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.
Circular Meterials for Single-Use Flexible Packaging
Yap Chin Chong | Leong Yew Wei, August 2019

Chemical solutions for a circular economy: Mechanical recycling (Re-use: PET/PP/PE); Plastic waste to fuel (Conversion: PP/PE); Plastic waste to fine chemical (PS); Dynamic reversible crosslinker; Self-immolative, polymers; Fully recycle monomer-polymer-monomer; Bioplastics

Five Myths About Material Recycling
Kelvin Okamoto, July 2019

The debate about plastics recycling has entered the public arena, with implications for processors, material scientists, business owners, and policy makers. We have seen plastic bans and the introduction of alternative packaging materials, some of which have larger environmental footprints of the plastics they are replacing. Can paper be recycled indefinitely? Is foam impossible to recycle? In this webinar, Kelvin Okamoto, will identify 5 myths of materials recycling and present real-world examples and case studies to illuminate the complex truths of this increasingly important topic.

SPE Sustainability 2019 1st Quarter Newsletter
SPE Sustainability Division, April 2019

Read the 2019 1st 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.

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.

Effect Of Nanoclay On Dimensional Stability Of Biocarbon-Filled Polyamide 6 Biocomposites
Mohamed Abdelwahab, March 2019

The aim of this paper is to study the influence of combining two fillers on the coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) of polyamide 6 (PA6) hybrid nanobiocomposites. The influence of a new environmentally friendly filler (biocarbon) on the CLTE of PA6 biocomposites was examined and compared to its hybrid additionally containing nanoclay. The results were supported by morphological and thermal characterization showing that the CLTE of the nanobiocomposites were enhanced with the inclusion of a small amount of nanoclay. Accordingly, properties and potential applications of PA6-biocomposites were discussed.

Effect Of Peroxide Loadings On The Rheological Behavior Of Pla Ternary Blends
Feng Wu, March 2019

With increasing interest towards biobased and/or biodegradable polymers that generate high performance composites, instead of petroleum based products, creates new opportunities and research challenges. Polylactide (PLA) is supposed to be one of the most promising biodegradable polyesters because of its high mechanical strength, high modulus and good biodegradability. However, the low melt strength of PLA has greatly limited its melt processing such as casting or blowing film, and finally limit its application as packaging. Therefore, firstly the mechanical properties of the PLA were modified by blending with PBS and PBAT; then the melt rheological properties of PLA ternary blends were modified by peroxide in reactive extrusion, and the enhancement effects were evaluated by rheological studies here. Rheological properties revealed that peroxide can greatly enhance the melt strength of PLA ternary blends. A PLA ternary blends/peroxide system can be a good candidate to fabricate biodegradable films with high toughness via stretching shaping process such as casting or blown film.

Effects Of Coupling Agent On The Properties Of Hybrid Composites Via Direct Injection Molding
Gangjian Guo, March 2019

Hybrid composites are made by incorporating two or more different types of fillers in a single tailorable matrix. This paper investigates a direct injection molding technique applied to hybrid composites made of conventional carbon fiber (CF), glass fiber (GF), and environmentally friendly wood fiber (WF). The favorable combination of these fibers would lead to enhanced mechanical properties and reduced cost. The target markets for the developed hybrid composites could be construction, auto industry, aerospace industry, etc. To meet the strict requirements for these applications, the burning behavior and water absorption behaviors of these hybrid composites were also investigated. Coupling agents (CA), normally used in polymer composites to enhance mechanical properties, were also investigated on their effects on burning and water absorption behaviors.

Effects Of Electroactive Crystal Phases And Porous Structure On Triboelectrication Of Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride)
Hossein Abdoli, March 2019

Triboelectric nanogenerator is a promising technology that is capable of harvesting wasted mechanical energy. It is possible to modify the friction layers of triboelectric nanogenerators to improve their levels of triboelectrification and thereby their efficiencies. This paper aims to investigate the effects of electroactive crystal phases and foam morphology of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), which can be used as the negative side of friction layers, on the performance of a triboelectric nanogenerator. Non-isothermal crystallization and supercritical carbon dioxide foaming were used to fabricate PVDF foams with high electroactive crystal phase contents. Under this approach, PVDF foams with pore size of ~15 μm and electroactive crystal phase content of ~62% were fabricated. Experimental results revealed that the maximum output voltage and current density achieved by using PVDF foams with high electroactive phase contents as the negative friction layers were 53.9 V and 5.1 mA/m2, respectively. This represents threefold increases in performance when compared to the case of solid PVDF friction layers with low electroactive phase contents.

Experimental Determination Of Reduction Factors For The Dimensioning Process Of The Shear Tensile Strength Of A Screw Blind Rivet
Elmar Moritzer, Johannes Hillemeyer, March 2019

Screw blind riveting combines plastic direct screwing with blind riveting. The new joining element can be integrated in the injection molding process of any injection-molded component. To qualify the element for industrial application, reduction factors for different sizes, geometries, environmental influences and long-term strength are determined. This paper focuses on the shear tensile strength of the screw blind rivet to allow engineers to design products and make this technology, comparable to conventional riveting in appropriate applications.

Embedding Intelligence Into Smart Tupperware Brings Internet Of Things Home
Sangjun Eom, March 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been rapidly growing in recent years and is seen as a key enabler in a wide variety of applications such as manufacturing, transportation and healthcare. Home automation, in fact, has been a major market for both hobbyists and early adopters of IoT technology. Even a wave of smart kitchen appliances has been released such as a refrigerator with a built-in screen on its door or internet-enabled coffee maker. While green activists may applaud the appearance of tiny cameras inside our refrigerators to avoid the power loss of opening the door, displaying such images on a brilliant, 200W LCD monitor is not the “killer app” that many of us believe has the power to re-shape our every-day lives.

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