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.
Compatibilization of Polypropylene/Polysulfone Membranes
S. Lawal, V. Flaris, May 2006

Polypropylene (PP) and polysulfone (PSU) have not been previously blended due to viscosity and processing temperature variations. These blends made using an environmentally-friendly process showed structureproperty improvements with the addition of functional polyolefins.

Development and Use of Eco-Plastics in Mexico and Latin America
Veronika Pesinova, Ranganath Shastri, May 2006

In Mexico and other countries of Latin America, the per capita consumption of plastics has more than doubled during the last decade. This results in the increased generation of plastic residues which leads to the growing plastics waste disposal problem. This paper presents a concept of Eco-plastics" which is an integrated approach to solving plastic waste generation challenges in Latin America. A feasibility study is recommended as a first step towards the implementation of this concept."

Applications of Thermoformability Analyzer
Amit Dharia, May 2006

Thermoforming consistent parts depend on knowing and controlling several material and process variables, the most important being the quality of the sheet feed stock. The extruded sheet of the same material could vary in terms of polymeric contamination, thickness, thermal stresses, and amount of regrind, volatiles, color, gloss and grain. Mold material and mold temperature could also vary. Many times, effects of such variations manifest during actual thermoforming in form of tearing, wall thinning, shape distortion, fading, pinholes, and grain distortion. We illustrate use of novel equipment for rapid detection of such variables and their effects on thermoformability, sparring need for expensive plant time and material waste.

Dispersed Nanoclay in GFRP as a Barrier Against Environmental Attack
Naveenkamal Ravindran, Rakesh K. Gupta, May 2006

E-glass fiber-reinforced vinyl ester plastics with up to 5 wt% montmorillonite dispersed in the matrix were immersed in distilled water for nine weeks. At one week intervals, samples were removed and sectioned, both perpendicular and parallel to the fiber direction. Scanning electron microscopy revealed progressive degradation of the matrix and the glass reinforcement. However, the rate of moisture attack decreased with increasing amount of dispersed clay; this was confirmed by strength, stiffness and ductility measurements.

Effect of Environmental Stress Cracking Agents on, Fatigue and Creep of a MDPE Pipe
R. Ayyer, A. Hiltner, E. Baer, R. Matheson, May 2006

The effect of environmental liquids on slow crack propagation in MDPE pipe is investigated. At 50°C, the differences in kinetics and mechanism of crack propagation in fatigue and creep are described relative to that in air. The relationship between fatigue and creep was strongly affected by the presence of environmental liquids.

Effect of Molecular Weight on the Interfacial Properties of GF/PP Injection Molded Composites
H. Okumura, T. Yoshida, U.S. Ishiaku, A?Nakai, H. Hamada, May 2006

For the fabrication of GF/PP injection molded composite, 3 types of PP with different molecular weights were used in order to simulate the recycling process of PP. Effects of weight-average molecular weight on interfacial adhesion between GF and PP were investigated. Moreover, effects of fiber length was also examined through high-back and low-back pressure at the injection molding condition.

Bio-Based Polyurethane Nanocomposites
Rama Krishna R. Etekallapalli, Christopher C. Ibeh, May 2006

Polyols derived from soybean oil are new polyurethane raw materials derived from the renewable resources, and with isocyanates they produce polyurethanes that can compete in many aspects with ones derived from the petrochemical polyols. Combined with polyisocyanurates, they produce materials of good thermal, oxidative and weather stability.The main objective of this research is to synthesize mechanically reinforced polyurethanes, and study the influence of the concentration of nanoparticles on the properties of the new material. Two different soybean oil based polyols, SOY169 and SOY201 were selected to synthesize the polyurethane nanocomposites using a diisocyanate (pure MDI) as a curing agent. The clay used at different concentrations (0%, 1%, 3%, and 5%) in the synthesis of the nanocomposite polyurethanes was organo modified Montmorillonite clay, Cloisite®10A. Methanol was chosen as solvent media in preparing the samples.Several methods were used to analyze the samples like, mechanical tests – Tensile strength, Flexural modulus, and Notched Izod Impact strength; Thermal analysis – Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA); Structural analysis – Atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier Transform Infrared spectra (FTIR).

Failures of Plastic Products Due to Not Adequately Replacing of Metals by Plastics
J.L. Spoormaker, Ihor Skrypnyk, Anton Heidweiller, May 2006

Replacing metals by plastics often results in unreliable products. The main failure causes will be presented. As a practical example mechanical and thermal failures of a waste water tank designed for metal and replaced by HDPE will be discussed in detail. The solution to a problem to design snap-fit assemblies on buckling ribs is outlined.

Fracture Behaviour of Injection Moulding Post-Consumer Wood/Plastic Composite Foams
R. Gosselin, B. Riedl, D. Rodrigue, May 2006

This study investigates fibre reinforced microcellular foams produced via injection moulding using recycled polymers. The objective is to determine the effect of wood, blowing agent and coupling agent contents on impact and tensile properties. Birch wood fibres were blended with a post-consumer HDPE/PP matrix to produce the composites. Azodicarbonamide was used as a blowing agent while maleic anhydride polypropylene copolymer was used as a compatibilizer. Optimal results were obtained with 20 wt.% wood contents.

Bio-Fiber Composites from Recycled Polyropylene
Minh-Tan Ton-That, Florence Perrin-Sarazin, Johanne Denault, Kenneth C Cole, May 2006

In this work, natural fiber and wood composites based on neat and recycled polypropylene (PP) were fabricated by melt processing. Different formulations, including various reinforcement contents, different types of coupling agents, different types of reactive additives, and an impact modifier were developed. The reinforcements were in the form of natural fibers like banana, flax, rice husk and palm fibers and of wood sawdust. For the long fiber composite systems, processing was done by compression molding of piles of long fiber mat and extruded polypropylene film. For the short fiber composite, the samples were prepared by extrusion followed by injection molding. The tensile, flexural and impact performance were characterized and all composites show superior mechanical properties when compared with the pristine matrix. Mechanical performance of the wood composites was also evaluated before and after conditioning in water for 1 and 7 days. Results indicate that the composites resist humidity very well. The results also demonstrate the effect of formulations on the performance of the recycled composites.

Interfacial Adhesion in Bamboo Fiber/Biodegradable Polymer Composites
M. Nakamura, K. Kitagawa, H. Okumura, U.S. Ishiaku, M. Kotaki, H. Hamada, May 2006

Surface treatment with natural resin on bamboo fibers is hypothesized to improve the interfacial adhesion between bamboo fibers and biodegradable polymers. Effect of the surface treatment on the interfacial adhesion was investigated by evaluation of mechanical properties and fracture behavior of the composites.

Measurement of Fuel Barrier Properties of Rotational Molded Materials
B.A. Graham, D. Cook, May 2006

Future California Air Resources Board (CARB) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel emission standards will change the rotational molding industry. This study outlines an apparatus and test method useful to screen various materials relative to these new standards. Quantification of permeation rate and the identification of individual permeating components were conducted on actual coupons from rotational molded parts. A correlation to rotomolded tanks is presented with the preferred material candidates being explained.

Mechanical Recycling of Injection-Molded Wood-Thermoplastic Composites
Maja Rujni?-Sokele, Mladen Šercer, Gordana Bari?, May 2006

Wood-thermoplastic composites are usually processed by extrusion, and therefore an attempt has been made to study their suitability for injection molding. The experiments were made to study the behavior of the wood flour-polypropylene composite during injection molding, and to what extent the mechanical properties deteriorate after several processing cycles, i.e. mechanical recycling.

Phenomenon of Gas Fading in Thermoplastic Elastomer in Automotive Interior Applications
J. McCoy, K. MacInnis, A. Montalvo, M.R. Sadeghi, May 2006

Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) are suitable materials for automotive interior applications. TPE can be adequately stabilized for protection against extended exposure to UV and heat during compounding, subsequent fabrication, and end use. Under certain environmental conditions, material discoloration can occur. We will explore the nature of this discoloration, and review the current technology to eliminate it.

Crystallization Enhancement of Poly(L-Lactide) by Carbon Nanotubes
Yeong-Tarng Shieh, Gin-Lung Liu, May 2006

In this work, we started the preparation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) by the CVD method. Following surface modifications, MWNTs were grafted with poly(L-lactide) to obtain poly(L-lactide)-grafted MWNTs (or MWNTs-g-PLLA). Prior to investigation on whether the MWNTs-g-PLLA could be an effective reinforcement for the semicrystalline, biocompatible and biodegradable PLLA, we investigated the effects of MWNTs on the crystallization of PLLA in the nanocomposites (PLLA/MWNTs-g-PLLA) using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The MWNTs was found to significantly enhance the crystallization of PLLA.

Degradability of Commercially Available Biodegradable Packages in Real Composting and Ambient Conditions
Gaurav Kale, Rafael Auras, Sher Paul Singh, May 2006

The demand for environmentally-friendly biodegradable packaging is a growing area, reflecting consumer and retailer awareness of the issues of waste disposal. Compostability has, so far, been the main focus of applications of biobased packaging materials, which is the natural outcome for a vast amount of packaging materials and waste. The aim of this study was to evaluate the degradability of four commercially available Poly (lactide) packages, a bottle, a tray and two deli containers, in real composting and ambient environment conditions. The correlation of the package’s properties changes with time was examined. The physical property breakdown was monitored by visual inspection; GPC, DSC, and TGA.

Recycling Non-Halogen FR-PC/ABS
Paul Moy, May 2006

PC/ABS composites used extensively for laptop housings have grown significantly in the plastic waste stream. For these systems, required flame retardancy is done either through system design or composite formulations. Many manufacturers opt for non-halogen FRs such as triaryl phosphates. This paper will look at these options, measuring properties relative to recycling issues and using common industrial practices, present performance in a realistic recycling program. This study also considers additives found useful as stabilizers.

Recycling of Latex Based Paint as Polymer Feedstock Materials
Jennifer K. Lynch, Thomas J. Nosker, Robert Hamill, Richard L. Lehman, May 2006

This work investigates the recycling of used latex paints into non-paint products. Waste latex paint was collected, dried, and prepared for mixing as polymer feedstock. This feedstock was melt-blended with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) at various composition ratios by injection molding. Tensile mechanical properties and thermal properties of paint/HDPE and paint/PMMA polymer blends were determined. Thermal analysis revealed that these blends are immiscible.

Recycling Thermosets: The Use of High-Pressure High-Temperature Sintering (HPHTS) and Degraded Material as Means of Producing New Products
Drew E. Williams, Richard J. Farris, May 2006

High-Pressure High-Temperature Sintering (HPHTS) of waste thermosets allowed for the production of new parts from 100% recycled material. This technique along with utilizing degraded material as filler has resulted in the successful recycling of thermosetting materials at high recycle levels. Finally, Chemicals Stress Relaxation experiments offered excellent insight into the mechanism of HPHTS and the degradation process.

Eco-Design of Plastics Products
Ranganath Shastri, Veronika Pesinova, May 2006

An unintended consequence of the growing consumption of plastics is the increase in amount of plastics products discarded daily by consumers worldwide contributing to growing share of plastics in municipal waste streams. With the product life cycle of most products getting shorter each day, product designers have a responsibility to minimize the negative impacts of their designs on the environment. This paper describes best practices for incorporating environmental impact considerations during various stages of plastics product development, and provides specific guidelines to assist designers for eco-design of plastics products.

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