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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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Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
Artificial Weathering of Materials Used in Collapsible Fuel Storage Tanks
James M. Sloan, D. Flanagan, P. Touchet, H. Feuer, May 2014
The purpose of this work was to perform a comparative analysis of various candidate nitrile coated fabric materials supplied by potential vendors to be used as fuel storage tanks and compare the results to the currently fielded polyurethane storage tanks. Our strategy is to utilize advanced environmental aging methods to simulate extended weathering conditions. Our results demonstrate that the nitrile coated fabrics performed well in our evaluation. Their breaking strengths are about equal to the currently fielded urethanes and they performed comparably when subjected to environmental aging conditions.
Automotive Prototype from Lignin and Nanocellulose Enhanced Polyurethane Foam: Bio Polyol vs Synthetic Polyol
Omar Faruk, Mohini Sain, Ramin Farnood, May 2014
Polyurethane (PU) foams were prepared using synthetic and bio-based polyol. In both cases, isocyanate content was reduced and cellulosic nanofibers and lignin were incorporated to achieve the desired rigidity. The experimental results indicated that the mechanical properties of 100% bio-based polyol PU foams exhibited higher performance compared to 100% synthetic polyol PU foam. The odor concentration of bio-based and synthetic PU foams showed in similar level. A automotive bumper energy absorber prototype has been developed from lignin and nanocellulose enhanced bio PU foams with reduced isocyanate content.
Bio-Based Elastomers from Cationic/Free Radical Polymerization of Soybean Oil
Kendra Allen, David Grewell, Vijay Thakur, Michael R. Kessler, May 2014
Recently bio-based polymers procured from different natural resources have attracted greater attention as the viable eco-friendly alternatives to traditional petroleum-based products. Among various bio-based materials, vegetable oils represent one of the most abundant, low cost renewable material having the potential to be an ideal alternative to chemical feedstock/ traditional synthetic polymeric materials. Different derivatives of vegetable oils can be used as preliminary resources for the synthesis of a variety of materials (e.g. polyols, glycol, lubricants and plasticizers for polymers) owing to the high reactivity of their oxirane rings. So in this project, we have synthesized different soybean oil based elastomer using cationic/ free radical polymerization. Some preliminary study on the dynamic mechanical behavior of the synthesized elastomer has also been carried out.
Biobased Fillers for Polypropylene for Interior Application
Ayse Ademuwagun, Joel Myers, May 2014
Coconut shell and torrefied wood are bio-sourced and renewable materials that can be used as fillers in various polymer matrices. Torrefied wood material can be produced from numerous cellulose based materials, such as wood, sunflower hulls, flax shive, hemp and oat hulls. These bio-fillers would replace talc and glass bubbles which are not a renewable resource. Additionally, the implementation of torrefied wood and coconut would reduce the carbon footprint and improve sustainability of Hyundai and Kia vehicles. In this study, coconut and torrefied wood filled polypropylene properties are tested for a HVAC Case application.
Effect of the Localization of Silica Particles on the Morphology of Poly(Lactic Acid)/ Polyethylene Blends
Ebrahim Jalali Dil, Basil D. Favis, May 2014
In this study, the effect of the addition of spherical silica particles on the morphology of poly (lactic acid)/polyethylene blends is studied. It is shown that the silica particles are selectively localized in the PLA phase. The effect of silica particle concentration in the PLA phase on the overall morphology of the blend structure is studied in detail.
Factors Impacting Formulation Development of Extruded Polystyrene Foam
Roy Smith, Jeffrey Alcott, Michael Mazor, May 2014
Extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam has been a useful and cost-effective thermal insulation for commercial and residential buildings for over 50 years. Producers have responded to a variety of factors, such as, environmental regulations, building codes, and energy costs, to obtain effective alternative XPS products. This paper reviews XPS insulation formulations with blowing gases, HFC-134a and HFC-152a, that have long-term thermal performance to meet or exceed current codes. The developed XPS insulations have zero ozone depletion potential and provide a sustainable benefit to society.
Characterization of Recycled Carpet Samples by TG-FTIR, TG-MS, and TG-GC-MS
Pamela J. Shapiro, Carolin Fischer, May 2014
Limitations in landfill capacity and the environmental impact of disposing of carpet waste in landfills have made recovering nylon from carpet waste an increasingly important enterprise. Since carpet compositions vary and can contain nylon-6 and/or nylon-6,6, along with variety of other materials, characterizing waste carpet composition and its thermal decomposition profile is essential for the recycling process. In this study, material recovered from carpet waste was analyzed by TG-FTIR, TG-MS, and TG-GC-MS. TG-GC-MS proved to be the most informative method of analysis because of its identification of organic decomposition productions characteristic of nylon-6 and nylon-6,6.
Clean and Cost-Saving: New Developments for Meeting Medical Molding Challenges
Alan Hickok, May 2014
Medical products understandably must meet the highest level of quality and consistency due to the nature of their use. This often puts difficult demands on molders of plastic medical products who must work hard to meet quality restrictions through elimination of such things as hydraulic fluid and other contaminants in the molding area. As with all manufacturing there is the additional demand for reducing costs in a competitive market and this is always challenging. Finally, the global effort toward sustainability in manufacturing challenges molders and mold builders alike to jointly plan and implement more green manufacturing processes via a reduction in energy usage among other things. This paper will discuss the use of innovations within the injection mold manufacturing and molding markets that will help medical molders achieve clean room molding, cost reductions, and lower energy consumption.
Composition Dependence on the Mechanical Behavior of Hydrophobic Lignocellulose-Reinforced Poly (Trimethylene) Terephthalate Composites
Jennifer Lynch, Thomas Nosker, Arya Tewatia, May 2014
Lignocellulosic fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites offer many property and environmental benefits. The major issue to overcome is moisture absorption due to the hydrophilic nature of the lignocellulosic component. The aim of this work is to combine hydrophobic natural fibers (NF) and a thermoplastic to produce a novel wood polymer composite that offers moisture resistance, dimensional stability, and resistance to microbial attack. Hydrophobic NFs are combined with polytrimethylene terephthalate using a novel, injection molding method and the flexural, tensile, and impact resistance mechanical properties presented.
Controlled Migration of Antifog from Flexible Polyethylene Films
Jasmine Rosen Kligvasser, Ran Y. Suckeveriene, Roza Tchoudakov, Moshe Narkis, May 2014
Antifog (AF) agents are chemicals that prevent the condensation of water as small droplets on hydrophobic surfaces which resemble fog. Antifogs function by minimizing the water surface energy, thus resulting in a continuous film of water rather than single droplets. Inside a greenhouse, the temperature and humidity are usually higher than the outside temperature and fog will thus appear on the inner surface of the PE film. In the present work, a new method of controlled migration of AF is described, by grafting AF molecules to the surface of sub-micron inorganic particles. Glycerides and fatty acids are used as AF. During the grafting reaction two fractions are formed: attached AF fraction to the inorganic particles’ surface, a fraction which cannot be detached by extraction, and an unreacted, thus unattached AF fraction. Aging tests, developed in the present work, have shown a significant decrease of the AF migration rate.
CPVC Sprinkler Pipe in Contact with Suspected off-Ratio Urethane Foams
Ray L. Hauser, May 2014
This paper discusses failures in a residential fire sprinkler system using CPVC pipe surrounded by sprayed urethane foam insulation. The pipe had multiple circumferential cracks. The external surface had a brown coloration in cracked areas. Chemical analysis showed presence of chemicals in the polymer consistent with components that may have been present in the foam. These chemicals had solubility parameters and boiling temperatures consistent with causation of Environmental Stress Cracking of CPVC. Accelerated exposure of strained CPVC pipe sections to three of these chemicals showed rapid formation of suspected environmental stress cracks.
Crystallization Characteristic and Heat Seal Properties of Biodegradable Films
Supaphorn Thumsorn, Sommai Pivsa-Art, Kazushi Yamada, Ken Miyata, Hiroyuki Hamada, May 2014
Biodegradable polymer film was prepared from poly(lactic acid)/thermoplastic starch (PLA/TPS) blend by cast film process at 0, 5 and 10 wt% of TPS. The PLA and PLA/TPS blend films were heat sealed at heat sealed temperature of 90 and 100 °C. The heat seal time was varied from 0.5 to 2.0 s with a pressure of 0.2 MPa. The effect of heat sealed conditions on heat seal properties of PLA and PLA/TPS films was investigated. Heat sealed strength of PLA/TPS blend films decreased when increasing the heat sealed times. PLA/TPS heat sealed films exhibited greater crystallinity than the PLA heat sealed film, which characterized by crystallization kinetic study.
Curing Study of a Green" Thermosetting Resin"
Michael Davis, John P. Droske, Wei Zheng, May 2014
A series of green" thermosetting resins oligomers of bis(hydroxyalkylene)-2-mercaptosuccinate has been reported recently [12]. Curing in these thermosetting resins results from crosslinking via pendant thiol groups. As part of an effort to realize and assess the potential of these resins as sustainable materialsthe curing process was investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and rheology. The progression of physical and mechanical properties such as the glass transition temperature (Tg) and the shear moduluswas monitored as a function of time and temperature. Tg of the resin was found to increase with curing and the averaged Tg of the fully cured resin was found to be 72.6 K ± 1.2 K higher than uncured resin. The increase in Tg corresponded with the change in rheological properties. The shear modulus obtained for fully cured samples reached a high modulus of 6.5 × 106 Pa at 200 °C. Additionallythe gel point was measured from the crossover of the storage and loss moduli. Based on the gel points the apparent activation energy of curing also was determined."
New Isosorbide-Polycarbonate via Interfacial Polymerization
Jean-Francois Morizur, May 2014
Polymers based on aliphatic diols derived from bio-sources are of great interest in the plastics industry for the preparation of bio-derived products. Such products may show noticeable advantages compared to their oil-based counterpart such as biodegradability, biocompatibility and a low net environmental impact. The present paper discloses the synthesis and basic characterization of a new class of isosorbide-containing polyester carbonates.
Peelable - Resealable Films: FTIR Characterisation and Peel Strength
Richard J. Silverwood, Hesam Tabatabei, Abdellah Ajji, May 2014
In the last decade, smart packaging has been an emerging field, which focuses on improving safety, ease of use and sustainability of food products. In this paper, enhancement in the ease of use is sought through the tailoring of a novel peelable-resealable structure. Therefore, multiple pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) resins were first screened through by measurement of their peel strength. In light of the Fourier transform infrared spectrums, key properties of the peelable-resealable structure are discussed and material properties correlated to peel strength behavior.
Developing an Integrated Crash Simulation for Automotive Parts Produced from Natural Fiber Reinforced Plastics (NFC-Simulation)
Thomas Baranowski, Markus Franzen, Erwin Baur, Maira Magnani, May 2014
The interest in renewable materials in car industry is growing dramatically. Natural fiber reinforced plastics (NFC) are an attractive solution, because of their interesting mechanical properties in combination to a good eco balance. One of the main obstacles to being used on a large scale in the car development process is the requirement that all components must proof that they meet product safety requirements and are fit for purpose through using CAE methods. The usage of CAE is a fixed established procedure in the automotive industry to meet today's challenging development times. The project NFC-Simulation, which is described in this paper, established a complete and integrated solution for the simulation of NFC components, from processing to crash simulation. In order to achieve these capabilities, many technical and scientific problems had to be solved in detail and the results integrated to a complete solution.
Poly (Lactic Acid)/Polyamide11/Cellulose Multiphase Systems
Vahid Heshmati, Musa R. Kamal, Basil D. Favis, May 2014
Nano crystalline cellulose (NCC) / PLA/bio-Polyamide11 (PA11) blends were prepared at different compositions by melt blending. A homogenous nano-scale NCC dispersion in PLA/PA11 blends was achieved. Both Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) reveal the localization of NCCs in both phases and at the interface. Also, the images show no significant changes in the morphology of the PLA/PA11 blends for up to 2 wt% NCC.
Development and Characterization of Bio-Based PA Composites for Electronic Packaging Applications Using Micro Fillers
Hani Naguib, Shahriar Ghaffari Mosanenzadeh, Yang Zhou, Gengyu Xu, Siu N. Leung, May 2014
Since electronic devices are constantly becoming smaller and more powerful [1,3], heat dissipation plays a very important role in electronic packaging applications. By using highly thermal conductive materials, it is possible to manage the heat dissipation on electronics to improve their efficiency. In addition, it is possible to avoid the use of mechanical fans by avoiding the heat sink cooling method. Thus, electronics can be made cheaper, lighter, and more compact [4-8]. Recycling of electronics is also another concern because millions of devices are used and produced every day. This research is aimed at making a polymeric composite that has high thermal conductivity, is electrically isolative, and is bio-based: a suitable as a replacement candidate for current electronic packaging materials. In this study, Polyamide (PA) with at least 60% bio-based content in composite with hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) was studied. Significant improvement in thermal conductivity was found relating to the size of conductive network, which has direct relationship with numbers, length, and direction of thermal pathways, rather than amount of filler particles.
Development of Hybrid Magnetic Nanoparticles Aimed to Collect Crude Oil in Aqueous Environments
Adriana Pavia-Sanders, Jeniree A. Flores, Jonathan E. Sanders, Jeffrey E. Raymond, Karen L. Wooley, May 2014
Well-defined, magnetic shell crosslinked knedel-like nanoparticles (MSCKs) with hydrodynamic diameters ca. 70 nm were constructed through the co-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers of PAA20-b-PS280 and oleic acid-stabilized magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. These hybrid nanomaterials were designed as sequestering agents for hydrocarbons present in crude oil. Their combination of amphiphilic organic domains, for aqueous solution dispersibility and capture of hydrophobic guest molecules, with inorganic core particles for magnetic responsivity, make these nanomaterials uniquely qualified for oil spill remediation. The employment of these MSCKs in contaminated water resulted in the successful removal of the hydrophobic pollutants at a ratio of 10 mg of oil per 1 mg of MSCK. Using a magnet, the loaded nanoparticles were isolated and through “rinsing” in an ethanol sonicating bath, they were regenerated for reuse with no loss of their loading capacity.
Production of Bio-Based Polyethylene from Sugar Beets
Joseph Greene, Lisa Ott, Kate Isganitis, Reta Betar, May 2014
A 22% solution of sucrose derived purely from sugar beets was dissolved in water and hydrolyzed with an invertase enzyme to produce glucose. This glucose was fed to champagne yeast and fermented to produce ethanol in yields of approximately 15 %. The ethanol was catalytically dehydrated to ethylene with a HZSM-5 catalyst in a small batch reactor. The ethylene was converted to poly(ethylene) using a Ziegler-Natta type catalyst. This poly(ethylene) should be suitable for use in plastic products like plastic bottles, containers, and grocery bags.

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