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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Automotive
Nanocomposite - Technology for the Future
Prithu Mukhopadhyay, April 1999
Researchers from Montell and General Motors call it "Nanocomposite" - a combination of smart fillers (clay) and a proven process (Catalloy). Whether you are in automotive business or you intend to put new developments/ideas in your business - the news is good.
Advanced Thermpolastic Material Solutions To Improve Fuel Economy and Emissions Performance
Rodrigo Orozco, May 2020
Fuel economy and emission regulations are challenging automotive manufacturers to meet global targets, which are becoming more stringent over time, in particular, for internal combustion engine powered vehicles. Internal combustion engines will likely remain dominant for a long time and will require system innovations or in many cases electrification solutions to meet the regulations. This document describes the thermoplastic material solutions to meet the application functional requirements of engine solutions, such as turbocharging, exhaust gas recirculation and gasoline direct injection that are the current trend for system innovations of light-duty vehicles.
Characterization of the Non-Uniform Compression Behavior and the Internal Morphology in Flexible Polyurethane Foams Using Digital Image Correlation and X-Ray Micro-Tomography
Hieu Truong McElroy, May 2020
In this work, digital image correlation was performed during compression testing of twodifferent flexible polyurethane foams to obtain full-field strain maps and understand the non-uniformdeformation the foams exhibit. In addition, X-ray micro-tomographywas performed on the foam samples at different locations through the thickness to obtain micro-tomographs of the foams’ microstructures. Measurements and statistical analysis from these micro-tomographs made it possible to quantify the cell size distribution and their variation through the thickness, as well as identify differences in the microstructures of different foams.It was found that observations from compression tests with digital image correlation are in good agreement with observations from X-ray micro-tomography analysis.
Compounding Technology (Techniques and Tips) For Improved Performance and Productivity of Automotive
Paul Andersen, May 2020
Ever since the first polymer applications were incorporated into the automobile in the 1960’s, OEM requirements for polyolefin based automotive compounds have pushed the performance envelope with respect to, for example, improved mechanical properties such as flex modulus, tensile strength, and heat distortion temperature; aesthetic properties such as surface quality; processing characteristics such as viscosity; and as always, cost. However, density was not a critical concern since the part being replaced was most probably made of metal. To attain required physical, esthetic and viscosity properties such as those listed above, compound formulations have become very complex. The main additives to the base polymer in early automotive applications such as a battery tray, were typically glass fiber and/or mineral filler for reinforcement. However, as manufacturers have continued to push vehicle weight reduction, they are re-evaluating specifications for current polymer-based applications/parts, i.e. bumpers, trim, etc., for future model years. In most instances, all the specified mechanical and flow properties remain the same, but density is reduced between 5 and 10%. Generally, this requires an extensive material reformulation to meet the new specifications. As part of most light-weighting reformulations, high bulk density filler content is decreased and replaced with multiple grades of polypropylene having a wide range of viscosities. These resins need to be melted and uniformly blended to provide, for example, strength from a high MW, high crystallinity component and good flow characteristics from a low MW grade. Additionally, any IM (impact modifier) needs to be dispersed and uniformly distributed. For reinforcement to be effective, fibers need to be unbundled as well as maintain a critical length during the compounding process. Minerals, depending on their structure, need to be distributed and/or distributed and dispersed. The co-rotating twin-screw compounder has long been the equipment of choice for such compounding functions. However, compounders still face processing challenges such as how to optimize the extruder set up to uniformly compound 1) diverse viscosity matrix polymers, 2) incorporate and disperse impact modifier, 3) unbundle and distribute fibers, and/or 4) feed, distribute and disperse a poor flowing, “sticky” mineral filler or possibly an easy to fluidize low bulk density talc while simultaneously maintaining an economically viable production rate. Additionally, the process can be challenged to maximize fiber length in high viscosity mineral filled formulations. This paper will review requirements for compounding automotive polyolefin compounds with an emphasis on recent innovations in Co-rotating Twin-screw technology that have enhanced product quality and productivity for these complex lightweighting material formulations.
Development of High Stiff Polypropylene Foam as an Alternative to Existing Polyethylene Foam Grades
Jake Kelly-Walley, May 2020
The development of a high stiffness Polypropylene (PP) foam for use within the rotational moulding industry has been investigated by Matrix Polymers. The scope is to offer a stiffer and more advanced alternative to the current Polyethylene (PE) foams which are on the market. Matrix Polymers want to push the boundaries of current products and combine new technologies to produce a new material. Differing compositions of CBA (chemical blowing agents), various dry blends and compounds have been trialed alongside experiments into the CBA reaction time and expansion ratios. The availability of K-kord temperature logging equipment has been utilized alongside JUST RITE temperature labels, static oven machines and a rotational Ferry machine to develop the new material. All of the above has furthered understanding into the astonishing potential of this new material. Offering this product to the rotational moulding industry would be greatly beneficial to rotational moulders from around the world in a variety of applications, we understand the limits of rotational moulding are the lack of suitable polymers. This is something that Matrix continues to challenge.
Differences Between the Recycled Carbon Fibers Especially Regarding Product Quality
Hatice Malatyali, May 2020
In the plastic industry, the modification of polymers with glass or carbon fibers is common to improve the product quality and properties. Particularly, the twin screw extruder is frequently-used for continuous compounding, preparation and processing of polymers. The steadily growing demand for fiber-reinforced thermoplastics and the high cost of the carbon fibers are the motivation for recycling. Furthermore, new laws (e.g. EU Waste Framework Directive and End-of-Life Vehicle Regulation) demand the recycling of the remains and the waste of the carbon fiber production.
Influence of Variothermal Temperature Control on the Weld Line Quality of Extrusion Blow Molded Articles
Martin Facklam, May 2020
Extrusion blow moulding enables the cost-effective production of plastic hollow bodies with complex geometries and different volumes. The majority of the components are used as packaging articles for the consumer goods- and food industries or as technical components, e.g. in the automotive and chemical industries. Extrusion blow moulded products are often failing at the weld line. The quality of joint depends mainly on the welding temperature. In order to improve this critical area, the IKV is investigating the use of variothermal temperature control of the blow mould. This brings the advantage of being able to locally increase the temperature of the blow mould. By using this temperature control concept, the results show a significant improvement in the quality of the weld line.
Internal Damping and Its Variblity of Polyamide 6.6-Based Materials
Kai Becker, May 2020
This paper should help engineers and designers to make best possible use of PA66-based engineering materials in the context of components that are subject to vibration or the damping of vibrations in automotive. It will provide results from material testing, discuss these results and provide guidance, how these measurement results translate into components. Proven concept to reduce the propagation of vibrations is the use of elastomer elements as damper for example at bearing points within the suspension system or in engine mounts. With thermoplastics being introduced to also the rigid parts of these systems, there is an additional potential to eliminate vibrations thanks to the viscoelastic behavior of this class of materials. PA66-based materials are widely used for components in the engine compartment and the suspension system because of their capability to provide sufficient mechanical properties, thermal stability and chemical resistance. The goal of this paper is, to highlight the influence of glass fiber reinforcement, impact modification and humidity content on the damping behavior of PA66-based materials and to explain the variability of the internal damping as a function of these variables.
Predicting Fiber Orientation For Injection Molded Thermoplastics
Kennedy Boyce, May 2020
The goal of this research is to further the understanding of the relationship between flow properties, orientation, and related mechanical properties of injection molded parts. The properties and behavior of the flow of a fiber reinforced polymer composite during molding is directly related to the stiffness and the strength of the completed part. Flow affects the orientation of the fibers within the polymer matrix and at locations within the mold cavity. Mechanical properties of fiber reinforced polymer parts, such as stiffness and strength, are controlled by the average length of the fibers and how the fibers are oriented. The ability to predict, and ultimately control, flow properties allows for the ability to efficiently design safe parts for industrial uses, such as vehicle parts in the automotive industry. A lab developed simulation packaged has been designed to predict the orientation and modulus of long glass fiber reinforced polypropylene composites. With the improved simulation package, the flexible fiber model was proven to be more accurate for predicting fiber orientation than the traditional rigid fiber model. The goal of this work is to test the universality of the existing model using long carbon fiber reinforced nylon 6,6 composites by injection molding parts and then performing experiments to check their tensile strength and the modulus. The methodology for collecting the data and the ability of the simulation to converge has been proven for the new material. The universality of the simulation package will be determined by comparing the accuracy of the results for the two materials.
Processing of Functionally Graded Integral-Skin Cellular Polymeric Composites Utilizing Rrfm
Isha Raktim, May 2020
This paper presents the processing methods for producing functionally graded rapid rotational foam molded foam composites with supercritical CO2. The cell density of the foamed core is deliberately varied across the length of the part by gradually increasing the talc content from 1 wt% to 3 wt% or by increasing the chemical blowing agent content from 0.5 wt% to 2 wt%. The foamed core of the composite is produced with foaming grade LDPE. The cellular morphology is characterized by its foam density, average cell size, and cell density across the length of the part. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used in the characterization process at 37X magnification along with a digital microscope at 30X magnification. The analytical characterization of the foam revealed, LDPE foamed core processing is more suitable when the chemical blowing agent (CBA) is combined with the physical blowing agent (PBA) rather than just utilizing talc with PBA. The cell density within the water-cooled LDPE foam was 1.4e6 cells/cm3 with an average cell size of 137 um. These results demonstrate the capabilities of a new experiment setup designed to combine PBA foam extrusion and RRFM technology.

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"Insert title of paper here in quotes,"
ANTEC 2016 - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA May 23-25, 2016. [On-line].
Society of Plastics Engineers
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