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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Sustainability
Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
Influence of Consolidation and Forming Parameters in the Molding of Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites
Gilbert Lebrun, September 2002
Continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) composites offer many advantages over thermoset composites and metallic materials especially their resistance to corrosion their recycling possibilities and their high specific stiffness. The shaping of these materials into complex forms however requires a good knowledge of the combined behaviour of the molten thermoplastic matrix and of the fibres because of the high intra and interlaminar shear deformations involved during the forming process. In this paper the influence of laminate consolidation parameters on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the laminate are first presented. Next the deformation mechanisms induced in the laminate in typical forming conditions are presented and discussed in regard to their influence on the physical and aesthetic properties of the moulded part. Numerical moulding predictions obtained from a commercial code are finally presented.
The Use of UV Light for Surface Cleaning for Painting and Adhesive Bonding of Composites and Metals
Michael J. Rich, September 2002
Contemporary vehicles utilize a mix of materials in their construction consisting of metals plastics and composites. These materials must possess suitable surface properties to achieve desired performance when these parts are adhesively bonding or painted for field service. Surface preparation methods now in place oftentimes use solvents or caustics an increasingly unacceptable approach in an era of mounting environmental regulations. New methods of surface preparation are called for that are environmentally benign and economically feasible while meeting the stringent quality standards of the automotive industry. The use of energetic ultraviolet light is emerging as a promising technology to compete with the old methods of surface preparation. This paper reports the utility of using energetic UV light to generate appropriate surface chemical composition on plastics composites and metals for subsequent painting or adhesive bonding operations. UV treatments have the potential to replace the old methods of treating assorted materials used in the automotive industry in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner.
Decorative Laminates For Thermoforming and Insert Molding Processes
Dennis Northrop, September 2003
Decorative films laminated to plastic substrates have been used for many years but the recent wave of technological advances and increased competition offer more variety in design colors materials and performance properties than previously available. This offers part designers and plastic processors the option to use decorative laminate technology for more applications while reducing costs eliminating environmental concerns conversion from non-plastic materials and improving product performance.
Bio-Based Epoxy/Clay Nanocomposites as a New Matrix for Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composites: Thermophysical and Mechanical Properties Evaluations
H. Miyagawa, A. K. Mohanty, M. Misra, L. T. Drzal, September 2003
The thermophysical properties of bio-based epoxy nanocomposites reinforced with organo-montmorillonite clay and the mechanical properties of carbon fiber reinforced plastics whose matrix is the bio-based epoxy/clay nanocomposites are reported. A novel sample preparation scheme was used to process the organically modified clay in the glassy bio-based epoxy network resulting in nanocomposites where the clay was homogeneously dispersed and completely exfoliated in the bio-based epoxy network. The storage modulus of bio-based epoxy at room temperature which was below the glass transition temperature of the nanocomposites increased approximately 0.9 GPa with the addition of 5.0 weight percent of exfoliated clay platelets. The glass transition temperature Tg decreased with addition of the organo-clay nanoplatelets. To understand the role of clay platelets in the bio-based epoxy nanocomposites the microstructure of clay platelets were observed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). Carbon fiber reinforced composites (CFRP) were processed using the bio-based epoxy/clay nanocomposites. No difference in elastic modulus and flexural strength was observed regardless of the use of different matrices. It was observed that the interlaminar shear strength of CFRP with bio-based epoxy was improved with adding 5.0 weight percent intercalated clay nanoparticles.
Biobased Poly(trimethylene terephthalate): Opportunity in Structural Composite Applications
A. K. Mohanty, W. Liu, L. T. Drzal, M. Misra, Joseph V. Kurian, Ray W. Miller, Nick Strickland, September 2003
Injection molded composite materials as fabricated from chopped glass fiber and poly(trimethylene terephthalate) PTT are evaluated through their physico-mechanical and thermo-mechanical analysis. The fiber-matrix adhesion in composite is studied through environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). The tensile and flexural properties including impact strength of virgin polymer improved drastically on fiber reinforcements. Simultaneous improvement of both stiffness and toughness of composite materials show strong potential in structural applications. The high heat distortion temperature HDT (>220 degree C) of such composite materials possess strong promise in automotive and building product applications.
Carbon/Epoxy Composites for the Lamborghini Murcielago
Attilio Masini, Paolo Feraboli, September 2003
Development of the carbon/epoxy body panels and structural components of the Lamborghini Murcièlago is discussed while use of aerospace grade technology and materials is justified for this particular application. Laminate design and stacking sequence is reviewed and the use of woven fabrics over directional tape is motivated. Engineering solutions for tooling operations in order to achieve class A surface certification are analyzed. Design for environmental aging as well as accelerated degradation tests are described. Hybrid adhesive bonding as sole method of joining the composite body components to the tubular steel chassis is reviewed.
Renewable Source Materials Phase II
Peter W. Vaccarella, September 2003
In phase I soy-based polyesters were introduced in the form of sheet molding compound (SMC) to be used in farm equipment such as combines. In phase II soy-based polyester will be evaluated in the spray- up infusion and resin transfer molding (RTM) processes for similar types of application. Each system was evaluated at room temperature and 120 ° F for surface quality cure and molding ability. This paper will discuss shrink control for room temperature cured parts and surface quality as compared to automotive standards. Physical property data will also be compared to standard polyesters and SMC used in these fields.
Impact-Tolerant SMC Resins for Demanding Structural Applications
Sean P. Walsh, September 2003
Composite materials have penetrated the transportation market where their lower total component cost and lighter weight have made them the material of choice. As designers and engineers become more comfortable with the use of composites they are being specified in more demanding load-bearing applications. Structural thermoset resins combine high modulus the ability to efficiently translate reinforcing fiber properties with the elasticity to withstand the high stresses and strains of load bearing applications. A new generation of impact-tolerant structural thermoset resins has been developed that have the high modulus critical to achieving maximum structural properties yet exhibit the toughness of thermoplastics. These tough thermosetting resins absorb high transient loads without suffering micro-structural damage that can propagate to failure after repeated mechanical chemical and environmental exposures. Cast resin properties and reinforced composite properties show the potential of these materials as a cost-effective option for transportation applications. Efficiency of reinforcing fiber utilization allows weight reduction without sacrificing structural performance. These new impact-tolerant materials can be processed with standard techniques at the production rates typical of high volume processes such as SMC at very low scrap rates. Composite formulation latitude allows tailoring the mechanical dimensional and appearance properties that typically make composite materials an economically attractive choice.
A Dynamic Investigation of Esterification in Biodegradable Starch-Based Polymer
Yi-Fan Wu, Yio-Chih Kao, Ru-Shiamg Kung, Hsiau-Fu Shen, May 2004
Torque, time, and temperature were simply applied to monitor the dynamic esterification of degradable starch-based polymers reacted by different types of acids and catalyst. The formation of C=O double bond and C-O single bond at the region of around 1710cm-1 and 1250cm-1 respectively denotes some successful consequence. SEM was furthermore applied to check the compatibility between modified starch and polymer while TGA for the check of starch before and after modification.
A Life Cycle Value Analysis (LCVA) Approach to the Materials Selection for the Signal Detector Control Head Unit (SDCHU) Housing
Christopher C. Ibeh, Dhirendra Bhattarai, Mark Schultz, May 2004
A prior advanced materials selection process via the digital logic approach (DLA) yielded five materials as suitable choices for the housing of the Signal Detector Control Head Unit (SDCHU), with ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) terpolymer and aluminum 1100 as the top two choices. In an effort to study the long term perspective, durability and environmental impact of the SDCHU, a life cycle value analysis (LCVA) was performed on the SDCHU with ABS as the housing material and then with aluminum 1100 as the housing material. The LCVA results indicate that ABS is the choice material in seven of the eight impact categories studied such as costs, energy usage, conventional pollutants, green house gases released, fuels used, ores used, hazardous waste generated and water used. Normalized environmental impact data show that the 5.6% increase in hazardous waste is offset by the 8 - 52% reduction in the other seven categories due to ABS use in the SDCHU housing.
A Study of the Processing Characteristics and Mechanical Properties of Multiple Recycled Rigid PVC
A.S. Ditta, A.J. Wilkinson, G.M. McNally, W.R. Murphy, May 2004
This study focuses on the ability of U-PVC to be processed a number of times. Three different types of U-PVC were investigated: virgin lead stabilised and virgin calcium/zinc stabilised material and reground, 20 year old, post-consumer windows. Each material was extruded four times and samples taken at each stage for rheological and mechanical analysis.
A New Machine Conception for the Extrusion of Biodegradable Foams and the Influence of Process Parameters on Product Propert
H. Potente, W. Ernst, May 2004
Foamed products based on renewable raw material have a high application potential e.g. for packaging because of their biodegradeability. This may permit renewable raw materials to substitute polymers like polystyrene in some applications.A common way to process renewable raw material like starch is to produce starch based resins with twin screw extruders. These resins can be used on conventional polymer processing machines, but the step of compounding the starch on twin screw extruders causes costs which make these resins economically unattractive.Due to a new extrusion technology these costs can be reduced by a direct processing of starchy material like maize. A characteristic of this extruder is a very short (2 L/D), conic, multiple flighted screw in a barrel with spiral grooves. The energy for the plasticizing process is yielded just by the transfer of mechanical energy of the rotating screw into friction in a shear gap between screw and barrel.In order to understand the process different geometries of screw and barrel have been used in the experiments, additionally the process parameters have been varied. The results lead to an optimised configuration of the extruder and to a better understanding of the influence of process parameters on the product properties.
An Investigation into Collection and Recycling of Blow Moulded Motor Oil Bottles in Australia
Syed Masood, Raja Raghavan, May 2004
This paper presents an investigation on the strategies to increase the post consumer HDPE recycling of extrusion blow molded oil containers in Australia and proposes a novel oil drain rack designed to drain out the residual oil effectively from the used oil containers, based on the requirements of the clients.
Automotive Plastic Fuel Tank Systems
Kenneth W. Albaugh, May 2004
The manufacturing of Plastic Fuel Systems is an ever changing and technology driven field. The field is influenced by governmental emission standards that are becoming tougher to meet with plastic fuel tanks. Several new technologies have been developed to accommodate the environmental legislative changes.
Accelerated Test for Stress Corrosion Crack Initiation in PB Tubing
Xiqun Niu, Wen Zhou, May 2004
The Stress Corrosion Cracking (also called Environmental Stress Cracking) process in Polybutylene (PB) tubing consists of three stages: 1) Crack initiation, 2) Slow crack growth, and 3) Dynamic crack propagation. The first two stages primarily determine the useful lifetime of PB tubing, since the third stage occurs in a relatively short time interval. In this paper, an examination of PB field failures, observation of crack initiation mechanisms, and evidences of chemical degradation as a primary cause of failure are presented. To evaluate crack initiation time in mechno-chemical conditions, a modification of ASTM standard environmental stress cracking technique is employed to accelerate the crack initiation process in PB and a simple extrapolation technique is proposed to estimate the time of crack initiation in service conditions.
Characterization of Polyetherimide and Polystyrene in Shear Flow
J. Lou, A. Shahbazi, V. Harinath, May 2004
Filled thermoplastic polyetherimide and polystyrene samples were prepared and their morphological and melt processing properties were studied with respect to the processing conditions and filler loadings. The results should provide insights that are needed to solve complex issues encountered in the industry dealing with the recycling and processing of this important class of thermoplastic materials.
Alternatives to Coatings for Automotive Plastics
Norm Kakarala, Tom Pickett, May 2004
Coatings or paints are generally pigmented polymeric dispersions or powders that are usually applied as a secondary process step to form a layer on the substrate. Eliminating coatings can drastically reduce the cost of the part as well as provide environmental advantages. In recent years there have been major advances in alternatives to coatings for automotive plastic parts. These advances are categorized into two main areas, material development and process development. From a materials perspective, new colorants and modifiers have been developed as additives to plastic resins that provide the aesthetic and physical and chemical properties required. From a process perspective, advances in process technology in areas of extrusion, co extrusion, injection molding, laminating films, and thermoforming of multiplayer sheets have been developed. This paper will examine these different alternatives to coatings for automotive plastic applications.
Composites Derived from Post-Consumer Nylon 6 Carpet
John Muzzy, Youjiang Wang, Melinda Satcher, Bryan Shaw, Andrew McNamara, Josh Norton, May 2004
Over 2 million tons of post-consumer carpet is landfilled each year. This waste carpet is a potential resource for composites. Since waste carpets can be rapidly identified and sorted by face fiber, this paper focuses on the processing and properties of nylon 6 post-consumer carpet. The carpet is cleaned, shredded and extrusion pelletized. This feedstock is compounded with glass fibers and compatibilizers. Based on the properties achieved and the projected costs, applications are identified.
Continuous Process for Recycling of Polyurethane Foam
Sayata Ghose, A.I. Isayev, Ernst D. von Meerwall, May 2004
A continuous process for decrosslinking high resiliency polyurethane foam in an extruder with ultrasonic devices was developed. Rheological, structural and NMR relaxation and diffusion characterizations of decrosslinked foam were performed. The decrosslinked foam was blended with the virgin polyurethane rubber (PUR) and cured and the blend properties were investigated.
Crystallization and Chemi-Crystallization of Recycled Photodegraded Polymers
J.R. White, I.H. Craig, C.K. Phua, May 2004
Injection molded bars have been made from blends containing recycled photodegraded polymers, then subjected to further ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Crystallinity measurements have been made at different depths from the exposed surface using X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry. Complementary information in the form of molecular mass distributions has been obtained using gel permeation chromatography, and the crystallinity results are interpreted in terms of molecular scission and photo-initiated molecular defects.


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