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.
The Advantages of Direct In-Line Compounding Systems
Marvin J. Voelker, Charles D. Weber, May 2000

Composite Products, Inc. has commercialized in-line compounding technology to produce thermoplastic composites. Turnkey systems continuously compound thermoplastic resin with reinforcements i.e. ½ inch chopped glass, carbon or natural fibers to produce finished composites with outstanding toughness. Coloring, recycling of plant regrinds and use of recyclates are accomplished in-line with the molding process. The patented technology provides molders the ability to contain costs and simplify complex scheduling logistics to meet Just-In-Time shipping schedules.

Towards Design Guidelines for Injection Molded Biodegradable Plastics Products
Prabhu Kandachar, Rolf Koster, May 2000

Specimens of two semicrystalline biodegradable thermoplastics, polyester-amide and polyhydroxybutyrate, injection molded at various settings, have been tensile tested. Upper limits to wall thicknesses with respect to surface appearance were found less severe than for traditional plastics. Molding settings appeared important for mechanical behavior. A higher degree of crystallization was obtained for polyhydroxybutyrate when the cooling rate was decreased. The lowest possible mold fill pressures appeared preferable, increasing ductility for both materials.

Wasteless Distribution Medium: A New Development for the Resin Infusion Process
T. Wassenberg, W. Michaeli, May 2000

The typical resin infusion processes like SCRIMP (Seemann Composite Resin Infusion Molding Process) require the use of a distribution medium or system to increase the impregnation speed in large parts. Normally, a substantial amount of surplus resin remains in the distribution medium and has to be disposed with the medium or remains on the part as resin rich domains. A new patented type of resin infusion process is presented, which does not produce any surplus resin waste.

Energy Absorption in Foam Filled Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic Sections with Light Metal Reinforcement
N. Suresh, Gilbert Chapman II, Craig Patterson, Lawrence J. Oswald, May 2000

The automobile industry is seeing an increased need for the application of plastics and their derivatives in various forms such as fiber reinforced plastics, in the design and manufacture of various automotive structural components, to reduce weight, cost and improve fuel efficiency. A lot of effort is being directed at the development of structural plastics, to meet specific automotive requirements such as stiffness, safety management, strength, durability, environmental standards and recyclability. This paper presents the effect of foam filling on the energy absorption during impact, of typical automotive body sections made up of fiber reinforced thermoplastic material with or without metallic reinforcements. In particular the study compares energy absorption characteristics during impact of typical automotive sections made of fiber reinforced thermoplastic materials without foam filling, with foam filling, with foam and some light metallic reinforcements. An attempt is also made to present results on such energy absorption at varying temperature conditions such as low temperature, ambient and elevated temperatures. In all cases it is found that the inclusion of foam and some lightweight material reinforcement enhances not only the structural integrity of fiber reinforced plastic sections but also improves significantly the energy absorption of such material systems under impact.

Evaluation of a Wood Fiber-Based Compound by Torque Rheometry
Andrew Yacykewych, May 2000

The trend toward increased usage of renewable resources has led to the growing popularity of wood-filled materials. These emerging materials require extensive testing - beginning with formulation and ending with the final manufactured product. In the early stages of development, it is possible to acquire data comparing differences between recipes utilizing a Mixer/Measuring Head. The given blend can be compounded with a customized twin screw extruder and torque rheometer. Finally, a single screw extruder can quantify the rheology of the compound using a capillary die. The objective of this work is to investigate the behavior of a polyolefin based wood-filled compound using a torque rheometer.

Evaluation of Thermoplastic Polyurethane Based Thermoplastic Vulcanizates for Interior Automotive Applications
Michihisa Tasaka, Naganori Masubuchi, May 2000

Although thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs) have been considered as costwise and environmentally attractive materials, they face the difficulty in being used as potential automotive applications because of poor scratch resistance and oil resistance. The new thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) composed of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) / polypropylene (PP) /polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene-co-propylene)- block-polystyrene copolymer (SEPS) systems have been found out to have outstanding oil resistance and scratch resistance. Now they can be used for various kinds of automotive applications such as injection molded, blow molded, extruded, calendered and further, slush molded automotive parts, particularly for automotive interior skins without any coat. The essential issue is conceivably just prolonged weathering resistance and durability. In this paper, this new TPVs are evaluated from the standpoints of weathering stability, long term heat aging and fogging as well as the mechanical and physical properties.

Evolution of Structural Hierarchy in Uniaxially Deformed Branched Poly Lactic Acid Films as Followed by Spectral Birefringence Technique and Others
G. Kokturk, T.F. Serhatkulu, M. Cakmak, May 2000

Over the past two decades, the lactic acid homo and copolymers have been extensively investigated for a variety of medical and pharmaceutical applications; including wound closure1, dental repairs2, fracture fixation (bone plates, screws, pins, and splits)3, ligament reconstruction, vascular grafts4, nerve repairs5 and drug delivery6,7. They are also extensively used in controlled drug release area6-8. With the recent developments in the technologies for purification of the raw materials, the large scale usage of these lactic acid based polymers became quite feasible. This, in turn, is opening the door for application particularly in the biodegradable packaging.

Improved Organotin Stabilizers: Continuing Health and Environmental Research
Sandra R. Murphy, C. Bertelo, R. Ringwood, M. Cochran, May 2000

Years of experience and significant research support using organotin mercaptides as PVC stabilizers. Safe use of organotin stabilizers involves following Material Safety Data Sheet instructions and using adequate engineering controls and/or personal protective equipment. Modifications of stabilizers to develop more efficient formulations continue. Product stewardship includes continued development of data to improve our understanding of the effects of materials. An overview of stabilizer trends in the industry, existing data, and planned health/ environmental research is presented.

Investigative Analysis of the Influence Reprocessing Has on the CIEL*a*b* Tristimulus Color Values of Special Effect Thermochromic Polypropylene
Trudie Sands E. Duart, May 2000

The intent of this investigation is to determine the feasibility of achieving optimal color quality when reprocessing special effect" thermochromic polypropylene. The investigation involves blending extruding and molding samples of virgin and reprocessed "special effect" thermochromic polypropylene. All samples undergo visual as well as CIEL*a*b* Tristimulus color value testing. Analysis of the visual and numeric data will determine whether the color values of the reprocessed material remain within the color space established by the standard. If the investigation proves that the color values are within the acceptable color range then recycling of the material would be both economically and environmentally beneficial."

Linearity and Non-Linearity of Mechanical Properties in Blends of Virgin and Recycled HDPE's
Paul Miller, Edward Kosior, Syed Masood, Pio Iovenitti, May 2000

This paper investigates the behaviour of blends of Recycled Milk Bottle Resin (R-MBR) with Injection Moulding or Film Blowing grade HDPEs (IM-HDPE or FB-HDPE). This was done by measuring changes in mechanical and rheological properties as a function of blend composition and compounding intensity. There were three categories of compounding: bag mixing (BM), single pass single screw extrusion (EBx1) and double pass single screw extrusion (EBx2). The results were examined for linear and non-linear trends, and relationships between morphology, mechanical properties and molecular weights were proposed.

Measurements and Modeling of Rheological Properties of Biodegradable PBS/CO2 Solutions
Dmitry Ladin, Chul B. Park, Simon S. Park, Hani E. Naguib, May 2000

The purpose of this research is to study the pressure drop profiles of biodegradable polybutylene succinate (PBS)/CO2 solutions in a slit die and to measure the rheological properties of the solutions as a function of the blowing agent concentration. A slit die with four pressure transducers has been designed to describe the effects of shear rate, temperature, pressure, and gas content on the shear viscosity and extensional viscosity of the flowing PBS/CO2 solutions. The low shear rate viscosity of the pure polymer was measured using a cone and plate rheometer. Extensive experiments were conducted to investigate the polymer/gas solution viscosities at five different shear rates, three temperatures and five gas contents. Cross-Carreau model and generalized Arrhenius equation were used to describe the shear-viscosity behaviors of PBS/CO2 solutions. The extensional viscosity of solution was modeled based on Cogswell's equation.

Mechanical Properties of Starch Filled Poly(hydroxy ester ether) Biodegradable Composites
S. St. Lawrence, J.L. Willett, C.J. Carriere, May 2000

The mechanical properties of starch filled biodegradable composites have been investigated. The strength was found to be independent of the filler content below 10 vol% and above approximately 30 vol%. This behavior is due to the failure mechanism operating in these composites. The matrix, poly(hydroxy ester ether) (PHEE), adheres well to starch and as a result the granules do not dewet during deformation. Instead the composites behave as a quasi-homogeneous material with increased brittleness as the filler content increases. The deformation mechanism was investigated by acoustic emission analysis and by a post-mortem examination of the fracture surfaces.

Microfibrillar Composites with Ultimate Properties
Marianna Sarkissova, Maria Soliman, Gabriel Groeninckx, May 2000

In the past decade, numerous novel polymeric products were introduced, including polymer blends, for various applications in the automotive and electronic industry. Up to now a homopolymer as such has to be reinforced to meet the high demands on stiffness and strength in engineering applications and glass fibres were the major reinforcing element used in these materials. Microfibrillar reinforced composites based on polycondensates are new polymeric construction materials with ultimate properties. Such a composite has specific economical and ecological advantages since, upon recycling, a polymer blend is obtained which can be re-used to make again polymeric materials with specific properties.

Mid-Infrared Process Control Systems for Polymer Melts and Film
J.C.J. Bart, May 2000

The applications of on-line mid-infrared analysis in the polymer field comprise the detection and quantification of additives in polymer melts; compositional analysis of copolymers and polymer blends; control of polymerization processes: end-group determination; network characterization: determination of degree of cross-linking; reaction monitoring: reaction profiling, curing processes, kinetics, end-point determination; in-situ spectroscopy of molecular interactions: fluid impregnation, diffusion, drying, dyeing and extraction; monitoring of extrusion processes; safety and environmental monitoring, gas analysis, This paper examines in particular the current prospects of on-line (multi component) additive analysis in the polymer melt by means of mid-infrared spectroscopy.

Modeling the In-Mold Coating Process of Thermoplastic Substrates
Suneel Vadlamudi, Jose M. Castro, Elliott J. Straus, May 2000

In-mold coating (IMC) is being successfully used as a primer IMC to cover surface defects such as porosity and sinks, for Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) compression molded automotive and truck exterior body panels. A new class of coating materials is being developed [1, 2] for thermoplastic substrates. The potential benefit of using In-mold coating (IMC) as a topcoat for thermoplastics is large. Painting is a very costly and a non-environmentally friendly operation. Key to optimizing the IMC process is to be able to predict the fill pattern, so as to locate the injection nozzle or nozzles, in locations where the potential for trapping air is minimized [3, 4]. CAD software is available [4] to predict the flow of IMC, when the substrate compressibility can be neglected. However, for SMC parts with large regions parallel to the mold closing direction (most truck parts) and in particular for thermoplastic parts, the substrate compressibility cannot be neglected. Our long-term research aims to develop a simulation package that predicts the flow of IMC when the substrate compressibility cannot be neglected. In this paper, a simple model to predict the pressures needed to inject the coating as a function of the substrate compressibility is presented. We will also show how the clamping force needed to prevent the mold deflection can be estimated.

Morphology/Property Relationships in Thermoplastic Starch/Poly(hydroxy ester ether) Biodegradable Blends
P.S. Walia, J.W. Lawton, R.L. Shogren, F.C. Felker, May 2000

The effect of moisture level during processing on the mechanical properties of biodegradable blends of thermoplastic starch and poly (hydroxy ester ether) (PHEE) was studied. The morphology of the blends changed with the moisture content of starch. The dispersed phase was significantly deformed under high moisture conditions, leading to fibrillar and laminar types of morphologies at 50-80% starch level. A low moisture level produced a more dispersed morphology. Improved tensile properties were observed for the blends processed at high moisture levels due to the presence of elongated morphologies.

Municipal Plastic Waste: Alternatives for Recycling with Profit
Ana C. Eulálio, Numa J. Capiati, Silvia E. Barbosa, May 2000

The recovery and recycling with profit of municipal plastic waste (MPW) is still an unsolved problem. Only in the developed countries a small portion of their MPW is used with profit. The major part of the plastic residue is disposed of landfilling. This work analyses the existing methodologies for recycling and assesses their potential application to MPW. Also, a comparative study of incineration, in terms of energy saving and contamination risks, is performed. The energy required for recycling and the energy obtained for controlled incineration is calculated, and the maximum energy opportunity is obtained. On the other hand, the energy needed to recycle either commingled or separated plastic residues was compared, taking into account the final properties obtained and the compatibilization step.

Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Product and Process Control
J.C.J. Bart, May 2000

The main applications of near-infrared spectroscopy relating to polymers are quality control, monitoring of textile fibers, remote identification/classification of polymeric materials (recycling), monitoring of polymer melts for additive and/or (co)polymer composition, and polymerization monitoring (of polyolefins, epoxies, nitrogen-containing polymers). Diffuse reflectance and transmission, transreflectance and reflectance modes are being used. Examples of the aforementioned applicational areas will be given with the main emphasis on the on-line (multicomponent) additive analysis in the polymer melt by means of near-infrared spectroscopy.

New Compatibilizers for Styrenic/Olefinic Blends
A.J. Uzee, May 2000

Styrenic block copolymers (SBC's) are increasingly being used as compatibilizers (interfacial agents) in polystyrene and polyolefin blends with either virgin and/ or recycled resins. Many technical articles and patents on blends of styrenic and olefinic polymers indicate that styrenic block copolymers and more specifically styrene-butadiene- styrene copolymers function as compatibilizers. This paper reports the effectiveness of new block copolymers to compatibilize styrenics and polyolefins. In addition, a comparison of physical properties of blends using new block copolymers is made to those currently used in the industry.

New Rapid Tooling Concepts
Falk Lindner, W. Michaeli, May 2000

Within the scope of Rapid Tooling the IKV is working on the optimization of Soft Tooling techniques and on the development of Hard Tooling techniques. The aim is to get molds with a high mechanical strength and series-like cooling conditions. For that purpose the resin casting process is improved taking advantage of the sedimentation of a steel powder filler. Furthermore the metal injection molding (MIM) is analyzed with respect to its suitability for manufacturing steel molds or prototypes. The mold used in the MIM process is made by stereolithography. The results show the possibility to get steel powder contents as high as the bulk density with the resin casting. It is also feasible to manufacture green parts of steel molds or prototypes with MIM.

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