SPE Library

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.
Fully bio-based composites from gluten and seaweed waste fibers
Rafael Balart , Alfredo Carbonell, Octavio Fenollar, Begona Ferrero, Maria Dolores Samper, July 2013
Using natural fatty acids to treat the cellulose components of green composites reinforced with agro-waste fibers reduces their water uptake resulting in stable and environmentally friendly materials.
Totally bioresorbable stents with improved properties for cardiovascular disease
Jianting Dong, Lan Liao, Zhongyong Fan, Suming Li, Zhiqian Lu, August 2013
Semi-crystalline terpolymers prepared from L-lactide, trimethylene carbonate, and glycolide are promising materials for cardiovascular stents.
Cellulose nanocrystals from garlic stalks as reinforcing filler for bioplastics
Fumihiko Hirose, Bashir Ahmmad, Joel R. Salazar, Enna Richel De Leon, Jerico Buenaobra, Melissa B. Agustin, August 2013
Starch-based biocomposite films incorporating spherical cellulose nanocrystals from garlic stalks offer a novel application of an underused natural fiber.
Influence of graphene oxide on the thermal properties of phenolic resin
Yongxin Chen, Zhengjun Yao, Jintang Zhou , Tishou Xu, Yibing Wu, August 2013
Addition of graphene oxide enhances the elasticity, stiffness, and tensile strength of phenolic resin, and improves its heat stability by nearly 30°C.
Adhesive Technology for Automotive Multi-Material Substrate Bonding
Frank Billotto, September 2013
The global trend towards improved fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact is driving the use of new and dissimilar substrates for lightweight vehicle construction. Modern lightweight designs require new joining technologies to support the use of new materials as well as an increased use of mixed material substrates. Adhesive bonding is an enabler for lightweight and mixed substrate construction — allowing joining where traditional methods are not feasible — and takes advantage of structural bonding benefits such as improved load bearing capability enhanced NVH performance ride and handling and safety. This presentation will focus on the available adhesive-bonding solutions and will give an outlook into future adhesive-development directions.
Alternative Precursors for Sustainable and Cost-Effective Carbon Fibers usable within the Automotive Industry
Hendrik Mainka, September 2013
Lightweight design is an essential part of the overall Volkswagen strategy for reducing the CO2 emissions. Carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP) offers an enormous lightweight potential. The use of CFRP is limited in mass series applications by the costs of the conventional C-fiber precursor Poly-Acrylic-Nitrile (PAN). The investigation of novel alternative precursors enabling a significant reduction in the costs of CFRP automotive parts is essential to make carbon fibers ready for a mainstream use within the automotive industry
Commercial Applications of Bio-Based Polymers in Automotive
Rick Bell, September 2013
PowerPoint Presentation at Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition
Automotive Sunroof Systems & Frames in Xiran® SMA/ABS
Marcia Kurcz, September 2013
Automotive sunroof systems which have become a must-have for the added comfort and styling to today's cars increasingly rely on engingeering plastics functionalities to replace mtals. Structural and semi-structural sunroof module components sunroof frames in particular typically need to meet a wide range of technical requirements with a clear focus on the integration of functions safety cost and weight reduction. The glass-reinforced materials thermoplastics and thermosets currently used for sunroof frames are mostly based on PBT/ASA PBT PA PP and unsaturated polyester SMC. These products are not a perfect match for the application needs of today and the future. Glass-reinforced SMA/ABS on the other hand offers an ideal unique combination of properties required in sunroof frames and systems. SMA/ABS-GF compounds such as Polyscope's Xiran SG grades have clear technical and commercial benefits such as; high dimensional stability and precision very large warpage compliance to mold cavity shape good performance at low wall thickness high creep resistance excellent adhesion without surface treatment low density high economic value good chemical resistance and easy recylability with efficient waste streams.
Eco-Friendly Automotive Plastic Seat Design
Dev Barpanda, September 2013
This paper deals with plastic front and rear seat designs that provide more than 20% weight reduction for improved fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. The materials of construction include recyclable plastics and “green” polyurethane foam making this design eco-friendly. Low cycle time reduced part count and assembly time optimized contours for passenger comfort and reduced material consumption lead to cost-competitive design.
Fire Resistance Cellulosic Fiber-Thermoset Composites
Tri-Dung Ngo, September 2013
This presentation reports an innovative and sustainable approach to fiber surface treatment that improves the fire resistance of cellulosic fiber/ epoxy composites made with flax fiber. This new approach not only retards burning of cellulosic fiber but also produces self-extinguishing cellulosic-fiber composites. The low-cost treatment was carried out in aqueous solutions using non-toxic inorganic chemicals
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composite Waste: An Environmental Assessment of Recycling Energy Recovery & Landfilling
Jan-Anders Månson, September 2013
The environmental benefits of recycling carbon fiber- reinforced plastic (CFRP) waste are assessed against other end-of-life (EOL) treatments. Recycling via pyrolysis incineration with energy recovery and disposal via landfilling are compared. To account for physical changes to materials from use and recycling equivalence between recycled and virgin materials is calculated based on the ability to produce a short-fiber composite beam of equivalent stiffness. Secondary effects of using cecycled carbon fiber (RCF) in a hypothetical automotive application are also analyzed. Results underline the ecological constraints towards recycling CFRPs and demonstrate that benefits from recycling are strongly linked to the impacts of the selected recovery process the materials replaced by RCF in a secondary application and also to the type of secondary application in which they are used.
Compaction Behaviour and Permeability of Cellulosic Fibre for RTM Applications
Damien Maillard, September 2013
With the current driving force to use more sustainable and/or recyclable materials the automotive market is considering cellulosic fibres and biocomposites with a growing interest. However for those fibres to be used efficiently in thermoset liquid processes such as resin transfer molding (RTM) reinforcement compaction response and permeability must be well-known as they govern resin flow injection time and void formation and therefore are key to success. In this presentation the compaction response and permeability of flax and hemp mats were investigated and compared to traditional glass fibers.
Continuous Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRT®) Inserts for Injection Over-Molding in Structural Applications
Thomas Smith, September 2013
A primary goal in automotive structures is reduction of weight while maintaining or improving other desirable attributes. Composite materials offer solutions to weight reduction in comparison to metal structures and thermoplastic composite materials offer the added benefits of improved cycle times high impact resistance cost-effective solutions and a path for sustainability. Developments in the area of injection over-molding of structural inserts produced from continuous-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRT ®) are an example of this and combine the advantages of injection molding with CFRT properties. Typical applications are in seat structures airbag housings front-end modules and crash beams that take advantage of the excellent strength and impact characteristics of the materials. A seat back application produced with injection over-molding of CFRT inserts is used as a demonstration case study.
More Sustainable Non-Woven Fabric Composites for Automotive Using Coir (Coconut) Fibers
Walter Bradley, September 2013
More environmentally friendly composite materials for automotive manufacturing and building construction have been made by substituting coir fibers for the widely used polyester fibers to make non-woven fabric composites of coir fibers and recycled polypropylene fibers that can be compression molded into a wide range of parts or rolled into flat panels. This more environmentally friendly composite has a greater bending stiffness is more resistant to fire less expensive and without the odor problems that accompany many natural fibers.
Direct Long Biofibre Thermoplastic Composites for Automotive Aerospace & Transportation Industries
Victor Bravo, September 2013
Natural fibres such as flax hemp jute and wood are increasingly being used in various industries as reinforcing materials for composites to reduce weight cost and environmental impact. These fibres can have the added benefit of producing equal or higher stiffness-to- weight ratios than glass fibres. However processing natural fibres presents a number of challenges some of which are common to other types of fibres such as the ability to de-bundle mix and uniformly distribute them throughout the entire volume of a composite part. One particular challenge for natural fibres is the processing temperature limitations determined by their propensity to thermally degrade after long exposure times. This paper deals with the challenges of using biofibres as rein forcing materials for hermoplastic resins. The research work involves the use of short flax fibres in a continuous compounding process and flax fibres in the form of rovings and slivers in a Direct-Long Fibre Thermoplastic (D-LFT) process. The materials were compounded and moulded to produce parts for characterization. Polypropylene (PP) was used as polymer matrix because of its proven performance in automotive applications. Flax fibres were chosen given their combination of good mechanical properties availability and relative low cost compared to other bast fibres. Different formulations using heat stabilizers antioxidants and coupling agents were implemented with the objectives of preventing material degradation and improving bonding between the fibres and the thermoplastic material. Formulations with PP and 20% wt. discontinuous fibres showed an increment of up to 30% in tensile strength and 50% in tensile modulus when compared with virgin PP. Experiments using commercial flax rovings and slivers (continuous fibres) in conjunction with glass fibres (i.e. hybridizing of fibres) on an industrial large scale D-LFT line showed the viability of the processing technique for the manufacturing of hybrid reinforced the
Recycling of Landfill-Bound Automotive Headliners into Useful Composite Panels
Jean-Jacques (J.J.) Katz, September 2013
This paper describes the recycling of automotive headliner postindustrial waste into useful composite panels. The process relies on granulating the waste blending it with a 100% solids VOC-free MDI isocyanate adhesive and thermally molding the mixture under pressure using atmospheric moisture as the curing agent.
Sustainable by Design: Introducing Recyclable Epoxy Hardener Technology
Stefan Pastine, September 2013
Thermosetting plastics used today are not recyclable simply because they were never designed to be in the first place. However there is nothing inherent about the design of the plastics that precludes them from being re-designed to be recyclable/reusable materials. A general overview of recyclable epoxy technology is presented including the underlying chemical principles that enable recyclable epoxy and recyclable carbon fiber composites.
Evolution of an Excellent Lightweighting Tool – PUR Sandwich Composites
Mike Super, September 2013
This presentation details how polyurethane spray sandwich technology originally developed for sunshades has been improved for use in more demanding applications such as load floors and parcel shelves. Polyurethane sandwich construction combines the low weight of a honeycomb core with the high strength of a fiber-reinforced polyurethane skin to produce load-bearing parts with very-high flexural stiffness and excellent thermal properties making it an attractive lighter weight alternative to ABS polypropylene sheet-molding compound (SMC) and wood products. Information on the deflection performance of different constructions with different systems including some with natural and some with glass mats will be given to guide manufacturers on the best ways to hit specific targets such as cost thickness or weight. Newer formulations enable productivity improvements including longer open times and shorter demolding times which facilitate production of larger parts and reduced scrap as well as feature higher bio-renewable content than previous versions.
High Performance Moldable Bamboo Fiber-Epoxy Composites
Senat Mohanty, September 2013
Auto-rickshaws or motorized tricycle passenger taxis are a common form of transportation in India. These vehicles are often used at loads beyond specifications and under difficult road conditions. Part failures negatively affect earnings of the operators who play at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Use of bamboo fiber–epoxy composites has been nvestigated in these applications. The composites typically contain 30-40 wt-% fibers although loadings to 60 wt-% fiber can be used and fillers such as carbon black and fly ash can also be added. The composites exhibit tensile strengths of 140 MPa flexural strengths of 160 MPa and notched Charpy Impact strengths of 60 kJ/m2. These composites were subsequently molded into auto body parts (dashboarddoors and panels) and are under investigation with an auto-rickshaw manufacturer. Additionally helmets made with these composites were taken through drop tests similar to Snell Memorial Foundation Test Standards (ISO 17025 and American Association for Laboratory Accreditation A2LA). Bamboo-fiber composites positively impact the socio-economic health of the local community since bamboo is a renewable source it need not be chemically processed it reduces the petrochemical component of the composite and is known to help in waste-land reclamation and for combating soil erosion.
Improving DLFT Molding Productivity via Lessons Learned in Non-Automotive Applications
Darin Grinsteinner, September 2013
Applying the direct-long-fiber-thermoplastics (DLFT) process to recent composite product launches outside of automotive has given a fresh perspective on how to create more effective products and efficient launches for future DLFT applications. Recent expansions of DLFT into markets such as agricultural construction personal watercraft recreational vehicles and trailers brought unique challenges that fit the flexibility of the DLFT process. Combining common materials such as glass and polypropylene with more unique materials such as wood block and recycled polymers led to a unique over- molding solution for one high-volume molding application with aggressive material cost targets. Other lower volume applications benefited from new predictive-modeling techniques of long-fiber compression molding to ensure the proper tool design of a compression molded part that weighed 40 kg and that had a length of 2.7 m could achieve a 99.9% accuracy in its length from the first shots of the tool.

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