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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.
ULTRASONIC CUTTING OF BIODEGRADABLE POLYLACTIC ACID (PLA) FILMS
Julius Vogel, David Grewell, May 2011
Ultrasonic cutting systems are employed with materials that are difficult to cut with standard mechanical systems. The cutting knife/edge typically vibrates at a frequency of 20-60 kHz, heating the substrate during the cutting and simultaneously sealing the cut edges. Polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable thermoplastic material derived from starch and sugar, is relatively brittle compared to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which has similar mechanical properties. This brittleness is problematic during mechanical cutting, which produces micro-cracks that further embrittle the material.
GASOLINE ABSORPTION AND MECHANICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER IN AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATION
Indah Widiastuti, Igor Sbarski, Syed Masood, May 2011
This paper evaluates the potential use of biodegradable polymer for fuel system components by considering operating conditions. Organic liquid diffusion into biodegradable polymer was observed by fuel immersion at various temperatures ranging from 5 to 50§C until the equilibrium condition was achieved. During the immersion time, mass uptake and length swelling were recorded periodically. The data were plotted for diffusion coefficient calculation at each temperature. Changes in mechanical properties were also investigated through tensile, flexural and impact testing. The results resemble the impact of gasoline absorption on biodegradable polymers when used for the under-hood components of a vehicle.
IMPROVING THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF POLYETHYLENE AND POLYPROPYLENE RECYCLED STREAMS USING POLYOLEFIN ELASTOMERS AND FUNCTIONALIZED POLYOLEFINS.
Laura Weaver, May 2011
The ability to be recycled is an important attribute for many plastics. By melting and reprocessing thermoplastics for re-use the carbon footprint can typically be reduced compared to the use of virgin materials. The benefits of incorporating recycle content into new and existing applications, however, must be tempered by the reality that recycled plastics may not have the same performance as virgin materials due to either 1) degradation by weathering/aging, 2) contamination, or 3) thermo-mechanical degradation from re-processing. To minimize these effects, it is important to understand the benefits of utilizing impact modifiers and compatibilizers.
INITIAL INVESTAGATION INTO THE USE OF SILICON DIOXIDE AS A FILLER IN ROTATIONAL MOULDING OF POLYETHYLENE
John Kissick, Gerry McNally, Alan Clarke, Paul Hanna, May 2011
Presented in this paper are the preliminary results from an experimental study on the use of rock, fines* which is mainly silicon dioxide as a filler in the rotationally moulded polyethylene products. The rock fines are a waste product from the Quarrying industry. Additive levels of up to 40% by weight were studied. Samples were made with and without a compatibilizer. It was found that acceptable parts were produced at these levels. The mechanical properties of the parts were tested and showed an increase in tensile modulus but a decrease in impact properties.
MANIPULATION OF POLYMERIC BIODEGRADATION CHARACTERISTICS BY VIBRATION ASSISTED INJECTION MOLDING
Burak Bekisli, John Rodgers, Qi Li, John Coulter, May 2011
The wide variety of biomedical applications employing biodegradable polymers requires a similarly wide range of biodegradation properties. In this study, a dynamic melt manipulation technique in injection molding has been investigated as a low cost, high volume manufacturing alternative to respond these requirements. The technique utilizes an additional oscillatory motion during injection molding to induce molecular alignment of polymer molecules in the final product. Preliminary experimental results have indicated that biodegradation process is dependent on these orientation levels and therefore polymeric medical devices with different degradation characteristics can be obtained simply by changing the manufacturing parameters.
MANUFACTURABILITY STUDY OF NANO-ENHANCED FIBER REINFORCED POLYMERIC COMPOSITES (FRPC)
Yunior Hioe, Jesse Guerra, Dante Guerra, Siva Movva, L. James Lee, Jose Castro, May 2011
One of the most environmentally friendly energy generation methods is wind power. In order to compete favorably with the cost of traditional energy generation methods, the wingspan needs to increase from current dimensions. For this to occur, taking advantage of new material developments in nano-reinforced composites is essential. The use nanoparticles have shown improvement in mechanical properties of FRPC. Understanding the manufacturability of these processes is critical, especially during VARTM. Understanding the factors affecting the flow through porous media and the inherent material properties, such as permeability and viscosity, of these nano-enhanced FPRC was the objective herein.
MECHANICAL PROPERTIES AND DEGRADATION OF COMMERICAL BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC BAGS
Jonathan Buckley, Amelia Halliday, Antonio Lewis, Dax Druminski, Satya Shivkumar, May 2011
The properties of six biodegradable commercial plastic bags, including BioBag, Flushdoggy, Green Genius, Oxobiodegradable, Rascodog, and World Centric, were examined. Most of the bags exhibited mechanical properties similar to traditional bags. One bag that had extensively higher properties was the Flushdoggy bag, which is based on PVA. All the bags generally start to degrade thermally at around 400C. Exposure to UV light did not have much of an effect on tensile properties. UV radiation, moisture, and weathering all had little effect on thermal degradation. Oxo-biodegrable and Flushdoggy became especially brittle after accelerated aging, although Flushdoggy still exhibited strong tensile properties.
NEW ENVIRONMENTALLY PROGRESSIVE POLYESTER and POLYESTER/POLYCARBONATE FR RESINS
Tianhua Ding, Rama Konduri, Rodney Fonseca, Chris Van der Weele, Shun Wan, May 2011
New family of ENH flame retardant PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) and PBT/PC(polycarbonate) thermoplastic resins developed is aimed at helping electrical/electronics (E/E) manufacturers and suppliers comply with regulations restricting use and disposal of hazardous substances. The non-chlorinated, non-brominated FR PBT and PBT/PC products deliver similar mechanical, physical, thermal and flame retardant performance compared with their brominated FR based counterparts. Some of those resin properties will be discussed in this publication.
pH AND TIME DEPENDENT HYDROLYTIC DEGRADATION OF BIOPLASTICS FROM RENEWABLE MONOMERS
Matthew Rowe, Ersan Eylier, Keisha Walters, May 2011
Two renewable copolymers, poly(trimethylene malonate) (PTM) and poly(trimethylene itaconate) (PTI), have been produced with ester bonds incorporated into the polymer backbone to facilitate hydrolytic and/or enzymatic degradation. A hydrolytic degradation study of these renewable polymers in aqueous solutions adjusted to pH values is described. Final weight loss varied from 20 to 37 wt% for PTM and from 7 to 21 wt% for PTI as a function of aging time and initial solution pH. Degraded samples were characterized by FTIR, GPC, DSC, and TGA. PTI showed a slower degradation rate than PTM.
PHYSICAL PROPERTY RETENTION OF EXTERIOR AUTOMOTIVE MOLD-IN-COLOR PLASTICS AFTER UV EXPOSURE
H. Banyay, May 2011
To reduce manufacturing costs and address environmental issues, coatings free Mold-In-Color plastics are now replacing coated plastics. This paper will explore the physical property retention / weathering performance of various Mold-In-Color plastics used for exterior trim. Exposed specimens are analyzed for their change in physical properties then analyzed for change in surface chemistry via infrared spectroscopy and surface topography. It is concluded that some plastics containing styrene experience a change in physical properties and surface chemistry upon UV expose while other materials like PMMA acrylic retain their original performance.
RECYCLED POLYMERS FOR SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION IN INFRASTRUCTURE
P.V. Vijay, GangaRao Hota, Siddalingesh Kalligudd, May 2011
Use of recycled thermoplastic polymer composites for manufacturing and evaluation of structural products as a sustainable solution is discussed in this paper. Durability (aging) evaluations of those polymers have also been carried out to predict their service life. Specifically, ABS polymers were reinforced with 4%, 7% and 12% fiber volume fractions of bi-directional glass fabric (fabric density: 407 gm/sq. mtr. or 12 oz per sq. yard) and were evaluated. Research results indicate the significant potential of recycled polymer composites for different applications with the use of continuous glass fabrics.
SEALANT RESINS BASED ON ETHYLENE COPOLYMERS CONTAINING BIOSOURCED MODIFIERS
Donna Visioli, John Chen, May 2011
Ethylene ionomers, such as Surlyn from DuPont, have long been used as packaging sealants because of their good mechanical properties and formability combined with excellent seal strength over a wide sealing temperature range, seal integrity in the presence of contamination, and hot tack. Ionomers can be modified with biosourced additives, such as fatty acids to modify their mechanical and barrier properties. In this paper we discuss blending these recently developed ionomers with commercially available ethylene copolymers to achieve films containing 20% -40% renewable content having a good balance of sealant and mechanical properties.
SEMICRYSTALLINE POLYAMIDE ENGINEERING THERMOPLASTICS BASED ON THE RENEWABLE MONOMER, 1,9-NONANE DIAMINE
Alex Kugel, Jie He, James Bahr, Mohammed Nasrullah, Bret Chisholm, May 2011
A series of poly(1,9-nonamethylene adipamide-co-1,9-nonamethylene terephthalamide) copolymers were produced using melt polymerization and the thermal properties and crystal structure characterized. The results obtained confirmed that the copolymers exhibit isomorphism. As expected, glass transition temperature and the apparent melting temperature increased with increasing terephthalmide content. Using the difference in the apparent melting temperature to the crystallization temperature as a measure of relative crystallization rate, it was observed that crystallization rate decreased as the terephthalamide content of the copolymer was increased from 0 to 50 mole percent but then sharply increased when increased beyond 50 mole percent.
SOLID AND MICROCELLULAR RECYCLED POLY(ETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE) (PET) BLENDS WITH CHAIN EXTENDERS (CE) AND NANOCLAY
Yottha Srithep, Lih-Sheng Turng, May 2011
Recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) (RPET) chain extender (CE) and nanoclay were prepared via conventional and microcellular injection molding processes. The effects of CE loading levels and the simultaneous addition of nanoclay on the thermal and mechanical properties and cell morphology of the microcellular components were noted. The addition of 1.3 wt% CE enhanced the tensile properties and viscosity of RPET. The higher amount of CE (at 3 wt%) enhanced the viscosity, but margin of improvement in mechanical properties diminished. While the solid RPET and CE blends were fairly ductile, the samples with nanoclay and all microcellular specimens showed brittle fractural behavior.
SUSTAINABILITY IN REINFORCED AND UNFILLED POLY (PHENYLENE-ETHER) BASED THERMOPLASTIC ELASTOMERS
Samik Gupta, Ashok Menon, Anil Bhowmick, May 2011
Recycling of unfilled and reinforced poly (phenylene ether) (PPE) based thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) was studied in detail. Improvement in mechanical properties upon recycling of the unfilled quaternary blend comprising of styrene-ethylene-butyllene-styrene (SEBS)/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)/PPE-PS (polystyrene) was correlated with the formation of crosslinked network. PPE based TPEs have been reinforced by incorporating nanofillers and with the formation of crosslinkinked TPEs or thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs). This study also provided an in-depth conceptual understanding of the recycle behavior PPE based TPE behavior upon reinforcement with silica nanoparticles and silica sol-gel precursors.
THE EFFECT OF BROAD ORTHOGONAL COMPOSITION DISTRIBUTION ON ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS CRACK RESISTANCE IN POLYETHYLENE
Arnold Lustiger, May 2011
Environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR) is a critical mechanical property for polyethylene in injection and rotational molding applications. Based on a very well characterized matrix of materials with widely varying densities and melt index, we have looked at broad orthogonal composition distribution (BOCD) as a means of improving ESCR without the processability and stiffness debits. Through blending high melt index, high density components with low density, low melt index components to a target MI/ density, ESCR improvements of up to two orders of magnitude are evident over their single component counterparts.
THE EFFECT OF TESTING PARAMETERS ON THE FUNCTIONAL IMPACT RESISTANCE OF UPVC COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS
Liam Driscoll, Joshua Anthony, Akshay Agarwal, May 2011
The testing of plastics has become decidedly different and as technology improves, it is necessary to evaluate the accuracy of results based on testing methods, particularly when functional durability is critical. The research discussed in this paper focuses on the effect of changing test parameters in relation to the falling dart impact test, more commonly referred to as the Gardner impact test (ASTM D5420). The drop weight protocol accommodates real geometries and reflects environmental conditions including temperature and percent relative humidity, as well as end-use impacting speeds but is affected by tup weight, probe diameter, and support ring.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS CRACKING RESISTANCE OF POLY-CARBONATE AS AN RESULT OF PROCESSING CONDITIONS AND INNER PROPERTIES
Christian Hopmann, Walter Michaeli, Andre Potthoff, May 2011
Environmental stress cracking is the most common failure reason of plastic parts. The influence of the processing conditions e.g. of the injection molding process on the environmental stress cracking resistance has not been investigated yet. Therefore several tests are carried out at the IKV. Test specimens are injection molded with different parameters for melt temperature, mold temperature and injection rate. These parameter variations cause variable inner properties of the molded parts. The environmental stress cracking resistance of specimens with different inner properties differs in a wide range. The results are discussed in detail.
THE PREDICTION OF INJECTION MOULDED PRODUCT MASS THROUGH PROCESS SIGNALS
Umar Mohammad, Leigh Mulvaney-Johnson, Russell Speight, Phil Coates, May 2011
The injection moulding process has a complicated set of process parameters and is subject to variations over time resulting from material, environmental and machine component changes. In order to maintain product quality it has been proven that monitoring the process signals is beneficial towards identifying possible changes in the moulded product. Here, the process signals (melt pressure, temperature and screw displacement) are utilised along with material pressure-specific volume-temperature (pvT) characteristics to estimate the moulded product mass. The successful validation of this method presented over a range of processing conditions.
THERMAL AND MECHANICAL PROPERTY OF PLA STEREOCOMPLEX WITH IMPACT MODIFIERS
Bumsuk Lee, Byoung-Uk Nam, Dongseok Jeong, Miok Jang, ChaeHwan Hong, May 2011
Polylactide, polyester derived from renewable resources, can be synthesized using either L-lactide or D-lactide. A unique crystallization behavior of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA)/poly(D-lactide) (PDLA) stereocomplex(SC) was observed when a PLLA/PDLA blend was subjected to the specific melting conditions. Therefore, we tried to blend PLLA and PDLA at overall compositions to form PLA stereocomplexes. Moreover, impact modifier was added to enhance the mechanical properties such as impact strength. The presence of the SC in the PLLA matrix was verified by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Thermal and mechanical property of stereocomplexes were investigated by DSC, HDT, Izod impact tester, UTM.


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