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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.
MODELLING OF HYGROSCOPIC STRESSES DUE TO NON-UNIFORM LIQUID DISTRIBUTION IN HOMOGENEOUS BIOPLASTICS
Indah Widiastuti, Igor Sbarski, S. Masood, May 2012
In this article, numerical modeling is used to simulate the distribution of liquid diffusion in bioplastic material and to determine the hygroscopic stress. The material used is homogeneous PLA based plastic exposed to aggressive automotive liquid. An analytical one-dimensional liquid diffusion solution is also presented to consider liquid concentration distribution, which shows a remarkable agreement with numerical simulation results. The results display non-mechanical stress distribution inside the homogenous material due to non-uniform liquid concentration profile.
MOLD FLOW ANALYSIS OF MOBILE PHONE CASE MADE BY TPS (THERMOPLASTIC STARCH)/(PC/ABS)
Sheng-Ju Liao, Shihn-Juh Liou, Chih-Jen Chang, May 2012
Mold flow analysis of mobile phone case was used in this study to evaluate the intrinsic characteristics of biomass materials how to influence the parameters of injection mold process and the outward appearance of product. Two materials were selected, one is TPS/(PC/ABS) biomass-based material developed by ITRI, and the other is commercial petrochemical plastic PC/ABS. In addition to evaluate the difference between these two materials in the injection mold process and dimensional stability, carbon emissions during this injection mold process were also calculated. Above results will show advantages and shortcomings of this newly developed TPS/(PC/ABS) biomass-based material.
MORPHOLOGY OF POLY(LACTIC ACID)/POLY(BUTYLENE ADIPATE-CO-TEREPHTHALATE) BLENDS AND ITS COMPOSITE WITH SPHERICAL SILICA PARTICLES
Ebrahim Jalili Dil, Pierre Carreau, Sepehr Ravati, Basil Favis, May 2012
In this work the detailed morphology of poly(lactic acid)/ poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) has been carried out for the first time. The morphology of PLA/PBAT blends with different compositions was studied and limits of the co-continuity region were determined using rheological measurements and image analysis. Particle size analysis and breaking thread experiments showed that PLA/PBAT is a very low interfacial tension polymer blend. Moreover, composites of PLA/PBAT/spherical silica particles were prepared and the localization of silica particles in this blend was studied.
MULTI-COMPONENT BIO-BASED BLENDS WITH POLYLACTIC ACID AND POLYHYDROXYBUTYRATE: MORPHOLOGY AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Sepehr Ravati, Christine Beaulieu, Louise Deschênes, Viêt Cao, Basil Favis, May 2012
Polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) are two of the most important polymers derived from renewable resources. In this work, the morphology and physical properties of binary blends of PLA/PHB and multi-component blends of PLA/PHB with other commodity polymers such as polystyrene (PS) or biodegradable polymers such as polycaprolactone (PCL), poly (butylene succinate) (PBS), and poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate)(PBAT) were examined. Completely biodegradable blends of PLA/PHB/PBAT/PCL and PLA/PHB/PBAT/PBS demonstrated some unique morphologies including triple percolated systems.
MULTICOMPONENT BIODEGRADABLE BLENDS WITH POLY(BUTYLENE SUCCINATE): PARTIAL AND COMPLETE WETTING PHENOMENA
Sepehr Ravati, Basil Favis, May 2012
PBS (Poly(butylene succinate)) is a promising emerging bioplastic with good strength and modulus, however, its elongation at break (EB) is quite low and blends with higher EB materials are a potential route to develop more balanced properties. Blends of PBS with biodegradable polymers including polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) were studied. These blends result in fully-biodegradable blends with completely different thermodynamically stable wetting behaviors and hence, significantly different potential morphological states.
NEW NON-HALOGEN FLAME RETARDED BIO-DERIVED POLYMER BLENDS DEVELOPMENTS
Jason Zhu, Jing Liu, Patricia Hubbard, Roger Avakian, May 2012
The use of polylactic acid (PLA) in durable applications such as appliances and computers has been limited by PLA’s inherent property shortcomings, such as low impact strength, low heat distortion temperature, and lack of flame retardancy. These issues have been overcome via blending with engineering plastics, applying new compatibilization technology and using unique flame retardant additives. The resultant compositions have an excellent balance between heat resistance, impact resistance and flame retardancy. One such composition achieves a UL 94 rating of V-0 at 1.6 mm thickness, a notched Izod impact value at room temperature up to 11.6 ft-lbs/in and also exceeds a threshold of 100°C in heat distortion temperature (HDT) at 66 psi load. This bio-derived blend with >30% bio-content has exceptional properties and has taken PLA into the realm of engineering plastics. These enhancements will enable PLA to replace petrochemical- based materials in many demanding durable applications.
PHYSICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION AND UV CURABLE COATINGS
Jason T. Eich, Eileen Weber, Phil Abell, Kristy Wagner, Chris Mack, May 2012
Environmental concerns with traditional chrome plating continue to expand. Parts finishers worldwide are searching for alternative that provides the visual appearance and durability of chrome plate, but without the environmental side effects and costs associated with this decades old process. “Chrome look” processes and coatings for decorative and automotive lighting PVD applications have been used in the UV curable coating industry for over twenty years. As development of UV curable coatings for PVD has progressed, so has the understanding of the PVD process and its unique capabilities and applications. This paper will address the current chrome plating process, advantages of PVD as chrome alternative, challenges associated with the various steps and layers of PVD applications, and suggestions for successful implementation of UV/PVD systems.
POLYESTER DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS FOR EXTRUSION BLOW MOLDING APPLICATIONS
Mark A. Treece, Thomas J. Pecorini, May 2012
This work highlights three decades of polyester resin development for the extrusion blow molding (EBM) process. The optimal formulation for a clear EBM material must fulfill three main requirements: process efficiently on existing equipment, produce bottles with robust drop impact performance, and have an acceptable recyclability story. Balancing these criteria in a single formulation is challenging, since obtaining compatibility in the PET recycle stream inherently causes drawbacks to processing and bottle performance. Nevertheless, significant innovation has enabled Eastman to provide the market with a comprehensive portfolio of copolyester technology, suitable for a variety of needs.
RENDERING WATERPROOF AND MULTIFUNCTIONAL FIBROUS SHEETS OF CELLULOSE: FROM PACKAGING AND ANTICOUNTERFEIT TO CONSTRUCTION APPLICATIONS
Despina Fragouli, Ilker S. Bayer, Anese Attanasio, May 2012
We present a scalable, inexpensive and green process to render cellulosic sheets waterproof with additional functional properties (magnetic, photoluminescent, antibacterial, etc.). The fibrous cellulose-based sheets are treated in their final, dry phase, with a huge potential economic impact in the manufacturing industry. Our method is based on the impregnation of cellulose sheets with acrylate monomers and micro or nano-scale functional fillers solutions, which polymerize as soon as they come in contact with the fibers. The formed polymeric nanocomposite creates a cladding around each individual fiber and not an overall coating onto the cellulose sheets. The treated cellulose fibers can be still recycled due to biodegradability of the used polymer.
RHEOLOGY AND MELT FRACTURE OF BIODEGRADABLE POLY (?-CAPROLACTONE) POLYESTERS
Nazbanoo Noroozi, Jaclyn A. Thomson, Laurel L. Schafer, Savvas G. Hatzikiriakos, May 2012
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
Ebrahim Jalili Dil, Basil Favis, May 2012
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
Andrea Siebert-Raths, Hans-Josef Endres, Sicco de Vos, May 2012
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
Mike Tolinski, May 2012
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
Anin Memon, Asami Nakai, May 2012
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
Hanjian, Zhou Yingguo, Yan Chenguang, Cui Zhixiang, Wang Xiaofeng, Liu Chuntai, May 2012
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
Bonnie J. Bachman, Shristy Bashyal, Margaret Baumann, May 2012
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
Shia-Chung Chen, Wei-Yao Hsu, Sung-Wei Huang, Hsin-Shu Peng, May 2012
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
C. Chau, J. Williams, S. Solovyov, T. Powers, P. Koch, May 2012
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
Tom Marti, Richard Botteicher, May 2012
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.
Darlene Putz, May 2012
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.


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