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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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Sustainability
Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
PROCESSING AND BLENDS OF BIOPLASTICS
Stephen P. McCarthy, May 2008
Biopolymers are generally defined as polymers that are found in nature derived from nature or utilized as medical implants. Polymeric biomaterials which are utilized as medical implants are typically characterized for enduse performance as well as processability. While lactic acid is found in the human body polylactic acid is derived from natural resources and utilized as medical implants. This paper will utilize poly(lactic acid) as an example of a bioplastic where the morphological and isomeric structure has an influence on end-use properties such as mechanical properties biodegradability and biocompatibility.
SCREW DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR BIOBASED POLYMERS
Edward Steward, May 2008
The family of biobased polymers is ever growing in number and in popularity and the extruder/screw manufacturing businesses need to keep abreast of the machinery requirements of these polymers to insure that efficient processing is understood. This paper will look at the extrusion parameters and logic that are important to determining the most efficient screw designs and extrusion operating conditions for processing biopolymers. Vented and non-vented operation will be discussed. PLA data will be used as the basis for the conclusions.
SCREW DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR BIOBASED POLYMERS
Edward Steward, May 2008
The family of biobased polymers is ever growing in number and in popularity and the extruder/screw manufacturing businesses need to keep abreast of the machinery requirements of these polymers to insure that efficient processing is understood. This paper will look at the extrusion parameters and logic that are important to determining the most efficient screw designs and extrusion operating conditions for processing biopolymers. Vented and non-vented operation will be discussed. PLA data will be used as the basis for the conclusions.
THERMAL DEGRADATION OF FIBER-REINFORCED BIO-BASED RIGID POLYURETHANE FOAMS
Andres Garcia , Patricia Alvarado , Maria Sibaja , Guillermo Jimenez , Jose Vega, May 2008
Rigid polyurethane (PU) foams were prepared by a multi- step procedure using a polyol blend of poly(ethylenglycol) PEG-200/pineapple molasses and 4 4'-diisophenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) with a NCO/OH ratio of 1.2. Such material was reinforced with fibers from banana rachis with a fiber composition ranging from 18% to 40% wt.Thermal and themooxidative degradation properties of these composites were assessed. Thermal degradation of PU60 showed the highest polymer lifetime values.
TOWARDS QUALITY PRODUCTS FROM BIO-BASED PLASTICS
Rolf Koster, May 2008
The importance of three inter-dependent factors, i.e., (1) materials, (2) manufacturing, and (3) design and engineering, is generally recognized. All factors are indispensable and equally important for product development. Manufacturing is often the least structured factor and many designers and materials experts do not consider themselves capable to deal with it. Fortunately, expertise is sufficiently available and the best professionals are able to utilize plastics expertise properly in collaborative product development.
FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE USE OF DDGS PLASTIC COMPOSITES
David Grewell , Gowrishankar Srinivasan , Maria Baboi, May 2008
Recently, an increase in the demand for ethanol as a fuel additive has resulted in a dramatic increase in its coproducts namely distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS). This work studied a composite of DDGS and conventional petrochemical plastics (polyvinyl chloride) for applications in windows construction. The goal was to characterize the composite and its processibility for “green” plastics. The experiments showed that DDGS can be effectively extruded with PVC; at low filler levels (5- 10%) of DDGs strengthening of the PVC was seen. However, higher filler levels (>10%) of DDGS degraded the mechanical properties of PVC/DDGS composites. Also, ground DDGS perform better as reinforcement agents compared to standard DDGS. Caustic pretreatment was also studied and it was found not to effect the mechanical properties significantly. Also, the addition of PVA had little effect on the properties of the composite.
NEW LOW GLOSS POLYCARBONATE BLENDS FOR AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS
Marina Rogunova , Jim Mason , Robyn Francis, May 2008
Automotive original equipment manufacturers are consistently looking for low-gloss materials for interior applications that can stand up to years of wear and tear and environmental exposure yet maintain aesthetic quality without painting. Bayblend?? LGX 300 resin is specifically developed for automotive interior applications requiring a material that is inherently low in gloss with extra flowability, good weathering and good scratch and mar resistance. Another important attribute of Bayblend LGX 300 is its low-emission characteristic, which is particularly important as automotive manufacturers strive to reduce the levels of VOCs in their automobiles to improve the interior environment and meet federal regulations. Because LGX 300 resin is a low gloss, high-flow polycarbonate (PC) blend with good heat and impact performance; thin-wall part design can be achieved without painting.
NEW LOW GLOSS POLYCARBONATE BLENDS FOR AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS
Marina Rogunova , Jim Mason , Robyn Francis, May 2008
Automotive original equipment manufacturers are consistently looking for low-gloss materials for interior applications that can stand up to years of wear and tear and environmental exposure yet maintain aesthetic quality without painting. Bayblend® LGX 300 resin is specifically developed for automotive interior applications requiring a material that is inherently low in gloss with extra flowability good weathering and good scratch and mar resistance. Another important attribute of Bayblend LGX 300 is its low-emission characteristic which is particularly important as automotive manufacturers strive to reduce the levels of VOCs in their automobiles to improve the interior environment and meet federal regulations. Because LGX 300 resin is a low gloss high-flow polycarbonate (PC) blend with good heat and impact performance; thin-wall part design can be achieved without painting.
NOVEL NANOBIOCOMPOSITES WITH ANTIMICROBIAL AND BARRIER PROPERTIES OF INTEREST IN ACTIVE PACKAGING APPLICATIONS
M.D. Sanchez-Garcia , E. Gimenez , M.J. Ocio , J.M. Lagaron, May 2008
It is well-known that the nanocomposites technology can significantly enhance among others the thermal mechanical and barrier properties of plastics. It is also known that most bioplastics including the thermoplastic biopolymers have lower than desired levels for certain properties which makes their use in certain packaging applications problematic. The combination of active technologies such as antimicrobials and nanotechnologies such as nanocomposites can synergistically lead to bioplastic formulations with balanced properties and functionalities for their implementation in packaging applications. The present work presents the development and characterization of novel nanocomposites of polycaprolactone (PCL) with enhanced barrier properties and with controlled-release of biocide natural extracts.The antimicrobial nanocomposites of biodegradable materials were prepared in solution by a casting method.The morphology of the biocomposites was visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and by Atomic Force microscopy (AFM) the thermal properties were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and the solubility and kinetics of released biocide were determined by Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transformed Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. Water and limonene barrier properties were also enhanced in the biocomposites.
RESPONSIVE STARCH-BASED MATERIALS
J. L. Willett, May 2008
Starch a low-cost annually renewable resource is naturally hydrophilic and its properties change with relative humidity. Starchƒ??s hygroscopic nature can be used to develop materials which change shape or volume in response to environmental changes (eg humidity). For example starch-based graft copolymers have been produced using reactive extrusion for potential superabsorbent and hydrogel applications. Besides absorbing large quantities of water some of these copolymers display large volume changes in aqueous alcohol depending on solvent quality. Other examples include starch-poly(methyl acrylate) graft copolymer films which shrink at high humidities. Various levels of shrinkage can be triggered in response to changes in relative humidity. (AAm) and varying amounts of 2-acrylamido-2-methyl- 1-propane sulfonic acid (AMPS) display various degrees of swelling in aqueous solutions and approximately discontinuous volume changes in aqueous ethanol solutions over narrow ethanol concentrations. Blown films of starch-PMA graft copolymers display controlled shrinkage in response to increases in relative humidity.
SOLID STATE SHEAR PULVERIZATION AND CHEMICAL RECYCLING OF POLYMERS
Hossein Hosseini , Mohammad Mosaddegh , Behzad Shirkavand-Hadavand, May 2008
Solid state shear pulverization is a novel technology in polymer processing for production of new polymeric materials. By implementation of this technology various processes such as polymer recycling compounding and improving of mechanical-chemical properties of polymers can be enhanced. This is a continuous and one-stage process with low energy consumption. During this process polymers are subject to high pressure and shear forces. In this paper this technology and its applications to polymer processing is perused. At the end recycling of PET wastes by this technology is presented that have higher efficiency in comparison with existing methods.
TOWARDS QUALITY PRODUCTS FROM BIO-BASED PLASTICS
Rolf Koster, May 2008
The importance of three inter-dependent factors i.e. (1) materials (2) manufacturing and (3) design and engineering is generally recognized. All factors are indispensable and equally important for product development. Manufacturing is often the least structured factor and many designers and materials experts do not consider themselves capable to deal with it. Fortunately expertise is sufficiently available and the best professionals are able to utilize plastics expertise properly in collaborative product development. For bio-based plastics which are rapidly emerging in some specific markets it is already clear that the relation between the three factors is different and more varied than for the currently well-known plastics. Critical factors for increased successful application of bio-based plastics will be product manufacturing and the expectations of applicators and consumers. From interviewing a variety of professionals it was found that clear true and complete information is currently not accessible for most whereas some assumptions are not realistic or not correct particularly the ones related to degradability and to environmental effects. Better and well-structured information will be needed resulting in fulfillment of elementary consumer expectations.
Banana Fiber Composites for Automotive & Transportation Applications
Lina Herrera-Estrada, September 2008
The purpose of this work was to establish and optimize a process for the production of banana fiber reinforced composite materials with a thermoset suitable for automotive and transportation industry applications. Fiber surface chemical modifications and treatments were studied along with processing conditions for epoxy and eco-polyester banana fiber composites. Flexural tests show that banana fiber/eco-polyester composites have a higher flexural strength and modulus due to improved fiber/matrix interaction. Environmental tests were conducted and the compressive properties of the composites were evaluated before and after moisture absorption. The resulting banana fiber/epoxy composites were found to yield a flexural strength of 34.99 MPa and compressive strength of 122.11 MPa when alkaline pretreated with improved environmental exposure resistance. While the non alkaline pretreated banana fiber/polyester composites were found to yield a flexural strength of 40.16 MPa and compressive strength of 123.28 MPa with higher hygrothermal resistance than pretreated fiber composites with the same matrix.
E-Coat Sustainable Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Composites for Structural Automotive Applications
Raman Chaudhari, September 2008
Polypropylene and glass fibre (PP/GF) based Long Fibre Reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) are nowadays established as state of the art materials for semi-structural applications in the automotive industry. However PP/GF LFT materials are limited for producing automotive components for use in general assembly. The use of LFT based components for structural applications and their implementation directly into the body in white assembly is still a challenge for the automotive industry. In order to develop LFT materials for such applications a feasibility study to investigate the e-coating process sustainability of LFT materials was conducted. The current article addresses the developed LFT formulations and their basic mechanical properties. For this purpose polyamide / glass fibre (PA/GF) based LFT materials were thoroughly investigated. The change of mechanical performance of the LFT materials due to applied temperatures of the e-coating process was investigated by benchmarking of non-temperature-treated against tempered LFT specimens. In addition the combined influence of temperatures and chemicals on the LFT properties was evaluated by running the LFT specimens through the actual painting line that included e-coating and subsequent painting and drying processes. Finally it was found that it is possible to manufacture LFT parts capable of withstanding the e-coating process without causing major changes in the performance of the LFT materials.
Recent Developments in Renewable Resource-Based Resins
Darcy Culkin, September 2008
PowerPoint Presentation at ACCE 2008.
Samsung's Bioplastics for Automobiles
Brian Grosser, September 2008
PowerPoint Presentation at ACCE 2008.
High Performance Plastic Components for Engine Mount Applications
Hans-Juergen Karkosch, Holger Klink, September 2008
In the face of dwindling resources rising energy prices and increasing environmental pollution reductions in consumption and emissions are topics of increasing importance in all fields of technology. To achieve these goals specifically in the automotive industry new engine concepts are needed in connection with thorough-going implementation of lightweight construction. Whereas weight-optimized plastics components are already utilized in many vehicle subsystems and components steel and/or aluminum structures are usually used for load-bearing structural elements. This statement also applies fundamentally for the engine mounting subsystem. In this area plastics components have been used previously only for subordinate moderately loaded semi-components. Now for the first time a mechanically highly-loadable torque reaction mount has been conceived as a plastics structural part and implemented in the series production of a vehicle with a transverse-mounted engine. In addition to weight reduction it also helps create a more advantageous load distribution on the axles. Load reduction on the front axle has positive effects on driving dynamics and safety. The paper begins by stating fundamental requirements for components of engine mounting systems. The principle procedure in developing load-bearing plastics components includes the topics of integrative simulation laboratory component tests and in-vehicle testing.
Lightweight Structural Parts with Rigid Integral PUR Foams
Stephan Schleiermacher, September 2008
With climate change and the current situation regarding energy and environmental policy dominating the agenda car manufacturers are faced with the complex problem of drastically lowering the fuel consumption of their vehicles in order to reduce CO2 emissions. One way of tackling the problem is to pursue a consistent strategy of lightweight construction. Self-activated as well as thermally activated rigid integral polyurethane foams from BaySystems can help to realise reductions in weight. They are ideal for use in structural parts. The presentation covers some of their state of the art solutions and techniques followed by a vision of a new composite design for roof modules which combines the aforementioned polyurethanes and their processing technologies with a sprayed polyurethane barrier layer.
Natural Fibers Plastic Composites for Automotive Applications
Jay Amarasekera, September 2008
The use of natural fibers in composite plastics is gaining popularity in many areas and particularly the automotive industry. The use of natural fibers in polymers can provide many advantages over other filler technologies and areas of application appear limitless. The automotive industry is currently shifting to a “green” outlook as consumers are looking for environmentally friendly vehicles. Natural fibers are a renewable natural resource and are biodegradable which is an important characteristic for components that must be disposed of at the end of their useful life. They are recyclable and can be easily converted into thermal energy through combustion without leaving residue. Among the natural fibers with potential application as reinforcement for polymers curauá fiber is one that recently received special attention from researchers. Curauá is a plant from the Bromeliad family cultivated in the Brazilian Amazon region. The fiber is extracted from its leaves providing a high mechanical strength over traditional fibers like sisal jute and flax. We have developed thermoplastic composites using either curauá fiber or wood flour. These materials provided a lighter weight product with good physical properties and unique surface aesthetics. This paper reviews the properties of these bio composites in comparison with glass and mineral filled products. The products were tested in some automotive applications and the results will be discussed.
New Methods to Produce Reinforced Polyamide-6 for Improved Material Properties in Engineering Plastic Applications
Ab van Geenen, September 2008
Polyamide-6 is widely used in many mechanical applications also in automotive replacing more and more traditional materials such as metals thermosets and elastomers. Good process ability along with outstanding physical properties also long term stability under tough conditions and a high value recycling ability make this thermoplastic material also commercial interesting for new demanding machinery parts. A broad variety of materials is achieved by producing PA-6 “in situ” by anionic polymerisation of Caprolactam which can be performed on extruders on RIM machines or in different casting processes. Nano-Clay or Glass fiber reinforced granules short or long-glass fiber reinforced molded parts glass-mat reinforced manhole covers or wind turbine blades are some examples of Brüggemann’s AP-Nylon® Material applications completed by NYRIM® the wide range impact modified grades. This paper gives an overview of the new developments in this field we were involved in during the last 2 years.


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