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.
|= Members Only|
Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
Paper Plastic Composites from Recycled Disposable Cups
The majority of disposable cups are made from paper plastic laminates (PPL) which consist of high quality cellulose fibre with a thin internal polyethylene coating. There are limited recycling options for PPLs which has contributed to disposable cups becoming a high profile, problematic waste. In this work disposable cups have been shredded to form PPL flakes and these have been used to reinforce polypropylene to form novel paper plastic composites (PPCs). Samples were characterised using mechanical analysis and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The work demonstrates that PPL disposable cups have potential to be beneficially reused as reinforcement in novel polypropylene composites.
Poly(Lactic Acid) with Improved Melt Strength and Gardner Impact Strength
Poly(lactic acid) or PLA is a commercial biopolymer made from lactic acid derived from sugar fermentation. “Greenbased”  PLA is desired as a biodegradable film, sheet and food packaging alternative to oil-based polymers. PLA has a Tm melting point range of 150-162°C . Unfortunately, PLA has poor melt strength and impact strength. High melt strength and impact strength are important properties when manufacturing sheet, film, fibers and molded goods. In this paper we explored several ideas to improve the performance of PLA while maintaining its “green” characteristics. We found that an acrylic based core-shell polymer used at a low concentration significantly increased the Gardner impact strength of 15mil extruded sheet. Also, a high molecular weight acrylic copolymer used at low levels doubled the PLA melt strength. Lastly, reacting PLA with organic peroxides increased the shear modulus, molecular weight and melt strength based on rheometer, multi-angle light scattering and Rheotens analysis.
Polyvinyl Alcohol Foaming with CO2 and Water as Co-Blowing Agents
This paper investigated the continuous extrusion foaming of a biodegradable polymer, polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) as the blowing agent. As-received PVOH pellets were first compounded with water to decrease the melting point of PVOH. In addition, the water can help to reduce the potential for thermal degradation during the extrusion foaming process. Furthermore, water also served as a co-blowing agent together with scCO2 to achieve high expansion and high cell density biodegradable polymer foams. The effect of scCO2 content and die temperature variations on the expansion ratio and cellular morphology of the PVOH foam were examined systematically.
Post-Consumer Recycle (PCR) Solution for PC/ABS Blends
To meet the continued commitment on environmental sustainability, SABICTM has developed and commercialized PCR PC/ABS blends portfolio, which provide more options for customer to choose Cycoloy product. PCR Cycoloy grades are all PC/ABS blends containing 30~35% recycled polycarbonate from post-consumer CD and/or water bottle. RCM6123 and RCM6134 are filled grades, while RCY6214, RCY6113, RCY6013 and RCY6713 are non-filled. These grades were developed for various applications with additional value on environmental sustainability. At the same time, in most applications they showed comparable properties to corresponding virgin grade.
Processing of Biomass Fillers and Reinforcements at Entitled Capacity on Co-Rotating Twin Screw Extruders
Polymers are increasingly being combined with renewable biomass fillers and reinforcements to improve product performance, reduce cost, reduce product density, improve aesthetics and/or reduce the carbon footprint typically associated with plastics. The use of renewable materials for fillers and reinforcements in plastics has existed for several decades, however, their acceptance is rapidly expanding due to increasing plastics costs and environmental concerns. Unfortunately, a common property most of these materials share - sensitivity to heat and shear, limits their availability to be mass produced in an efficient manner in order to be cost competitive with commodity plastics and thermoplastic composites. However, a better understanding of the physical mechanisms that contribute to the onset of thermal degradation and of the technologies available to prevent such can enable significant capacity enhancements when processing biocomposites using co-rotating twin screw extruders. Another characteristic of many of these materials is that they possess a low bulk density, making them difficult to transport into the extruder at a high throughput. Technologies have recently emerged that can effectively improve the conveying efficiency of “difficult-to-feed” fillers and reinforcements.
Processing Research and Development of ‘Green’ Polymer Clay Nanocomposites Containing Polyhydroxybutyrate, Vinyl Acetates, and Modified Montmorillonite Clay
The purpose of this research was to determine the feasibility of direct melt-blending (intercalation) montmorillonite nanoclay to polyhydroxybutyrate along with vinyl acetate, at different weight percentages, to enhance plasticization using typical plastic processing equipment and typical processing methodology. Single screw and twin screw extrusion, Banbury mixer compounding, and compression molding were used to intercalate montmorillonite, and for sample preparation purposes, to test tensile and flexural strength of the resultant polymer clay nanocomposites (PCN) developed. Dynamic mechanical analysis of tensile strength and flexural strength was compared as a result of this processing. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and melt flow analysis (MFI) were used to determine the thermal and flow properties of the PCN materials produced during the research.
Properties and Foaming Behavior of Biodegradable Poly(Lactic Acid)/Poly(Butylene Succinate) Blend
Biodegradable poly(lactic acid)/poly(butylene succinate) (PLA/PBS) blends with various blending ratios were prepared by melt mixing for properties and foaming studies. The phase morphology and thermal properties were investigated using scanning electron microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry, respectively. The studies show that PLA/PBS is immiscible blend, and PBS has an effect of plasticizer on PLA, promotes PLA crystallinity with the addition of PBS, meanwhile, decrease the thermal stability of PLA. Supercritical carbon dioxide foaming study shows that the composites foams exhibit larger cell size and smaller cell density compared with neat PLA foam due to lower melt strength of PBS.
Recent Advances in Glass Bubble Polymer Compounds
Glass Bubbles (Hollow Glass Microspheres), due to their unique spherical geometry and low density, provide several benefits in thermoplastic composites. They help produce lighter weight parts in order to achieve stringent fuel economy targets for automotive and aerospace manufacturers. They also provide productivity benefits through shorter cooling times, enhanced dimensional stability and less warpage – helping to reduce waste and improve throughput. In this paper, we provide solutions to achieve high impact strength in glass bubble polyolefin composites through the combination of impact modifiers and compatibilizers as well as demonstrate how GBs can be combined with supercritical foaming technology to achieve double digit weight savings with well maintained properties primarily for glass fiber filled composites.
Sb2O3 Free FR PBT Product Development
Antimony trioxide (Sb2O3, ATO) is widely used as a flame retardant in combination with halogenated materials. The combination of the halides and the antimony is the key to the flame-retardant action for polymers, helping to form less flammable chars. The Objective of this work is to develop ATO free FR PBT products with equal robust FR properties. Many candidates were screened to replace ATO as the flame retardant synergist. Among them all, one FR combination package with no ATO was tried in a glass filled PBT system. Experimental results demonstrated that this ATO free FR PBT product shows good flame properties and passes UL 94 V0 rating @ 0.71 mm thickness. Meanwhile, the physical properties, mechanical properties, and processability were all well maintained. In addition, the ATO free FR PBT formulation is very robust against both extreme extrusion conditions and abusive molding conditions even when recycle materials are incorporated. The same ATO free FR package has the potential to work in other unfilled and filled PBT resins or blends too.
Solid Phosphorous Based Flame Retardants in Impact Modified Polycarbonate Blends for Superior Properties
Phosphorous based flame retardants have been widely employed as eco-friendly flame retardants for impact modified polycarbonate (PC) blends but some of the liquid phosphates cause significant deterioration in key physical properties like impact strength and heat deflection temperature. This work shows results from recent developments at SABIC in order to achieve superior physical properties while maintaining thin-wall UL94 V0 ratings by using solid phosphorous based flame retardants. Additionally, some of these blends also show significantly improved hydrolytic stability which could translate into a more sustainable solution enabled by longer service life for parts made out of such materials.
State-Of-The-Art Additive in Automotive Plastic Applications or How Performance and Aesthetics Can Meet Sustainability
Innovation in additives continuously enhances the offering to the plastic industry. Conversion processes of engineering thermoplastics compounds can be very demanding, especially when reinforced with fillers like glass fibers. Performance, quality, productivity and weight reduction are the automotive industry drivers for plastic applications, combining excellence and awareness. The answer to these needs is the development of specific additives or solutions which provide to the compounds, outstanding protection and process improvement ability, with a particular focus on sustainability.
Study of Mechanical Properties of Soy Flour Additives in Elastomer Composites
Bio-based polymers and biofiller polymers are becoming viable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics and offer increase bio-content at the end of service life compared to conventional plastics and rubbers. Advantages of soy flour include being lightweight, low cost, high strength and stiffness but interfacial adhesion poses to be an issue. In this project, soy flour as an additive to synthetic rubber matrix based composites were studied. Surface modification such as acetylation and grafting with PMMA were compared to untreated soy flour composites. In general, untreated as soy concentration increased, the mechanical properties of the composites decreased. In contrast, pretreated soy flour (acetylated soy flour and grafted soy flour) at 10wt% performed comparable to that of the neat rubber and resulted in an increase in tensile stress.
Sustainable Plastics: Life Cycle Assessment of Biobased and Recycled Plastics
Plastic materials and products produced today should not deplete resources or abilities of future generations to produce plastic materials or products. Sustainable plastics can be sustainable by producing products with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced solid waste, and reduced pollution as compared to conventional plastics. Based on cradle-to-grave life-cycle assessments (LCA), PLA plastic containers had lower greenhouse gases, lower waste generation, and lower pollution than virgin and recycled PET containers. The PLA clamshells had 86% and 79% lower overall environmental impacts than recycled PET and virgin PET containers, respectively, as measured with a Greene Sustainability Index (GSI).
The Effect of Immiscibility on Biobased PLA/PHBV Foams
Biodegradable polymers are currently a critical global research topic as they may potentially serve as replacement to conventional petroleum based plastics. One key strategy to widen its range of application potential is by improving its physical and mechanical properties. Such characteristics can be engineered by blending two polymers of desirable properties together and by inducing a cellular morphology in the pure polymer or blend with the aid of a foaming agent. This paper examines the effect of blending PLA and PHBV on their overall miscibility as well as the effect of their miscibility on the resultant foam fabricated using carbon-dioxide as a blowing agent. PLA and PHBV blends were manufactured in various compositions via compounding and foamed, and their physical, mechanical and morphological properties were characterized. The results indicated that although PLA and PHBV are immiscible, the addition of small quantities of PHBV (at 15wt%) lead to a finer and more homogenous cellular morphology.
The Effect of Reprocessing on Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene
Polypropylene (PP) was injection molded up to 20 runs to study the effect of recycling procedures. The influence of the recycling was studied by observing changes in melt viscosity, tensile and impact resistance properties. The main effect of recycling was decrease in melt viscosity, which is attributed to molecular weight reduction. The observed degradation processes only slightly affected the small strain properties of the materials studied. However, break properties were affected apparently. All the tensile properties related to breaking as well as impact resistance of recycled polypropylene decreased with recycling.
The Effects of Matrix Type and P Roperties upon the Tensile Properties and Notch Sensitivity of Recycled Jute Mat Reinforced Polymerica Matrix Composites
The main objective of this research is to study the effects of matrix type and properties on the tensile properties and notch sensitivity of recycled jute mat reinforced polymeric matrix composites. A single recycled jute fiber mat was used as a natural fiber reinforcement system for three kinds of composites made from three types of resins. The three thermoset resins which were used as matrix for these composites are vinyl ester and two types of unsaturated polyester, low and high tensile strength resins. Three types of jute composites having the same fiber weight content were fabricated by the modified hand lay-up method with pre-impregnation stage in vacuum; we developed this method to solve the problem of the poor impregnation in the thick fiber mats using the normal hand lay-up method. This modification showed in this research as well as our previous research a better impregnation of resin throughout the jute mats and lower voids contents in the composites. Tensile tests have been performed on smooth specimens to evaluate the effect of matrix type and properties on the mechanical properties for the all considered composites. Also, tensile tests have been carried out on notched specimens with different center-hole diameters and having similarly geometrical diameter/width ratio to evaluate the notch sensitivity for each composite. All considered jute mat composites exhibited a higher tensile modulus than that of their neat resins. Although the higher tensile strength of the neat unsaturated polyester resin than that of the neat vinyl ester resin, the jute composites with vinyl ester matrix showed a higher tensile strength by 74% and 55% than that of both composites with unsaturated polyester matrix. In comparison with jute composites with high strength unsaturated polyester matrix, the jute composites with vinyl ester matrix showed a higher tensile modulus and strength by 13% and 55%, respectively. The two jute composites with unsaturated polyester matrix showed
The Feasibility of Using Lignin as Additive and Colorant in Polypropylene
The history of using agricultural base additive and colorant in polymer goes back to the time prior to the introduction of synthetic polymer and plastics materials. The extraction of lignin and the use of lignin in production of natural adhesives can be traced back to the ancient time of Roman, Persian and Egyptian Empire. The human exposures to these materials have proven to have minimal health consequences and minimal precautions. The lignin, as a byproduct of agriculture and paper industry, has a potential of offering a viable natural and sustainable resources as additive and colorant in plastics industry. The application of lignin as a color has a potential of minimizing the use of heavy base colorant to prevent environmental contaminations as well as offering a sustainable, worldwide available and accessible bio-mass. The intention of this investigation has been to study the process-ability, the ease of production as well as the quality of products as a function of the lignin grade and processing technique, and parameters for polypropylene mixed with different amount of lignin.
The Study on the Cell Size and Cell Density Distribution in Microcellular Injection Process with Dynamic Mold Temperature Control Assistance Technology
MuCell® (Microcellular injection molding) is a well-known green molding technology, but the surface defects are the common limitation for its application. Nowadays, the cosmetic drawback of MuCell® process could be resolved via high mold surface temperature and gas counter pressure control. The purpose of this study is to realize the correlation of cell size and density between microcellular injection molding in different mold temperature and composite mold inserts (M333, QC-10 and M333 combination, and QC-10). The numerical approach was also discussed with Moldex3D. In the experimental results of rapid cooling between three kinds of mold-insert design, the QC-10 insert has the best cooling efficiency to achieve 10 °C/sec. When the initial mold temperature was set at 120 °C, the average cell size can also be reduced from 192.92?m, 123.95?m, and 84.97?m, with the cooling rate 1.1°C/sec, 5.1°C/sec, and 10.9°C/sec individually. The DMTC (dynamic mold temperature control) was proved that it not only improves surface quality of product but controls the cell quality in microcellular injection molding effectively.
Thermoforming of Biodegradable Sheets Obtained from a Thermoplastic Starch and Polylactic Acid Blend
This paper describes the blending and the thermoforming performance of a thermoplastic starch (TPS) and polylactic acid (PLA) compound. A twin screw extruder (TSE) was used for corn starch plasticizing and blending with the plasticized PLA. A single screw extruder was used to melt, functionalize and feed the plasticized PLA into the TSE. Extruded pellets were used to make sheets through extrusion calendering, which were ultimately thermoformed in a parallelepiped shape. Thermoformability of the sheets was evaluated by the area ratio, the maximum uniaxial deformation, and the thickness measurement in the machine direction (MD) and transversal direction (TD). The operating window was defined using DMA techniques. The compound showed good thermoformability characteristics.
Thermoplastic Starch: The Prepation Method
This work presents a systematic study about thermoplastic starches. Corn starch was mixed with 2 and 4 wt.% of carboxylic acid and 20 to 30 wt.% of water. The samples were prepared in an internal mixer coupled to a torque rheometer, and the torque values were monitored during mixing. The specimens for mechanical tests were calendered and cut with a knife. The mixtures were characterized by mechanical testing (tensile strength), scanning electron microscopy, and thermal analysis. The torque curves indicated that the samples with and without adipic acid addition suffer retrogradation. When the water content is increased, the glass transition temperature values decrease because water acts as a plasticizer for starch. The mechanical test results showed that samples with 2 wt.% acid content present the highest values of elastic modulus and tensile strength, and the lowest values of elongation at rupture.
We're sorry, but your current web site security status does not grant you access to the resource you are attempting to view.