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
Rheology of Polytetrafluoroethylene as Related to Paste Extrusion
Alfonsius B. Ariawan, Sina Ebnesajjad, Savvas G. Hatzikiriakos, May 2001
The rheology of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) pastes has been studied using an Instron capillary rheometer. Four different grades of PTFE have been tested. Three of them had a homopolymer structure with different molecular weights. The fourth polymer had a slight degree of branching due to the incorporation of less than 0.5% by weight of another perfluorinated monomer. The investigated parameters included those related to the die design (contraction angle, capillary diameter and length to diameter ratio), extrusion conditions (temperature, and extrusion speed) and the molecular weight and structure of PTFE. It was found that these parameters significantly affect the capillary extrusion pressure, which is important in the creation of fibrils during paste extrusion. Quantification of fibrils in the extrudate has been attempted by the use of Raman microscopy. An attempt has also been made to correlate the degree of fibrillation with the tensile strength of the extrudate.
Calculation of Melting Performance of Injection Molding Screws by an Easily Applicable Model
Natti S. Rao, Günter Schumacher, Nick R. Schott, Ray Edwards, May 2001
The plastication of solids in the reciprocating screw of an injection molding machine is a transient process, and consists of two phases. During the stationary phase of the screw, melting takes place mainly by conduction heat transfer from the barrel. The melting during the screw rotation phase of the molding cycle is similar to that of an extrusion screw, however the screw undergoes translation. Starting from the relationship for conduction melting and extending it to include a simplified model for the extrusion melting, a set of equations which can be easily solved for the solid bed profile in the reciprocating screw is derived. Using this extended model, simulations of the effect of the barrel temperature, screw speed, screw rotation time, screw geometry and resin properties on the melting performance of the screw are presented. Predictions of the model agree well with the experimental observations in practice. The easy applicability of the model is illustrated by worked-out examples.
New Developments in Plastics Packaging the next Ten Years
Françoise Pardos, May 2001
Packaging is the largest application of polymers, in all countries, at all levels of development, 30 to 40 % of total plastics consumption, boosted by very strong facts and trends. Past present and forecast figures show diversified plastics growth in packaging, and new competition between plastics. The narrow link of packaging with food products makes packaging a stronghold of resistance, even in recession. The fast development of emerging countries generates demand for improvement of the food supply and packaging; Research goes on, for smarter, simpler, thinner packaging, of higher performance and easier on the environment.
Waste Management of PET Bottles in Croatia
Mladen Šercer, Maja Rujnic-Sokele, May 2001
Waste management is gradually becoming a priority within an integrated approach to nature conservation. Croatia has taken a number of good steps during the recent years. The first life-cycle and economy analyses in Croatia were made for managing of glass waste in 1997, but no serious study of plastic waste was made until recently. Among all types of plastic waste, only PET-bottles are collected in Zagreb (within the OHO system - Croatian Recycling System), so it was logical to make the first life-cycle analysis of PET-bottle. The results have shown the evaluation of PET-bottles' impact on the environment and the critical points" of PET-recycling were pointed out."
Experimental Validation of a Mold Filling/Cooling Software
R. Morales, S. Villarroel, H. Andrade, H. Rojas, A. Sánchez, May 2001
With the aim to establish some guidelines in the use of injection molding simulation programs as a predictive tool when designing a mold, an experimental validation of an injection mold was performed. Amorphous and semicrystalline materials were injection molded, and their corresponding process windows were established. C-Mold software was employed to simulate the experimental conditions. It was found that the software temperature predictions agree very well with the experimental results, but pressure predictions do not. The material properties seem to be strongly influencing the simulation results. Filling and packing times could be extrapolated from the simulation, but shrinkage predictions should be considered carefully.
Supercritical Fluid Assisted Polymer Processing
Siobhán O. Matthews, Peter R. Hornsby, May 2001
The plasticising action of supercritical carbon dioxide in polymer melts will be demonstrated using in-line rheometry applied to a single screw extruder. By optimising processing conditions, gas dose rate, temperature and pressure, it will be shown that significant viscosity reductions can be achieved, enabling enhancement of process performance. The application and potential use of this effect to different polymers will be considered, including highly filled compositions used in ceramic fabrication. Means for achieving foam-free product will be discussed in extrusion and injection moulding processes.
Use of Selective Laser Sintering for the Function Testing of Snap-Fits
Anthony F. Luscher, May 2001
Snap-fits have been a popular method of mechanically attaching plastic parts. Design of snap-fits, however, is still a very high-risk activity since testing cannot be done until first article parts are molded. This paper presents the authors experience in using SLS prototype parts for the design and testing of snap-fit assemblies. Examples cited include an automotive fuel system component, an optical lens housing, and two novel snap-fit topologies. The success and limitations of these efforts are discussed as well as typical experimental data.
The Early Use of Process Simulation to Optimize the Wall Thickness of Blow Molded Plastic Parts
Peter Gust, Olaf Bruch, May 2001
The variable method of extrusion blow molding is widely used for the production of plastic hollow bodies. The primary target of the paper is the early and complete use of computer aided techniques in advance for the development of new commodities. The use of the new tool PreBlow" for the calculation of realistic wall thickness distributions using machines under recognition of different wall thickness adjustment methods will show realistic simulations. Conclusions are provided together with industrial examples."
New Technology to Vary the Thickness of the Parison in Circumferential Direction during the Blow Molding Process
Heinz G. Gross, May 2001
The complexity of blow molded parts grows steadily. Accordingly the technology must keep space with the raised requirements of the market. Thus to improve the thickness distribution of complicated blow molded parts such as tanks for cars it becomes necessary to alter the thickness distribution of the parison not only in axial direction but also in circumferential direction. Encouraged by the success of the introduction of Membrane Dies for film and sheet extrusion the idea was born to design also dies with an extreme flexible outer wall for blow molding machines. This flexible wall can be locally deformed by adjusting screws which are located around the circumference of the die. The basic steps to reach this goal and the possibilities of the new technology are described.
Rapid Tooling and Plastics - Where the RT Industry Stands in 2001 on Better Alternative Tooling Methods
Barbara J. Arnold-Feret, May 2001
Rapid tooling (RT) has been surveyed, talked about, praised and condemned by users, promoters and bystanders since the development of alternative tooling methods debuted. However, RT processes are improving, with newer direct metal deposition and spray metal methods addressing concerns by plastic molders about size, durability, and molded materials. This paper outlines the state of RT industry for users already familiar with prototyping and RT. Setting the group of commercialized RT products which can be used in standard injection molding machines against P20 CNC produced tooling standards for density, cosmetics, thermal conductivity, cost and lead-time, feature definition, and others shows the evolving technology and the gaps that persist. By and large, the RT industry has been redefining acceptable boundaries for rapid tooling, and listening more to customer concerns. Several experimental technologies and limited use technologies exist that may be used to produce molded plastic parts, but are not available for placement on a conventional injection molding machine. Experimental and noncommercial technologies are not covered in this paper, and discussion is limited to three commercialized processes that show more commercial and mainstream acceptance by custom molders, KelTool™, LaserForm™, and DMD™.
Metallocene Plastomer Based Thermoplastic Olefin Compounds Designed for Roof Membrane Applications
N. Dharmarajan, T.C. Yu, D.K. Metzler, May 2001
This paper discusses the use of ethylene octene (EO) copolymers made with metallocene catalysts in thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) compounds designed for single-ply roofing. The performance of two neat EO copolymers is first compared with a polypropylene (PP) based Reactor TPO (RTPO) currently used in single-ply roofing. The more crystalline EO copolymer displays superior thermal and physical properties compared to RTPO. Formulations comprising the EO polymers were designed and optimized using mixture design of experiments. The optimal compounds contain about 50 % EO, 20 % PP and 30 % magnesium hydroxide (MH), a flame retardant additive.
Structure Performance of Thin-Wall Injection Molded Parts
S.C. Chen, W.R. Jong, Y.P. Chang, Y. Kang, Y. Kang, L.T. Huang, L.K. Yang, C.T. Chang, R.C. Luo, May 2001
Influence of processing conditions, part thickness and residual stress on the structure performance of 3C thin-wall injection molded parts were investigated. Thin-wall tensile test specimens were molded. A computer dictionary (CD), with 1.6 mm thick housings, was also used for structure evaluation of bending strength and drop-impact performance. It was found that as part becomes thinner, residual stress becomes higher and affects both part tensile strength and weld-line strength more significantly. Higher melt temperature and mold temperature, lower packing pressure and faster injection speed would reduce residual stresses, increase weld-line strength and improve associated properties. When CD housings were redesigned to 1 mm thick keeping sidewall 1.6 mm, both its bending strength and drop-impact performance were only slightly decreased.
Effect of Different Nucleating Agents on the Degassing Conditions as Measured by Ultrasonic Sensors
Jacques Tatibouët, Abdelhadi Sahnoune, André Hamel, Richard Gendron, May 2001
Ultra sonic sensors have proven to provide valuable information on the thermoplastic foaming process in polymers. Measurement of the attenuation of the ultrasonic signal can be easily related to the nucleation process, i.e. the onset of bubble formation in the foam matrix. The ultrasonic sensors can be installed in-line, on the extrusion line, and thus allow direct access to the prevailing processing conditions. In this work, the degassing conditions (pressure and temperature) of a mixture of polystyrene and a physical blowing agent, HCFC 142b, are determined for two different nucleating agents. The resulting cellular structure of the extruded foams is correlated to the degassing conditions determined by the ultrasounds. The results are discussed in light of other observations on the nucleation process.
The Use of EVOH in Automotive Applications
Scott Lambert, James Chan, Nahoto Hayashi, Shigeki Takada, Keizo Michihata, Yasuhiko Haneda, May 2001
Regulations for automobile emissions are stiffening in the U.S., requiring reductions by 75 percent or more. Polymers used in automotive fuel systems are a source of evaporative fuel emissions as they have poor barrier properties to fuels. New barrier polyolefins containing EVOH have been developed for injection molded automotive applications so that evaporative emissions can be reduced. A new EVOH has been developed to allow for down gauging and reduced cycle time of the current plastic fuel tank. This new EVOH will allow for cost savings in fuel tank production.
Plastic Material Modeling for Vehicle Crash Simulation Using LS-DYNA
Xinran (Sharon) Xiao, May 2001
In commercial codes, the modeling of plastic materials lags behind compared to that of many other materials. As a result, engineers have been using material models developed for metal to model plastic materials. This paper discusses the stress-strain behavior of thermoplastics relevant to crash simulation, examines the plastic material modeling capability of a commercial code LS-DYNA and presents needed model enhancements.
Controlling Balanced Molding through New Hot Runner Manifold Designs
John P. Beaumont, Kevin Boell, May 2001
Shear induced variations created during flow results in variations between parts produced in many of today's conventional geometrically balanced hot manifold designs. Understanding of these shear imbalances has led to new design strategies which address these variations and provide both uniform filling and uniform material conditions to each cavity.
Prediction of the Impact Behavior of Injection Molded Plates
J.C. Viana, A.M. Cunha, N. Billon, May 2001
The falling-weight impact test in injection-molded plates is simulated in a finite element based computer code (FORGE2®). The effect of processing is introduced on the material constitutive model through the dependence of its coefficients upon the thermomechanical indices computed from mold filling simulations. Two plate-like moldings (a box and lateral gated disk) were injected with arbitrary sets of processing conditions. In the impact simulations, two extreme conditions of contact between the impactor and the plates are considered: frictionless and adhesive contacts. The simulated force-deflection curves are compared with the experimental ones. Good agreements are obtained providing the different strain-rate sensitivities of the microstructural parameters are taken into account The results also evidence the role of the viscoelastic coefficient on the initial deformation stages. Moreover, the contact conditions have a strong effect on the mode of rupture of the plates and consequently on the maximum sustained strength levels.
Effect of Compounding Conditions on the Wood Flour/Polyethylene Composites in Twin-Screw Extruders
Yeh Wang, Hsun-C. Chan, Sun-M. Lai, Hsiao-F. Shen, Yao-K. Hsiao, May 2001
The compounding of wood flour filled polyethylene is discussed with reference to co-rotating twin-screw extruders from two manufacturers. An acrylic acid-grafted polyethylene copolymer was used as the compatibilizer in high-density polyethylene-wood flour composite system. Special consideration was given to the compounding of the heat- and shear-sensitive wood flour. The relevant screw configuration was found to consist of short mixing elements with low intensity of shearing. A suitable combination of processing variables, including screw rotation speed, throughput rate, and barrel temperatures, was necessary for limiting the thermal degradation and the darkening of the wood filler. However, tensile properties of the composites were not affected much.
Effectiveness of Functionalized Polyolefins as Compatibilizers for Polyethylene/Wood Flour Composites
Sun-M. Lai, Feng-C. Yeh, Yeh Wang, Hsun-C. Chan, Hsiao-F. Shen, Yao-K. Hsiao, May 2001
The effects of various types of compatibilizers on the mechanical properties of high-density polyethylene/wood flour (HDPE/WF) composite were investigated. Functionalized polyolefins such as maleated linear low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, and styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene copolymer were incorporated to reduce the interfacial tension between polyethylene matrix and wood filler. It was found that LLDPE-g-MA gave maximum tensile and impact strength of the composite presumably due to better compatibility. Similar but less enhanced improvements in the mechanical properties, depending on the compatibilizer loading, were seen for SEBS-g-MA system. Whereas, notched impact strength decreased with increasing loadings of PP-g-MA. A scanning electron microscopy study was employed to reveal the interfacial region and confirm these findings.
Separability Criteria for Entangled Polystyrene Solutions Using Flow Birefringence
M.T. Islam, L.A. Archer, May 2001
Step shear strain experiments were performed using several entangled polystyrene (PS) solutions to investigate factorability requirements of the non-linear relaxation modulus, G(t,?) [? ?12(t,?)/?]. A phase modulated flow birefringence apparatus was used to measure optical equivalents of shear stress (n12) and first normal stress difference (n11-n22) in a plane-Couette shear flow geometry. For all polymers studied, a separability time ?k was identified beyond which the optical equivalent of G(t,?) [B(t,?) ? n12/? ? G(t,?)×C] could be factorized into separate strain and time dependent functions. In every case, ?k exceeded longest Rouse relaxation time ?R and found to be of the order of terminal relaxation time ?d0. These findings could help explain previous experimental observations of delayed factorability and non-factorable relaxation moduli in well entangled polymer solutions and melts.


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