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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Application of Hybrid Modeling In Polymer Processing
Christian Marschik, May 2020
For many decades, the setup and solution of polymer processing models involved use of analytical or numerical methods. These characteristics have changed with the recent digitization of polymer processes and the collection of enormous amounts of data. It is increasingly common to use data-driven modeling techniques to analyze processes, for which analytical and numerical models may not fully describe the process behavior in operational situations. These techniques have significantly extended the set of tools available to the engineer, providing new possibilities of how to develop more accurate process models. As a result, the setup of an appropriate modeling strategy more than ever requires a thorough understanding of the individual modeling techniques. This article was designed to address the potentials and limits of analytical, numerical, and data-based modeling techniques when modeling polymer processes. Moreover, we show how these methods can be combined into one hybrid approach to solve polymer process models not solvable so far. The findings are further illustrated by means of a particular use case, which models the flow of polymer melts in single-screw extruders.
Comparison of Additive and Conventional Tooling on Injection Molded Part Properties
Maria Camila Montoya, May 2020
Additive tooling can make injection molding viable for low volume production, reducing tooling cost and lead-time. This studycomparesthe final properties of injection-molded samples manufactured with a steel mold and two sets of 3D printed polymerinserts using material jetting (Digital ABSfrom Stratasys) and stereolithography(Toughfrom Formlabs). Results show thatthe Digital ABS insertsfailed after100 cycles, while the Tough insertsfailed after15 cycles. Parts producedwith steelmold and Tough and Digital ABS inserts exhibited a shrinkage of approximately3%, 6% and 9% respectively. The shrinkage and ultimate tensile strength was directly proportional to the degree of crystallinity measured using differential scanning calorimetry(DSC).
Evaluation of Mesh Interface and Immersed Boundary Models For the Optimisation of Mixing Elements
Malte Schön, May 2020
Mesh interface and immersed boundary models are presented as simplifications for the simulative design of dynamic mixing elements for single screw extruders. These simplifications have great potential to cut complexity and cost in both drafting and computation. Results for distributive mixing are compared quantitatively and qualitatively to a non-simplified 3D model. It is found that good agreement with the 3D model is achieved when the simplified models’ throughputs are adjusted for mass conservation.
Extrusion Technologies for Low Temperature Compounding
Travis Menapace, May 2020
For many applications the ability to continuously compound at low temperatures can be extremely beneficial. However, many challenges prevent traditional setups from being functional, particularly for applications requiring a high degree of mixing with extreme cooling or simultaneous temperature control. This paper addresses and experimentally validates four different technologies for compounding materials at low temperatures.
Profile Extrusion Die Balancing Using Polymer Extrusion Simulation Software
Jingyang Xing, May 2020
The design of an extrusion die has been evaluated utilizing a 3-D polymer extrusion simulation software for optimal flow. The flow pattern, pressure, temperature, and shear rate are simulated in the software. The post-die extrudate shape is also simulated to show the improvement by balancing flow velocity in different sections. The combination of 3-D modeling and simulation decreases the time and difficulties for tuning the die during manufacturing.
Design of A Novel Free-Rotating Mixing Sleeve For Single-Screw-Extrusion
Mirco Janßen, May 2020
This paper will present the conceptual design of a novel free-rotating mixing sleeve for single screw applications. In contrast to most of the currently available free rotating mixing rings (e.g. the TMR) which primarily have a distributive mixing effect, the mixing sleeve presented in this paper will focus on dispersive mixing. The variety of requirements on dispersive mixing make the structural design and the geometrical layout very complex. Therefore, a method is introduced to couple a full parametric 3D-CAD master model of the mixer with a 3D-CFD-simulation. The aim is to describe a set-up of an automated process to design and optimize the novel mixing element by defining several target figures.
Effect of Shear Rate and Draw Down Ratio on tensile Properties of Thermally Conductive Polymer
Kyle Arsenault | Szetong de Cleir | Hadyn Beirne | Cory Albrecht | Stephen Esposito, May 2020
The use of thermallyconductivepolymersto replaceconventionaltubingmaterialshas the potentialto improveefficiencyof heat exchangedevices. Inthis study,a designof experimentswas conductedto understandthe effectsofextrusionon physicalpropertiesof thermallyconductivetubingfor an MCS.Shearrates and draw downratioswere independentlyvaried,and the tensilepropertiesof the resultingtubingwere measuredand comparedto determinethe effectof each.It was foundthat, in accordancewith previousliterature,shearrate had no substantialeffecton tensilepropertieswhile draw downratiohad a positiverelationshipwith tensileproperties
Effect of Ultrasonic Extrusion On Properties of Colloids Containing Epoxidized Soybean Oil and Clay
Avraam Isayev, May 2020
Colloid prepared with epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) and organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT) has been processed using an ultrasonic twin-screw extruder under various ultrasonic amplitudes and screw rotation speeds. Ultrasonic treatment has significantly increased OMMT dispersion in ESO, according to WAXD and rheological data. Yield strength, storage and loss modulus, complex viscosity and relaxation time of the colloid have been increased with increase of ultrasonic amplitude. Under certain high ultrasonic amplitudes, increase of one to two orders of magnitude have been observed. Creep and recoverable compliance have been decreased with the increase of ultrasonic amplitude. The tremendous changes in rheological properties of the colloid is a result of significantly improved OMMT dispersion with the aid of ultrasonic treatment. With no or low ultrasonic treatment, a higher screw rotation speed has improved OMMT dispersion since it brings more mixing effect. However, at high ultrasonic amplitudes, a higher rotation disrupts jet flow and has led to less dispersion improvement compared with the same colloid extruded at a lower rotation speed.
Energy Transfer Single-Screw Extruder Design For Peroxide-Containing Polyolefin Compositions
Qian Gou, May 2020
Peroxide-containing ethylenic polymers are used in many power cable applications. The processes involve extrusion of the polymer compositions to form one or more layers on a conductor, followed by crosslinking in a continuous vulcanization step. To extrude the composition, it is critical to maintain a low discharge temperature so that the peroxide does not decompose significantly during the extrusion process, so as to prevent premature crosslinking. However, with a low discharge temperature, the rate is usually reduced; for some formulations, the rate reduction is dramatic. This paper describes an energy transfer (ET) screw design that enables high rates at acceptably low melt discharge temperatures, or alternatively, yields significantly lower melt discharge temperatures at a given rate than a conventional Maddock mixing screw. The design simulations of the new ET screw were validated experimentally.
Fatigue Resistance of Structural Adhesives
Matt Miner, May 2020
Adhesive selection in high dynamic load environments relies heavily on mechanical adhesive properties, including shear, peel and compressive strength. Over time and in the life a part, fatigue can occur to metals, plastics and adhesives. Fatigue weakens the overall strength of these components and can lead to premature failure. In the case of adhesives, shear strength values may depreciate an order of magnitude, from thousands to hundreds of psi due to a life of wear and dynamic movement, which can lead to failure. When selecting an adhesive for bonding a joint, the likely first choice is the adhesive with the highest shear strength with the assumption that the higher the shear strength the longer the part will last. However, upon testing, higher shear strength does not directly correlate to a longer part life. In the case of hybrid adhesives (Loctite® HY4090GY™ and HY4070™) compared to epoxies (Loctite® E-20HP™), the epoxy greatly outperformed the hybrids in shear strength, but the hybrids greatly outperformed the epoxy in limit of endurance. Overall, the methyl methacrylate (MMA) adhesive (Loctite® H8003™) proved to be the most fatigue resistant adhesive tested.
Use of Gradually Changing Profile Shape in Extrudate Sizers for Simplification of Die Design
Mahesh Gupta, May 2020
Simulation of the flow and extrudate deformation in two extrusion dies with gradually changing profile shape in successive sizers is presented. The change in the profile shape in sizers is used to employ a simpler die geometry and then deform the extrudate in sizers to the required final product shape. Effect of non-uniform exit velocity, cooling shrinkage and shape of sizer profiles on extrudate deformation is included in the simulation. The predicted extrudate shape and layer structure is found to match accurately with those in a coextruded product.
Flow Simulation of A Microcapillary Cast Film Die
Kurt Koppi, May 2020
A relatively wide (610 mm) lab-scale microcapillary cast film die was fabricated to aid in the development of this unique film processing technology. Due to the approach used to create microcapillary channels, standard die design techniques for maintaining uniform film gauge (e.g. die lip adjusters) are not applicable. A series of modifications were made to the original die design to improve film gauge. One such modification was the use of computational fluid mechanics (CFD) to improve flow uniformity across the die. Due to the multitude of air pins located near the die outlet, it is impractical to perform direct CFD simulations based on the actual flow geometry. Instead, the flow geometry associated with the comb-like structure of the air pin region is replaced by a porous medium with an equivalent viscous resistance. The primary focus of this paper is a description of the porous medium CFD technique used in the design of the 610 mm wide die.
Improving Thermoforability of IPP Through Multilayer Coextrusion
Alex Jordan, May 2020
While the flow forces governing primary melt-based polymer processing techniques, such as extrusion and injection molding, have been extensively studied, characterization of forcesin secondary processes such as thermoforming is limited. In this work we utilize multilayer coextrusion to create an extruded film with 100s of alternating linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and isotactic polypropylene (iPP) layers; and by extension, 100s of interfaces. The combination of LLDPE, iPP, and these interfaces decreases the elastic storage modulus (E’) and broadens the rubbery plateau observed via dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The broadening of the rubber plateau is correlated with an observed improvement in LLDPE/iPP multilayer thermoformability compared to the homopolymer LLDPE and iPP films.
Machine Learning and Multi-Objective Optimization of Industrial Extrusion
David Kazmer, May 2020
A three-level multivariate control system is described that transforms a vector of machine inputs to a vector of virtual process states, and then these virtual process states to key performance objectives. The multivariate system is implemented on a 150 mm (6 inch) screw diameter producing approximately 500 kg/hr of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film having a nominal width around 1 m (37 inch) and a nominal thickness of 0.38 mm (0.149 inch). Validation is performed with respect to modeling and optimization of three performance objectives including production rate, energy efficiency, and process capability. The results suggest significant gains with respect to the Pareto optimality (efficient frontier) of energy efficiency and process capability.
Modeling the Non-Isothermal Conveying Characteristics In Single-Screw Extrusion By Application of Network Analysis
Wolfgang Roland, May 2020
This paper deals with the modeling of the conveying behavior of polymer melts in single-screw extruders based on a network-analysis approach. The polymer-melt rheology is strongly temperature-dependent and hence the temperature profile affects the pumping capability. In this work, we propose an approach to predicting the non-isothermal, coupled axial pressure and temperature profiles. We present the fundamental background of the implemented pumping and dissipation models and the network theory for modeling the axial pressure and temperature profiles. The simulation procedure for calculating the non-isothermal conveying characteristics is shown and a few exemplary simulation results are presented. The novel algorithm provides fundamental insights into the non-isothermal extrusion characteristics and enables screw design and process optimization in single-screw extrusion.
New Development in Adhesion Promotion Using Flame Plasma Surface Treatment - Tutorial
Joseph DiGiacomo, May 2020
Adhesion promotion technologies have wide application in the numerous industries for a wide range of plastic parts, such as those made of PE, PP, PET, etc. One method used to modify the surface of these and other polymer products to promote adhesion of coatings and adhesives is flame plasma. This paper describes the theory behind natural gas, propane or LPG fired flame plasma surface treatment to promote adhesion of water based inks, coatings, adhesives, labels and other substrate laminates to polyolefin based substrates. Critical parameters in flame treatment are, flame chemistry, flame geometry, plasma output and distance of the burner to the part. The interrelationship between these variables, and how to control them for optimum surface treatment, will be discussed. The use of Schliren imaging technology, high speed photographs of the flame geometry, used to develop new burner designs, as well as advances in equipment technology will be presented. A completely new patented process design has been developed and successfully implemented providing significantly improved control of the flame chemistry, while at the same time simplifying the process control and mechanical hardware required. In addition, the new design improves the overall efficiency of the flame treating process Troubleshooting & maintenance of flame plasma surface treating systems will be discussed.
Optimization of Processing Properties of Co2 Rubber Compounds
Michael Drach, May 2020
In order to reduce the carbon footprint, carbon dioxide (CO2) can be used as a raw material for synthesizing innovative rubber materials. In the following, the process of testing and improving CO2-based rubber compounds is described. The substitution of parts of the polymer chain by CO2 contributes to a sustainable rubber industry. A wide range of different raw materials is provided by the manufacturer, compounded and then tested. In order to improve processability, compound recipes are modified and improved. The investigations focus on static and dynamical mechanical properties and caloric properties. After the ability to be processed in an internal mixer is proven and improved by the use of processing aids, the compounds are tested for extrusion and vulcanization. It is shown, that CO2-rubber compounds can be processed on a rubber extruder and can be vulcanized by using hot air and infrared radiation.
Screw Design for Ultra-High-Speed, Quad-Screw Extrusion
Carol Barry, May 2020
The effect of screw programming on the performance of an ultra-high-speed, 15 mm quad-screw extruder was investigated by processing low-density polyethylene with four screw programs, no active barrel cooling (to evaluate viscous dissipation), and screw speeds of 500-2000 rpm. Observations indicated that kneading blocks were needed for timely melting of polymer pellets. Large increases in barrel temperature occurred with mixing, rather than melting, kneading blocks. Kneading block design had limited effects on power consumption but significantly affected residence time, melt temperature, and drive torque. All designs produced significant reductions in the viscosity of the extrudate, which previously has improved mixing.
The Use of Multi-Wave Oscillation To Expedite Testing and Provide Key Rheological Information
Gregory Kamykowski, May 2020
Dynamic oscillatory testing is usually performed in a point-by-point fashion. For example, in a frequency sweep, the test material is subjected to oscillation at a particular frequency, equilibrium conditions are attained, and the experiment progresses to the next, discrete frequency. With isothermal tests or temperature ramps, testing is performed at 1 particular frequency, e.g., 1 Hz (6.28 rad/sec). The method discussed in this paper, Multi-wave oscillation, allows one to impose multiple frequencies simultaneously. This enables testing at multiple frequencies in less time than by the conventional method and is particularly useful in characterizing curing systems in isothermal time sweeps or temperature ramps. With some curing systems, especially where there is no Storage Modulus – Loss Modulus crossover point in the experimental timeframe, this enables one to determine an objective gel point, which is defined as the point where tan delta (= Loss Modulus/Storage Modulus) is independent of frequency.
Using a Micro Blown Film Line for Formulation Screening
Jin Wang, May 2020
A LabTech Ultra Micro Combi line (Microline), the smallest blown film line in the world, was used to conduct blown film formulation screening with a set of LLDPE/LDPE blends. A sample cutting pattern was developed to enable preparation of crease-free test specimens from the small layflat made on the Microline. Haze, dart A, tear (MD, TD) and tensile (MD, CD) were tested using the film made by the Microline. By carefully controlling the time to frost line on the Microline to match the time to frost line on the larger scale lines, it was found that dart A, tear (MD, TD) and tensile (MD) of the Microline film were correlated with those of the larger scale lines films. These film properties can be used for formulation screening with minimal consumption of materials (~150 g per film sample). Haze and tensile (CD) properties did not correlate with those of the larger scale lines films. Future work will investigate the cause of these deviations.

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ANTEC 2016 - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA May 23-25, 2016. [On-line].
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