the velocity profile is somewhat “flattened” due the non-Newtonian, i.e. nonlinear, rheological behavior of the melt. Such a velocity profile is not only characteristic of the basic flow in the barrel, but it also applies to the pressure-driven shear flows in the nozzle, runners, gates and cavities. The shear flow in the barrel is unique since the origin of the pressure energy is the screw displacement during injection. In order to maintain the highest velocity in the center of the various flow channels, material needs to be constantly added at the pressure source. This occurs in the barrel in the region closest to the screw. As the screw moves down the barrel, slow moving melt adjacent to the screw tip and near the barrel wall, is forced to the fast-moving center region (Figure 2). This sequence continues until the screw bottoms out or until the injection is stopped. Experiments with colored tracers have verified the laminar flow conditions and the volume-element relationship.
A Study of the Long-Term Crystallization Process in Polypropylene and Acetal
Over the years there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the length of time required for certain semi-crystalline materials to achieve full potential crystallinity. Many suppliers of flexible chain crystalline materials have studied the phenomenon of post mold shrinkage. In addition, many suppliers of these materials recommend an extended conditioning period for molded test specimens before conducting physical property tests. It is supposed that it can take two to three weeks for properties to fully develop. Yet even within supplier organizations there seems to be no consensus on the necessity for this practice and little documentation exists to support either a long-term or a short-term approach to sample conditioning. This study uses tensile stress-strain properties and dynamic mechanical analysis to track the property development of test specimens molded in polypropylene and acetal. Unfilled homopolymers and copolymers were used in both material families.
The Application of New Spectral Birefringence Technique to Characterize the Structural Changes That Take Place in Heat Setting of Preoriented PET and PETG
With the intent of simulating the heat-setting process of a tenter film stretching process, the birefringence development of PET and PETG films are monitored on-line using spectral birefringence technique. In this technique, a white light source is used on an optical train with a heating chamber equipped with rapid sample insertion capability. The full visible spectrum is utilized and essentially, this technique has no limitations on measurements of retardation to very high values. Spectral birefringence technique also enables one to detect the changes in the trend in birefringence (such as decrease as a result of relaxation, or increase as a result of crystallization) and to investigate changes that occur very rapidly in the order of seconds. The effects of stretch ratio on the kinetics of the structural changes in PET and PETG films are investigated. It is found that heat setting at temperatures where crystallization rates are slow results in partial relaxation followed by a rapid rise in birefringence, particularly for samples with low stretch ratios. In this paper, only the results for PETG films are presented due to the limited space. However the presentation will cover the results for both PET as well as PETG films.
Mesoscopic Simulation of Glass Transition Temperature and Comparison with Entropic Difference Model
Mesoscopic simulations that lie between atomistic and macroscopic simulation is used to calculate the glass transition(s) for partially miscible copolymers in blends. The predictions are compared with the entropic difference model presented earlier for predicting the multiple glass transition temperatures observed in these systems. The molecular weight effects on the free volume were not considered in this study. The temperature dependence on heat capacity was included in the entropic difference model by assuming a power series expansion and then a power function representation. The power function indeed is found to be a better representation of the experimental data compared with the power series expansion. The physical interpretation of the ??Sm calculated using experimental data is discussed.
Ballistic Impact Energy Measurement of Novel Coextruded PC/PMMA Multilayer Composites
Ballistic impact energy measurements of coextruded polycarbonate/polymethylmethacrylate (PC/PMMA) multilayer composites were performed. Until PC composition reaches approximately 70%, ballistic kinetic energy absorption capability of these composites is relatively low and differences within the region are negligible. They all failed in brittle fashion. However, ballistic performance improved drastically above 80% of PC composition, with ductile mode of failure. The individual layer of PMMA appeared to be the dominant factor in determining the ballistic performance as well as mode of failure of these coextruded composites. Ballistic impact energy values were significantly increased when the PMMA individual layer thickness was reduced to approximately 0.36 µm or thinner. Ductile mode of failure, which is predominant in the monolithic PC, occurred in these corresponding PC/PMMA multilayer composites.
Self-Reinforced Composites of Various Polyesters with PET/HBA Based LCP
Four different polyesters, PET, PBT, PEN, and copolyester, were each blended with LCP based on poly(ethylene terephthalate)/p-hydroxybenzoic acid, PET/HBA, by using a single screw extruder with a static mixer followed by a die. Unidirectional sheets and fibers of the blends of various LCP contents were prepared at various operating conditions including die geometry, die temperature, and extension ratio to find optimum processing conditions required for improvement of mechanical properties. Depending on matrix and processing conditions, blends revealed different LCP domain deformation, size, shape, and, consequently, mechanical properties. Among four different polyesters, PET matrix was the most efficient in obtaining uniform LCP phase distribution and deformation in blends. However, blends based on the copolyester matrix showed the best mechanical properties. The mechanical properties of injection moldings made by reprocessing thermoplastic/LCP fibers at the melt temperature below the LCP melting point were measured. Among various blends, the LCP fibrils preexisting in PEN/LCP fibers were best preserved in moldings.
Control of Melt Temperature on Single Screw Extruders
Melt temperature in extrusion affects most aspects of the process, including polymer integrity, ability to handle and cool the extrudate and surface finish of the final product. Attempting to control the melt temperature via adjusting extrusion settings on a single screw extruder has a varying success rate, depending on such factors as: screw speeds being attempted, screw design, polymer viscosity and screw tip pressure. This paper will give the results of a study including the above mentioned parameters and the melt temperature control possible on a single screw extruder. Most extrusion engineers have a feel for their ability to control melt temperature with their machines and polymers, but an encompassing study will clarify the degree of control possible on this machine under a broad array of conditions.
Structure/Property Relationships in Polyetheretherketone Vibration Welds
Vibration welds were made in polyetheretherketone (PEEK) using different pressures, with a variety of welding times, in order to produce welds with a range of mechanical properties. Polarised Fourier transform infrared (FTIR)-microspectrometry was used to measure crystallinity and molecular orientation, and transmitted light microscopy was used to study morphology. Tensile and tensile-impact tests were carried out, and the broken test specimens were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmitted light microscopy to establish where failure occurred, and to examine the fracture surfaces of broken test specimens.
Mathematical Modeling of Three-Dimensional Die Flows of Viscoplastic Fluids with Wall Slip
The mathematical modeling of the continuous processing of filled polymers, and concentrated suspensions in screw extruders and dies of complex shapes is undertaken. The simulation of the flow of such filled systems in complex geometries is rendered complicated by the occurrence of wall slip at fluid/solid boundaries. The incorporation of wall slip in the analysis of three-dimensional flows including flows through dies, single/twin-screw extruders and other processing geometries is currently lacking. Here we present an analysis of three-dimensional flows with wall slip, and demonstrate the procedure using the flow of a Herschel-Bulkley fluid in a tapered die.
Squeeze Flow Rheometer
The squeeze flow rheometer is widely used especially for the rheological characterization of composites and polymer melts. However, since it incorporates both shear and extensional deformations its use is not straightforward. Here the two-dimensional constant-speed squeezing flow of viscoplastic fluids between two approaching surfaces in relative motion is solved using the Finite Element Method. Slip at the wall, a condition generally encountered with viscplastic fluids at solid surfaces, is incorporated in the model. The analysis is applicable to the rheological characterization and testing of parameters of constitutive equations for filled polymers and elatomers that exhibit a yield stress and will expand our understanding of the squeeze flow rheometer. The numerical analysis was focused on the determination of conditions under which 1-D analysis is valid.
Particulate Based Conductive Composites Exploiting Percolation-Range Microstructure
The electrical and tensile properties of graphite based conductive composites were investigated as a function of mixing conditions and the specific energy input incorporated during the mixing process. The microstructural features were characterized employing wide-angle x-ray diffraction. A tri-block copolymer with polystyrene end blocks and poly(ethylene-butylene) mid block was used as the primary matrix material. Graphite powders with controlled particle size distributions were used as conductive fillers. Systematic studies were carried-out varying the volume percent and mixing distribution characteristics of the filler particles. The volume resistivity of the composites exhibited a significant increase with the increased specific energy input. The increase was associated with the enhanced coating of the conductive particles and the better distribution of the matrix polymer as the specific energy input increased.
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