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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Bioplastics and Renewable Technologies
Wood Plastic Composite
Wood and plastic are best friends these days. They can be combined to give the aesthetics of wood with the added durability of plastic. Termed as wood/plastic composites - WPCs' are a relatively new family of thermoplastic composites based on wood-fibres and the commodity thermoplastics. The polymers used for WPCs' are the high volume, low cost, commodity thermoplastics - polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC.
Graphene is the thinnest known material and has the highest intrinsic strength of any material ever measured. We are posting an article to describe some of the interesting research on graphene and graphene-based polymer nanocomposites (GPNC) that is occuring. This article reviews how graphene is made, explain how single sheets can be dispersed in a polymer matrix to give plastics with interesting properties and where these works are being carried out.
Trends in Bio-renewable Thermoplastics Elastomers
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) have been traditionally compounded and manufactured from raw materials based on fossil fuels. Current trends in marketplace abounds sustainability programs. TPEs are no exception to this trend. In a recent editorial, the authors stated “Through research and application, sustainability can evolve from a catchphrase to a societal one”. More than two decades ago the Brundtland Commission (formerly the World Commission on Environment and Development, WCED), deliberated sustainable development issue and gave a definition of sustainability: “Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Antioxidant Activity Effect of Isosorbide into Flexible Polyurethane Foams
Isosorbide alkylene oxide (ISB-AO) was obtained by reacted with isosorbide and alkylene oxide, a non-toxic bio-based bicyclic diol composed of two fused defurans to increase the reactivity of isosorbide. A flexible polyurethane foam was prepared using isosorbide alkylene oxide based isocyanate prepolymer (IAISO) consisting of a reaction of isosorbide alkylene oxide and isocyanate. FPUFs containing various types of IAISO have been successfully manufactured without significant degradation of the appearance and physical properties of the final foam. IAISO based FPUF also showed better antioxidant activity by preventing discoloration. Thus, IAISO using bio-based diols with improved reactivity can be valuable raw materials (or additives) born from environmentally friendly FPUFs without seriously compromising the physical properties of these FPUFs.
Degradable Plastics/Wood Hybrids For Sustainable Packaging Solutions
The costs for degradable plastics are in comparison to bulk plastics still high. To increase the market share of degradable-plastics-based products the reduction of the plastic used itself could be suitable option. To keep the degradable properties of the product suitable materials for a hybrid are wood or woodbased products like carton. In this paper, the combination of wood and degradable plastics to a hybrid material by overmolding was investigated. In this feasibility study the effects of injection molding on wood as an insert and the bonding strength between the two materials was analyzed.
Degradation Behavior of Aliphatic and Aromatic Biomass-based Copolyesters for Agriculture
This work concerns the synthesis, characterization and evaluation of enzymatic degradation kinetics in three biobased polymers: poly(hexamethylene succinate), poly(hexamethylene 2,5-furan dicarboxylate) and a copolymer containing hexamethylene succinate (HS) and hexamethylene 2,5-furan dicarboxylate (HF) units. All three comonomers are available from renewable resources, and their use in agricultural films and coatings would reduce the incidence of microplastics in soils, and could also provide functionality in controlled release applications. We find that copolymerization of the aliphatic and aromatic monomers reduces the crystallinity in the polymer, thus increasing the degradation rate.
Vibration Welding of Agave Fiber Biocomposites
In this study, the welding of several formulations of injection molded agave-fiber filled biocomposites were studied. A 240Hz vibrational welder was used and weld pressure, amplitude, and weld time were varied to determine their effects on lap shear weld strength. Strength testing was performed with a universal testing machine. The morphology of the weld zones was also analyzed to gain insight into the mechanics of the welding.
Pushing the Limits to the Next Level: A New Mold Steel for Demanding Plastics and Biocomposites Designed for the Best Polishability
The increasing use of advanced engineeringplastic compoundsand biocomposites causes problems in the mold thatcan bederivedfrom a combination of wear and corrosion. The degradation of the tool steel resultsin increased maintenance, downtime and in worst case premature breakage of the mold.Manufacturing of optical devices, such as lenses, demands an extremely goodsurface finishof the mold. In addition, it should be reached as fast as possible to reduce lead times.Uddeholm Tyrax® ESR isa newpremium martensitic tool steel from Uddeholm,developed to cope with these problems by combining corrosion resistance with high hardness,very goodwear resistanceand excellent polishabilitywithout compromising on ductility.The recommended hardness of Uddeholm Tyrax® ESR is in the range of 55-58 HRC.
Thermoplastic Elastomer Blend Exhibiting Combined Shape Memory and Self-Healing Functionality
Here we report on a polymer blend consisting of a soft-thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) elastomer and a low melting temperature thermoplastic healing agent (Polycaprolactone, PCL) capable of repairing highly deformed cracks without the need for an external load. In this study, a blend containing 30wt% PCL (30PCL) was shown to exhibit two well-separated melting transitions thus enabling shape memory behavior. Moreover, upon heating to above PCL’s melting temperature the flow of PCL into an undeformed crack was shown to fill the crack void thus promoting self-repair. A combined healing mechanism relying on both shape memory and self-healing action was demonstrated. Through the simple action of mild heating (90C/30 minutes), fracture surfaces are brought into intimate contact through the action of shape memory recovery and subsequently healed. Healing efficiency was evaluated by comparing the tensile force restoration after healing of a highly deformed, notched sample to its behavior prior to notching. Here it was shown that the polymer blend exhibited full restoration of its originally mechanical integrity whereas the mechanical performance of pure TPU was only minimally restored (about 5%). This blend is based on thermoplastic ingredients and thus able to be converted using conventional melt processing. Applications of such blends can be extended to products prone to damage such as liner materials, protective coatings, sporting goods and shoe soles.
Upcycling Ocean Bound PET Waste Into Durable Materials
Dealing with plastics waste is a major issue confronted by the society. Single use items from water bottles to plastic packaging are major contributors to the generation of plastics waste globally. Innovative upcycling technology can transform a plastic with limited applications and a brief useful life into a different, more-durable resin with expanded potential uses and an extended lifetime. In this way, upcycling can help strengthen the circular economy and can help reduce the impact of single-use plastic applications on the environment. Using propritary de-polymerization of recycled polyester, SABIC has introduced a more sustainable polyester products family containing up to 60% recycled materials. This new PBT and its compounds have similar purity and properties as virgin resin. Hence they are drop in for many virgin PBT or compounded products. Chemistry, properties, and application for these sustainable polyester materials will be discussed. In particular, the application of ocean bound based resin in Dell computer fan housing will be highlighted.
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