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.
RHEOLOGY AND MELT FRACTURE OF BIODEGRADABLE POLY (?-CAPROLACTONE) POLYESTERS
The viscoelastic behaviour of a number of commercial and newly synthesized linear biodegradable polyesters - poly (?-caprolactone) (PCLs) with different molecular characteristics was investigated using both rotational and capillary rheometry. The variation of the zero-shear viscosity and relaxation spectrum with molecular weight was studied in detail. The PCL processing instabilities were studied by capillary extrusion using a number of capillary dies having various diameter and length-to- diameter ratios. Sharkskin and gross melt fracture was observed at different shear rates depending on the molecular characteristics of the resins and the geometrical details of the capillary dies.
SELECTIVE LOCALIZATION OF SPHERICAL SILICA PARTICLES IN HETEROPHASE POLY(LACTIC ACID)/ LOW DENSITY POLYETHYLENE BLENDS
In this article, different strategies to control the localization of spherical silica particles in Poly(lactic acid)/ Low density polyethylene blends were studied. These strategies include different sequences of addition of components and compatibilization. Results show that using these different strategies, the controlled localization of silica particles in either the matrix or in the dispersed phase can be achieved. Long processing times used in this study show that the observed localization is stable and does not change with further processing.
SPECIALTIES OF THE PROCESSING OF PLA THROUGH EXTRUSION AND INJECTION MOLDING, AND RESULTING CHARACTERISTICS
Next to the established packaging market the interest for biopolymers in technical application increases more and more. Especially the technical industry is interested in substituting oil-based polymers with biopolymers. In view of that, the focus of the work described here was on optimization of injection molding of polylactide (PLA) in order to improve material performance for technical applications. Furthermore, the effects of poly-D-lactide (PDLA) as nucleating agent, fibers and modifiers on material properties (e.g. heat resistance, mechanical properties) are reported.
STRENGTHENING THE MESSAGE OF SUSTAINABLE PLASTICS PACKAGING
Recyclable, recycled-content, or bio-based plastics packaging will require more than just the right technologies and materials for sustained growth. Sustainable packaging acceptance and use will also require increasing the number of informed, enthusiastic retailers and packaging consumers interested in being “greener.” In short, their positive attitudes must be turned into buying and recycling behaviors. This paper focuses on one way in which packaging producers are drawing consumers’ attention to the recycled-content, recyclability, or bio-basis of new plastic packaging. Simple messages on the packaging itself not only can clarify green claims about the packaging, but can also serve as calls for consumer action. This paper considers the effectiveness of various messages and, referencing the U.S. Federal “Green Guides,” considers the ways in which a clear, honest sustainability claim can be communicated to both informed and skeptical audiences.
STRUCTURE AND PROCESSING DESIGN OF JUTE SPUN YARN/PLA BRAIDED COMPOSITE BY PULTRUSION MOLDING
Currently, the light has shed on the green composite from the view point of environmental protection. Jute fibers are natural fiber superior on light weight, low cost and environmental friendly corresponding to the green composite materials. Meticulously, fibers of polylactic acid (PLA) thermoplastic biopolymer were micro braided around jute spun yarns and paralleled configuration with jute. The pultrusion experiments were done with jute/PLA yarns and combined with glass fiber yarns to fabricate the tubular composite. Impregnation quality was evaluated by microscope observation of the pultruded cross-sections. The flexural mechanical properties of the beams were measured. The jute/PLA tubular pultrude composite using the parallel configuration of yarn showed the highest bending strength 28.3 MPa and modulus 15.4 GPa with the filling ratio 130% and volume fraction 52%.
STUDY ON ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS CRACKING BEHAVIOR OF INJECTION MOLDED POLYCARBONATE PARTS UNDER DIFFERENT PROCESSING CONDITIONS
The environmental stress cracking (ESC) behavior of injection molded polycarbonate (PC) plates in carbon tetrachloride (CCL4) was investigated. Molecular orientation was determined by birefringence measurement, which was used to study the effect of microstructure on crack development. It has been found that crack occurred in the edge surface of the molded PC plates after immersed in CCL4. The crack formation and location was correlated with molecular orientation and residual stresses of the parts. The effects of processing conditions on ESC behavior of molded PC parts were also elucidated in terms of microstructural analyses.
SUSTAINABILITY AND THE PLASTICS INDUSTRY
In the past green business evolution among business organizations has gone through “three waves of change” (Makeower, 2009, p. 12). In the 1960s businesses started being green with the notion “Do no harm” and companies started minimizing the environmental impacts (Makeower, 2009, p. 12). In the 1960s, companies mainly focused on pollution control that included stopping illegal activities such as “spewing smokestacks and drainpipes” (Makeower, 2009, p.12). In the 1970s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and similar agencies were formed in the United States and in the other countries with standard laws about pollution of air and water (Makeower, 2009, p. 9). The second wave occurred in the 1980s and emphasized “Doing well by doing good” as companies realized that taking a few proactive steps could reduce costs and enhance a company’s image (Makeower, 2009, p. 10). Later, companies started being concerned about issues like pollution prevention, waste reduction, and energy efficiency. Then in the 1990s came the third wave: “Green is green” (Makeower, 2009, p. 12). During the third wave companies paid more attention to the environmental issues. As stated by Makeower (2009), “Companies recognized that environmental thinking can do much more than improving the bottom line i.e. it can help grow the top line through innovation, new markets, and new business opportunities”. In September 1996, the ISO 14001 environmental management system was issued and applied, establishing “a baseline set of rules for how companies should be organized environmentally” (Makeower, 2009, p. 10). According to Makeower (2009), “as companies scrutinized their operations, they understood how much of their environmental impacts were affected by their external stakeholders hence Supply-chain Environmental Management became the watchword after that the concepts of industrial ecology, zero waste, and carbon-neutrality emerged” (p. 11). Today companies are finally concerned about the “S-word, sus
THE EFFICIENCY EVALUATION FOR FRESNEL LENS OF CONCENTRATING SOLAR CELL WITH VARIOUS INJECTION MOLDING PROCESS
In the recent years, with the increasing demand of energy and the rapid consumption of fossil fuels, a variety of alternative energy are rapid development to replace traditional energy. Solar power, is one of the best sustainable energy and nowadays widely used for generating electrical power. In this study, the solar condenser of converted efficiency is investigated into conventional and injection compression molding process with various parameters. The experimental results show that the higher mold and melt temperature can increase converted efficiency of condenser during conventional injection molding (CIM) process. In all conventional molding parameters, the best converted efficiency can enhanced 51.4 W/m2 (7.60%). The injection compression molding (CIM) can achieve better efficient performance than conventional molding process.
THE STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES OF PLA/PP POROUS FILM
Polylactic acid and polypropylene were melt blended and extruded into 3-10 mil films. Differential scanning calorimetry studies showed the polymer blends, unlike the neat PP and PLA materials, exhibited crystallization exotherm in heating scans with a crystallization point varied with the ratio of PLA to PP. This melt crystallization behavior was enhanced with the increase of the content of PLA from 25 to 75%. The polymer blends also showed multiple melting points ranging from approximately 140 to 175°C depending on the ratio of the two polymers and the heating rate. The formation of a new crystallization temperature, the shifting of the melting points, and/or the formation of new melting points suggested some compatibility between PP and PLA. Upon uniaxial stretching, the originally translucent films showed strong stress-whitening phenomena with widespread porous structure developed in the whitened region. SEM showed fibrils with a typical diameter of 2 micron and voids or pores of approximately 5 micron developed in the whitened region. The partial compatibility between PLA and PP could have contributed to the homogeneity of the stress-whitening and the porous structure in the film. The porous films provided two folds or higher increase in oxygen transmission rate depending on the material composition and draw ratio. The structural development and the potential use of the porous PLA/PP films in packaging application are discussed.
THERMALLY BUTT-FUSED PVC PIPE AND THE EXPANSION OF TRENCHLESS INSTALLATIONS IN THE WATER AND WASTEWATER APPLICATIONS
The application of thermal butt-fusion joining technology to polyvinylchloride (PVC) piping has had a major impact on the waterworks market over the last seven years. The combination of a familiar, industry standard piping material with a joining method that lends itself to cutting edge trenchless installation methods has seen rapid expansion in application and use in the water and wastewater industries. Trenchless methods that involve the installation of a new pipeline, or ‘whole pipe replacement,’ include horizontal directional drilling (HDD), sliplining, and pipe bursting methodologies. These methods are characterized by the installation of a new pipeline or conduit that does not derive pressure capacity, strength, or design life from any previously installed or “host” infrastructure. Polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe with the use of butt-fused PVC pipe technology has made great strides in these applications, due to its high tensile strength capacity, high hydrostatic design basis, good chemical compatibility, and abrasion resistance. The use of butt-fused PVC pipe has expanded the capabilities of thermoplastic pipe within these methodologies, allowing greater pull-in lengths, depths, and pressure capacities to be achieved. This paper will discuss the materials and technology that are allowing for this expansion as well as highlight the direct impact on the installation methodologies through several recent case study examples. Case studies will include a record setting horizontal directional drill for a water transmission main installation; a large diameter force main rehabilitation through the use of sliplining; and a pipe bursting replacement program for potable water distribution mains, all in North America. This information will illustrate the innovative nature of this joining methodology, flexibility and range of the current whole pipe replacement offerings, and demonstrate how they are growing in use as end users benefit from this unique application of PVC pipe.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO DIGITALLY DECORATE? MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICES.
Industrial markets are ready to take advantage of direct to product decorating - printing to substrate. When is it time? Now is the time. The advantages are numerous: Inventory Reduction - on demand printing, Personalization - adding a new product level to current product line and added value to increase the bottom line, Green - very little waste and numerous recycling programs for consumable items. With advantages being clear, moving into the digial printing world requires a little preparation. Starting with how to select the appropriate printer from printhead selection to ink delivery system, ink selection, down to software. All key components in successfully moving into digitally printing. With a range of printing platforms from flatbed printers, high speed single pass systems to multipass systems - there is a solution for all decorating types. Taking the process step by step, being knowledable about the systems available and asking the right questions will put your company on the path to successful digital decoration in the production environment.
WIRELESS DEVICES DECORATED USING NON-CONDUCTIVE VACUUM METALLIZATION (NCVM) TECHNIQUES: CONSIDERATIONS AND COMMON FAILURE MODES
The Non-Conductive Vacuum Metallization (NCVM) process has become a mainstream metallization technology to achieve metallic like appearances on the surfaces of plastics used in wireless electronic devices while maintaining radio frequency (RF) functionality of the internal antennas. The impact on device performance and reliability of NCVM coatings has been discussed based on the most common failure modes and industrial testing standards. This paper discusses the effects of environmental conditions as well as construction variation of NCVM systems as they relate to various customer- impacting failure modes such as discoloration/corrosion, delamination and RF interference.
Improved properties of hybrid epoxy nanocomposites
Using both halloysite and recycled cellulose fibers as fillers in epoxy composites enhances their thermal stability, mechanical, and fracture properties.
Toward better bone repair
Calcium sulfate particle and whisker composites with polycaprolactone have improved mechanical properties compared with the pure polymer.
Polyamide 6-wheat straw composites: degradation kinetics
The degradation kinetics of wheat straw fillers and their polyamide 6 composites, an environmentally friendly alternative to polyamide 6, are analyzed for use in the manufacture of industrial parts.
Stronger eco-film for food packaging and medicine
Exfoliating a copolymer poly(hydroxyalkanoate) with an organoclay increases its tensile modulus.
Carbon nanotube/polymer composite preparation with improved mechanical properties
A supercritical carbon dioxide green technique was used to disperse entangled carbon nanotubes and led to improved mechanical properties in a carbon nanotube/polymer composite.
Antioxidant effects of natural compounds on green composite materials
Naturally-occurring antioxidant compounds can improve the thermal resistance of a bio-composite, increasing the degradation temperature of the material by as much as 130%.
Super-tough poly(lactic acid) blends
Using poly(ethylene octene) grafted with glycidyl methacrylate to modify poly(lactic acid) by reactive blending improves reactive compatibilization and achieves high impact strength.
Chitosan scaffolds for tissue engineering: relationship of structure and properties
Chitosan, a widely used biopolymer, exhibits a close relationship between its structure and properties in solution and in the solid state.
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