SPE Library

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Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
Trouble Shooting Hot Tip Induced Polycarbonate Splay
D. Paul Nelson, Darin E. Dallin, May 2016

Splay is a primary source of fallout when injection molding parts using polycarbonate. Elimination of splay is a difficult proposition, but maintaining acceptable baseline fallout across production is crucial to keeping waste under control and shipment of defects to customer to a minimum. Overall splay was reduced from 1.8 to 0.9 percent on parts running in excess of 1.4 million annually. The analysis provided in this paper shows how the extent of splay waste was identified, root cause analysis conducted, corrective action implemented, and results verified for one source of polycarbonate splay in a production environment.

Ultrasonic Extrusion Technology for Recycling of Crosslinked Polyolefins
Avraam I. Isayev, Keyuan Huang, May 2016

Among the many environmental problems which mankind faces in the XXI century is the problem of environmental sustainability and management of the tremendous amount of generated polymer waste. Among various polymer wastes, management of crosslinked plastics is a major environmental problem requiring a solution. This study was specifically directed toward the creation of a new, environmentally friendly and science-based technology for the recycling of crosslinked plastics. Uncrosslinked thermoplastics can be easily reprocessed and reused. However, managing crosslinked plastics is a very challenging problem. This is due to the presence of a three-dimensional network, which prevents flow and shaping of crosslinked plastics upon heating and shearing. Our laboratory developed ultrasonic decrosslinking technology for recycling of the crosslinked high density polyethylene (XHDPE) of different levels of crosslink densities and crosslinked LDPE (XLDPE). This is done by using ultrasonically aided single-screw extruder (SSE) operating at a frequency of 20 kHz and twinscrew extruder (TSE) operating at a frequency of 40 kHz at different levels of ultrasonic energy [1]. The experimental studies on the ultrasonic decrosslinking of XHDPE and XLDPE have shown that the ultrasonic extrusion was capable to preferentially break crosslinks rather than main chains in XHDPE. Significant reduction of the extruder torque, die and barrel pressures with the ultrasonic amplitude was observed during decrosslinking of XHDPE and XLDPE. The specific ultrasonic energy decreased with the flow rate and increased with the ultrasonic amplitude, while die pressure increased with the flow rate and decreased with the ultrasonic amplitude [2-5]. Accordingly, application of ultrasonic treatment during extrusion enabled an increase of productivity.

Ultrasonic Sealing Tool Design for Thin Film Plastics
Miranda Marcus, Olivia Prior, May 2016

Thin film packaging is used for a wide range of products including packaging of food, medical tools, electronics, and toys. Each of these applications requires a different type of film, from thin and brittle, to composite film including a foil layer, to biodegradable films. These films can be adhesively bonded, heat sealed, impulse welded, and increasingly, ultrasonically welded. Ultrasonic welding offers many benefits to thin film sealing such as faster cycle times, reduction in film usage due to narrower bond widths, elimination of adhesive layers, improved hermeticity for increased shelf life, and less sensitivity to contaminants in the seal area.
However, tool design can have a significant effect on weld strength. Optimum tool design depends not just on the thickness of the material to be welded, but also the type of polymer to be joined, and seal requirements (such as hermeticity and peel strength). In this study, we seek to provide starting guidelines with the goal of lowering the cost and duration of the tooling development process by investigating the achievable peel strength of a wide variety of film types with twenty-five horn and anvil design combinations.

Biodegradation properties of poly(butylene succinate) and chitosan nanocomposites
Fakhruddin Patwary, Nadejda Matsko, Vikas Mittal, April 2016

Soil burial tests, conducted under natural conditions, were used to investigate the biodegradability of bio-nanocomposites containing silica, silicate, and graphene reinforcements.

Carbide slag as a filler in poly(vinyl chloride)/wood composites
Hui He, Shenghui Tian, April 2016

Using an industrial waste as an inorganic filler in plastic/wood composites improves the fire and mechanical properties of the material, as well as reducing its financial and environmental cost.

SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division April 2016 Newsletter
SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division, April 2016

Read the latest issue of the SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division newsletter.

Highly flame retardant green composites using seashells
Sophie Duquesne, Nabila A. Darwish, Hesham Moustafa , Ahmed M. Youssef, March 2016

Using ground seashell as a biofiller in an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer increases flame retardance.

Enhancing the dimensional stability and durability of wood polymer composites
Jianzhang Li, Shifeng Zhang , Yutao Yan, Kaili Wang, Youming Dong, March 2016

Grafting polystyrene onto wood cell walls improves the interfacial compatibility between polymer and wood, and thus gives rise to better mechanical and hydrophobic properties.

Improved structural properties of polyhydroxybutyrate composites
Vimal Katiyar , Amit Kumar, Umesh Bhardwaj, Prodyut Dhar, February 2016

Cellulose nanocrystals are used to fabricate novel biodegradable nanocomposites that exhibit reduced oxygen permeability, as well as improved tensile and rheological characteristics.

Improved properties of thermoplastic polyurethane bio-composites
Umit Tayfun , Erdal Bayramli, Mehmet Dogan, February 2016

An isocyanate surface treatment of flax fibers produces improved interfacial interactions of the fibers with the polymer matrix, and thus stronger eco-composites.

Fabrication of poly(lactic acid) composites with improved tensile strength
Widsanusan Chartarrayawadee, February 2016

Functionalizing graphene oxide with steric acid increases its compatibility with poly(lactic acid), leading to improved tensile strength composites.

Fracture behavior of high-density polyethylene composites
Sabrina Spatari, Sukjoon Na, Yick G. Hsuan, February 2016

The essential work of fracture concept was used to study the effect of nanoclay on the plain-strain fracturing of pristine and recycled blends.

Enhancing the processability and performance of polylactic acid resins
Emilia Garofalo , Loredana Incarnato, Luciano Di Maio, Paola Scarfato, February 2016

An in-depth study of polylactide nanocomposite molecular characteristics demonstrates that selecting appropriate organoclays for each polylactide grade is a key issue.

SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division February 2016 Newsletter
SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division, February 2016

Read the latest issue of the SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division newsletter.

Reinforced polylactic acid for use in high-strength biodegradable medical implants
Declan Devine , Sean Lyons, John Killion, Clement Higginbotham, Luke Geever, Yuanyuan Chen, January 2016

Melt compounding of polylactic acid and halloysite nanotubes produces a novel composite with good mechanical properties.

Optimizing the flame retardant content of natural fiber thermoplastic composites
Leif Steuernagel, Dieter Meiners, Gerhard Ziegmann, Ahmed El-Sabbagh , Oliver Toepfer, January 2016

Aluminum trihydroxide can be used with compounded flax and polypropylene to increase flame retardance behavior, but without reducing mechanical properties.

Effects of surface modification on physical properties of bio-composites
Sanjay K. Nayak, Mohini Sain, Rajkumar Subbiah , Jimi Tjong, January 2016

Treated sisal fiber-based materials exhibit permeability, resin flow direction, and tensile strength changes compared with untreated samples.

Investigating the geometrical shape of cellulose nanocrystals
Qiang Wu, Yanjun Li, Siqun Wang, Timothy M. Young, Yujie Meng, Biao Huang, January 2016

The 3D morphology of nanoparticles prepared from switchgrass is quantitatively and statistically characterized.

SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division December 2015 Newsletter
SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division, December 2015

Read the latest issue of the SPE Bioplastic and Renewable Technologies Division newsletter.

Enhancing the properties of low-density polyethylene composites
Thollwana Makhetha, Rantooa Moji, Mokgaotsa Mochane, Teboho Mokhena, Thabang Mokhothu, Tshwafo Motaung, Setumo Motloung, September 2015

Mechanical treatment, with the use of a Supermasscolloider, of sugar cane bagasse significantly improves the mechanical and thermal characteristics of composites made with this material.

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