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Various topics related to sustainability in plastics, including bio-related, environmental issues, green, recycling, renewal, re-use and sustainability.
Modification of Cement Using Post Industrial Recycled Acrylonitril Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Latex Powder
Artemio Palos, Nandika Anne D'Souza, May 1999

Polymer latex modification of cement has increased the ductility of the resultant concrete. However, practical application of the concrete is limited since latex is used in a liquid form. In contrast, we have examined use of post industrial Recycled Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene powder (r-ABS). Pullout tests indicate an increase in adhesive bond strength between the polymer-modified mortar and steel re-bar. Thermogravimetric analysis is carried out to examine the influence of the latex on the kinetics of degradation. The results indicate a novel approach of using r-ABS in cement modification.

New Uses for Electroless Nickel in Mold Building and Design
Frederick T. Gerson, May 1999

This paper describes electroless nickel and the scope for its many applications in mold making, maintenance and repair. While most mold builders are familiar with nickel solution for rust prevention in cooling water lines, many have remained unaware of the different formulations of electroless nickel plate and its capabilities as an engineering or functional coating applied by techniques firmly established in the electronics, fire-arms, automotive and other industries. Case histories of in-mold performance illustrate correct usage, proving that electroless nickel can offer properties equivalent to hard chrome plate, yet without the problems of thickness variation, anode deployment or the ever-rising environmental penalties and costs associated with chrome plating.

Nylon 6,6 Glass Reinforced Composite Material for Automotive Air Intake Manifold Application
Boney A. Mathew, Allison Hardiman, Christopher A. Coco, May 1999

There are many advantages to air intake manifolds molded from Nylon 6,6 Glass reinforced composite material versus a pressure-cast aluminum manifold. Weight is significantly lowered and production costs generally are reduced. Performance improves with the precise control of the interior surface finish and reduced air induction temperatures. The Nylon 6,6 Glass reinforced composite material can be molded into intricate shapes by injection molding or lost-core process with reduced machining operations as well as Nylon 6,6 material is easily recycled. Production costs will continue to decrease as optimization of material, process and part integration increases. This study evaluates Nylon 6,6 Glass reinforced composite material in terms of the intake manifolds material key requirements such as thermal, heat aging, fatigue, impact, creep, stress and chemical resistance including multi fuels. This study would assist engineers in designing intake manifolds using Nylon 6,6 Glass reinforced composite material.

Opportunities for Solid Freeform Fabrication in Prototyping and Manufacturing
S. Rangarajan, S.C. Danforth, A. Safari, May 1999

Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) of parts and components is an area of active development and tremendous potential. SFF is a layered manufacturing technique in which the required component/part is built from a CAD model. This model is mathematically sectioned into a number of layers and a material deposition or tool path is generated for each layer. A fabricator uses this tool path information to build the part, layer by layer. This family of manufacturing techniques offers several advantages over traditional routes, such as: no part specific tooling, fabrication of complex geometries to net shape, and greater design flexibility. There is also a significant potential for lowering cost of prototyping as well as small-scale manufacturing. Many of the SFF routes that are currently available are for fabrication of plastic, ceramic and metal parts. Some of these SFF techniques are, Stereolithography (SLA) Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) or Computer-Aided Manufacturing of Laminated Engineering Materials (CAM-LEM), 3D Printing (3DP)/Sander Prototyping (SP)/Droplet Deposition, and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Most of the SFF routes are similar in concept, i.e., model generation, followed by mathematical sectioning and layerwise building, and differ only in the method of layer fabrication. In order to manufacture ceramics and metals, the polymer based SFF methods have been adapted using powders as a second phase in a base polymer or fluid. Parts can then be made directly or indirectly. In the direct route, a green ceramic part is directly manufactured to shape. Alternately, in the indirect process, parts are made by infiltrating a ceramic or metal slurry into a polymer or metal mold made by SFF. Subsequent processing of these green parts (i.e., debinding/drying and sintering) is similar to that of traditionally manufactured components and results in a near net shape sintered part.

Physical Properties of Clay-Polymer Nanocomposite Coatings
D. Majumdar, S. Melpolder, T.N. Blanton, May 1999

Clay-polymer nanocomposites have recently received significant attention from the industrial community because of their wide range of novel physical properties. The dispersion of clay particles in a polymer matrix can result in the formation of three general types of composite structure: (1) Conventional composites that contain clay layers unintercalated in a face-to-face aggregation with macroscopic segregation of the clay and the polymeric phases. (2) Intercalated clay composites that are formed by the insertion of one or more molecular layers of polymer into the clay host galleries. (3) Exfoliated clay composites where singular clay platelets are dispersed in a continuous polymer matrix. It is the presence of clay as described in (2) and (3) that is of interest in coatings for practical applications. Intercalation and exfoliation of clay can be conveniently monitored by measuring the (001) basal plane spacing of the clay platelets using X-ray diffraction (XRD). In this work, XRD revealed significant information about the morphology of the clay-polymer nanocomposites which, in turn, determined the physical performance of the coatings. Commercially available synthetic smectite clay, identified as a transparent, environmentally benign nanoparticulate material, has been studied in various polymeric matrices. Depending on the polymeric species, the basal plane spacing of the clay platelets ranged from 13.5 to 40 Angstroms. Details about the XRD results and the corresponding changes in the physical performance of the clay-polymer nanocomposite coatings will be presented.

Pressure Shear Pulverization (PSP) Process for Thermoplastic and Thermoset Waste
Tapan Patel, Fyodor Shutov, May 1999

A novel process of pulverization known as Pressure Shear Pulverization (PSP) process has been developed for thermoplastics (PE, PP, PS, PVC, PA, PET and/or their mixtures), thermosets (polyurethanes and phenolics), composites, and various blends (thermoplastics and paper). PSP is a proprietary, non-extrusion process and is realized inside a specially designed pulverization head. It is very different from cryogenic grinding, various versions of solid state shear extrusion (SSSE), and other size reduction processes. PSP has several advantages, namely, high output, low specific energy consumption, and low cost of pulverization head. PSP process is capable of producing coarse to very fine particles by manipulating the processing parameters. This paper deals with the development of pulverization of pre-consumer cross-linked LDPE foam waste and LDPE/Paper mixture by PSP process. As a model system, the processibility and properties of virgin LDPE have been studied. Physical properties of LDPE foam waste and polymeric powder have been determined and compared to understand the behavior of polymer under the combined action of thermally and mechanically induced stresses. Lab-scale and pilot-scale PSP machines have been designed and constructed.

Processability and Trends in the Mechanical Properties of Low Density Polyethylene Parts Produced Using Increasing Levels of Commingled Recyclate as a Filler
Daniel Heuer, May 1999

As the plastics industry is increasingly confronted with environmental demands and regulations, the need for successful and reliable recycling programs is greater than ever. One of the keys to the success of these recycling programs and to the success of recycled resins is identifying feasible end uses for commingled recycled polymers. One possibility is for plastics manufacturers to specify commingled recycled resins, as a filler, in their products. This can provide savings for the manufacturer, while helping to promote plastics recycling. When specifying the level of commingled recycled resin to be used in a product, the designer must consider the net effect it will have on the processability and the mechanical properties of the part. This study will examine and attempt to predict the net effect of increasing the level of commingled post-consumer and post-industrial recyclate, used as a filler, in the production of low-density polyethylene parts.

Rapid Heating and Curing of Structural Adhesives by Infrared and Radio Frequency
Kin Ming Kwan, Chung Yuan Wu, Avraham Benatar, May 1999

Structural adhesive requires a considerate curing time to achieve handling strength at room temperature. Conventional heating and curing methods are unable to cure adhesives in minutes because of the slow heat input rate to the system. Infrared heating can penetrate into the adhesive to accelerate the reaction process in a very short time. Radio frequency heating produced substantial energy input to the adhesive through the dielectric loss of the polar molecules under rapid changing electric field. The effect of operating parameters on green strength produced from these methods were studied and compared to that cured at room temperature. Both methods show significant reduction in cure time to obtain a strong bond in less than three minutes.

Recycling of Xerographic Toners
H. Tang, K. Bazar, C.L. Beatty, May 1999

The objective of this research is to find ecologically and economically acceptable routes to utilize excess xerographic toner from manufacturing and returned toner cartridges. This black toner is a polymer composite comprised of a styrene-based copolymer, carbon black and other additives. The mechanical properties of toners are specifically designed to allow attrition to 10-20 µm particles. Thus the bulk mechanical properties are not desirable for load bearing applications typical of consumer plastics. Reactive and non-reactive blending of toner with other polymers have been used to enhance the mechanical properties. The blends and alloys produced exhibit a transition from brittle to ductile behavior as exhibited by impact energy data. Thus a family of polymeric systems of variable properties versus cost compromise can be created.

Reusing XLPE from Electrical Cable Waste: Cable Separation, Processing and Blend Properties
C.C. White, J. Wagenblast, M.T. Shaw, May 1999

The recycling of power transmission cable was investigated by using different kinds of separation and reprocessing methods. The cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulation of the cable, serving as a part of a broader study of the reprocessing of cross-linked thermoplastics, presented a specific challenge in separation. Separation of the XLPE from the other components of the cable was attempted by thermo-chemical, microwave and thermo-mechanical means. All three methods were able to separate the cable, and the relative advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Following separation, the following processing techniques were attempted: compression molding, extruding, and injection molding with and without preheating XLPE crumb. It was found that by preheating the XLPE and injection molding with high injection pressure, the neat XLPE could processed. Possible mechanisms for the flow and reconsolidation of XLPE crumb were hypothesized and investigated. Blends of XLPE crumb (0.3 to 3 mm particles) in either HDPE or LDPE were prepared and the tensile properties were evaluated.

Snap Tie Cones Made from Recycled PET and HDPE
Bryan Failing, May 1999

To address the growing environmental concern, Santa Clara University's Plastics Recycling Laboratory chose a relatively inexpensive product with low structural demands to open a new market for 100% recycled material products. Snap tie cones, used in construction to space wall forms prior to pouring the concrete, were injection molded from recycled PET and HDPE and tested against the cones used in industry made from HIPS. Four tests- dimensional checks, compression, impact, and creep- were designed and conducted. The commercial cones along with ones made of recycled PET and HDPE were tested before and after ultraviolet (UV) exposure. The data analysis shows that the recycled PET cones outperform their industry counterpart, while recycled HDPE did not perform as well. This leads to the conclusion that recycled PET is a viable alternative to HIPS in this application.

Stress Relaxation of Polyolefin-Based, Oriented, Glass-Fiber Materials
Kenneth E. Van Ness, Thomas J. Nosker, Richard W. Renfree, Jennifer K. Lynch, Stephen J. Kalista, May 1999

Samples of recycled plastic lumber constituted of a mixture of two different polyolefins and an inorganic glass were subjected to short-term stress relaxation tests. In addition, stress-strain tests were carried out at different rates of stress and strain for both full-sized lumber profiles and smaller samples machined from the larger pieces. The results from the short-term stress-strain tests were used in conjunction with a mathematical model to calculate values of stress as a function of time for the relaxation experiments. Calculated values are in good agreement with experimental stress relaxation data. The feasibility of extending this model to predict long-term time-dependent behavior is discussed.

Study on the Processability of Recycled PET Fiber
Daw-Ming Fann, Chun-Hsiung Chen, Steve K. Huang, Jiunn-Yih Lee, May 1999

Recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) (R-PET) used in blends with a fiber grade material (F-PET) has been investigated in this paper. As-spun fibers of R-PET, F-PET, and R/F-PET blends were made at winding speeds ranging from 1000 to 4000 m/min (mpm), and subsequently drawn in the range of 5.4 to 1.35X to bear the same total extension ratio. The properties of fibers spun at high and low wind-up speeds with low and high extension ratios have been compared in terms of the orientation, crystallinity, and mechanical properties. The fully oriented yarns (FOY) prepared from R-PET show a tensile strength of 90% of the fiber grade, with 4.4 g/d (R-PET) to 4.8 g/d (F-PET). On the other hand, R-PET fibers spun at low wind-up speed with high extension ratio show better physical properties than that spun at high wind-up speed with low extension ratio, with 4.4 g/d (1000 mpm/5.4X) to 3.7 g/d (4000 mpm/1.35X). The results indicate that for R-PET material, the low wind-up speed with high extension ratio process provided advantageous environment for developing crystalline fiber structures.

Testing of Recycled PET Rebar Chair
Todd Jenkins, May 1999

Small chairs for supporting reinforcing steel in concrete slabs were molded from recycled PET. The performance of these chairs was tested relative to plastic chairs available on the market. Four tests were used to evaluate the chairs. The tests were designed to evaluate impact, compression, and UV degradation strengths of the chairs, as well as the adhesion between the PET and concrete. The recycled PET chairs performed better than commercial chairs under compression, but did not allow for flow of the concrete. The impact performance of recycled chairs was very comparable to the commercial chairs. UV results are embedded in the impact and compression tests.

The Centrifuge - An Alternative to the Filter for Highly Contaminated Polymer Melts
Frank van Lück, Walter Michaeli, May 1999

The recycling of thermoplastics gains more and more importance. For removing the contamination one-or-two step filtration units are state of the art, but due to high material loadings or running costs they often reach their limits. Therefore IKV examines whether a centrifuge, which is fed with polymer melt, might be an alternative. In preliminary tests IKV showed that centrifuges built for low-viscosity materials can also be used for polymer melts. A centrifuge was installed into an extrusion line. Up to 10 weight-% of contamination could be removed out of the polymer melt successfully.

The Composite Sidewalk
Bethany Ashworth, Jeremy Conley, Angelena Newman, May 1999

Plastics affect every aspect of our lives. Plastics is used and discarded everyday. What this theory addresses is how the use of discarded plastic has developed another method to recycle plastics material. Using plastic regrind in composite mixtures not only provides an alternative filler or reinforcement, but it also is a better way to recycle the discarded materials. Taking this theory into consideration, the Shawnee State University Plastics students developed a composite sidewalk using plastic regrind replacing the aggregate in concrete mixtures. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the installation and manufacturing techniques as well as the durability of the sidewalk over the past year.

The Development of Polyolefin Based Oriented Glass Fiber Building Materials
Thomas J. Nosker, Richard W. Renfree, Kenneth E. Van Ness, May 1999

In 1994, Rutgers University’s Plastics and Composites Group, formerly the Center for Plastics Recycling Research, was grant funded by the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology to develop and test composite railroad ties made from recycled plastic. Since the inception of this project, the major participants have been Rutgers University, US Plastic Lumber Corporation (formerly Earth Care Products, Inc.), Conrail, Norfolk Southern, Washington and Lee University, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Though the main goal of this research was to produce plastic lumber with properties required of railroad ties for substitution with creosote treated oak, the project participants knew that many other applications could utilize this material as a direct substitute for wood. A direct result of this research was the discovery of a way to orient a high percentage of short, random length glass fibers along the axis of flow in a mold. U.S. Patent 5,789,477 was granted August 4, 1998 for this discovery, and we are sharing the information here.

The Effect of Phenolic Regrind on the Mechanical Properties of HDPE
Liz Ohlsson, May 1999

The possibility for recycling cured phenolic material was evaluated by testing mechanical properties of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) containing phenolic regrind material. The mechanical properties evaluated were: modulus of elasticity, percent elongation, tensile strength, and impact strength. Four different levels of phenolic regrind were used for evaluation with four different levels(4.76, 9.09, 16.7%) of phenolic regrind used in the comparison. The results demonstrated that with higher levels of phenolic regrind in the base HDPE material, certain mechanical properties degraded, with increased brittleness the most apparent effect.

The Effect of Polyvinyl Chloride and Polystyrene on the Mechanical Properties of Plastic Parts Produced with Commingled Post-Consumer Recyclate
John Raybuck, Daniel Heuer, May 1999

One way to avoid the separation of post-consumer plastic waste is to utilize commingled recyclate in the design of plastic products. However, the combination of many plastic resins can sometimes yield poor mechanical properties, due to the debonding of the different resins. It is important to understand if one or more resins in the commingled material will cause greater debonding than the other resins. This study examines the debonding in low-density polyethylene specimens filled with increasing levels of commingled post-consumer recyclate that does and does not contain polyvinyl chloride and polystyrene. The debonding in the specimens will be characterized through tensile testing.

The Effect of Recycle History on the Performance of Neat, Filled, and Reinforced Nylon 6
R. Malloy, M. Lu, May 1999

The recyclability of any thermoplastic will be influenced by a large number of variables. One factor that influences recyclability of a thermoplastic is the material formulation itself. This is particularly true when additives such as reinforcements are incorporated into the base resin. Reinforcements such as glass fiber are widely used to enhance the stiffness, dimensional stability and elevated temperature capabilities of thermoplastics. It could be said that these reinforced thermoplastics are somewhat less recyclable than their neat counterparts due to the fiber degradation that occurs during processing and regranulation. Mineral filled thermoplastics can be an alternative to reinforced thermoplastics in some of these applications. While mineral filled compounds are not equivalent to the fiber reinforced formulations, they are more recyclable since minerals tend to retain there physical form during processing and regranulation. In this study, the effect of recycle history on the properties of neat, mineral filled, reinforced, and fiber I mineral hybrid nylon 6 has been evaluated. The neat, mineral, and hybrid materials have been shown to exhibit better property retention than the glass reinforced nylon when subjected to multiple recycle histories.

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