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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.
Making Tailor-Made High Performance Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)/ Polylactide (PLA) Blends for Automotive Interior Applications by Irradiation
Carolin C. Vogt, Hans-Josef Endres, Jrgen Bhring, May 2015
In order to create high performance thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)/ Polylactide (PLA) blend films with high heat stability for automotive interior applications it is necessary to crosslink the PLA. In this study, films of PLA and compatibilized TPO/PLA blend films were irradiated using electron beam (EB) and triallyl isocyanurate (TAIC) as crosslinking agent. The samples were irradiated with various irradiation doses. Gel fractions of the irradiated samples and FTIR spectra showed that with increasing irradiation dose mainly the crosslinking of PLA increased whereas the TPO remains in a non crosslinked state. The heat stability of the samples was tested by tensile tests at 80øC. As an indication for higher heat stability of PLA through crosslinking, 300%-Modules were analyzed. The non-irradiated TPO/PLA blend film showed 1.3 MPa as 300%-Module and the blend film irradiated with 87 kGy 2.2 MPa. Therefore the 300%-Module increased by 85% by crosslinking PLA with 87 kGy. With these studies it is proven that through crosslinking PLA films, even in a blend with TPO, PLAs heat stability and consequently the performance of the PLA blend is increased. The increased heat stability of PLA via crosslinking is helpful in expanding the applications of PLA.
Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Coaxial Electrspun Fibers Mesh of PCL-PBAT
Syed Hussain R. Rizvi, Yoni Mercier, Thunyatorn Pukkrueapun, Nandika D?Souza, May 2015
Physical morphology, mechanical and thermal properties of potential drug delivery devices and scaffold structures were examined. PCL and PBAT were selected because of their biodegradable and biocompatible nature. Properties of electrospun single component PCL and PBAT meshes were compared with coaxial fibers of PCL as a sheath material and PBAT as core. DMA test results indicate that the stiffness of the coaxial fiber sample has increased significantly diminishing the flexibility of the mesh. DMA results also reinforced that the strength of the coaxial fibers increases many fold as compared to individual fibers spun.
Mechanical Property Enhancement in Recycled High-Density Polyethylene (rHDPE) via Solid-State Pulverization Methods
Katsuyuki Wakabayashi, Evan Miu, Samuel Jubb, Andrew Fox, May 2015
Low-temperature, solid-state pulverization processes are explored for transformation of postconsumer, recycled HDPE (rHDPE) into value-added applications. A process called solid-state/ melt extrusion (SSME), comprising sequential solid-state pulverization and melt extrusion in a single twin screw extruder, was found to impart significant morphological and rheological changes in rHDPE, which in turn lead to improvements in tensile ductility and toughness to the level of those found in typical neat, virgin HDPE.
Meeting Global Challenges with Micro Solutions: The Role of Plasma Surface Treatment in the Future of Plastics
Paul Mills, Andy Stecher, May 2015
The industrial landscape is ever changing. Some changes come from new discoveries and improvements; others are responses to problems and failures with existing methods. Still others are triggered by competitive market forces and demands such as lower cost. This paper examines seven global trends in plastic part manufacturing:

1. Greater use of regrind and recycled plastic resins
2. Increased interest in thin walled plastic parts
3. Continuous weight reduction in automotive
4. Growth of plastics with bright metal appearance
5. Further reduction in solvent use
6. More UV coating applications for plastics
7. Continued growth of medical plastics

Each of these represents new business opportunities as well as new implementation challenges. In particular we study the role that plastics? surface are expected to play in the success or failure of these new opportunities. We propose that plasma surface treatment provides a workplace safe, environmentally friendly, and cost effective means for meeting these new challenges.
Microstructural Design of Porous Membrane for Effective Sound Absorption Performance
Shahrzad Ghaffari Mosanenzadeh, Hani Naguib, Noureddine Atalla, May 2015
Porous materials and foams are widely used for sound absorption purposes in different sectors. To answer the needs for light weight compact noise insulation material with high sound absorption capability, the microstructure of porous membranes can be designed for optimum performance while occupying the same volume with the same weight. Such engineered structures are known as Functionally Graded Material (FGM). In the present study, novel functionally graded foam with superior sound absorption is introduced and compared to uniform foams of the same porosity. The designed graded membrane demonstrates 20% improved performance. Foams are fabricated from bio-based polymer (Polylactide (PLA)) and are environmentally friendly.
Nucleation of Polypropylene during High Speed Processing
Petar Doshev, Daniela Mileva, Markus Gahleitner, Rene Androsch, May 2015
Nucleation is one important tool for tailoring mechanical and optical properties of polypropylene (PP) as well its processability in various conversion technologies. Especially the latter aspect is gaining more and more importance in the light of sustainability and energy efficiency discussions, as shorter cycle times and high line speeds are aspired. The efficiency of a nucleating system is commonly determined by the crystallization temperature (Tc) of the resin as measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), typically at 10 K/min. However, Tc is strongly dependent on the cooling rate. Thus, at processing relevant conditions (cooling rate 100-6000 øC/min resp. up to 100 K/s) a suppression of the nucleation effect is frequently observed, and in certain cases the nucleating agent can become completely ineffective. In this study, the crystallization behavior of polypropylene heterophasic copolymers, containing state-of-the-art nucleating systems has been compared. Non-isothermal and isothermal crystallization experiments were performed by DSC and by fast scanning chip calorimetry (FSC) at cooling rates between 0.02 and 3.000 K/s. The data obtained suggest significant differences regarding the crystallization rate. The results are discussed in light of the molecular architecture of the polymer and the type of nucleating system.
Numerical Simulation for Screw Geometry Design and Performance Effects on Fiber Breakage Study
Chao-Tsai (CT) Huang, Huan-Chang Tseng, Meng-Chih Chen, Jiri Vlcek, May 2015
Due to the high demand of smart green, the lightweight technologies become the driving force for people in automotives and others development in recent years. Among those technologies, using short and long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (FRT) to replace some metal components can reduce the weight of an automotive significantly. However, the microstructures of fiber inside plastic matrix are too complicated to manage and control during the injection molding from screw, to runner, to gate, and to cavity. In this study, we have integrated the screw plastification, to injection molding for fiber microstructures investigation. More specifically, paid most of our attention on fiber breakage prediction during screw plastification. Results show that fiber breakage is strongly dependent on screw design and operation. When the screw geometry changed, even the compression ratio is lower, the fiber breakage could be higher.
Preparation and Characterization of Cellulose Nanofiber Reinforced Poly (Butylene Succinate) Nanocomposites
Jithin Joy, Cintil Jose, Sohil Shah, Lovely Mathew, Sabu Thomas, Srikanth Pilla, May 2015
Biodegradable nanocomposites were prepared from poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) and isora nanofiber (INF), a cellulosic nanofiber extracted from Helicteres isora. The nanocomposites were processed using a brabender twin-screw compounder and an injection-molding machine. The effects of INF on the mechanical (tensile and flexural), viscoelastic and thermal properties of the nanocomposites were investigated. The tensile and flexural moduli of PBS-INF nanocomposites increased with INF content, whereas the toughness and strain-at-break decreased. The tensile and flexural strengths increased up to 1.5phr INF loading beyond which they declined owing to agglomeration of INF. The storage modulus of the nanocomposites increased with the INF content. The addition of INF did not affect the Tg significantly. The area integration under tan ë curve decreased with INF loading indicating that PBS-INF nanocomposites exhibited more elastic behaviour with increasing INF. The addition of INF did not alter the thermal stability of PBS, significantly.
Relationship between Moisture Absorption, Crystallization and Rheological Property of Recycled PET Filled Pellets with Talc and Glass Bead
Takanori Negoro, Supaphorn Thumsorn, Wiranphat Thodsaratpreeyakul, Jian Jun Liu, Hiroyuki Inoya, Hiroyuki Hamada, May 2015
Talc, glass bead and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were used for developing moisture absorption and improving crystallization of recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) (RPET). RPET and fillers were compounded in twin screw extruder with using air drying along the conveyer to yielding high crystallinity of the compounds. The effect of additional fillers and PEG on intrinsic viscosity, moisture absorption, crystallization and rheological behavior was investigated. The incorporation of fillers and PEG slightly decreased intrinsic viscosity and yielded lower moisture absorption rate than neat RPET. Crystallization kinetic parameters indicated that RPET compounds were faster crystallization, which resulting in higher crystallinity than RPET. Rheological properties of RPET compounds decreased at higher talc contents and the addition of PEG. It can be noted that RPET compounds were lower moisture contents, higher crystallinity and better rheological properties at lower shear rate, which would improve mechanical properties of talc and glass bead filled RPET compounds.
Rubber De-Vulcanisation Using a Planetary Extruder
Michael W. Batton, Thomas J. Malzahn, Michael Gerdon, Ralf Quack, May 2015
Elastomers are wide-meshed cross-linked (vulcanized) polymers and recycling is difficult. Thermoplastic materials can be molten by exposing them to thermal energy and put into different shapes or mixed with other ingredients to form new compounds. Elastomers do not have a melting point, in order to put them into different shapes or mix them with other materials, first the cross-linking has to be broken and the elastomer plasticized again, in other words ?de-vulcanized?. Since this is much more difficult than just melting, in comparison to thermoplastics, elastomers, due to this difficulty, were mainly reduced in size and added as filler in other materials or burned for energy and not recycled into the original raw materials. However, until today there existed no continuous economical process that has been established in the industry.
Soy- and Biochar-Based Fertilizer
Jake Behrens, David Grewell, James Schrader, May 2015
Compounds of soy flour, biochar and a polymer matrix, such as PLA, have proven to be effective fertilizers comparable to commercial products. Prototype composites achieved NPK values of 2.85, 0.20, 0.49 and 3.08, 0.21, 0.48 %, respectively for PLA- and PHA-based composites. These composites only leached a fraction of nitrogen compared to a commercially available synthetic fertilizer. Low leachate values, as compared to commercial fertilizers, may be associated to the absorption and releasing of nutrients by biochar. The nitrogen within the soy is also not readily water soluble and is released over time by microbial action.
Studies on the Blending of Abs/Pla for Creation of a New Green Engineering Polymer
Ryan Vadori, Manjusri Misra, Amar Mohanty, May 2015
Studies on the development of high performing ABS/PLA polymer blends have been done. The mechanisms of individual polymers have been investigated, showing the crystallization of PLA can highly influence its toughness. This can be controlled through process engineering during the molding of the polymer. In addition, ABS has been shown to undergo a crosslinking reaction during the timeframe of melt processing. Understanding these mechanisms has been crucial in the development of high performing ABS/PLA blends that have similar properties to the original ABS. These blends and their properties are discussed.
Study the Effect of hBN Fibre Content and Aspect Ratio on PLA Based Composite Thermal Conductivity
Shahriar Ghaffari Mosanenzadeh, Min Wen Liu, Hugo Palhares, Hani Naguib, May 2015
As electronic devices become smaller and more powerful, heat concentration and as a result heat dissipation would highly affect their efficiency. Also with rising awareness about environmental protection, using bio-based (green) materials as electronic packaging is more important than before. In this context in this research liquid crystal polymer (LCP), hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) high thermally conductive composite fibers were produced and effects of LCP-hBN fiber content and aspect ratio in composite with Poly-lactic acid (PLA) on effective thermal conductivity of the composite were studied. Based on previous studies the largest thermal barrier effect against increasing thermal conductivity of composite is filler particles percolation and phonon scattering at filler particles boundaries. In this study it is observed that the same thermal conductivity as pure fiber can be achieved in composite with lower fiber loading, as long as suitable fibers interaction exist at optimized fibers aspect ratio. This suggest that at right filler content and aspect ratio it is possible to eliminate filler percolation thermal barrier effect and transfer all of the received phonons through the composite thermal pathways rather than scattering them.
Surface Quality of Parts Manufactured Using Selective Laser Sintering
Sean A. Petzold, Jonathan Smet, Tim A. Osswald, May 2015
Surface quality remains one of the biggest problems when manufacturing products using selective laser sintering (SLS). Several experiments were performed using different SLS input variables in order to manufacture samples with different surface characteristics. The effect of virgin or recycled powder, the laser power utilized, and the roller speed were studied and related to surface defects. An Alicona metrology system, with a 4th axis for rotating and imaging tools system was utilized to analyze samples. The three main quantities investigated were average surface roughness, root mean square roughness and ratio of areas. Bearing area curves were also examined.
Synthesis and Characterization of Biopolyesters from Refined Crude Glycerol and Succinic Acid
Oscar Valerio, Manjusri Misra, Amar Mohanty, May 2015
The synthesis of biopolyesters based on refined crude glycerol and succinic acid was studied aiming to determine the influence of the molar ratio of reactants (glycerol to succinic acid) in the extent of reaction and main physic chemical properties of the products. Industrial crude glycerol refined up to 96 wt% glycerol content was employed as monomer for the synthesis along with succinic acid and the reaction was stopped before reaching the gel point in order to obtain non cross-linked products. These polyesters were characterized by gas chromatography, FTIR and thermal gravimetric analysis. It was shown that the molar ratio of reactants employed determines the amount of unreacted monomers present in the final product.
Synthesis of Lignin Based Carbon Particles and Their Performance as Fillers in Bionanocomposites
Michael Snowdon, Manjusri Misra, Amar Mohanty, May 2015
Bioethanol lignin based carbonaceous powder was prepared using carbonization and ball milling optimization to provide a material that may be used as a substitute to carbon black. The resulting carbon powder showed greater surface area and thermal conductivity to carbon black with particle sizes around 1 micrometer. The carbonized ball milled lignin was then compared against commercial carbon black as filler in the formation of thermoplastic composites. The lignin based carbon filler was able to perform similarly to carbon black by increasing the thermal conductivity but no enhancement in the electrical conductivity was evident for the biobased filler.
The Effects of Particle Type, Size and Compounding Conditions on the UV Durability of Thermoplastic Elastomers
Mark D. Wetzel, May 2015
It is well established that the addition of solid particles that absorb light across ultra-violet (UV) wavelengths can improve the environmental durability of plastics. Thermoplastic polyester elastomers are sensitive to UV degradation in both exterior and interior applications. This paper describes an experimental evaluation of the improvement in UV performance of a polyester elastomer, Hytrel?, with the incorporation of a conventional chemical UV stabilizer along with different UV absorbing or scattering solid fillers. A rapid screening method is described that measures mechanical elongational properties as a function of UV exposure time. The results show that the particle type and size, the dispersion quality and melt compounding conditions affect UV durability.
Thermal Analysis of Polylactic Acid and Corn Zein Composites
Sarah L. Cheney, Jo Ann Ratto Ross, May 2015
Polylactic acid (PLA) was blended with corn zein and various compatibilizers in order to study a composite with potentially improved barrier and thermal properties. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to characterize the thermal stability of the composites in comparison to pure PLA, and it was determined that the thermal properties, specifically the onset degradation temperature and rate of degradation of PLA and its composites are extremely dependant on the test method utilized. In this study pure Natureworks 2002D PLA displayed onset degradation temperatures ranging from 306øC to 360øC, depending on whether or not an isothermal hold was incorporated into the TGA method. Rather than improving the thermal stability of the PLA, the addition of corn zein catalyzed the reaction, increasing the rate of degradation, and decreasing the onset degradation temperature.
Thermal Analysis of Soy Flour Elastomer Composites
Kendra Allen, David Grewell, Eric Cochran, May 2015
Biobased plastics are becoming viable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics because they decrease dependence on petroleum derivatives and tend to be more environmentally friendly. Raw materials such as soy flour are widely available, low cost, lightweight, and can have high strength. In this study, soy flour was utilized as a filler in thermoplastic elastomer composites. Because weak interfacial adhesion between the soy flour and the elastomer and low water resistance pose challenges, a surface pretreatment, acetylation, was investigated for composites with soy flour concentrations of 10 wt%, 15 wt% and 20 wt%. Previous studies of the mechanical properties of these composites at 10 wt% determined that acetylation resulted in ultimate strength comparable to that of the pure elastomer. In this study, the chemical pathways of the reaction were verified and the thermo-mechanical properties characterized. Interfacial adhesion was characterized through scanning electron microscopy (SEM); the study determined that the acetylation reaction increased interfacial adhesion as indicated by smaller particle sizes and less agglomeration. Thermal properties were determined though thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Acetylation reduced the intake of water by the soy flour, thus increasing the thermal stability of the composites. Increased thermal stability was indicated by a rise in decomposition temperature.
Time Temperature Superposition Principle for Predicting Long-Term Response of Fique-Fiber Reinforced Polyethylene- Aluminum Composites
Miguel A. Hidalgo, Jos‚ H. Mina, Tim A. Osswald, May 2015
In order to design and manufacture natural fiber-polymer composites as structural components in existing and novel technological applications, the long term viscoelastic behavior of the materials must be understood. In order to do that, the time?temperature superposition principle (TTSP), is used to predict long-term viscoelastic behavior from short-term experimental data. Dynamic?mechanical analysis (DMA), was used to study the viscoelastic properties of composites made from fique mats and low-density polyethylene?aluminium (LDPE?Al) obtained from recycled long-life Tetra Pak packages. This paper reviews the effect in using Chemical treatments such as alkalinization with NaOH, silanization, and polyethylene impregnation treatments for composites, understanding the interaction mechanisms between natural fibers and the LDPE-Al; and presents the effects of treatments on the viscoelastic behavior. Fractographic evaluations in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) confirm the quantitative characterization obtained from DMA.


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