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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Dynamic Solubility of Carbon Dioxide in Polypropylene Melt
A testing method has been developed to measure the dynamic solubility of polymer/gas mixtures at high pressures and a wide range of melt temperatures. This method utilizes tandem extruders equipped with a highpressure optical slit cell; a camera; a set of pressure transducers; and a metering valve for back-pressure control. This in-line visualization system provides a direct way to investigate the dynamic solubility within a wide range of processing conditions (i.e, melt pressure, melt temperature, gas content, and flow rate). The measurements were carried out for various amounts of CO2 dissolved into branched polypropylene (PP) melt at two different temperatures. The dynamic solubility was estimated based on the degassing pressure when the second phase starts to nucleate. The experimental results showed that the dynamic solubility of carbon dioxide in PP melt increased with system pressure but decreased with melt temperature. It was also found that a higher flow rate, which corresponds to a higher shear rate, decreased the dynamic solubility of CO2 in branched PP.
Measuring the Interlayer Fracture Resistance of FDM Printed Thermoplastics
With increasing structural and functional applications of 3D printed materials, their mechanical performance is highly demanded. So far, stress- and strain-based experiments have been used to characterize the mechanical properties of fused deposition modeled (FDM) samples. In this work, a fracture-mechanics-based methodology was developed to characterize the interlayer adhesion of FDM 3D printed materials. Double cantilever beam (DCB) specimens were designed and printed with a precrack set at the interface of the layers. The DCB samples were tested in mode I loading and the load displacement curves were obtained. Critical stress intensity factor was found using the DCB loading data coupled with a finite element model. The critical strain energy release rate, Gc was also calculated using the finite element model data and the elastic properties, obtained by the tensile test of FDM 3D printed samples. The results of this work demonstrates a methodology that can be implemented to measure the interlayer fracture resistance of FDM printed materials.
Improving the Impact Properties of PLA by Incorporation of PHA, TPU and Carbon Nanofibers
In this study, PLA composites/blends were fabricated with carbon nanofibers, TPU and PHA through twin screw extrusion processing following by hot-press compression molding. Impact tests were performed to evaluate the energy absorption and momentum transfer during impact. Neat PLA, PLA with 15 wt% carbon nanofibers, 15wt% PHA and 15wt% TPU composites/blends were fabricated for instrumented drop weight impact testing. SEM morphology revealed that carbon nanofibers are well dispersed but weak matrix filler interface is indicated as much fiber pull-out was observed on the micrographs of the impact fractured morphology. The results indicated that PLA15CNF is less tough than neat PLA. Both PLA15TPU and PLA15PHA were found to be tougher than neat PLA.
The Flameretardancy Study of The Cardboard Bed Made from Corrugated Cardboard
Recently corrugated cardboard is utilized for not only packing materials but also furniture and beds at shelters in Japan. The reason why the cardboard has the characteristics of lightness, high strength, cheapness and recycle ability. Therefore, there is the strong needs to add flameretardancy for cardboard beds in medical facilities for prevention of second disaster. The purpose on this study is to add flameretardancy to the cardboards with keeping the recycle ability. In this paper, the cardboard of combusting behavior was measured by using a calorimeter under the UL-94 standard. So far we have used 6 kinds of flameretardant include 3 kinds of commercial flameretardant. As a result ammonium sulfate has given superior flameretardancy to cardboards. However we considered that it has no practical use, because flameretardancy of cardboards must be safety from chemical toxicity. Therefore we selected 2 kinds of flameretardant. As a result a flameretardant which contain phosphorus and nitrogen gave great flameretardancy to cardboards with small quantity.
The Role of Additives and Free Volume on the Gas Barrier Properties of PET
Additives such as low molecular weight diluents (LMWD) can be added at low concentration to poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) to improve barrier properties significantly. Orientation during PET processing, on the other hand, causes strain induced crystallization which can increase the diffusion pathway and lessen the amorphous chain mobility. The objective of this work is to analyze the effect of LMWD additives, such as dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) and orientation on the free volume and thermal properties of PET and correlate this with barrier properties. Films made of pure PET and PET/DMT using single screw extruder were oriented using Long Extensional Tester at a relatively fast rate of 200%/s (4 in/s) to prevent any relaxations in the rubbery stage . TGA and FTIR were used to quantify the concentration of DMT in the PET matrix. Permeation measurements were conducted using gases with different sizes (O2, CO2, CH4, N2, and He). Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) experiment was used to study long/short range chain motions. Besides, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) was used to study the thermal properties and crystallinity. Transport studies demonstrated lower permeability for both oriented PET and PET/DMT, with the barrier impact factors (BIF) of about 2 and 1.3 for all the gases, respectively. The dynamic mechanical property studies in the ? relaxation region explains this behavior, showing more restriction in the chain motion in case of oriented PET and PET/DMT compared to pure PET. Furthermore, calculating fractional free volume using WLF equation offered lower values for oriented PET and PET/DMT compared to pure PET.
Viscoelastic Shear Analysis of Polymeric Foam Midsoles
Athletic footwear companies continually create technological innovations to give the athlete a greater running experience. The nonlinear viscoelastic material behavior of polymer foams, found in the shoe midsole, dissipate the ground reaction forces to provide cushioning. Shear analysis up to 50% strain was experimentally conducted at 1 Hz and 5 Hz to characterize the stressstrain performance. Constitutive equations were curve fitted by using Finite Element Analysis performed in ANSYS. A look at footwear industry trends demonstrated the potential for highly cushioned and linear foams to support natural gait movement.
Mechanical Crystallization Properties and Foaming Behavior of Teflon-Reinforced Poly(Lactic Acid) Composites
In this study, poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) composites containing different amounts of PTFE were prepared by melt blending. Multiple properties of the prepared composites were investigated including mechanical, crystallization, and foaming properties. Tensile test results indicated that the mechanical properties of the composite with PTFE showed significant reinforcement and toughening effects. The average elongation-at-break of the composite increased by 72% compared to pure PLA. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that the PTFE elongated into fibrils during blending and formed a physical network of entanglements in the melt. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) showed that PTFE had a significant nucleation effect and greatly increased the crystallinity of the PLA matrix. The injection molding foaming experiments revealed that adding 1 wt% PTFE had the most notable heterogeneous nucleation effect, with the cell size decreasing from 81.46 ?m for neat PLA to 25.2 ?m and the cell density increasing from 1.34×108 cells/cm3 to 2.53×109 cells/cm3.
Development of PLA/Cellulosic Fibre Composite Foams Using Injection Molding: Foaming and Mechanical Properties
Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) or black spruce medium density fiberboard (MDF) fibers were melt compounded using a co-rotating twin screw extruder and subsequently microcellular injection molded. The microcellular structure and mechanical properties were investigated. Compared to PLA/PEG, a finer and more uniform cell structure was achieved in the cellulosic fiber composite foams. After foaming, the specific flexural strength and modulus and impact strength of the PLA foams were comparable or higher than these of the solid counterparts. PLA/NBSK/PEG composites had better mechanical properties than PLA/MDF/PEG composites.
Predicting Mooney Viscosity from Online Rheology Measurements
Mooney viscosity is a key specification item for process and quality control for EPDM rubbers but can only be measured in a laboratory instrument. For early process upset detection and reduction of off-grade production, higher data frequency from continuous analysis would be beneficial. However, at this point in time available process analyzers do not deliver Mooney viscosity as a standard feature. In this study, a model was developed based on rheological principles to predict Mooney viscosity from viscosity curve information that can be measured using process rheometers.
The model is evaluated against dynamic mechanical spectroscopy (DMS) data for its general validity, and it was found that only slight adjustments were required to achieve a prediction error of only ±10%. However, prediction of Mooney viscosity from process rheometer data collected using a slit die was less accurate and required a correction factor (-16.6 to 4.8% prediction error).
Study of Ultrasonic Treatment on PP/CNT, PP/GNP and PP/CB Composites Using Continuous Ultrasonic Twin-Screw Extrusion
This study systematically investigated the efficiency of ultrasonic treatment on dispersion of different fillers in polypropylene (PP). PP/graphene nanoplatelets (GNP), PP/carbon nanotube (CNT) and PP/carbon black (CB) were prepared using twin screw extrusion without and with ultrasonic treatment. The ultrasonic power consumption varied with filler concentration exhibiting different trends in these composites: the power consumption increased with concentration for PP/GNP and decreased with concentration for PP/CNT, but for PP/CB, it only slightly increased at high concentration. The difference is related to the bubble concentration in the polymer composites. The efficiency of ultrasonic treatment was verified by rheological, electrical and morphological studies. The morphological study showed that CB exhibited the best dispersion in PP which is followed by CNT, whereas GNP showed the worst dispersion. However, the rheological and electrical percolation threshold from low to high was successively shown in PP/CNT, PP/CB and PP/GNP composites. For PP/CNT and PP/CB composites the storage modulus and complex viscosity at low frequency were increased by the ultrasonic treatment. However, PP/GNP did not show obvious change with ultrasonic treatment. The ultrasonically treated PP/1wt%CNT at an amplitude of 13 um dropped 8 order of magnitudes in electrical resistivity compared with the untreated sample, while PP/5wt%CB dropped 4 orders of magnitudes and PP/5wt%GNP only dropped 2 order of magnitudes. Morphological studies show that the agglomerates and agglomerates area ratio were decreased with ultrasonic treatment for PP/CNT and PP/CB composites, but not for PP/GNP composites. An ultrasonic mechanism is proposed based on the experimental data.
Modeling of Nonisothermal Crystallization Kinetics of Semilinear Polyphenylene Sulfide for Process Simulation
Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) has been used as a high performance polymer system in extrusion, pultrusion, coating, and injection molding for decades in a variety of forms produced from different processes. Introduction of PPS from a completely new process requires that the material be characterized for process and application simulation. Since most processes require forming and cooling from the melt phase, characterization of the crystallization kinetics under continuous cooling is an integral step in modeling industrial processes. The nonisothermal crystallization kinetics of semi-linear PPS with 40% glass fiber were evaluated and modeled using Ozawa and Liu-Mo nonisothermal characterization techniques. The Liu-Mo analysis was found to model the behavior of this compound well while the Ozawa model did not. The Nakamura and Malkin models were found to be most appropriate for introduction into simulation codes. The modified Malkin model showed a superior fit to experimental data, and was used to create a crystallization master curve for later introduction in to engineering process simulation.
Green Plastics: Utilizing Chicken Feather Keratin in Thermoplastic Polyurethane Composites to Enhance Thermo-Mechanical Properties
A 'green', sustainable resource, in the form of chicken feather derived keratin, was used to enhance the thermomechanical properties of polyurethane bio-composites. Solvent–casting–evaporation method was used to incorporate three levels of chicken feather fibers (0, 10 and 20 %·w/w) into a polyurethane matrix. The thermomechanical properties of the resulting composites were then assessed using differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis and stress–strain measurements with hysteresis loops. The uniformity of the dispersion of the keratin fiber in the plastic matrix was investigated via macro photography and optical microscopy. Scanning electron microscopy of fracture surfaces was used to verify that the adhesion between fiber and polymer was effective. Addition of chicken feather fibers to the polyurethane matrix was found to decrease the glass transition temperature, recovery strain and mass loss of the composites but increase the elastic modulus, storage modulus, and char level. The results demonstrate that keratin derived from what is currently a waste product from the poultry industry (with significant disposal costs) can improve the thermo-mechanical properties of composites, simply and cheaply, with potentially large environmental benefits.
Surface Mechanicals and Microscopy Methodologies for Coating Characterization
Performance of a coated surface depends on coating’s mechanical, physical, chemical and architectural properties. For the successful development of coatings it is important to characterize them with appropriate tools to understand various properties, which correlate to the performance. In this study, various different coating systems, prepared by either wet coating or plasma coating technology, were characterized with nano-indentation and high resolution electron microscopy. Depth sensing nanoindentation is used to assess coating mechanical properties and nano-scratch is used to characterize the performance of the coating. Correlation of nano-indentation and Pencil hardness tests reveals that caution should be taken to utilize later alone to screen coating materials. High resolution transmission electron microscopy used to study the layer architecture, thickness and chemical composition of the coating materials. It was found that scratch and abrasion of coating is not only dependent on hardness but also on scratch percent recovery and architecture.
Organic Alkali Metal Salt Estimation by ICP-OES in Thermoplastic
Thermoplastic based films are widely used for electrical and electronic (EE) insulation applications. For EE applications, high flame retardant properties are required with increasingly stricter regulations against chlorinated or brominated formulations. The ongoing research is focused on developing new grades with alternate flame retardant (FR) additives giving comparable VTM0 and V0 ratings. In order to deliver this excellent FR performance, one of the key factor is to control the loading of the FR additive (organic alkali metal salt) as per formulation during the production stage. Hence, there was a need to develop XRF based fast screening method that could be implemented in manufacturing sites for regular monitoring of additive loading in new grade of thermoplastic containing complex inorganic fillers. Establishment of XRF method requires generation of absolute standard values for the organic alkali metal salt with this new formulation. Analytical efforts were tried to extract the FR additive by two extraction techniques followed by analysis using instrumental techniques such as ion chromatography and LC-MS. However the results were not consistent due to insufficient extraction of the salt from the thermoplastic containing complex organic and inorganic matrix and other inorganic fillers due to adsorption issues. To overcome these challenges, absolute method using ICP-OES was developed to quantitatively estimate the potassium content in the organic alkali metal salt in this grade and back calculate the % FR additive. Specific formulations with known concentration of organic alkali metal salt were compounded and analyzed by ICP-OES to generate standard values which were used for XRF calibration. This presentation covers the development of successful XRF method based on ICP-OES results. Details of method development approach, comparison of results obtained by two different techniques (ICP and XRF), translation and implementation of methods to manufacturing sites an
Time Temperature Superposition of Short Term Stress Relaxation Behavior to Understand Retention of Material Modulus over Time
Several engineering thermoplastics, because of their higher mechanicals, thermal and dimensional stabilities, are increasingly being considered for use as injection molded components, in several industrial applications . There are several load bearing applications, such as springs, bearings, gears, valves etc., wherein during short term, it could be subjected to constant strain under varying temperature and humidity levels . It is of interest to have an understanding, if such materials during end-use, has the ability to retain modulus over a short period of time. Therefore, linear visco-elastic limit of the material needs to be determined under the influence of strain, temperature and moisture. To assess such performance attributes of materials, short-term tensile stress relaxation studies were conducted, using Universal Tensile Instrument, under varying strain levels, temperature and humidity in a 1-hour timescale. The study revealed that the material retained linear visco-elastic behavior in the range of 2% strain until 60°C and moisture was found to have no impact. The relaxation modulus measured from this experiment was also extended using a master curve using Time-Temperature-Superposition (TTS) up to 10 hours. Such an analytical technique could be used for material screening by product developers. Going forward, if there is need to assess the performance of the material over a longer period (>10 hours), the laboratory experimental duration can be proportionately increased.
The Flameretardancy Study of PVA Using for Furniture Made from Corrugated Cardboard
Corrugated cardboards have truss structure, so these have advantageous in terms of specific strength, workability, price and recycling efficiency. Because of these properties, corrugated cardboards are used as not only packing materials but also furniture etc. When a disaster caused in Japan, refugees sleep directory on the floor with a blanket. It caused the second healthy damage like the economy class syndrome. For prevent refugees from its damage, beds made from corrugated cardboard has been used instead of cots in Japanese shelters. We need to give flameretardancy to the cardboard bed for enhancing safety. In this research, flameretardancy of corrugated cardboards is aimed to using Poly-vinyl alcohol (PVA). PVA is useful for the coat of the cardboard. The coating PVA on the cardboard is possible to be recyclable, because PVA has water solubility. We used 2 kinds of flameretardant in this time. In the result of combustion test, the Halogen, Phosphorous and Nitrogen based compound show great flameretardancy for PVA.
Development of an Injection Molded Automotive Hoop Spoiler
This paper presents the development and application1 of a large injection molded sports hoop spoiler (IMSH) for a pickup truck that replaces an already existing industry norm blow molded sports hoop (BMSH).
The new injection molded design has provided the opportunity to include an internal structure that does not exist in the blow molded design, hence allowing for an increase in the static and dynamic performance as well as provide a lower cost, lighter weight, with less assembly components.
The new IMSH has incorporated design features to compensate for durability and thermal loads that are applied in normal usage, which allows the outer visual structure to move with respect to the inner support structure, without stressing either structure whilst producing a good external craftsmanship finish.
Production of In Situ Microfibrillar Composites as a Novel Approach towards Improved Bio-Based Polymeric Products
In this work, we introduce the in situ microfibrillation of poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/polyamide-6 (PA6) blends as an effective approach in improving PLA’s properties as well as its foaming-ability. The in situ microfibrillation of the PLA/PA6 blends was performed using a facile and cost-effective extrusion process followed by hot stretching of the extrudates. The morphological studies proved the successful formation of fully stretched PA6 microfibrils with diameters as low as 200 nm. Inclusion of a small concentration of PA6 microfibrils (3 wt.%) was shown to lead to significant improvements in the crystallization kinetics and mechanical properties of PLA. In addition, formation of a physically entangled network of PA6 microfibrils improved the melt strength and elasticity of PLA which, in turn, improved the microstructure of PLA foams.
Determination of CO2 Solubility and Volume Swelling in PMMA in Light of Retrograde Vitirification
The solubility of CO? in Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and the pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) behavior of PMMA-CO2 mixture were investigated in light of the retrograde vitrification process using a magnetic suspension balance (MSB) and an in-house visualization dilatometer; experiments were carried out 20 to 100 °C at 54 atm. The results indicate that as the temperature decreases the swelling increases, although, when a decrease in temperature caused the phase of PMMA to change from liquid to glassy, the swelling decreased. However the solubility increased throughout the drop in temperature. The increase in the solubility with respect to temperature was not a linear trend, illustrating the effect of phase of PMMA on the solubility of CO?.
Measuring Thermal Crystallinity in PET
The mechanical properties of poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) depend on the degree of crystallinity. PET crystallizes from both thermal and strain-induced process paths. Strain-induced crystallization occurs under uniaxial or biaxial stretching, the latter is common in stretch blow molding. Thermal crystallization takes place when cooling from the melt or under sustained elevated temperature which are both common during injection and blow molding. The current work focuses on comparing methods used to quantify the percent thermal crystallinity in injection molded water bottle preforms. An injection molded preform with a gradient of induced thermal crystallinity was examined using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Micro X-ray Diffraction (?XRD), and Raman Spectroscopy. Correlating these three techniques for percent thermal crystallinity, helps with the development of nondestructive crystallinity measurement methods to aid with process optimization and part quality.
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