During the upcoming ANTEC® 2017 conference, researchers from Braskem's Innovation and Technology center in Pittsburgh, PA. will present three technical papers focusing on some of the innovation programs in the United States. ANTEC®, organized by SPE, is an annual meeting of engineering, scientific, marketing and commercial representatives from plastics-related industries, including additive and catalyst suppliers, resin suppliers, converters, OEMs and brand owners. Many academic and national lab researchers also attend the conference.
Ranadip Ganguly will present a paper highlighting the fundamentals of heat sealing in semi-crystalline polymer films.. This work investigates the non-standard microstructural aspects that might play a critical role in the heat sealing process of semi-crystalline polymer films. Two different ethylene-propylene copolymers having widely different Seal Initiation Temperatures (?SIT=18oC) but similar melting points (?Tm=2 oC) were chosen for this study. The contribution of both the amorphous phase and the crystalline phase to heat sealing was investigated utilizing Dynamic Mechanical Analysis and Thermal Fractionation DSC respectively. Initial results indicate that the melting distribution of the thermally fractionated material plays a critical role in determining SIT. Other potentially contributing factors like isothermal crystallization kinetics, the kinetics of entanglement in the melt state are currently being investigated.
Steven Krupinski will present "Low Density HMS-PP Foam: Controlling Foam Density and Cell Morphology." Linear isotactic polypropylene (PP) is used in a vast array of applications because it provides mechanical strength, chemical resistance, and thermal stability. However, semi-crystalline linear PP has limited use in low-density foam applications, which are dominated by amorphous polymers, such as polystyrene. This paper discusses technical challenges that have limited the use of PP in low-density, extruded foams. Specifically, the challenge of controlling foam density along with closed cell percent and cell count is addressed. The rheological properties have been evaluated in terms of viscosity, elasticity and melt strength which show good foaming potential. Interactions between the HMS-PP polymer, linear PP blend polymers, blowing agent type, additive formulation, and process variables are investigated here for a new, HMS-PP grade. Braskem has developed a proprietary technology to produce High Melt Strength Polypropylene (HMS-PP), branded as Amppleo, with a specific long chain branching configuration that helps overcome the limitations of linear PP when foaming to low densities of 150-50kg/m3.
Raj Krishnaswamy will present "New Polypropylene Compositions for Automotive and Packaging Markets" This presentation will cover new polypropylene product innovation that addresses critical performance needs faced by the packaging and automotive market segments. Specific topics that will be discussed in some detail include: (1) Long chain branched PP: the impact of molecular architectural modifications on the melt rheology, crystallization kinetics, foam processing and performance along with foam structure-property relationships will be discussed. (2) New hetero-phasic PP impact copolymer compositions tailored to produce optically clear blow-molded and thermoformed articles while preserving the impact toughness of traditional impact copolymers.