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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Multilayer EVOH/HDPE Packaging in Processing and Performance of Recycled HDPE
Kuraray, EVAL Europe N.V. (EE) produces Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol copolymers (EVAL™), which are used in multilayer structures in a combination with a wide range of materials such as High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) to produce multilayer bottles to provide superior barrier properties to gases, flavours or bring functional barriers against external contaminants such as mineral oils (MOSH,MOAH). Bottles are typically made by Co-Extrusion blow moulding (Co-EBM) technology and are used for beverage packaging such as dairy products and specialty milk and other packaging applications for sauces or dressings or for the packaging of medical products for which the Water Barrier of HDPE is of added value. The objective of the study was to investigate if multilayer EVOH/HDPE rigid packaging material, which is a percentage of the post-consumer recycling stream, can be effectively sorted with the HDPE stream and decontaminated back to food grade approved for use as Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR)-HDPE into food packaging applications. Multilayer rigid food packaging found in the post-consumer recycling stream has been represented in the design of materials guides and recycling guides as ‘may be suitable’ for recycling. The present work investigates the recyclability of EVOH barrier packaging due to the growing trends of multilayer rigid food packaging and more importantly, as recovery systems strive towards a better circular economy. The steps taken to produce food grade rHDPE with analysis included; Audits of the HDPE fraction at Viridor MRF, testing on automated NIR sorting equipment at Tomra (Titech), compounding in a low pressure, elevated temperature, food-grade decontamination process and overall migration testing conducted by Smithers-Pira. The evaluation showed that post-consumer HDPE (rHDPE) material containing at least 0.25% EVOH (equivalent to 5% multilayer EVOH/HDPE packaging) can be “super cleaned” to food grade quality without any significant impact on the process performance or physical properties compared to rHDPE only. The results showed that at the levels of multilayer EVOH packaging typically found in the recycled HDPE stream, the rHDPE can be processed and utilized in a full range of applications, without impact on migration characteristics or physical properties compared to rHDPE alone.
Back Injection Molding with Additive Manufactured Mold Inserts Using All-Inkjet Printed Substrates
Back injection molding is a well-known process in the plastics industry. For example, the fabrication of decorated interior parts in the automotive industry is one of many fields of application. In the last few years, the additive manufacturing process rapidly expanded in injection molding. For instance, it is used for producing injection mold inserts made of metal or plastic. This technique is called Rapid Tooling. The aim of this paper is to investigate the back injection molding process with additive manufactured mold inserts made of Fullcure RGD 720 and to verify if this technique is feasible. Therefore, a substrate with all-inkjet printed conductor traces was placed in the mold insert. The injection molding was done with a standard injection molding machine. The conductive traces were printed with a standard inkjet printer manufactured by Epson. To generate additional information about the additive manufacturing material Fullcure RGD 720 a differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was done.
Influence of Long-Term Annealing on Residual Stress Distribution and Quasi-Brittle Failure Properties of Talcum Reinforced Pipe Grade Polyproyplene
In this study a polypropylene material with talcum reinforcement used for sewer pipes has been subjected to an annealing procedure at 80°C, roughly 60°C above the actual application temperature, in air for a time period of 18 months. As expected, examination of the material showed no significant decrease in mechanical or fracture mechanical properties due to the temperature exposure. However, samples stored at higher temperature showed better resistance against quasi-brittle failure in fatigue tests compared to unconditioned samples. This could mainly be attributed to the decrease of residual stress in the pipe wall. Even though pipes have been annealed for very long times above Tg, residual stress could not be totally relaxed within 18 months.
Creep Deformation Behaviour of Pc-Abs Parts Processed by Fused Deposition Additive Manufacturing under Different Extrusion Parameters
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a complex process for many additive manufacturing practitioners as it involves selection of a large number of intervening process conditions to produce quality products to meet customer needs and achieve competitive advantages. Understanding the effect of operating conditions on the mechanical properties of FDM printed parts is an important task as they influence the functionality of the products. The growing demand for use of Polycarbonate /Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (PC-ABS) alloys in the production of automotive components led to the need for understanding the creep deformation performance of processed material and product under various processing parameters. This study investigates the effect of FDM process conditions on creep deformation behaviour. A systematic study through definitive screening design and statistical analysis was carried out in order to correlate the FDM processing parameters with the performance of PC-ABS alloys. In this study, the regression model was developed for the calculation of the processing parameters in FDM of PC-ABS products and gives technical information for the determination of which process parameters are the best to use for practical purposes.
The Influence of Plastics Processing on the Biocompatibility of Medical Products
Medical products must be biocompatible depending on application. However, numerous factors can negatively affect biological compatibility. Plastics processing can lead to degradation of polymer molecules via various process parameters such as processing temperature. These degradation products can have a negative influence on biocompatibility. The aim of these initial investigations is to explore the influence of injection molding on the biological properties of medical products. Comprehensive analyses of processing parameters, polymer degradation and its degradation products, as well as the cytotoxicity of various medical-grade plastics are presented. That processing parameters can significantly influence the final product's biocompatibility for certain materials is shown. Thus the release of formaldehyde during POM processing is demonstrated to have a cytotoxic effect on medical products.
Squeeze Performance of Oval Containers
Household cleaning agents and many salad dressings, mayonnaise, ketchup and condiments are often packaged in oval shaped containers that need to be squeezed in order to facilitate dispensing. These products are often displayed on a kitchen table or sink which means that brand owners should use containers that are both attractive and functional to support their high-visibility. Containers should not distort after use. On the store shelves they cannot appear dented—a potential byproduct of excessively thin corners or a non-optimal stacking arrangement. In a study conducted by Plastic Technologies, Inc. the many attributes of containers that make them easier or harder to dispense were investigated. The squeezing force has been recorded for a variety of 20- to 25 ounce containers in a number of product segments.The study was constructed to help brand owners understand what container attributes make them easier or harder to dispense. The force needed to dispense along with the amount dispensed per mm of indentation were tracked for different package segments. To make the comparisons fair, same size containers in a similar market segment were analyzed.
Developing a Soft Sensor Random Forest Model for the Inline Product Characterization of Polylactide (PLA) in a Twin Screw Melt Extrusion Process
The melt processing of Polylactide faces challenges due to its poor thermal stability which is influenced by processing temperatures and shearing. The characterization of processed products takes place offline in laboratory environments. Typical scrap rates of a medical grade product can be up to 25-30%. This work discusses the development of soft sensor random forest models for a twin screw melt extrusion process. The resulting models can predict product end characteristics from inline data. These include mechanical properties and percentage mass change of a product during its degradation cycle. These models will act as novel inline indicators as to whether products will be in or out of specification. This will reduce manufacturing costs and minimize waste as well as accurately predicting future performance and behavior of products.
Polypropylene-Rich Blends with Ethylene/a-Olefin Copolymers Compatibilized with Intune™ Polypropylene-Based Olefin Block Copolymers
Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly used thermoplastics due to its low cost and excellent properties, such as stiffness and heat resistance. However, PP is a relatively brittle material and is frequently modified with elastomers and other thermoplastics to impart toughness. Ethylene/?-olefin copolymers, including ethylene-propylene rubbers produced in the impact copolymer polypropylene (ICP) process and polyolefin elastomers (POEs) made in a solution process, are commonly used to impact modify isotactic polypropylene. While blends of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene often have poor properties due to the incompatibility of the two resins, INTUNE™ Polypropylene-based Olefin Block Copolymers (PP-OBCs) were recently introduced as a means to compatibilize PE and PP resins. The design flexibility of these novel OBCs allows for a variety of ethylene-based polymers to be compatibilized with PP, from high-density PE (HDPE) to low density POEs, such as ethylene-octene elastomers. As with any immiscible blend, controlling the dispersion of the minor phase is critical to achieving the desired mechanical properties. Compatibilization can reduce the size of the domains in the blends and improve properties. Three cases of PP-rich blends will be used to illustrate the capability of novel PP-OBC compatibilizers to improve the dispersion and properties of ethylene-based copolymers dispersed in a PP matrix: injection molded ICPs, injection molded thermoplastic polyolefin blends (TPO – PP/POE/talc blends), and slow-cooled compression molded PP/POE blends.
Twin Screw Extrusion of TPVs Made from Devulcanized Tire Rubber Crumb and Polypropylene
Blends obtained by dispersing devulcanized tire rubber (DRT) in thermoplastic polypropylene (PP) matrix were earlier studied by our group with the mixing carried out in a batch mixer. In order to obtain useful properties for these blends, the use of curatives was found to be essential. It was also realized that in order to facilitate the commercialization of this material, scaling up from a batch operation to a continuous one was necessary. This paper describes the work done to produce thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) in a continuous manner using a twin screw extruder. Experiments were carried out at different conditions and samples were tested for tensile properties, hardness, compression set and their morphology was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Improved High Temperature Molding with Montan Waxes
With the increase in demands for light-weighting and rapid, economical production of automotive and equipment parts, polymers which can withstand the high temperatures of under the hood applications have been replacing metal. In order to produce these parts rapidly and consistently, molders have reported needing the following to produce such parts consistently: easier flow, better mold release, consistent color without black specks, a “resin-rich” surface in filed polymers, faster cycles times, maintenance of physical integrity, reduced mold cleaning and reduced vent plugging. This paper provides data which shows how these improvement targets may be reached with montan waxes as the major process lubricant.
Computer Aided Output Improvment of a High Capacity Blown Film Extrusion Line
For improving the output of high capacity blown film extrusion lines usually, the limiting factor, namely the air-cooling ring, is substituted or modified. Therefore, the production process has to be interrupted which is time and cost intensive. Primarily the major disadvantage of this experimental strategy is the uncertainty about the outcome. In detail, not all the thermodynamic and fluidic phenomena caused by the changing cooling configuration, and their impact on the formation of the bubble, are predictable in advance. To overcome these problems and to understand all the effects, which take place inside the bubble formation zone a numerical procedure has been developed and validated in previous works [1, 2, 3]. The so-called Process Model is capable of simulating the formation of the bubble with regard to changing cooling configurations and rheological behavior. According to industrial concerns, the modeling procedure was adapted to fulfill the requirements for simulating a high capacity blown film process . In this paper, the first results for the numerical optimization of an industrial high capacity blown film process, using the adapted Process model, will be presented. Furthermore, a developed evaluation strategy for the CFD-results will be used to point out the positive effects of the modified cooling configuration. Based on the simulation results, the experimental validation will prove the applicability of the computer-assisted designing and optimizing strategy. For this purpose, the best virtual outcome will be manufactured and transferred to the current high capacity blown film line. It will be shown that output improvements of approximately 10% are achievable without neglecting the quality of the final film product.
Virtual and Experimental Comparison of Different Dynamic Mixing Devices for Single Screw Extrusion
Depending on the application, the demands on mixing devices in extrusion processes vary. The most common tasks can be summarized by providing a thermally and materially homogeneous melt for the downstream processes and mixing in additives or color master batches. Anyhow, the requirements increase due to increasing reachable screw speeds and the processed materials. Besides the named tasks the final plasticizing becomes relevant, as residence times inside the extruder decrease or a higher energy input is needed for the material. The major problem of implementing mixing devices is the increasing shear stress in combination with the rising melt temperature. Higher screw speeds intensify the problem of inadmissible high melt temperatures and material stressing even further. Nevertheless, the use of mixing devices is often indispensable, in order to meet the melt quality requirements. The consequence is the need of improved mixing devices as well as the development of new mixing device geometries. The aims of these improvements have to be an sufficient melt homogeneity and less material stress, leading to lower melt temperatures. For this development, the flow situation and the geometric influences of mixer geometries on the shear rate have to be analyzed. This paper deals with a numerical and an experimental comparison of two variants of an Improved Quality - Dynamic Mixing Ring device. The different designs are verified by CFD simulations and at the end validated by experimental data.
Elimination of Copolymer in Polyvinyl Chloride Plastisols Using High-Solvating Dibenzoate Plasticizers
High-solvating dibenzoate plasticizers are already known for their ability to reduce gelation and fusion temperatures relative to formulas with general purpose plasticizers. In this evaluation, plastisols were prepared to compare different PVC resins, homopolymer versus copolymer, as well as different plasticizers, general purpose versus high solvators. Viscosity aging was evaluated at room temperature and 40 °C to determine the storage stability of each formulation. Fusion characteristics and mechanical properties were compared by gel/fusion and different processing temperatures. This data was used to demonstrate that high-solvating dibenzoate plasticizers can successfully be used to reduce fusion temperature and increase storage stability, which enables formulators to replace copolymer with homopolymer while retaining processability, improving certain mechanical properties, and reducing cost.
Surface Treatment of Carbon Fiber by Anodic Oxidation and Improvement of ILSS in CFRP
Carbon fiber has many superior properties such as a higher strength, a higher elastic modulus, a higher heat resistance, a lower specific gravity compared with conventional organic materials, metals or ceramics. On the other hands, its inactive surface due to high graphitization is disadvantageous for the high-performance composite materials in the advanced material fields. In this study, the fundamental producing conditions and estimations on the obtained carbon fibers were studied. The surface modifications of carbon fibers were achieved by the anodic oxidation to improve the interfacial adhesive strength which resultantly caused the stronger interlaminar shear strength (ILSS). The conditions of anodic oxidations (ex. loaded current) were studied for getting the maximum modification effect. The mechanical properties of obtained carbon fibers were estimated with the universal testing machine. The surface characteristics of carbon fibers were observed with the Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM). The introduction of oxygen (=O/C ratio) on carbon fibers by the anodic oxidation were estimated with the x-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS). The comprehensive effects of these treatments were evaluated by the changes in ILSS. We tried to find out the optimum condition through the studies of the relationship between our own carbon fibers and AO conditions. Resultantly, we found out that the very little AO not larger than 0.02(A/2k) is sufficient to improve the ILSS of obtained composites.
Wide-Range of Microcellular Bead Foams from Different PLA-based Drop/Sea Blend Morphologies
In this study, the blends with weight ratio of 75/25 (w/w) were prepared where amorphous polylactide (PLA) was the matrix and poly[(butylene adipate)-coterephthalate] (PBAT) or poly[(butylene succinate)-coadipate] (PBSA) were the minor phases. Various blend morphologies could be obtained by using different molecular weight PLAs as well as different processing techniques (i.e., internal mixer and twin-screw extruder). Different microcellular bead foam structures ranging from low-density open-cell to high-density closed-cell could be manufactured not only via using blends with different droplet morphologies but also by using different minor phase solid inclusions with different rigidities originated from their different crystallization behavior.
Enhancement of the Conductor Track Quality of Electrically Conductive Plastics Parts by Means of Targeted Process Control with the Integrated Metal/Plastics Injection Molding
In the Integrated metal/plastics injection molding (IMKS), metallic tracks are injected into a plastics carrier by means of die-casting in an integrated process. IKV investigated the influence of process management on the quality and durability of these electrically conductor plastic components. The focus of this work lies in the analysis of the metal melt, its flowing behavior and the interaction with the plastics carrier. The results show that the components produced in IMKS have a long service life with respect to electrical loads.
Testing and Modeling Anisotropic Failure of Polymeric SLS Materials and Structures
Understanding the mechanical failure of additively manufactured (AM) polymers is becoming more important as engineers increasingly fabricate end-use parts. Knowing how the mechanical limits of a given AM polymer depend upon material orientation is a critical aspect of maximizing mechanical performance. We have characterized the tensile failure of an SLS polyamide 12 in detail using tensile test specimens and subsequently examined how the anisotropy of the material impacts the failure of a lattice structure loaded in three-point bending. Additionally, an anisotropic material model is presented that we have used to simulate the deformation of the lattice structure using finite element analysis.
Stabilized & Optically Tailored Plasmonic Nanocomposite Preparation Using Laboratory Scale Extrusion
One of the chief impediments to the wider adoption of nanocomposites is the challenge of maintaining nanoscale features while employing bulk preparative techniques. Nanoparticle fillers may tend to aggregate or become destabilized during processing at temperatures required to process engineering thermoplastics. We report a study where nanoparticles of varying aspect ratios were stabilized with robust shells and then compounded using a laboratory scale extruder. Optical plaques were produced via injection molding, and the resultant nanocomposites were assessed for their optical and morphological properties.
Effects of Small Range Color (Pigment) Concentration Levels in Combination with Gamma Sterilization on Plastic Injection Molded Parts
Color (pigment) concentration levels play a significant role in changing the mechanical properties of an injection molded part. Higher concentration levels could result in functional failure of the parts . A general rule of thumb, concentration levels between 3 - 5% or 5 - 10% are being used across different industries to achieve the required color. The above concentration levels are considered as small range concentration levels in this manuscript. Effects of sterilization (radiation) plays an important role on the plastic injection molded parts. The combination of gamma radiation sterilization and color concentration is very useful to the medical devices and food processing Industry. An experimental study is conducted to find out the effects of both small range color concentration and gamma radiation sterilization on the mechanical properties such as tensile strength, strain at yield and break on the Injection molded parts. In this study, Injection molded specimen made up of PP (polypropylene) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) which are exposed to gamma sterilization of 25 kGy (kilo gray) dose are considered as it common normal dose used for plastics . Depending upon the specific polymer and additives involved. There is no impact on tensile strength, while the strain at yield and at break shown an considerable decreasing trend with increase in the percentage of pigments in case of PP(polypropylene). There is no trending observed in case of ABS resin. Outcomes may influence performance and should be evaluated in advance by functional testing. Hence product designers may need to assess the impact of these small pigment concentration levels in combination with the sterilization effect with respect to the base resin and need to specify the acceptable pigment concentration levels in combination with sterilization in their product drawings or in product specification documents.
Creep Failure Analysis and Shelf Life Determination (Prevention) of Injection Molded Parts with and with out Gamma Irradiation
Creep is the inelastic response of materials exposed to constant load at a particular temperature. Creep characteristics play an important role in the design consideration of injection molded plastic parts where they can provide enable one to measure or estimate the creep strain when there are mating parts. However this does not consist of the information necessary to determine or calculate the outcome of creep failure of the mating parts under a constant load up to the end of the shelf life of the product. If the designer can understand the limits of creep failure in the plastic engineering part design then it aids in the determination of shelf life of the product. Also, the plastic parts which are predominantly used in the medical device industry, are exposed to sterilization prior to use. A common radiation dose used for plastics is in the range 15–25 kGy . Therefore the objective of this study was to understand the creep failure of parts with or without gamma sterilization and help enable the designer to determine the shelf-life of the plastic components when they are exposed to gamma sterilization. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was utilized to determine the impact of creep on the two mating PP (polypropylene) injection molded parts. The inputs needed for the FEA model, which are the temperature dependent coefficients (A, m and n) were determined by curve fitting the creep test results for PP with a time hardening formulation of power law creep model for the strain vs time data at 23°C, 40°C and 60°C with and without gamma sterilization . It is found that the Creep strain at given total time showed a decreasing trend . The FEA model contains two PP resins namely a bearing and sleeve having a mating interference fit. Sleeve is inserted into the bearing and this insertion force is termed as attachment force and later the sleeve is pushed out from bearing and this force is termed as detachment force. In FEA model, in order to find creep strain produced between both mating parts, the Sleeve is retained in bearing for intended self-life duration. The detachment force of sleeve before and after shelf life for unexposed parts and 25kGy gamma exposed PP resins parts were calculated. The results shows that the detachment force reduces after aging, regardless of gamma exposure. These results assist the product designer to estimate the reduction in detachment force due to creep strain between the mating parts. It is also found that material and geometry are important to consider, so that the failure due to the creep can be avoided early in the design process and it is very critical to consider creep in order to ensure product performance. Therefore the results of this study can help one determine the required shelf life of the product by considering the creep failure in the successful design of the plastic Injection molding parts.
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