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.
Blended Meat and Bone Meal Bio-plastic and Polyethylene Sheets: Enhanced Moisture Resistance and Mechanical Properties
Sam Lukubira, Amod A. Ogale, May 2013

Bioplastic sheets made from plasticized meat and bone meal (MBM) protein have high water vapor permeability (WVP) and low mechanical properties that are further affected by environmental humidity. This paper describes the improvement of tensile properties and moisture resistance of the sheets by two routes: (i) chemical crosslinking of the protein with calcium ions and (ii) blending with a synthetic polyethylene. The calcium ions led to a rigid glassy state of the modified MBM with 4 and 6 times higher tensile strength and modulus, respectively, but no significant improvement in WVP. Blending of polyethylene with MBM significantly improved moisture resistance and tensile properties.

Chain Extension of Virgin and Recycled Poly(Ethylene Terephthalate): Rapid Estimate of Molecular Weight Increase
Eduardo L. Canedo, Izarelle S. Duarte, Daniela L. Andrade, Laura H. Carvalho, Suedina L. Silva, May 2013

This work is concerned with the determination of changes in molar masses of virgin and recycled PET resulting from the action of a chain extender additive compounded in a laboratory internal mixer, based on the processing data provided by the mixer, without further analysis. Results obtained show that the additive increases the molecular weight of both, virgin and recycled PET. Actual values depend on the amount of additive used and processing conditions. The additive tested is more efficient increasing the molar mass of the virgin versus the recycled resin (more additive is needed to obtain the same relative increase).

Challenges in Qualification of Open Loop Post Consumer Recycle Polystyrene for its use in Engineering Thermoplastics
Kirti Sharma, Roshan Jha, Michael Todt, May 2013

Polyphenylene Ether (PPE) is an engineering thermoplastic resin usually blended with polystyrene (PS) [crystal polystyrene (CCPS) and or High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)] to improve properties including the processability. The overall performance of the resulting Noryl™ resin is highly dependent on the quality of the PS. This study presents some of the challenges involved in qualifying open loop PCR PS and key factors that could have affected their performance due to the recycle history and contaminations of the raw material compared to the virgin PS. PCR HIPS properties were simulated by recycling & spiking virgin HIPS with the contaminations.

Characteristic of High Performance Biomass Plastic (Effect of Compounding Screw Geometry and Wood Particle Size)
Ying Yu, Yu Q. Yang, Manabu Nomura, Tomoko Ota, Toshikazu Umemura, Hiroyuki Hamada, May 2013

Filler reinforced thermoplastics especially for natural filler reinforced plastics have been frequently used to improve the physical and thermal properties of polymer materials in plastic industry due to their low density, low cost and environmental friendliness. At current study, a preliminary investigation on the mechanical properties and morphologies of polypropylene (PP) reinforced by wood powder were carried out. Two different compounding screws with different mixing sections were used to evaluate the effect of compounding screw geometry on the appearance and mechanical properties of cellulose/PP composites since the screw section geometry has an effect on the final mixing condition of filler/matrix, filler damage and scorch. Additionally, the effect of wood particle size on the mechanical properties of wood/PP composites was also evaluated based on the tensile and Izod impact tests. The reflection-type optical microscope and scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation on the specimen surfaces were used to discuss the powder distribution degrees and interface properties.

Characterization of Rice Husks for Potential Development of Biopolymers
Ziyong Chen, Shivkumar Satya, May 2013

Rice husk is a major biomass that is abundant, renewable and thus is promising material for the development of biodegradable polymers. The physical structure of rice husks between two different varieties of long grain rice has been evaluated in this study. The results show that the wall of the rice husk consists of 3 different layers with full and hollow fibers with different orientations. The fibers consist predominantly of cellulose and hemicellulose. Rice husk also contains about 10% moisture and about 20- 25% silica. The different varieties of rice husk have a similar structure, but different thicknesses of various layer and different diameters for the fibers. Silica is concentrated mostly in the outer layer and is the main reason why rice husks need to be modified before they can be used to develop biodegradable polymers or employed as reinforcing agents in other polymers.

Chemical Aging of Elastomers Under Different Environmental Conditions
Nabila Rabanizada, May 2013

The use of elastomer components in technical fields is enormously increasing. Elastomers can be used in a wide spectrum of applications including automotive-, machin-ery- and plant engineering, as well as in marine and civil engineering areas. Due to their properties regarding form-ability, workability, flexibility and adhesion, also the research activities are increasingly rising. In particular, the exploration of the aging behavior of polymers is getting more and more attention. With respect to literature, only a few experimental studies are dealing with the aging behavior of elastomers. Experience has shown that the properties of rubber materials can change significantly over time. The field of chemical aging is of particular importance due to the changes of the molecular structure and the cross-linking of the material during the aging process. These changes may in fluence a variety of properties such as weight, tensile and flexural strength. For more accurate predictions regarding the life time of an elastomeric component, all environmental factors need to be thoroughly experimentally investigated. In the light of these statements, more research activities concerning the long-term behavior of elastomers are nec- essary. This is the point where the present contribution attaches. We investigate natural rubber under different environmen-tal conditions. Therefore, we use air, seawater, distilled water, freshwater and salt solutions of 6%, 12% and 24%. The elastomer specimensare exposed to the medium and then aged by using different isothermal temperatures of 23°C, 60°C and 80°C. At predetermined aging times the samples are taken out of the medium and are experimen-tally investigated. Therefore, mechanical, calorimetrical and optical experiments are performed. The evaluated data is pointing out that the material is changing its properties during the aging time. Both soften-ing and stiffening effects can be observed relating to the environmental condition.

Novel Poly (Lactic Acid) Based Emulsion
Naoko Oda, Hideki Tanaka, May 2013

ANTEC 2013 Technical Paper - Biodegradable and biomass base polymers are gaining attention from the view of environmental concern. In this report, novel poly (lactic acid) based multibranched polymers self-emulsified in 100 % water are described.

Conformal Cooling Simulation for the Plastic Injection Molding Process Duke Energy Convention Center Cincinnati, Ohio April 22-24, 2013 4SPE 13 Church Hill Rd Newtown, CT 06470 USA P: +1 203-77
Clinton Kietzmann, Lu Chen, Franco Costa, May 2013

Modern injection mold manufacturing technologies allow internal cooling channels to be made to any shape that follow the precise geometry of the part in the mold. This aids in creating a uniform temperature distribution in the part by targeting hot spots on the part surface with arbitrary shaped cooling channels in the mold. Ultimately these result in better quality parts, shortened cycle times, reduced waste and cost reductions. Simulation of these processes requires a fully transient, three- dimensional (3-D), time dependent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solution in these conformal cooling channels. This paper presents the further development of a (3-D) finite element based transient mold cooling simulation capability to include a solution for solving the 3-D flow in cooling channels. This new capability forms part of a future release of Autodesk Moldflow Simulation.

Creating Sustainable Growth by Incorporating Sustainable Development Behavior in Supplier Selection
Larry Nitardy, May 2013

As we work to make our companies more sustainable, it’s necessary to evaluate not only ourselves but also those we select to help us achieve an improved “triple bottom line”. Our vendors and suppliers today will need to be collaborative partners tomorrow if we want to achieve more impactful financial, societal and environmental results. To evaluate a potential sustainable collaborator, consider a teachable, measurable and repeatable process that outlines the questions and judges the responses; then look for potential suppliers that have an observable culture of sustainable development and continuous improvement. You should be able to witness their culture in action when dealing with company officials and representatives. There are clear signs for companies with sustainable development cultures. When they are combined with a set of stewardship behaviors that drive sustainability, they make great suppliers. We have identified seven distinct stewardship behaviors that can be broken down into contributors to the Triple Bottom Line aspirations of every company focused on their on sustainable growth. For the environmental bottom line, consider “touch”; for societal goals, consider the behaviors such as “teach, treat and tout”; and for the profit driver, focus on behavior resources such as “time, talent and treasure”. These seven behaviors have attributes that can, and should be evaluated and measured as we chose our suppliers. In our presentation, we take a look at each separately to give us insight into the complete value a supplier can deliver.

Crosslinkable Polyolefin for Rotational Molding with Improved Processibility
Wenbin Liang, May 2013

Crosslinked plastic parts demonstrate prominent performance advantages over the non-crosslinked articles for a wide array of applications. New crosslinkable polyethylene compositions were recently developed which showed outstanding processibility and excellent thermal and mechanical properties, such as increased impact strength, high modulus, and enhanced environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR). The advancement in balance of melt processibility and solid properties is ideally suited for the rotational molding process, opening opportunities to produce high-performance end-use products, including sporting boat, large agricultural and chemical containers, all-plastic cars, and other outdoor products.

Design of an Innovate and Recycle Float-Valve System by Using CAD/CAE/LCA Tools
Mariangel Berroterán, Maria V. Candal Pazos, Nelson Colls, May 2013

Due to the growing worldwide interest in tasks such as environment preservation and recycling, a model of float-valve system for domestic water tanks has been proposed. It considers in its design, the use of an urban waste product such as PET bottles, as the floating device of the mentioned mechanism, having as main idea to contribute with environment care. If the new design is compared with known commercial models, it could be considered as innovative due the reutilization of plastics wastes. At the same time, the system functionality is preserved, and the final parts are easy to fabricate at low cost. Also, the estimation of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the system shows that the proposed design could be catalogued as environmental friendly.

Deterioration Mechanistic Evaluation of PET Film
Takahiro Hayashi, Hideo Hirabayashi, Akinori Iguchi, Kazushi Yamada, Hiroyuki Nishimura, May 2013

In recent years, the solar photovoltaic system has been attracted rising attention as an important power source in the viewpoint of environmental problems and other global issues. However, there are some problems in terms of durability of the each part. The back-sheet consisted of PET multi-layer films plays an important role to prevent moisture from outside into the main-board of the solar photovoltaic system. It is very important to investigate the durability of the back-sheet in order to maintain the usage of this system. In this research, we tried to evaluate the mechanical properties of PET films by applying the accelerated deterioration test. The durability was discussed on the basis of the results of the tensile test, the FT-IR measurement, and the SEM observation.

Developing Polymer/Ceramic Scaffolds via Thermally Induced Phase Separation for Bone Tissue Engineering
Rosa Akbarzadeh, Matthew Hagen, Amy Yousefi, May 2013

Biodegradable polymers are used to fabricate porous scaffolds for tissue engineering. Among different scaffold fabrication techniques, thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) is valuable because of producing highly porous scaffolds with interconnected structures. The effect of adding hydroxyapatite (HA) to poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds as well as other TIPS parameters was investigated in this study. The ultimate goal is to fabricate porous scaffolds that are mechanically functional, while they provide the desired porosity and pore interconnectivity for cell migration, cell growth, and transport of oxygen and nutrients.

Sustainability and Plastic Technology
Maggie Baumann, Bonnie Bachman, Shristy Bashyal, May 2013

Sustainability principles are becoming associated with best practices. This paper will cover results of a 2011 survey and implications for Sustainability in the plastics industry. We will also present a few examples from the Plastics Industry that illustrate the principles of sustainability in practice.

Eco-friendly Bio-based Adhesive Tapes made from Biomass Materials
Brett Herrick, Tetsuo Inoue, Shigeki Ishiguro, Satomi Yoshie, Akiko Tanaka, Hiroki Senda, Hitoshi Takahira, May 2013

There are some bio-based plastic films however some properties of the films should be modified to use as adhesive tape film and adhesive compound materials should be designed. We improved film properties by adjusting the sheeting process. Regarding the film, it was confirmed that poly lactic acid (PLA) film, which has good heat resistance and tear strength, was obtained by using the calendar sheeting process. On the other side, low glass transition temperature materials and crosslinking materials were selected and formulated for adhesive polymers. Developed bio-based adhesive tape was evaluated and compared to conventional acrylic adhesive tape, and comparable properties were obtained. In addition, in the case of surface protection tape, it indicated enhanced properties. We can introduce Eco-friendly Bio-based Adhesive Tape made from biomass materials.

Effect of D-content on CO2 solubility in PLA
Syed H. Mahmood, Chul B. Park, May 2013

The pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) behavior of Poly Latcic Acid (PLA) with dissolution of CO2 was investigated using an in-house visualization device; experiments were carried out at 453 K and 473 K, and pressure was varied from 6.894 MPa to 20.684 MPa. The results indicate that as the temperature increases, the swelling decreases, whereas an increase in pressure results in an increase in swelling. The effect of molecular weight (Mw) on swelling volume was also investigated by experimenting on different grades of PLA with varying Mw. The result is that molecular weight does not have a pronounced effect on swelling volume. The effect of talc on swelling ratio was observed by the addition of 5% talc content in PLA 3001D. A comparison was made between theoretical and experimental swelling volume ratios; the theoretical data was obtained using SS-EOS and SL-EOS.

Effect of Extensive Recycling on Flow Properties of LDPE
Huiying Jin, Joamin Gonzalez-Gutierrez, Pavel Oblak, Barbara Zupan?i?, Igor Emri, May 2013

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) was exposed to one hundred (100) consecutive extrusion cycles to simulate the process of mechanical recycling. Collected samples were characterized by means of melt flow index measurements and small amplitude oscillatory measurements to investigate flow properties. The results suggest that thermal degradation and gelation of LDPE occur after extensive extrusion which leads to simultaneous chain scission and crosslinking of the polymer chains. However, after 40 extrusions crosslinking is more dominant than chain scission. Rheological observations were confirmed by solubility studies that showed a pronounced increase in insoluble fraction after 40 extrusion cycles. This indicates that the technological parameters should be modified when processing recycled LDPE, particularly after 40 extrusion cycles.

Effect of mixing time and temperature on the rheology and morphology of immiscible polymer blends prepared from polytrimethylene terephthalate [PTT] and polyamide 6,10 [PA6,10]. Kevin Lucero, Marissa
Kevin Lucero, Marissa Tierno, Richard L. Lehman, Giorgiana Giancola, May 2013

Thermoplastic immiscible polymer blends were prepared from polytrimethylene terephthalate [PTT] and polyamide 6,10 [PA6,10] by melt processing in a Brabender mixer to assess morphology developed between the immiscible domains. PTT and PA6,10 were selected as a pair of engineering polymers with complementary properties and as a blend prepared to significant extent from bio-based precursors. Overall, a 50/50 blend of these polymers has a renewable content of nearly 50%. The overall objective is to develop an engineering blend with good stiffness, strength, and dimensional stability while simultaneously being easy to process. In the present phase of the work, blend homogeneity was studied as a function of mixing time and temperature in the range of t=0-25 minutes and T=240-260 C. Results are presented in terms of torque versus time and temperature curves that are interpreted in terms of domain formation and SEM micrographs are used to define domain size and overall morphology.

Effect of Molding Conditions on the Weld Line Property of Injection Molded Jute/PP Composites
Wang Cuntao, Yang Yuqiu, Hamada Hiroyuki, May 2013

Jute fiber is of not only low density and good mechanical property but also natural and degradable property. On the other hand, recyclable Polypropylene (PP) was also good choice for environmental friendly material. Injection molding is one of the most important processes to manufacture plastic composites because it is of high quality products with low cost. However, weld lines are unavoidable when two separate melt fronts rejoin during injection molding. The presence of weld lines not only detracts from the surface quality but also significantly reduces the mechanical strength of injection- molded parts. Although it is not always easy to completely eliminate weld lines, the weld line strength could be improved through suitable adjustment of molding conditions such as melt temperature, mold temperature, hold pressure, injection speed, and so on. Therefore, in this paper the weld line property of injection molded jute/PP dumbbell shape specimen was investigated. Pultrusion technique was adopted to fabricate jute/PP long fiber pellets (LFT) and the re-compound pellets of LFT, i.e. RP was made to improve the fiber distribution. Then LFT, RP were used to mold dumbbell shape specimens with or without weld line. In particular, the influence of back pressure and holding pressure on weld line strength of injection molded jute/PP dumbbell shape specimens was discussed based on tensile test and SEM observation.

Effect of Poly(Butylene Adipate-Co-Terephthalate) Contents on Crystallization and Mechanical Properties of Polymer Blends of Poly(Lactic Acid) and Poly[(Butylene Succinate)-Co-Adipate]
Sommai Pivsa-Art, Sorapong Pavasupree, Narongchai O-Charoen, Supaphorn Thumsorn, Weraporn Pivsa-Art, May 2013

The effect of poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) contents on crystallization and mechanical properties of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(butylene succinate-co-adipate) (PBSA) blend was studied. PLA and PBSA were blended in a twin screw extruder, which incorporated PBAT as a ternary component in PLA/PBSA blend. The ratio of PLA/PBSA was set at 80/20. The contents of PBAT were varied from 0 to 50 wt%. The thermal properties and crystallization behavior of PLA/PBSA/PBAT blends were analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry. The effect of PBAT contents on non-isothermal crystallization kinetic of the composites was investigated by using Avrami equation. Tensile modulus and tensile strength of the PLA/PBSA blends decreased when increasing PBAT contents. It can be noted that the addition of 20 wt% PBAT showed the maximum impact performance of the PLA/PBSA blends.

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