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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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Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
Biodegradation Of Biodegradable And Compostable Plastics Under Industrial Compost, Marine, And Anaerobic Digestion
Joseph Greene, May 2018
Biodegradation was measured for biodegradable, compostable, and oxodegradable plastics while exposed to aerobic composting, marine, and anaerobic digestion environments. Biodegradable plastics included, corn-starch based biobag, PHA bag, Ecoflex bag, and PLA lids. Positive and negative controls included, Kraft paper and polyethylene. Other plastics included, and oxodegradable plastic bags. For industrial composting environment, compostable plastic products, along with oxodegradable, cellulose paper, Kraft paper, and polyethylene plastic wrap, were placed in an environment consistent with ASTM 5338 conditions. For marine environment, the plastic samples were placed in a test environment consistent with ASTM 6691. For anaerobic digestion, plastic samples were placed in an environment consistent with ASTM 5511. The degradation was evaluated by measuring CO2 gas, which evolves from the degrading plastic samples. For industrial compost conditions, the compostable plastics, namely, PLA, sugar cane, PHA, Ecoflex, and starched-based biobag, degraded at least 90% and met the degradation time requirement in the ASTM D-6400 standard. The oxodegradable, UV-degradable plastics, and LDPE plastic bag had negligible degradation. After 180 days placed in a commercial food-waste composting operation, PLA, PHA, Ecoflex, and corn starch plastics completely degraded. Small fragments of sugar cane lids and Kraft paper were visible. The oxo-biodegradable plastic bags, LDPE plastic bags and UV-degradable plastic bag did not fragment nor degrade. The samples were also exposed to a simulated marine environment. Under marine conditions, PHA experienced significant biodegradation. Alternatively, corn-starch based trash bag, PLA cup, Ecoflex bag, sugar cane lids, UV-degradable plastic ring, and Kraft paper did not exhibit biodegradation under marine conditions. Under anaerobic conditions PHA experienced biodegradation, but PLA, paper, and polyethylene did not.
Changeover Time For A Lab-Scale Blown Film Line
Christopher Thurber, May 2018
Accurate understanding of changeover time (i.e., the time it takes to change formulations) in a blown film line can minimize waste and maximize production. Previous work examined changeover time in extruders, and residence time distribution for blown film [Wang et. al., ANTEC Tech. Papers, 2015, Wang et. al., ANTEC Tech. Papers, 2017]. This work uses transmission UV-Vis spectroscopy with a copper phthalocyanine tracer to examine the factors affecting changeover time for a blown film line. Our results show that throughput is the strongest factor influencing changeover time, and material rheology is a weaker but potentially important factor.
Influence Of Gas-Counter Pressure On The Foaming Behavior And The Cell Morphology Of Flexible Polyurethane Foam
Daniel Schneider, May 2018
Discontinuously produced polyurethane (PU) foams can be found in various applications and branches. Typically used blowing agents show significant economic or ecologic disadvantages. Using CO2 as a sustainable blowing agent displays different processing challenges. In this context the influence of gas-counter pressure, which is introduced in the cavity of the mold before injection, and of the CO2-amount on the foaming characteristics and the foam-morphology have been analyzed.
Low Temperature Solution Depolymerization Of Pla
John Campanelli, May 2018
A novel depolymerization method using low-temperature, low-pressure alcoholysis of PLA in a ternary solution is outlined in this work. Depolymerization kinetics are studied for the PLA/methanol/chloroform system at 57°C. Large changes in molecular weight can be achieved at relatively mild conditions. A tin catalyst is found to increase the reaction rate significantly. The method is well-suited to industrial recycling processes and is consistent with the concept of a circular economy.
Mechanical Properties And Effects Of Microfibrillation Of 100 % Biomass Sisal-Pla Composite
Hiroyuki Nishimura, May 2018
The mechanical properties of sisal-PLA composites were measured with a parameter of length of sisal fiber, degree of microfibrillation, and mixing method of sisal fiber. The mechanical properties of sisal-PLA composites were also compared with those of wood flour, cellulose based on hardwood, and cellulose nanofiber composites. As a result, the higher tensile strength of the sisal-PLA composite was obtained by kneading PLA and microfibrillated sisal fiber wetted with organic solvent.
Copolyester Based Wpc(Wood Plastic Composites)
Wood-plastic composites (WPC) are composite materials made of wood fiber/wood flour and thermoplastics. Since a polyolefin-based resin, generally used in WPC, exhibits hydrophobicity, it shows low interfacial adhesion when mixed with hydrophilic wood flour, which causes a problem in that flexural strength of WPC is lowered. In case of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin, a phthalate-based plasticizer and stabilizers containing heavy metals can be used in order to enhance processability during the process to make WPC, which are easily extracted out from WPC, causing an environmental pollution problem. Both PP and PVC based WPC are vulnerable to climate changes due to its low dimensional stability according to temperatures, causing many defects and problems. In case of polyester (PET) resin, polyester base resins compatibilizes well with wood, but due to high processing temperature, the wood flour are burned during the process, which makes it impossible to use PET for WPC. Accordingly, in order to solve the above-described problems, ECOZEN® based WPC has been developed. ECOZEN® based WPC has improved physical properties which show superior flexural property (higher than 2 times compared to PP based WPC), impact strength, and lower thermal expansion (or shrinkage). Also it can be easily processed even without help of additional coupling agents, since ECOZEN® shows excellent interfacial adhesion with wood flour. This allows of WPC with higher content of wood flour, which benefits in terms of cost competitiveness and environmental friendliness.
Melting And Residence Time In The Single Screw Extrusion
Clemens Martin Grosskopf, May 2018
The image analysis of the investigation of the melting process, as Maddock has already done in 1959, is further developed by means of modern image analysis. The experiments are carried out on the two most common screw types in the plastics industry: the general-purpose screw and barrier screw. Control of the residence time is essential for the production of high-quality products and is also important for biodegradable and other time-sensitive polymers. The results indicate that both the general- purpose screw and the barrier screw have significant stagnation zones and broad residence time distribution.
Nanocellulose As A Sizing Agent For Glass Fiber Towards An Enhanced Glass Fiber – Epoxy Interphase
Joyanta Goswami, May 2018
Glass fiber/nanocellulose/epoxy interfacial adhesion was explored to determine the optimum coating process and nanocellulose surface chemistry for glass fiber reinforced epoxy composites. The interfacial adhesion was assessed by photoelastic scattering under a microscope and interfacial shear stress (IFSS) determination by single fiber fragmentation test (SFFT). The effect of nanocellulose as glass fiber coating on the interphase was determined and prospects of nanocellulose sizing of glass fibers (GF) were discussed.
Crystallization Behavior Of Poly(Lactic Acid) Composite Nanofibers By Annealing
Jian-hua Hou, May 2018
Poly(Lactic acid) (PLA) is a typical biodegradable and bioabsorbablesemicrystalline material and has drawn extensive attention due to its excellent biodegradability, biocompatibility and mechanical properties. The semicrystalline PLA has a low crystallinity and the crystallite is imperfect which affects the properties of PLA parts. In this study, the effect of annealing on the composite nanofiber of PLA and graphene oxide(GO) and carbon nanotubes(CNT) is investigated. Nanofibers of PLA, PLA/GO and PLA/CNT are successfully prepared. A serials of characterization on crystalline morphology on the nanofibers suggest that the addition of GO and CNT enhance the crystallization of PLA and the enhancement effect of GO is better than that of CNT. Annealing improves the degree of perfection and crystallinity of PLA nanofibers. With the increased annealing temperature, the improvement becomes more significant. The results reveal that annealing is a favorable method to tuning the crystalline of PLA and its composite nanofibers, which allows to optimize other properties for the nanofibers.
On The Use Of High-Throughput Electrospinning To Produce Optimized Packaging Films From Polyhydroxyalkanoates
Sergio Torres-Giner, May 2018
This study describes the preparation and characterization of electrospun films made of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) produced by mixed bacterial cultures derived from a cheese whey (CW) industrial by-product. A mild thermal post-processing step carried out on the electrospun fibers mat, at a temperature below the biopolymer’s melting point, yielded a film with high transparency, enhanced crystallinity, and potentially sufficient mechanical and water barrier properties for sustainable packaging applications.
Development Of Molecular Diffusion Models For Ultrasonic Welding Of Pla
Karla Lebron, May 2018
This research focuses on the characterization of bioplastics joined using ultrasonic welding and modeling of temperature distributions and interfacial healing. Polylactic acid (PLA), which is typically derived from starch-rich crops such as corn, was studied. While the measurement of activation energy for interfacial healing at weld interfaces of PLA films has been reported, here, this information is used to predict the weld strength of rigid PLA samples welded by ultrasonics. A characterization of the mechanical properties was completed with a tensile test to determine the effects of amplitude, weld velocity and collapse distance on weld strength. From previous interfacial healing activation energy measurements based on an impulse welding method, it was also possible to predict weld strength. It was found that the most influential parameters were weld time, collapse distance and weld velocity. In general, the model predicted weld strength reasonably well with r2 values between 0.77 and 0.78.
Direct-Friction Riveting Of Metal-Cfrp Overlap Joints
Natascha Zocoller Borba, May 2018
Friction Riveting is an innovative and promising joining technology, which can potentially fulfill the industry requirements for sustainable and efficient systems. The objective of this work is to prove the feasibility of Direct-FricRiveting by inserting a metallic rivet through metal-composite overlapped plates and subsequent anchoring in the composite part, which is a challenging configuration with limited knowledge available. The case-study joint configuration used in this work comprised a Ti6Al4V rivet, which joined an overlapped AA2024-T3 upper plate with a 30% short-carbon-fiber-reinforced poly-ether-ether-ketone lower plate, material combination of high interest for the aircraft industry. Evaluation of joint formation, temperature development, microstructural and physicochemical changes in the composite, and mechanical properties were carried out for joints produced under low and high energy input. The feasibility was proved, showing satisfactory mechanical performance under lap shear testing (up to 7 ± 1 kN). Changes of polymer crystallinity and thermo-mechanical decomposition in the composite were shown not to affect the joint mechanical performance and failure behavior, while the plastic deformation at the rivet tip played the major hole. The knowledge gathered in this preliminary work will be further applied to optimize the process, contributing to the development of the Friction Riveting technology and improvement of its industrial applicability.
Effect Of Shish Material On The Formation Of Self Induced Shish-Kebab Structure
Xiaofeng Wang, May 2018
The shish-kebab structure has been investigated for many years and it has been widely applied in many field, while the formation of the structure has still been found in limited materials. In this study, different electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) blended nanofibers with poly (ε-caprolactone-co-lactide) (PLCL), polylactic acid (PLA) and graphene (GO) were applied as shish materials in the self-induced crystallization and different crystalline structure were obtained. The PCL blended fibers with different internal crystalline structure led to different induced crystal lamellae morphology. By comparing with the surface crystalline structure, it seems that the formation of self-induced nanohybrid shish-kebab (SINSK) structure is regulated simultaneously by a lattice matching mechanism and a soft epitaxy effect in the crystallization process. This study might help people to explore the materials for creation of SINSK structure.
Effects Of Biodegradable Additives On The Nucleation Intensity And Growth Rate Of Isotactic Polypropylene Spherulites
Yousef Mubarak, May 2018
The effect of biodegradable additive (Biosphere) on the spherulite growth rates of isotactic polypropylene was studied by means of polarized light microscopy. It has been found that the addition of biodegradable additive to isotactic polypropylene matrix increases the intensity of the spherulites at all covered isothermal crystallization temperature in the range from 125 to 145 oC. In comparison with the neat isotactic polypropylene spherulites, much smaller spherulites were obtained at all crystallization temperatures for the isotactic polypropylene/biodegradable composite. The obtained results show that the presence of the biodegradable additives enhances spherulite growth rate at low crystallization temperatures (below 135 oC) while the effect of these additives is almost negligible at high crystallization temperature (above 135 oC).
Effects Of Molding Conditions On Mechanical Behavior Of Direct Injection Molded Pla/Wood-Fiber Composites
Gangjian Guo, May 2018
Polylactic acid (PLA), derived from bio-resources, is an environmentally friendly plastic which has attracted tremendous interests in both academia and industry. This paper investigates the feasibility of direct injection molding of PLA/wood fiber composites and their mechanical behavior. Response surface methodology was adopted to study the effects of molding parameters, as well as their interacting effects, on the tensile strength of the composites. Melt temperature, hold pressure, injection speed were chosen as the molding parameters studied. Additionally, the analysis of variance was applied to identify the most significant factors. The statistical model would improve our understanding of the tensile strength behavior of PLA/wood fiber composite, and provide the guidance for selecting proper molding parameters to maximize the tensile strength.
Synthesis Of High Hardness Polyester Resin For Powder Coatings
JUNSEOP IM, May 2018
Since powder coatings do not use VOCs, much research has been studied as eco-friendly paints. Among these powder coatings, hybrid type is widely used in home appliances and furniture. Therefore, it is very important to meet both aesthetic characteristics and mechanical properties such as gloss and hardness. However, it is difficult to maintain high gloss with high hardness because of the inorganic filler of powder coatings.
Extending The Boundaries: Bismuth-Based Pigments For The Plastics Industry
Cristina Zanzottera, May 2018
The versatile solid-state chemistry of Bismuth allows for a variety of coordination complexes and the generation of new and robust inorganic pigments as a result. Bismuth has been used in combination with a few inorganic elements, and is most readily found as complexes containing amines and amides, alkoxides, carboxylates, thiolates, and halides. Bismuth Nitrate is amongst one of the most common starting materials for synthesizing Bismuth complexes, and from this starting material the first Bismuth Vanadate pigments (PY.184) were formulated in 1985. There has been continued innovation in this pigment chemistry over the years, and in 2015 a groundbreaking Bismuth orange with a unique color index, PO.86, was launched (proprietary technology of DCC). Since their commercial introduction in 1990 (first production for Ciba, The Netherlands) into the coatings & plastics markets, Bismuth Vanadate pigments have increased in importance as their field of application has grown. These bright yellow, highly saturated pigments are characterized by their outstanding opacity/hiding power, chemical resistance, excellent weathering and durability. DCC’s 3rd innovative generation of Bismuth Vanadate pigments have expanded the limitations of this chemistry to cover a wider color gamut from greenish-yellow to orange hues. Advances such as improving the heat stability has increased the utilization of Bismuth Vanadate products in engineering resins e.g. Nylon 6. Increasing the color strength has created value in use for many customers who want to use less pigment whilst maintaining the hiding power within their system. Moreover, introducing Stir-In technology has helped to reduce operating costs by making the pigment easier to disperse, therefore reducing pressure rise in the extruder and reducing the number of extruder screen changes required during production. Improvements in our manufacturing technologies have allowed DCC to attain the most demanding and specific performance attributes such as heat stability & dispersibility. Through intensive research DCC has been able to introduce an exciting new inorganic pigment into the market, based on Bismuth and identified by a new color index: PO.86. This clean yellow shade inorganic orange has outstanding hiding power, typical of inorganic pigments and represents an excellent starting base for orange colour matches. Additionally, PO.86 is non-warping and has very good heat stability (up to 250 °C): it is therefore strongly recommended for use in polyolefin based plastics, and architectural, industrial, powder, automotive & coil coating applications. There are only a few options for formulators in this shade area (most of which are based on organic starting materials), but none of these alternatives have the same level of durability and opacity as PO.86. This paper will illustrate how Bismuth Vanadate and Bismuth Orange pigments compare to other colorants in the green shade yellow to orange shade areas, with particular reference to performance attributes such as heat stability, dispersibility, weather-fastness, warp resistance and reference how these products perform in different polymer systems. This presentation is thus ideal for those who work & formulate with color and would like to develop a greater understanding of how PY.184 and PO.86 pigments influence the plastics they work with.
Facing Compounding Challenges Of The Future With The Ringextruder Re©
Erdmann Michael, May 2018
The RingExtruder consists of twelve coaxial screws which are arranged in an annulus. All adjacent screws are closely intermeshing and rotate with identical speed around their own axis. The mechanical agitation is very similar to the co-rotating, closely intermeshing twin screw extruders if only two screws are observed separately. The arrangement of the screws in a circle creates twelve meltpools. This leads to optimal conditions for an intensive axial and crosswise intermixing by mass transfer between the screw channels.The RingExtruder offers outstanding dispersion capabilities together with minimal introduction of mechanical energy. The screws of the RingExtruder have 12 intermeshing zones, which produce a flow pattern with a very high degree of elongation, which can be utilized for highly efficient and energy-saving dispersion. In consequence, improved product quality can be achieved and considerably lower product temperatures are obtained.Furthermore, the geometry of the RingExtruder offers a very high surface-to-volume ratio. Thus, a large heat transfer surface area is available. Special designs of the extruder barrels and the centre core allow for an extremely efficient cooling of the processing unit. Therefore, the RingExtruder allows to control material temperatures within defined limits in order to avoid degradation or the unwanted onset of pre-vulcanisation.Due to the splitting of the product flow into the twelve screw channels an enormous surface of the plasticized material with very small volumes is available. Additionally, the twelve intermeshing areas of the screws ensure a frequent material deflection and thus a high rate of surface renewal. This gives the RingExtruder an outstanding performance in degassing processes.The RingExtruder is used for various tasks in the field of compounding, reactive extrusion and devolatilization. Typical applications include the large-scale recycling of postconsumer PET, the continuous production of rubber compounds, the processing of shear-sensitive and/or highly filled materials as well as the manufacture of adhesives.
Fatigue Resistance And Failure Characterization Of Glass Fiber Reinforced Pa Grades
Patrick R. Bradler, May 2018
The fatigue crack growth and failure behavior of five different short glass fiber reinforced polyamide (PA) grades was investigated on specimen level using compact type (CT) specimens. By using a testing device enabling superimposed mechanical and environmental loading, the effect of environmental conditions (23°C in air and 80°C in water), matrix material (polyamide 66 and polyamide 6T/6I) and glass fiber content (30 w%, 40 w% and 50 w%) on the fatigue crack growth kinetics was determined. Tests at 80°C in water exhibited an inferior fatigue crack growth resistance. Furthermore, for PA grades with a similar glass fiber content, an influence of the matrix material was revealed. PA grades with a higher glass fiber content indicate a better fatigue crack growth and failure behavior.
Flow Problems That Could Arise From Adding Biomass Materials To Plastics
Carrie Hartford, May 2018
In an effort to become more “green” in the plastics world, engineers are developing unique products by adding biomass materials to create bio-friendly plastics. The biomass additives may have a different aspect ratio, size, compressibility or density than the pellets and powders but they all must come together in a uniform, consistent, reliable flow into the extruder. Understanding the implications to the handling of adding a new biomass material to a blend is critical for the success of the product. Taking a scientific approach to understanding the flowability of a component and blend is critical to ensuring a successful outcome. Often, this approach results in either making a change to the equipment that the material is handled in to support the new blend, or to making a change in the material or blend (or the conditions at which it is handled) to flow through the existing equipment.

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