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Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
Bioepoxy Foaming Using Polymethylhydrosiloxane
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards mandate that cars and light trucks have a fuel economy of at least 54.5 MPG by 2025 in an effort to eliminate 6 billion tons of cumulative CO2 emissions. This directive has spurred the automotive industry to focus on a variety of options. Among these are lightweight structural polymeric foams, which offer tailor-made solutions for significant weight reduction while not compromising on safety. However, most structural foams are petroleumbased, thereby contributing to the depletion of nonrenewable petroleum resources. Biopolymers, such as those from non-food based sources, offer a more environmentally-responsible alternative.
In this study, the effect of polymethylhydrosiloxane (PMHS) as a foaming agent on the properties of pine oilbased epoxy was investigated. The resulting materials were then tested for their compression properties, density, and microstructure. Lightweighting of up to 77 % was obtained and the delayed addition of foaming agent was shown to be more effective at improving specific mechanical properties, relative to immediate addition of foaming agent.
PC/ABS Recovered from Shredded Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Our industry leading separation technology enables us to recover a variety of plastics from complex mixed streams such as shredded waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Plastic flakes recovered using our process are compounded and sold as pellets suitable for use in injection molding applications. Polyolefin and styrenic plastics have been in our product portfolio for nearly a decade, but recently we have been expanding our range of plastic products. This paper looks at the challenges of recovering additional plastics and the properties of PC/ABS we have recovered from shredded WEEE.
Determination of the Compositions of Fully Biodegradable Ternary Blends with Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
Comparison between near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in diffuse reflectance and transmission modes for determination of the compositions in fully biodegradable poly-(lactic acid)/poly-(propylene carbonate)/poly-(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PLA/PPC/PBAT) blends was made. Principal component analysis (PCA) was firstly performed to qualitatively examine the response of two modes to concentration change. Then partial least square (PLS) models were developed for quantitative evaluation based on root mean square error of cross validation (RMSECV), root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) and coefficient of determination (R2). The data showed that NIR spectroscopy in both modes succeeded in extracting information of concentration of complex fully biodegradable PLA/PPC/PBAT blends, whereas diffuse transmission mode presented better performance than diffuse reflectance mode.
Development of a New Styrenic Elastomer Using Renewable Monomer
Utilizing a new renewable monomer called B-farnesene, Kuraray has developed a new hydrogenated styrene farnesene copolymer (HSFC) with unique chemical structure and differentiated properties. B-farnesene is produced from the fermentation of sugar extracted from sugarcane and is based on an innovative microbial engineering technology from Amyris. When B-farnesene is polymerized using anionic polymerization method, polymerization proceeds with conjugated diene moiety and poly-B-farnesene possesses a highly condensed, long alkyl side chain. This unique chemical structure results in differentiated features that conventional hydrogenated styrenic block copolymers (HSBC) do not have. In comparison to HSBC, HSFC exhibits higher flow ability, good adhesion, lower hardness without plasticizer, good permanent and compression set, and improved damping properties over a wide temperature range. With this property set, HSFC lends itself to applications such as adhesives, gels, low hardness compounds, and nonwovens. It is expected that HSFC will continue to expand and produce new market value to meet developing customer needs.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) Quantification of Polyamide 12 (Nylon 12) Degradation during the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Process
Selective laser sintering, a 3-dimensional printing technique, converts powdered thermoplastic resins, e.g. polyamide 12 (nylon 12), into end-use parts by using a laser to melt and fuse the particles. In this layer-by-layer additive manufacturing process, the powder is both the raw material and the mold. Therefore, unsintered powder can be recovered and recycled in subsequent builds to significantly decrease net costs. To improve blending protocols, the powder quality, i.e. the degree of degradation, was quantified using differential scanning calorimetry. Contrary to the work of others, the results suggested that the sensitivity of differential scanning calorimetry to small changes in molecular weight could reproducibly detect small changes in oven-aged (degraded) powder.
Dupont's Renewably Sourced High Performance Polymers
Renewably sourced, also commonly referred as biobased, materials are an integral part of DuPont’s commitment to sustainable growth. DuPont is a market leader in high performance renewably sourced polymers for engineering applications. These include products based on polyamide, polyester and thermoplastic elastomers and contain between 20 to 100 percent renewable carbon by weight. By tapping innovative technology and strategic partnerships, DuPont has created novel methods of manufacturing high-performance materials from renewable resources. This new generation of materials, derived from biomass instead of petroleum, reduces the environmental footprint without compromising performance. This paper will provide an overview of renewably sourced engineering polymers and examples of commercial products in various applications.
Effect of Anhydride Type on Structure and Thermal Properties of Poly(Propylene Carbonate) Composites Produced by Reactive Extrusion
Poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC) is an environmental friendly thermoplastic aliphatic polycarbonate. To broaden the application of this material, three types of anhydride (maleic anhydride (MA), phthalic anhydride (PA) and pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA)) were melt blending to end-cap PPC by reactive extrusion. FTIR, Raman spectroscopy, TGA, and intrinsic viscosity test were used to characterize structure and properties of anhydride end-capped PPC. Results indicate that the reaction mechanism between PPC with MA was different from PPC with PA and PMDA. Intrinsic viscosity test demonstrates that molecular weight of PPC-PMDA was higher than that of pure PPC. In addition, TGA results show that the thermal degradation temperature of PPC could be improved by adding three types of anhydride, and the T-5% of PPC-PMDA was the highest and increased by 26.3 ºC.
Effect of different fiber tex feeding on mechanical properties of glass fiber reinforced RPET composite by DFFIM process
Two different linear densities of Glass fiber (GF) consisting 1200 and 2400 tex, which were reinforced recycled PET (RPET) composites fabricated by DFFIM process. The results indicated that processing ability of GF/RPET composites with 180-rpm injection screw speed on fiber loading content were in range of 16 wt.% to 55.7 wt.% It was found that the incorporation of glass fiber into RPET composites improved tensile properties, bending properties and impact properties. However the improving tendency on mechanical properties of GF/RPET composites was constant, when fiber loading content was over 40 wt.% for impact strength and 50 wt.% for tensile and bending strength, respectively. At high fiber loading content, 2400 tex of glass fiber exhibited in higher agglomeration of glass fiber especially in core layer when compared with 1200 tex of glass fiber. In addition the fiber length was decreased with the increasing of fiber loading content. The decreasing of fiber length, fiber distribution, effectiveness coefficient and poor fiber orientation resulted in the declination of mechanical properties.
Reduced Post Crystallization of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)
Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) belongs to the family of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and is both, biobased and biodegradable. Due to its linear chain structure, PHB is highly crystalline and has a melting temperature close to its decomposition temperature. Pure PHB crystallizes very slowly, so that the use for some technical applications is not commercially viable. This paper describes the crystallization of pure and nucleated PHB by means of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The cooling curve and the metabolic rate as a function of temperature are elaborated.
Environmental Stress Cracking of Medical Thermoplastics: Assessing Lifetime of High Performance Amorphous Resins in Presence of Hospital Cleaners
There is a critical need to quantify and predict the likelihood of Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) in medical devices, due to the expanding use of medical cleaners in hospitals to prevent infection as well as increased FDA documentation requirements. This paper performs constant flexural strain ESC experiments on two high performance resins, Noryl 20%gf and Ultem 20%gf, using three common hospital cleaners (bleach, quaternary amine with isopropanol, and hydrogen peroxide). ESC testing was performed using a 7-day soak followed by tensile testing to assess residual stress-strain performance.
From strain-at-break results for this 7-day soak method, ratings were obtained for each resin-cleaner combination. These results can be fed into mechanical models of components to quantify likely failure locations and safety factors.
Using time-to-crack datasets, an initial estimate of the n exponent for the ESC dependence on stress was obtained. Also, it was found that the use of Hansen Solubility Parameters could, with reasonably accuracy, predict trends in ESC damage.
Environmental Stress Cracking Study of Alternative Welding Processes in Apparatus, Tank and Pipeline Construction
The infrared (IR) and vibration (VIB) welding processes are joining technologies established in series fabrication. They are characterized by their economically viable and efficient process management. These joining technologies are suitable for utilization in apparatus, tank and pipeline construction. However, they cannot be applied to this field. One reason for this is the lack of knowledge and proof in relation to the Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC). Within the framework of a research project promoted by AiF (Allianz industrieller Forschung), the vibration and infrared welding processes were investigated. Their potential for long-term applications was studied. The results show that minimum tensile creep welding factors of 0.8 are achieved by using the infrared (short-wave radiation emitter) and vibration welding processes. It was possible to obtain values which correspond to those of heated tool butt welding. Furthermore, the knowledge base of the mechanism of failure behavior of welded joints between plastics undergoing ESC was extended.
Evaluating the Effect of Nanoclay and Recycled HDPE on Stress Cracking in HDPE Using J-Integral Approach
This study employed the J-integral approach to investigate the effect of recycled HDPE and nanoclay contents on the long-term stress cracking behavior of pristine HDPE. This behavior was conventionally approached by using stress intensity factor K, which defined the stress cracking behavior as two failure mechanisms: creep and slow crack growth (SCG). Unlike the conventional approach, the J-integral method identified the short-term failure prior to the creep failure. By integrating the short-term and SCG failure behavior, this study derived a correlation between Jc and SCG. The SCG behavior of recycle-blended materials without nanoclay was governed by Jc which decreased as the recycled contents increased. The decrease of Jc led to a reduction in SCG failure time. In contrast, the addition of nanoclay (up to 6-wt%) reduced Jc and stress relaxation of the material, subsequently extending the SCG failure times.
Thermoplastic Semiconductive Power Cable Jacket
A new thermoplastic semiconductive power cable jacket compound is presented. The compound is designed by adding carbon blacks to a blend of linear low density polyethylene and elastomer to achieve overall excellent performance, including good electrical conductivity, excellent mechanical properties, superior environmental stress crack resistance, and low moisture vapor transmission rate as well as low temperature brittleness property. The compound meets wire and cable industrial specifications such as ICEA S-94-649-2013.
Fabrication and Characterization of Bio-based PCM Microcapsules for Thermal Energy Storage
Bio-based phase change microcapsules (MicroPCM) consist of polylactic acid (PLA) shell and butyl stearate core were fabricated by emulsion evaporation method. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) were employed to characterize the morphology, the chemical structures, and the thermal properties of the fabricated MicroPCM. The results indicated that higher energy input during the emulsion step, utilized a sonicator, is critical to fabricate microPCM with smaller size (i.e., 10-12 ?m) and narrower size distribution. In short, the experimental results demonstrated the possibility to fabricate 100% bio-based MicroPCM with enhanced environmental sustainability for thermal energy storage applications.
Farmlands for Plastics, Textiles, Dyes or Food: Are Bio-Based Materials Really Sustainable?
This presentation aims to contribute to an honest dialog on sustainability of oil-based vs bio-based materials in a consumer context that often includes significant “greenwashing” based on misinformation. This consumer context has raised consumers’ expectations and has put undue burden on many industries and in particular on the plastic and textile industries. Textile companies have tried to find a niche or “green” appeal in this increasingly competitive market; therefore, some are using labels such as “Sustainable”, “Eco-friendly”, “Eco-fashions” etc. As a result of high competition and low margin of profit, some companies have adapted practices such as creative marking and creative reporting/labeling that makes the consumer feel good about a “sustainable” choice, while the carbon footprint, or overall environmental impact, of the products or their production processes on the environment is not significantly better, and in some cases is even worse, than the alternative. Therefore, consumers either have false assumptions about the products they purchase, or are receiving conflicting information and are confused. Consumers are not the only ones that are confused; some members of industry have a hard time sorting out information on sustainability and, in turn, making decisions about where to invest their resources to create more sustainable products. This presentation will attempt to shed some light on these issues and raise some serious questions.
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.
High Performance High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) for Hot Fill Closure Applications
High performance bimodal high density polyethylene (HDPE) was developed for the hot fill closure applications. Performance of the bimodal HDPE was benchmarked versus incumbent unimodal HDPE resins. The bimodal HDPE resin delivered better environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) than a conventional HDPE homopolymer while maintaining a good heat deflection temperature (HDT) and a good Vicat softening point. The high performance HDPE also exhibited greater shear thinning behavior, indicative of good processability under the high shear rates typically encountered in the injection molding process. In addition, the closures made from the new HDPE resin are advantaged with respect to the removal torque.
High Performance Inorganic Pigments: Complex Inorganic Colored Pigments
Color is as basic to people as emotions. When we are sad we feel blue, when we’re sick we look green and when we’re mad we are red under the collar. In fact, our use of color predates even modern humans.1 Scientists have discovered that humanities ancestors dispersed pigments with an abalone shell and quartz rock into natural resins to produce paints for body adornment and cave paintingsthe first DIY home improvement projects. Those earliest pigments were natural ochres. In the ongoing centuries we have expanded our palette of pigments to include synthetic pigments and organic chemistry based pigments. A special branch of this pigmentation are the Complex Inorganic Color Pigments (CICP)s.
Complex Inorganic Color Pigments provide highperformance color for the most demanding applications for plastics and polymers. CICPs can stand up to the most challenging and aggressive processing and applications. Recent advances have found that these pigments have properties that give them the ability to address regulatory requirements and give not only color, but also functional properties.
Injection Molding and Mechanical Characterizion of Carbon Fiber-Woodfiber/Polyproplene Hybrid Composites
Hybrid composites are made by incorporating two or more different types of fillers in a single matrix, which is highly tailorable. Carbon fiber (CF) reinforced composites have been well developed for certain industries such as aerospace and sporting goods. However, the high cost of carbon fiber, as well as lack of cost effective processing technologies for mass production, prevents its penetration to many different markets. Wood fiber (WF), an environmentally sustainable bio-fiber, has been used widely in making wood/plastic composites (WPCs) for building products and automotive applications, due to its low cost and lightweight. Nevertheless, WPCs have very limited structural applications where strong mechanical properties are required. Incorporating CF and WF into a polymer matrix to make hybrid composites through injection molding, would be a path to expanded applications for both. This paper investigated the injection molding of CF-WF/polypropylene hybrid composites and their mechanical properties. The effects of fiber content and hybridization on the mechanical properties were studied.
Melt Devolatilization Extruson Process for Brominated Polymeric Flame Retardant
A brominated polymeric flame retardant has a significantly advantaged environmental, health and safety profile compared to small molecule halogenated flame retardants due to reduced molecular mobility and thus no bio-availability. The brominated polymeric flame retardant can be prepared using an innovative indirect bromination reaction, which requires the use of a halogenated solvent. A devolatilization extrusion process has been identified as an economically favorable and technically simplest isolation process among many other isolation technologies assessed. The development of a devolatilization extrusion process for the brominated polymeric flame retardant is presented.
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