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.
Enhanced crystallization of polylactide by adding a multiamide compound
A multiamide nucleating agent, N,N',N"- -tricyclohexyl-1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylamide, promotes the nucleation process of polylactide and further accelerates its overall crystallization rate.
Improving biodegradable polymer nanocomposites
Adding silica nanoparticles to poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) by melt compounding makes it stronger but more brittle.
Kenaf-fiber-reinforced copolyester biocomposites
Alkali-treated kenaf fibers improve the thermal and mechanical properties of an aliphatic-aromatic copolyester resin.
Porous scaffolds based on poly(L-lysine)/microcrystalline cellulose biocomposite
The unique features of poly(L-lysine) and microcrystalline cellulose combine to produce a more stable material for tissue-engineering scaffolds.
Improved biodegradability and mechanical properties of modified starch blends
Poly(lactic acid) is an efficient way to reduce cost and improve the attributes of starch blends.
Toward better treatment for clogged arteries
Bioresorbable composites prepared for mechanical performance are promising candidates as cardiovascular stent material.
Thermally stable biopolymer for tissue scaffolds
Modifying poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) with acryloyloxyethyl isocyanate increases the thermal decomposition temperature by 27°C and improves its mechanical properties.
Uniquely identifying polymer composite domains using energy-dispersive spectroscopy
Discriminating between microscopic regions of component polymers that have chemically similar structures enables characterization of the phase-inversion composition of a biobased immiscible blend.
A METHOD FOR THE EVALUATION OF RESPIRATORS IN A NANORICH ENVIRONMENT
Nanostructures have been a topic of great scientific interest for the past several decades for the possibility of their use in enhanced composites. However, the precautions for the safe use of these low bulk density materials are commonly overlooked. The airborne release of these materials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and nanoclays, into the air during compounding is inevitable. In conventional polymer processing these fillers pose a potential threat until they are encapsulated in a polymer matrix. This occurs while transporting or feeding nanostructures into the process. Typically, the operator uses a respirator to avoid inhaling nanostructures into the body that escape engineering controls and it is therefore important to investigate how efficient these respirators are at capturing these airborne materials. To carry out this study, a special device was built to simulate the dynamic breathing process of air inhalation to determine the permeation of nanostructures through various respirators of different safety ratings. This will provide new information concerning the environmental impact of nanostructures in the prevention of exposure to human beings of airborne nanostructures.
A NEW POLYPROPYLENE/CLAY NANOCOMPOSITE FOR REPLACEMENT OF ENGINEERING PLASTICS IN AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATION
Polypropylene matrix nanocomposites reinforced with organoclay are investigated and their ability to replace some polyamide automotive parts is evaluated. This is so interesting from industrial point of view because of cost saving and ease of processing and recycling. This work is focused on different nanocomposite systems, which are PP/nanoclay, and PP/PA/nanoclay. Also the effect of compatibilizer is presented here. Structures of these systems are studied by using WAXD, TEM and SEM. Mechanical properties of specimens are studied using uniaxial tensile test. As it will be demonstrated, nanoclay sheets tend to disperse in PA particles. On the other hand, introducing nanoclay into PP/PA blends is proven to have a significant effect on the shape and size of PA particles. In addition, incorporation of nanoclay and compatibilizer into PP matrix directly affected the elastic modulus and yield strength, respectively. Finally, it is observed that among different formulations, PP/PA/nanoclay with PP-g-MA shows the most similar mechanical properties in comparison to neat PA. Based on these results, an automotive part (hubcap which is usually made from PA) was manufactured and its performance investigated in service situations as a case study. Automotive manufacturers' standards were considered and all results were satisfactory.
A STUDY ON RECYCLING OF POLYHYDROXYBUTYRATE (PHB) COPOLYMER AND ITS EFFECT ON MATERIAL PROPERTIES.
This study focuses on the ability of PHB copolymer to be processed a number of times and use of different virgin to regrind ratios. This work studied the effect of regrind levels and heat history on material properties of PHB Copolymer. The material was recycled for 10 regrind generations and also was studies for 7 regrind ratios with virgin material. 79% reduction in viscosity and 10% reduction in ultimate tensile strength were observed for 10 regrind generation. Also a drop of 5% was observed in the viscosity and ultimate tensile strength with a 50:50 virgin to regrind ratio.
A STUDY ON THE ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE OF BIO-BASED COMPOSITE FOAMS OF PLA AND PHBV
Bio-based foams are the solution to environmental concerns regarding petrochemical-based foams. However, bio-based foams possess weak structure. To increase the potential of replacing current petrochemical foams, mechanical characteristics of bio-based foams need to be improved. This paper studies the effect of blending two bio-based polymers on mechanical and acoustic properties of resulting polymer composite foams. Blends of Polylactide (PLA) and polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate (PHBV) were foamed and characterized in terms of acoustic, mechanical properties and foam morphology.
BIO- ACRYLONITRILE BUTADIENE STYRENE (BIO-ABS): CREATING A NEW GREEN POLYMER THROUGH MELT BLENDING
In this paper, the method for design of a bio-based green material for use in electronics applications is discussed. The aim is substitution of currently used petroleum-based acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) with a bio-based polymer blend of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and ABS. In this method, polymers will be melt blended and extruded to test their thermal and mechanical properties. The goal is to achieve performance of the blend equal or better to currently used ABS, as well as be a cost competitive alternative.
A STUDY ON THE PERCOLATION AND DEFORMATION MECHANISM OF POLY(BUTADIENE ADIPATE-CO-TEREPHTHALATE)-LAYERED SILICATE NANOCOMPOSITES
Poly(butadiene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) is a biodegradable polymer that is used in film applications due to its exceptional elongational properties. Nanoclays such as organically-modified layered silicates are used in an increasing number of applications to improve mechanical, thermal and barrier properties of films. This work aims to elucidate the deformation mechanism and the effects of incorporating a modified MMT clay into PBAT at various clay loading through viscoelastic and tensile measurements, XRD and TEM imaging.
ALL GREEN STRUCTURAL COMPOSITES FROM KENAF FIBER AND POLY(FURFURYL ALCOHOL)
The search for natural resource based composites for a spectrum of commercially viable “green products” is drawing a great importance in recent time. In this regard, natural fibers have become an attractive substitute for synthetic glass fibers in polymer composite systems. The natural fibers have advantages such as lower cost, eco- friendly nature, biodegradability, high specific strength, and good mechanical properties as compared to glass fiber. Amongst the biobased matrices, poly(furfuryl alcohol) (PFA), possesses high chemical and heat resistance properties. This makes it suitable for chemical resistance, corrosion resistant and heat stable type applications. As such, an overview of the recent development of PFA based natural fiber composites in terms of their overall properties and their future prospective is evaluated in this work.
COMPARATIVE STUDY OF WOOD-PLASTIC COMPOSITES BASED ON BIODEGRADABLE POLYMERS
This research was performed to compare mechanical properties of wood-plastic composites based on PLA and PLA/PBS blend. Wood-plastic composites were prepared by melt compounding 70 wt% plastics; PLA, PLA/PBS 70:30 wt% blend, or PP; and 30 wt% pine wood fibers. A suitable coupling agent was used to improve compatibility between polymer matrix and wood fibers. Tensile, flexural, impact and fracture toughness were evaluated and compared. Phase dispersion and interfacial adhesion was studied by SEM.
ANALYSIS OF NANOSTRUCTURES SYNTHESIZED BY USING RESIDUAL SOLIDS FROM WASTED TIRES AS CARBON SOURCE
This paper focuses on the synthesis and morphological characterization of carbon nanostructures obtained from the decomposition of residual solids waste tire (RSWT) in quartz tubes under reduced pressure (1.33 Pa) at 900 °C for 15 minutes. The synthesis exhibits, principally the formation of two phases: the first a fragmented solid black powder constituted by multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), onion-type fullerenes and spheres, the second a very bright metallic dark film. Analysis by microscopy (SEM and TEM) showed that the MWCNTs had an average diameter of approximately 25 nm and a length greater than 100 nm while the diameter of onion-type fullerenes was found to be 8 nm. The nanospheres showed different diameters, from 500 nm to 1.5 ?m and some have a metallic core surrounded by layers of carbon. The infrared spectra of the nanotubes exhibited absorption bands at 1631 and 1458 cm-1, corresponding to the double C=C and C-C bonds, and signals at 3438 and 1080 cm-1 that are related to the OH and C-O groups from oxidized graphite as it was identified in the dark film.
ANTIMONY TRIOXIDE-FREE FLAME RETARDANT SYSTEMS FOR POLYMERIC MATERIALS
Flame retardants in polymers play a significant role in protecting lives and reducing damage in the event of a fire. Typically brominated flame retardants (BFR) require a synergist such as antimony trioxide (ATO) that enables lower loadings of the BFR in polymer formulations. However for compliance to certain voluntary environmental standards, it is desirable to replace ATO partially or completely in polymer formulations. This work describes the replacement of ATO in formulations containing a newly developed flame retardant, Emerald 1000 (FR1). In high impact polystyrene (HIPS), FR1 is shown to exhibit good flame retardancy when combined with a char forming polymer like polyphenylene ether (PPE). Similarly in polycarbonate (PC)/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) systems, FR1 shows good flame retardancy, without the need for ATO synergist. More importantly FR1 does not negatively impact the mechanical properties of the system.
DEECOM®: A SUSTAINABLE PROCESS USED IN VARIOUS RECLAMATION PROCESSES
Polymer manufacturing utilizes metal parts which are reclaimed for reuse. Traditional reclamation methods utilize solvents and other chemicals which have high energy demand and involve expensive disposal methods. The DEECOM® technology, solvent-free relatively low temperature reclamation technology, is based on pressure swing techniques designed to physically disrupt and remove polymer from parts. The process mechanism results in filter reclamation procedures that have high degree of sustainability and provide opportunity to recycle the removed polymer.
DEVELOPMENT OF DRYLESS PELLET -APPLICATION OF PELLET ENGINEERING
This study was carried out to clarify a relationship between moisture absorption fraction and higher-order structure of dry-less recycled PET pellets. Karl Fischer moisture titration, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), microscopic Raman spectroscopy and scanning electronic microscope (SEM) were used to characterize the pellets to determine distinct structures that differentiates the dry-less pellets with normal pellets.
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