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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.
Transamidation Of Corn Oil Side-Steam Product From Bioethanol Industry As Strategy To Develop Sustainable Polyesteramides
Manjusri Misra, May 2018
The valorization of side-steam products from bio-refinery is of crucial interest to develop further the viability of a bioeconomical system. The corn oil is one of the important co-products from the bioethanol industry with a production of more than 2.7 billion pounds in 2015 in USA. [1] In this investigation we propose to create new materials with higher added value by developing new monomers and polymers through transamidation and successive polyesterification. The resulted sustainable materials can be used as toughening agent for both thermoplastic and thermoset polymers.
Tunable Degradation Of Poly(Butylene Succinate) By Copolymerization And Catalysts
Siwen Bi, May 2018
In recent decades, poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) has been attracting attention as a promising and important polymer in the bio-based and biodegradable polymer family due to high thermal resistance and good mechanical properties. However, compared with other biodegradable polyesters (e.g., poly (lactic acid)), the high cost of PBS limits the widespread applications, especially for the packaging industry. In this paper, PBS-based copolyesters were prepared successfully by a two-stage melt synthesis, and degradability of the polyesters was investigated. It was found that the degradability of PBS could be tuned over a wide range by adjusting the degradation catalyst and lowering crystallinity by forming random copolymers. Based on our previous work on the tunable properties of PBS-based polyesters, the degradation results indicated that the enzymatic degradation mainly depends on the morphology and thermal properties, while the ratio of ester groups in polymer is the crucial factor for base-catalyzed hydrolysis.
Ulta-Low Density Foams Of Nanocrystalline Cellulose Reinforced With Polyvinyle Alcohol
Nahal Aliheidari, May 2018
Environmentally friendly thermal insulation and energy saving materials are in high demand for buildings, packaging, and other applications. Here, we report ultra-low density composite foam materials that are mainly composed of cellulose, an abundant degradable and recyclable green material. Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) was mixed with 0-20 wt.% polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) in an aqueous solution, followed by ice crystallization and freeze drying processes to fabricate the NCC/PVA cellular structures. Ultralight foams with densities as low as 0.026 g.cm-3 (porosities as large as 98.22%) were successfully prepared and their compression and thermal conductivity behaviors were characterized. The results revealed that the compressive stiffness and strength of NCC foams can be significantly enhanced (about an order of magnitude) by the introduction of 20 wt.% PVA as an elasticity enhancer. The thermal conductivity of NCC/PVA foams remained approximately unchanged with an increase in the PVA content and varied only between 0.037 and 0.041 W/mK, a range that is common for commercially available insulation materials. A relatively low thermal conductivity with enhanced mechanical properties of these NCC-based foams offers a potential bio-based material composition for insulation applications.
Wheat Protein As A Participant In The Sulfur-Curing Of Isoprene Rubber
Barbara DeButts, May 2018
In this study, trypsin hydrolyzed gliadin (THGd) from wheat was used as a curative and reinforcing filler in synthetic isoprene rubber (IR). Curing kinetics of the THGd compounds demonstrated that THGd was most effective when utilized as an activator in place of zinc oxide and stearic acid (ZnO/STE). The THGd vulcanizates exhibited comparable or higher moduli to the control, but lower crosslink densities and slower curing kinetics. THGd was able to facilitate crosslinking, as shown by swelling experiments, but further study is needed to match/exceed the kinetic properties of the control. Interestingly, THGd was very effective as a reinforcing filler and reinforcement increased as a function of molding time. Thus, rubber processing was favorable to the self-assembly of hydrolyzed protein into a reinforcing phase.
ReFocus 2018 - Recycled Carbon Fiber Thermoplastic Compounds(2).pptx
Chris Surbrook, May 2018
This paper will discuss the use of recycled carbon fiber as a reinforcing filler in thermoplastic compounds, and how this material adds value to both prime and recycled plastic resins. Background,Validating, Prime vs. Recycled Carbon Fibers, Improvements to Recycled Resins, Improvements to Prime Resins, Applications
SPE Sustainability 2nd Quarter Newsletter
SPE Sustainability Division, August 2018
Read the latest issue of the SPE Sustainability Division newsletter.
SPE Sustainability 3rd Quarter 2018 Newsletter
SPE Sustainability Division, October 2018
Read the 3rd Quarter 2018 issue of the SPE Sustainability Division newsletter.
SPE Sustainability 2018 4th Quarter Newsletter
SPE Sustainability Division, February 2019
Read the 2018 4th Quarter issue of the SPE Sustainability Division newsletter.
Advancements In Decorative Pvd Chromium Coatings For Polymer Substrates
Michael Brazil, March 2019
Environmentally friendly PVD on plastics for automotive decoration are rapidly gaining acceptance. They replace galvanic processes, eliminating their toxic process and waste stream for plating on plastic (POP). VTI’s SuperChrome has already received approvals from Daimler and PSA. Part design for PVD, polymer selection, and available range of color and appearance will be discussed. OEM specifications based on testing, unique to PVD and distinct from both electroplate and painted surfaces are required.
Biopolyesters For Agriculture: Permeation And Degradation For Controlling Chemical Release
Margaret J Sobkowicz, March 2019
Biobased and biodegradable polymers are well suited to agricultural applications where hey can be left in the field to degrade into innocuous byproducts. These polymers are lso widely used for biomedical controlled release. However, the properties and egradation rates are not necessarily suitable for the environmental conditions and utrient demand of plants. In this work, two different biodegradable polyesters are repared and contrasted in terms of their diffusion and degradation rates.
Characterization Of Recycled Polymer Compound By Thermal Analysis
Yanxi Zhang, March 2019
Thermal analysis techniques, such as DSC, TGA, DMA and TMA are commonly used in polymer characterization. In this paper these techniques with the help of Identify, a database search software, are used to characterize recycled polymer compounds for preselection.
Heat Treated Bamboo Fiber For Sustainable Polymer Blends
Curtis Covelli, March 2019
This study evaluated polymer composites produced from recycled PA6 and PP blend with bamboo fiber. Blends of bamboo fiber were used as received, as well as heat treated. It was observed that heat treatment at 160ºC/180ºC improved the tensile and impact properties of the composite compared to untreated fiber composite. The goal of the study was to produce a thermally stable, lightweight composite suitable for under-hood applications.
Injection Molding Processing Of Bio-Based & Bio-Filled Resins
Chad Ulven, March 2019
Injection molding with bio-based and/or bio-filled resins is becoming more commonplace as the plastics industry responds to the environmental and sustainable desires of the economy. This paper presents some intricacies of part design and processing developments when injection molding with bio-based and bio-filled resins.
Sustainable Polyamide Compounds
Ying Shi, March 2019
Value added cost effective and sustainable polyamide 6 and 66 compounds were prepared by incorporating 10 to 30% recycle content without significantly sacrificing physical properties. This was achieved by reactive extrusion with chain extending additives to couple low molecular weight chains in recycled feed streams. Three types of chain extending additives with different functionalities were evaluated in this study. Based on the performance and cost, one of the chain extending additive was identified as the best option.
The Importance Of Chemical Stabilization In Recycled Material For Corrugated And Conduit Polyolefin Pipes
Ian Query, March 2019
Much attention has been given to stabilization packages for polyolefin pressure pipes over the past couple decades, however corrugated and conduit pipes have generally been ignored with respect to more robust stabilization packages. Certain groups such as the Florida Department of Transportation have set rules establishing oxidative resistance in HDPE corrugated pipes, but few others have followed this example. A discussion of the simplicity and importance of pipe resin stabilization as well as examples from stabilized pipes will be covered.
3D Printing Of Biodegradable Polymeric Blend By Fused Filament Fabrication (Fff): Processing & Characterization
Mawath Qahtani, March 2019
The target of this research was to fabricate and optimize a new 3D printable biobased material that can be used for biomedical applications that require biodegradability, biocompatibility and good mechanical properties. This research was successful in preparing a biobased filament made of 70% Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and 30% Poly (butylene succinate) (PBS) and 3D printing this filament using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technique. The rheological properties were investigated prior to 3D printing and the 3D printed specimens’ mechanical properties were compared to control specimen processed with injection molding method. The V-notched Izod impact testing of the 3D specimens showed about 30% higher impact toughness in comparison to the injection molded specimens.
Aerobic Biodegradation Of Bioplastics Under Different Environmental Conditions
Erick Omar Cisneros-López, March 2019
In recent years, the increasing concerns on the widespread use of petro-based polymers and the pollution problems associated with their inadequate disposal and handling are driving the development of new and more sustainable polymers, especially biodegradable plastics obtained from renewable resources. The biodegradability of biopolymers depends on their physical and chemical properties, but also on the environmental conditions of the biodegradation media, on which depends the type and availability of microorganisms involved directly in the biodegradation process. Biopolymers showed biodegradability in compost, soil and marine conditions, however, presents different biodegradation rates when compared between these environments. For example, polylactic acid (PLA) showed an excellent biodegradation in compost. Conversely, in marine environment, PLA presented low mineralization rates, while polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) presented an excellent biodegradation in marine conditions. In this sense, a biopolymer with a biodegradation rate around 10% may not be considered as biodegradable in any condition and their accumulation in ecosystems can result harmful. In this study, biodegradation of bioplastics under different environmental conditions are discussed.
Cellulose Nanofibril Reinforced Polybutlene Suiccanate Bio-Composite
Hamad Al-Turaif, March 2019
Nanocellulose is a unique and promising natural material which is extracted from natural cellulose. The nanocellulose is gaining attention for its use in biomedical applications because of its remarkable physical property, special surface chemistry, excellent biocompatibility and low toxicity. In this study Polybutylene Succinate (PBS) with 5 levels of cellulose nanofibril (NFC) is being developed. The results demonstrate that the addition of NFC has modest effect on the thermal properties but improved the mechanical properties of PBS. The complex viscosity n* of NFC/PBS presents the shear thinning behavior. Furthermore, the water contact angle defines the hydrophilic nature of NFC/PBS composite.
Characterization Of Polyolefin Recyclates Sourced From An Informal Waste Picker Community In Kenya
Markus Gall, March 2019
The issue of plastic waste recycling and the idea of establishing a circular economy of plastics is receiving considerable interest from society, policymakers, and industry alike. A truly sustainable development in this field, however, can only be achieved when finding proper solutions to recycling challenges in world regions where formal waste management systems are lacking. In this work, polyolefin recyclates sourced from an informal waste picker community in Nairobi, Kenya were characterized in terms of material composition and basic mechanical properties. It was found that despite the absence of formal waste management systems in developing and emerging economies it is possible to produce technically useful recyclates that may compete with today’s commercially available recyclate grades.
Effect Of Fiber Pretreatment On Mechanical Properties Of Agave Fiber (Af)-Polypropylene (Pp) Biocomposites
Cindu Annand, March 2019
Finding biobased fillers is growing more important as the need to use less petroleum-based plastics increases. Natural fillers provide advantages over non-natural fillers, such as glass and talc, in that they are typically lighter, biodegradable and renewable. These experiments were focused on increasing the interfacial bond in agave fiber (AF) - polypropylene (PP) biocomposites. Processing parameters, such as number of wash cycles the AF underwent, drying time prior to injection molding, and AF loading level were studied in order to characterize the mechanical properties of the composite formulations. It was found increasing the fiber loading level increased stiffness however reduced elongation as well as tensile strength. There were insignificant differences in tensile strength between the fibers that underwent no wash, one or, three wash cycles. In addition, the specific strengths were inversely proportional to the addition of AF into the composites. There was not observed a significant effect of drying time prior to injection molding on the mechanical properties.

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