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Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
Nano-Fibrillated High-Modulus Ductile (HMD) Technology in Environmentally Sustainable Xenoy iQ* Resins
Recently General Electric Plastics launched a series of High Modulus Ductile (HMD) products as an expansion to the Xenoy product line. In these HMD products a highly fibrillated nano network is combined with state of the art mineral filler technology allowing for retention of impact and tensile properties whilst increasing the modulus of molded articles. We have been successfully able to incorporate this technology in the Xenoy* (PC/PBT and PC/PET) resin which has resulted in superior chemical resistance low CTE excellent tensile strength fatigue and low temperature ductility. We will present a case study where HMD technology was combined with our environmentally sustainable low carbon footprint Xenoy iQ* resin offering excellent part performance lighter weight and increased first pass yield during processing.
Recent Developments in UV Stable SMC Technology
The desire for weatherable sheet molding compound for use in a wide range of applications is growing due to the potential of eliminating paint or coatings on the molded article. The elimination of paint or protective coatings can result in significant cost savings and an improved environmental profile for the article. These savings can be realized if existing coating facilities are at capacity or if a green field investment is being considered. Weatherable sheet molding compound (SMC) technology has been previously available but has been designed for specific applications. Transfer of this technology into other application areas has resulted in some performance issues. This paper discusses new developments in weatherable sheet molding compound technology that allow its use in a wider range of application areas.
A Study of Foaming Agent in Bio-Based Polymer Foams
In this study, the effect of variety foaming agents in bio-based polymer such as chemical blowing type of AC and BIH, and physical type of microsphere, has been investigated. The basic matrix of bio-based polymer was compounding PLA with native starch and calcium carbonate in twin screw extruder prior to introducing variety foaming agents at low temperature by dynamic rheometer to avoid the degradation of foaming agents.The topology of cross-section of their foams structure by SEM revealed that physical type of microspheres attained much better density but lower porosity than the others.
Advancements in Laser Marking and Engraving Using Integrated, Through-The-Lens Vision
Laser marking and engraving for the automotive industry poses many challenges to the plastic mold manufacturer. In the past, laser-marking systems have not been intuitive in confirming part identification or part positioning. Inaccurate placement of the mark due to a part misalignment or the engraving of incorrect marking information due to a lack of part identification results in waste parts and reduces product profitability in a highly competitive market.This paper describes the procedure for laser marking using a through-the-lens vision process, Integrated Mark Positioning (IMP), and data compiled comparing marking with and without IMP. Results show that a mark placement accuracy of 0.03 mm with a part placement variation of 4 mm or larger can be achieved. System configuration, operation and benefits of integrated vision are also covered.
Comparison of N2 and CO2 in Extrusion Foaming of Wood-Fiber Composites
Producing cellular wood-fiber/plastic composite (WPC) with physical blowing agents (PBA) offers unique advantages over chemical blowing agents (CBA). This paper compares the foaming behaviors of two environmentally benign PBAs, namely N2 and CO2, to help understand PBA-based foaming mechanisms in WPC. This understanding will help in making proper choices about PBAs and foam processing parameters.
Improvement of the Mechanical Properties of Soy Protein Isolate Based Plastics
Biodegradable plastics based on soy protein were prepared with glycerol as a plasticizer and compounded with different additives such as: polycaprolactone and zinc stearate as well as heat treated at various temperatures after the injection molding process in order to characterize base material strength and the effect of water absorption. The results indicated that the polycaprolactone and, respectively a medium to high heat treatment enhanced the tensile strength and decreased the water absorption significantly.
Injection-Molding Degradation of Biodegradable Polylactide
The effects of degradation on the mechanical and aesthetic properties of injection-molded biodegradable polylactide (PLA) parts were studied. Standard tensile test specimens were molded from NatureWorks 3051D injection-molding grade PLA. Barrel residence time, machine nozzle temperature, and shear rate were varied during the injection-molding process. The resulting specimens were analyzed in a tensile testing machine. Tensile strength, tensile modulus and visual inspection were used to characterize the extent of degradation that occurred during each process.
Interaction of HALS and Colorants
A series of colorants including yellows, reds, blues and greens have been evaluated when processed with monomeric and oligomeric HALS in PP and HDPE. Comparisons have been done in masstone and tint looking at effects on color shift and strength.
Chemical Recycling of Pet with Solid State Shear Pulverization Technology
Post-consumer PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles have been recycled into film and sheet products ever since the Containers and Packing Recycling Law came into effect in 1997. There has been a growing need, however, for a chemical recycling process. In this process post-consumer PET bottles are recycled into monomers that can be used as feed stocks for the recycled production of PET bottles for beverages. This paper reveals a chemical recycling process using an alkali solution in order to depolymerize PET material in to its monomers (terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol) within a short time. Unlike ther researchers, we did not use the flakes of PET, but used powdered PET produced based on solid state shear pulverization (SSSP) technology to achieve maximum yield (98%) and purity (95%) of the monomers in a short reaction time. The powdered PET has unique physical properties that affect experiment conditions temperature and pressure. The resulting terephthalate salt was treated with sulfuric or hydrochloric acid to yield highly pure terephthalic acid. Results show that the best percentage conversion of PET flakes is 1.5mol/l NaOH for 2 hours in 200 °C and for PET powder 1 .5 mol/l NaOH for 1.5 hours in 150 °C.
Clear Barrier at Atmospheric Pressure – the Second Phase
The barrier properties of transparent layers deposited on flexible plastic substrates are of interest to many in the packaging industry. Numerous methods have been used to manufacture transparent barrier coatings with varying degrees of success to address evolving environmental laws requiring the reduction or elimination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are the byproduct of curing liquid topcoats. There is also a consumer preference to visually inspect packaged products through packaging prior to purchase. This paper will present new evidence since the 2006 SPE FlexPack Conference of the potential for clear barrier at atmospheric pressure through the use of plasma processing as integral steps in a composite, or several stage, process for deposition and polymerization of functional barrier coatings. XPS analysis of polymerized film showed presence of silicon, carbon and oxygen in ratios different from the monomer, and in fact approaching a Si:O atomic ratio of 1:2 confirming cross linking effects, and the plasma polymerized organo-silicon films displayed good functional barrier properties without the environmental concerns of VOCs.
Crystalline Polymer Microgels with Surface Interactions
We report one rheological and microstructural investigation of dispersions of polyethylene microgels in squalane. Emphasis in literature has mainly been limited to systems that depend largely on polymer-solvent interactions and little is known of systems that exhibit both intra- and inter-particle crystallinity. The majority of similar reported systems are prepared using a bottom-up approach while the described system is prepared from recycled bulk XLPE via mechanical grinding and fragmentation by sonic energy. Bulk rheological properties and particle surface interactions are explored using conventional rotational and oscillatory rheometry.
Novel Polycarbonate Blends with Improved Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance (ESCR) to Hospital Cleaners and Household Disinfectants
Impact modified Polycarbonate blends are preferred for medical housings due to their excellent balance of mechanical properties, flame resistance and processability. These housings are increasingly subject to aggressive cleaners and disinfectants to meet heightened sanitation requirements. New flame retardant polycarbonate blends using tailored silicone copolymers exhibit improved environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) to many classes of these cleaners.
Designing Injection Molded Bioplastics Products
The ongoing need to keep reducing trial-and error in product design definitely applies to plastics products, and perhaps even more to bioplastics. It remains essential to optimize unavoidable weak spots in injection molded products, such as flow weld lines. Critical product properties were investigated for a poly-hydroxybutyrate, an experimental wood fiber-filled poly-hydroxybutyrate, and a general purpose polystyrene for comparison. Specimens from products molded with poly-hydroxybutyrate were found to have quite good impact strengths in weld line regions. Certain non-trivial injection molding settings, which reduce the impact strength in neat product regions, were found beneficial for weld line properties.
Designing Sustainable Products Using Bio-Based Nanocomposites
Environmental materials-related factors can be best addressed in the design stage. Conversion of materials to products is critically important in dealing with new and partly unknown challenges and opportunities. Experiments to explore bio-based nanocomposites included investigating injection molding processability and product properties. Several nanocompounds with modified poly(lactic acid) were prepared and geometries were molded with typical product characteristics, including flow weld lines. Further molding optimization is needed, preferably in conjunction with new mold design principles and dedicated molding machines.
Polymag Process; Separate & Recover Co-Molded Resins
The PolyMag Additive & Process enables the automated separation of mixed resin regrind. This innovative system reduces the cost of waste in multimaterial, co-molding operations. This paper will describe the process and applications for post-industrial resin recovery and recycling.
Polypropylene (PP) and polysulfone (PSU) were successfully blended despite viscosity and processing temperature variations. These blends showed structure-property improvements with the addition of functional polyolefins. A series of membranes were made using an environmentally-friendly process.
Development of Renewable Polymers from 1,3-Propane Diol and Malonic Acid
The goal of this research is to develop biodegradable copolymers from biomass-derived starting materials. The monomers, 1,3-propane diol and malonic acid, were selected based on the presence of reactive functional groups and availability of these materials in biomass. The effects of varying catalyst and temperature on polymer yield were determined. FTIR spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) were used to confirm polyester synthesis. The polymerization yields, using aluminum chloride, tin(II) chloride, and iron(III) chloride as the catalyst, ranged from 18-58%, 20- 43%, and 32-47%, respectively, over the 125-175 ºC reaction temperature range.
Processing Conditions and Thermal Properties of Poly(Lactic Acid)
Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is an excellent biodegradable polymer that is widely used. The processing conditions of PLA were established by developing a Molding Area Diagram (MAD) on a Roboshot® injection molding machine with different mold temperatures. Isothermal bulk crystallization kinetics of the PLA with 1weight% of talc as a nucleating agent was studied on DSC.
Reinforcing Virgin, Reprocessed or Recycled Polypropylene with Agave Fiber and a Polymeric Coupling Agent
The capability of using residual agave fibers from the tequila production process, to reinforce virgin, reprocessed or recycled polypropylene, is studied. Polypropylene composites were prepared with milled (65 mesh) agave fibers and Epolene E-43 in a twin screw extruder, varying the amount of fiber. Tensile, impact and dynamic tests, along with scanning electron microscopy observations were carried out. The importance of polymer-fiber interaction through the presence of the coupling agent is clearly shown.
Effect of Molding Conditions on Morphology and Structure of Recycled-PET
Mechanical and morphological properties of injection moldings are known to be highly dependant on molding conditions, e.g. barrel and mold temperatures, injection speed, and injection pressure. However, the not all conditions impart the same degree of influence on the final properties of the moldings. Here, the properties of recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) (RPET) were gauged based on accurately measured injection molding conditions, i.e. transducers embedded in the mold cavity were used to measure the resin pressure and speed. Initial investigations have shown that injection speed exerts more influence on the properties of RPET than injection pressure.
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