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.
CHARACTERIZATION OF MICRONIZED RUBBER POWDERS WITH COST EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE BENEFITS IN RUBBER COMPOUNDS
Micronized Rubber Powder (MRP) is classified as dry, powdered elastomer in which a significant proportion of particles are less than 100 microns. It is used as a compound extender to offset the spiraling prices of natural and synthetic virgin rubber materials. MRP is typically made from cured elastomer feedstock via a cryogenic process at a temperature below the Tg of the polymer. A better understanding of MRP surface properties is needed to facilitate efforts to utilize the material as a high value, sustainable material for use in various industrial and consumer rubber products. An update on MRP characterization is presented, including surface morphology by SEM, surface chemistry by XPS, surface area by Kr BET, and particle size distribution by laser diffraction. An example is given that demonstrates how the surface chemistry can be used to explain the effect of MRP on cure and physical properties in rubber compounds.
INJECTION MOLDS IN CLEANROOM ENVIRONMENTS
The cleanliness of production facilities is an important quality factor. Higher purity minimizes environmental influences and in this way a better process control can be obtained. Therefore, the use of clean room technology is establishing in industries like automotive more and more. To maintain the controlled contamination throughout the process, injection molds, which are intended for production in clean room environments must be adequate to special needs. Special coatings for lubricant-free manufacturing support these concepts.
LATEST UV COATING TRENDS
The UV-cure segment’s growth can be attributed to the coatings’ many competitive advantages, including low energy costs, no pot life issues, reduced environmental impact and a fast cure speed. In fact, one-component (1K) UV-cure coating technology is one of the fastest chemistries currently available. This paper will discuss trends within the two main UV coating platforms – 100 percent solids UV formulation and waterborne UV systems. Both are sustainable chemistries, having ultra-low-volatile organic compound (VOC) levels.
COMMERCIALIZATION ROADMAP OF BIOPOLYMERS & BIOCOMPOSITES
The advent of new base raw materials composed of recycled post consumer/post industrial plastics combined with organic bio fibers that up to now had no value added/sustainable use, has created a global market for a new classification of materials, Bio Fiber Composites. Fundamentally, these composites reduce the hydrocarbon content, (oil) replaced with natural fillers in the form of organic “renewable.” This family of materials is best suited to replace pure polymers, and drives the green, sustainable shift of achieving a balance of physical and mechanical properties to produce the goods and components needed across the complete product landscape. Any product that is injection molded, extruded, thermoformed, or rotationally molded today, can be replaced with a natural organic filled BioComposites Materials. MCG BioComposites, LLC has been formed to supply this place in the industry. This paper will demonstrate the uses and commercial applications for various biomasses, i.e., corn cob fiber, flax fiber and wheat starch.
MAXIMIZING TALC BENEFITS IN DURABLE PLA APPLICATIONS WITH LUZENAC HAR®
The use of talc in PLA compounds for durable applications has been studied, and it is shown that talc could significantly increase stiffness, reduce thermal expansion (CLTE), and enhance thermal stability and HDT of crystallized PLA compounds. The high aspect ratio Luzenac HAR talc could be used to maximize these functions or to achieve desired mechanical properties at lower talc loadings, which may be desirable for compostability or other requirements.
MELT EXTRUSION AND FILM PROPERTIES OF SOY FLOUR/POLYETHYLENE BLENDS FOR PACKAGING APPLICATIONS
Blends of soy flour and linear low density polyethylene were melt-compounded at soy loading levels of 0-40% with and without a compatibilizer. Films were formed from the blends through compression molding and were characterized for thermal, mechanical and barrier properties. Measured shifts in the glass transition temperature of the soy component with and without compatibilizer are reported. Oxygen and water vapor permeation rates of the films are also presented and compared to the neat polyethylene film.
MODIFICATION OF MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF POLYBUTYLENE SUCCINATE USING IN-SITU COMPATIBILIZATION BLEND WITH POLY(LACTIC ACID)
PBS/PLA blends in various blend ratios added GMA to modify their compatibility were prepared using melt blending. Mechanical properties of polymer blends before and after in-situ compatibilization were investigated. Morphology and compatibility of modified blends was studied via SEM and DSC, respectively. PBS/PLA 50:50 wt% added 10 wt% GMA exhibited high percentage of elongation at break in a range of LDPE due to co-continuous structures. This phenomenon also benefited the impact strength of modified blends.
CROSS-LINKING OF HYDROGEL WITH A NEW WATER-SOLUBLE AGENT, DIISOSORBIDE BISEPOXIDE
Cross-linking of polymeric biomaterials has increased in interest over the last 5-10 years. One category of biomaterials is hydrogel, a chemically cross-linked network that swells when immersed in water. Dextran, a polysaccharide, can be crosslinked to form hydrogels that have found application as tissue scaffolds and delivery devices. In this study, dextran is cross-linked with diisorbide bisepoxide, a water soluble chemical cross-linker. The gelation temperature and gel time will be monitored using oscillatory rheometer.
NANOFIBRILLATED CELLULOSE REINFORCED POLYVINYL ALCOHOL: PROPERTIES AND SOLUBILITY OF CARBON DIOXIDE
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) was mixed with a nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) fiber suspension in water followed by casting. The transmission electron scanning (TEM) images revealed that the NFC fibers dispersed well in PVOH. The presence of NFC significantly increased the tensile modulus of the nanocomposites nearly threefold and could serve as a nucleating agent, promoting the early onset of crystallization. However, at a higher NFC content, it led to greater thermal degradation of the PVOH matrix.
CRYSTALLIZATION BEHAVIOUR OF POST-INDUSTRIAL WASTE NYLON COMPOSITES
This study examined the crystallization behaviour of polyamide 6 from post-industrial carpet waste (PIW6-GF) and virgin polyamide 6 (PA6-GF) - both reinforced with 30 wt% glass fibers. Neutron activation analysis was used to detect the presence of contaminants – principally TiO2, a common pigment in carpet fibers. Once the Ti content in the glass fibers was accounted for, the TiO2 contents in the resin fraction of PIW6-GF and PA6-GF were estimated to be 0.14% and 0% respectively. Differential scanning calorimetery (DSC) was performed to assess the overall level of crystallinity and rate of crystallization. Experiments showed that, regardless of the cooling rate, PIW6-GF started to crystallize sooner and at higher crystallization temperatures than PA6-GF. This was attributed to the presence of TiO2 acting as a nucleating agent. Towards the end of the crystallization process, the rate of crystallization for PIW6-GF was observed to slow down relative to PA6-GF. At the highest cooling rates attainable in the DSC (200 °C/min), PA6-GF completed crystallization before that of the PIW6-GF compound. This reduction in crystallization rate is again attributed to the nano-scale TiO2 that could be interfering with the later stages of the crystallization process. The total crystallinity of moulded parts was observed to be greater for PA6-GF than PIW6- GF. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) was performed on both materials one minute after ejection from a 30°C injection mould. This allowed the capture of rigidity data during the cooling of the specimen at a constant temperature of 25°C. PIW6-GF parts exhibited significantly lower complex moduli during the 30 minutes after moulding. Interestingly, modulus values at 25°C of both materials measured one week after the moulding were equal. The slightly lower crystallinity and the slower rate of crystallization are the suspected causes of this stiffness difference.
DESIGN OF INDUCTION HEATING MODULE FOR UNIFORM CAVITY SURFACE HEATING
Electromagnetic induction heating has many advantages such as fast heating, low energy consumption and environmental pollution reduction. Using induction heating for rapid tool heating is more economic and efficient than any of the tool heating technique. Previous studies using electromagnetic induction heating for rapid tool heating indicate that the temperature uniformity on cavity surface is not easy to be achieved no matter with surface or insert type induction heating. In this paper, a series of experiments were conducted to study the effectiveness of temperature uniformity on mold cavity surface for different induction heating coil. The parallel type coil and magnetic flux concentrators were adopted to form the induction heating device. According to the results of heating experiments, the surface temperature of 10 mm thickness hot work die steel (JIS SKD61) could rise from 50°C to 150°C in 15 seconds and the temperature uniformity of the heated zone reached 94%~95%.
DETERMINATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS CRACKING FAILURE MODE IN INVESTIGATIONS OF CPVC FIRE-SUPPRESSION SPRINKLER PIPE FAILURES
This paper discusses three separate failure analysis case studies involving Chlorinated Polyvinylchloride (CPVC) fire suppression sprinkler pipe(s) alleged to have failed due to Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) from exposure to an incompatible chemical. The investigations highlight the importance of the interpretation of fracture surface morphology, review of background information regarding service history, performing material characterization testing, as well as developing an understanding of the interaction of various chemicals with CPVC material when attributing a failure of CPVC sprinkler pipe to ESC. The case studies discussed are helpful in understanding the ESC mechanism in CPVC sprinkler pipes, which is a complex failure mode. This paper discusses the technical issues that should be addressed in determining whether ESC is the primary cause of failure in a CPVC fire suppression sprinkler pipe system.
DETERRA® BIOBASED POLYMERS-NEXT GENERATION MATERIALS FOR DURABLE APPLICATIONS
In the past decade, the market for biobased polymers has grown dramatically. Much of this growth has been in the packaging market, where biobased polymer films (i.e., PLA and PHA) have displaced conventional LDPE and LLDPE. Packaging is a natural application for biobased polymers given the short life cycle and consumable nature of this product. Recently, consumers have begun to demand green alternatives in applications where durable plastics have historically been utilized. For example, PVC has been under intense scrutiny in recent years. PVC’s inherent chemical nature and the additives it is often formulated with have been identified by several organizations targeting chemicals that can harm the environment. In certain markets, like the building and construction market, there is a salient need for a biobased material that can be used as a PVC alternative. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and other local codes and regulations are creating a new market for durable biobased polymers. One may consider durable biobased polymers a misnomer. However, the inherent nature of biopolymers like PLA, is such that they can function in one environment (e.g., interior building applications), but degrade in another environment (i.e., compost). This work describes several grades of polymeric compounds that been recently developed by Interfacial Solutions for durable applications. These products are currently marketed under out deTerra® Biobased Polymer trade name.
PHA BIODEGRABLE BLOW-MODLED BOTTLES: COMPOUNDING AND PERFORMANCE
PHA biodegradable plastics can be made into biodegradable bottles with reasonable impact and tensile strength. PHBV and P(3HB-4HB) grades of PHA were compounded with processing additives and blow molded into bottles with an extrusion blow molding process. Mirel based P(3HB-4HB) had superior processing properties and demonstrated a wide processing window to two other PHA materials. Mirel based P(3HB-4HB) had superior tensile and impact properties and superior permeation resistance than two other PHA materials from China.
DEVELOPMENT OF LIGNIN-BASED THERMOPLASTICS FOR COMPOSITE APPLICATIONS
Current trends in renewable resin systems for composite applications will be presented in this talk. Our recent efforts on synthesis of lignin-based bio-thermoplastics show significant promise. Various methods of establishing chemical synthetic routes for producing lignin-based thermoplastics that can increase the value of lignin by-products will be discussed. Compatibilization of blends of lignin with different polymeric matrices results good thermoplastic for certain lignin loadings. These routes would provide a low-cost alternative, recyclable resins for future composite applications.
RECYCLE TECHNOLOGY OF USED PLASTIC MATERIALS
This paper describes the recycle technology of used plastic materials such as waste HDPE films and containers, waste caps for PET bottles, and used PET bottles with caps and films. The fusion joining strength of extruded sheets of waste HDPE films and containers using a compatibilizer was firstly studied. A compounding technology of used PET bottles with caps and films using a compatibilizer was secondly studied.
RECYCLING OF POLYVINYL BUTYRAL (PVB) FROM LAMINATED SAFETY GLASS
Polymeric interlayers like Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) - films between glass sheets make it safe in case of breakage. But, in the case of recycling, the adhesive interlayer makes the laminated glass difficult to cut. Fortunately, the mostly used PVB is a polymer which can easily been solved in different agents. Using this possibility the present investigations show that recovered PVB can be used in laminated safety glass again.
EFFECT OF EPOXIDIZED SOYBEAN OIL ON MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF POLYLACTIC ACID BLENDS
Epoxidized soybean oil (ESO), as a plasticizer, was melt blended with polylactic acid (PLA) in an internal mixer. The effects of ESO on the mechanical properties of the PLA/ESO blends were studied by means of the tensile, flexural, and impact tests. The elongation at break for the PLA/ESO blends was obviously improved with an increase in ESO loading, and was 16.8 times than that for pure PLA when the ESO loading was 5 wt %. Compared with pure PLA, the blends appeared lower tensile strength, tensile modulus, flexural strength, and flexural modulus. However, ESO improved impact strength for PLA matrix. Impact strength for the blends increased at first and then decreased as the ESO loading increased, which arrived a maximum of 2.9 times than that for pure PLA when the ESO loading was 10 wt %.
EFFECT OF THE MOLECULAR STRUCTURE OF PLASTICIZER ON THE MORPHOLOGY OF POLYMER BLENDS WITH THERMOPLASTIC STARCH
In this study, two different plasticizers from the polyol family have been used in the preparation of thermoplastic starch. The effect of these plasticizers on the interfacial modification of thermoplastic starch/polyethylene mixtures has been examined. When a higher molecular weight plasticizer is used, a different emulsification behaviour is observed for compatibilized systems. The number average droplet size decreases much more effectively with compatibilizer content than the volume average diameter. This behaviour is attributed to the chemical structure of the plasticizer. The mechanical properties of these systems are also presented.
EFFECTS OF HYDROLYTIC DEGRADATION ON THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF RENEWABLE BIOPLASTICS: POLY(TRIMETHYLENE MALONATE) AND POLY(TRIMETHYLENE ITACONATE)
Hydrolytic degradation of two renewable copolymers, poly(trimethylene malonate) (PTM) and poly(trimethylene itaconate) (PTI), was performed in aqueous solutions adjusted to pH values ranging approximately from 5.5 to 11. The influence of the degradation on the elastic modulus of these bioplastics was examined by a new atomic force microscopy (AFM) mode. Elastic modulus was monitored as a function of degradation time (100 to 10000 min) in DI water to determine changes. After degradation for one week the elastic modulus of PTI has decreased by 71 %. PTM was found to be hygroscopic. Due to significant swelling and uneven surfaces—in both the dry and wet state—PTM samples could neither be easily imaged nor its nanomechanical properties evaluated by AFM.
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