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Technical Paper

Microcellular Ceramic Foams: Manufacturing and Study of Acoustical Properties

2007-05-15
2007-01-2187
A novel processing method for fabricating high porosity microcellular ceramic foams for sound absorption applications has been developed. The strategy for fabricating the ceramic foams involves: (i) forming some shapes using a mixture of preceramic polymer and expandable microspheres by a conventional ceramic forming method, (ii) foaming the compact by heating, (iii) cross-linking the foamed body, and (iv) transforming the foamed body into ceramic foams by pyrolysis. By controlling the microsphere content and that of the base elastomer, it was possible to adjust the porosity with a very high open-cell content (ranging between 43 - 95%), high microcellular cell densities (9 × 108 - 1.6 × 109 cells/cm3) and desired expansion ratios (3 - 6 folds). Sound absorption testing has been performed using ASTM C-384 standard test. The preliminary results show that ceramic foams are candidate sound absorption materials.
Technical Paper

Foaming Visualization of Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Blends with N2

2007-04-16
2007-01-0572
Polymers are often blended to create compounds with new or enhanced properties in order to compensate for an individual polymer's weakness or lack of inherent properties. In the field of polymer foaming, polymer blends are also used to generate fine-cell structures via heterogeneous nucleation. Recently, an interest in physical blowing agents, such CO2 and N2, has increased because of their low impact on the environment. It has thus become additionally important to pursue research on the foaming of polymer blends employing these particular physical blowing agents in an effort to keep up with the demand for environmentally friendly products. In this study, thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) blends were prepared with polypropylene (PP) and a metallocene-based polyolefin elastomer (POE) using twin-screw extruders and a batch mixer.
Technical Paper

Poly (butyl acrylate)-Modified Cellulose Fibres for Toughening WPC

2007-04-16
2007-01-0574
One of the key challenges of the wood polymer composites (WPC) is the inadequate toughness partly due to the incompatibility of the natural fibres and PP matrix. In this work, we performed the surface modification of the natural fibre by either in-situ grafting polymerization of butyl acrylate (PBA) or adsorbing matrix-compatible cationic PBA latex on the fibre surfaces. The results indicated that the mechanical properties of the polypropylene (PP) composites containing the modified fibres, unnotched Izod impact strength in particular, have been improved significantly. The influencing factors and the mechanism of toughening process have also been preliminarily investigated.
Technical Paper

Effect of Fungal Modification on Fiber-Matrix Adhesion in Natural Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites

2006-04-03
2006-01-0006
Natural fiber reinforced polymer composites are beginning to find their way into the commercial automotive market. But, inadequate adhesion between hydrophilic natural fibers and hydrophobic matrix materials affects the performance of the resulting composites. In this study the effect of an environmental friendly fungal treatment on the adhesion characteristics of natural fibers is investigated. Firstly, changes in acid-base characteristics of the modified hemp fibers were studied using Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC). Afterwards, composites were prepared using Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process and the effect of modification on performance and durability of the composites was investigated.
Technical Paper

Foamability of Thermoplastic Vulcanizates (TPVs) with Various Physical Blowing Agents (PBAs)

2006-04-03
2006-01-0972
Thermoplastic Vulcanizate (TPV) is a special class of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPEs) made of a rubber/plastic polymer mixture in which the rubber phase is highly vulcanized. It is prepared by melt mixing a thermoplastic with an elastomer and by in-situ crosslinking of the rubber phase. Currently, TPV is replacing EPDM rubber dramatically because of the impressive advantages for automotive sealing applications. Some of the advantages of TPV compared to that of EPDM rubber are good gloss, recyclability, improved colorability, shorter cycle time and design flexibility. The development of TPV foaming technology is to fulfill the requirement of achieving lower cost, lighter weight and better fuel economy. Foaming of TPV has not been investigated extensively.
Technical Paper

Performance of Injection Molded Natural Fiber - Hybrid Thermoplastic Composites for Automotive Structural Applications

2006-04-03
2006-01-0004
Use of natural fiber and / or hybrid thermoplastic composites in the automotive industry can provide the advantages of weight reduction, cost reduction and recyclability, in addition to eco-efficiency and renewability compared to synthetic conventional materials. Besides the mechanical performance of the composites, thermal properties, durability, and recyclability of the natural fiber or hybrid composites are also to be investigated to demonstrate their potential candidacy as structural members in automotive applications. The main objective of this research work was to evaluate thermal properties, creep properties, and recyclability of the natural fiber and natural fiber hybrid composites in comparison with 30-40wt% long glass fiber filled thermoplastic composites. Composites were prepared by melt blending the thermoplastic, fiber and compatibilizer followed by granulation and injection molding of the compound into test specimens.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Fiber Surface Treatment on the Performance of Hemp Fiber/Acrylic Composites for Automotive Structural Parts

2006-04-03
2006-01-0005
The use of natural fibers for polymer composite materials has increased tremendously in the last few years. This type of reinforcements offers many advantages such as low density, low cost, high specific strength and low environmental impacts. The performance of the natural fiber composites are affected by the fiber loading, the individual mechanical properties of each component (fiber and matrix), and the fiber and matrix adhesion. Concerning the interfacial interaction, natural fibers present a major drawback because of poor compatibility of fibers with most hydrophobic thermoplastic and thermoset matrix. Hemp fiber/acrylic composites were manufactured with sheet molding technique recently. Although mechanical tests give promising results, they exhibit low tensile strength resulting from a poor fiber/matrix adhesion. The moisture resistance property of the sheet molded composites also needs further improvement.
Technical Paper

Measurement of N2 Solubility in Polypropylene and Ethene/Octene Copolymer

2006-04-03
2006-01-0504
Determination of the solubility of a blowing agent, i.e. supercritical N2, in polypropylene (PP) and elastomer material is crucial for achieving high-quality thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) foams in automotive industry. A magnetic suspension balance (MSB) was employed in the experiments to measure the apparent solubility, while the swollen volume predicted by the Sanchez-Lacombe (SL) equation of state (EOS) was used to account for the buoyancy effect. The volume swelling of the polymer/gas mixture and the gas solubilities for both PP and polyolefin elastomer were discussed.
Technical Paper

Accurate Measurement of PVT Data for PP/Gas and TPO/Gas Mixtures

2006-04-03
2006-01-0506
Foaming of a thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is gaining interests because of its superior mechanical properties of foamed automotive parts, such as lightweight and high performance to weight ratio, etc. In this context, understanding of the thermophysical properties of PP/gas and TPO/gas mixtures is critically important. This paper will present the newly developed experimental technique to accurately measure the swelling of PP and TPO due to gas dissolution at elevated temperatures and pressures. Our technique measures the geometry of the pendent drop accurately from the captured images to obtain the volume swelling data. It determines the boundary location of the polymer/gas sample accurately by magnifying the sample drop locally along its edge before capturing the image. The automated high-precision XY stage is chosen as the platform to control the motion of the CCD camera.
Technical Paper

Wood Microfibres - Effective Reinforcing Agents for Composites

2006-04-03
2006-01-0106
This work is based on a process to develop novel cellulose microfibre reinforced composite materials, and to understand fundamental mechanical properties of these composites. Cellulose microfibres having diameters <1 μm were generated from bleached kraft pulp by a combination of high shear refining and subsequent cryocrushing under liquid nitrogen, followed by filtration through a 60 mesh screen. Through film casting in polyvinyl alcohol, theoretical stiffness of the microfibres was calculated as 69 GPa. Subsequently, these microfibres were successfully dispersed in the bioplastics thermoplastic starch and polylactic acid (PLA), using conventional processing equipments. The high aspect ratio of these microfibres coupled with their high tensile properties imparted superior mechanical strength and stiffness to the composites. These indicated that by suitably choosing the polymer, excellent reinforcement can be achieved for high end applications like automotive parts.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Swelling for PP/Gas Mixtures

2005-04-11
2005-01-1672
Foaming of thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO) and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) is gaining interest because of the lightweight and high performance to weight ratio of foamed automotive parts. Since foaming will occur mainly in the PP matrix in these PP-based automotive materials, understanding of the thermophysical properties of PP/gas mixtures is critically important. This paper will present a proposed methodology for measuring the swelling of polymer/gas mixtures. The preliminary experimental measurement of PP/N2 swelling at elevated temperatures and pressures will be discussed.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Gas Solubility for PP/Blowing-Agent Mixtures

2005-04-11
2005-01-1671
Determination of the solubility of a blowing agent, i.e. supercritical CO2 or N2, in polypropylene (PP) is crucial for achieving high-quality PP and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) foams. A magnetic suspension balance (MSB) was employed in the experiments to measure the apparent solubility, while the swollen volume predicted by the Sanchez-Lacombe (SL) equation of state (EOS) and Simha-Somcynsky (SS) EOS was used to account for the buoyancy effect. The gas solubilities for both linear and branched PP were calculated and the effects of branching on the swollen volume and gas solubility were discussed.
Technical Paper

High Performance Natural Fiber Thermoplastics for Automotive Interior Parts

2004-03-08
2004-01-0729
Natural fiber mat (NMT) composites are ecologically and energetically beneficial because of their light-weight at high fibre content. This study demonstrated that the use of loose natural fibre in NMT process could lead to tremendous improvement in the shock absorption properties. It is also concluded that in NMT process fibre length above the critical length of fibre hardly affects the mechanical strength. The process is relatively easy one-step molding technique to provide large dimensions. The process also demonstrated promise in reducing the cost of the composite parts by minimizing/eliminating the use of natural fibre nonwoven mat and replacement of glass fibre.
Technical Paper

Examination of Charge Dilution with EGR to Reduce NOx Emissions from a Natural Gas-Fuelled 16 Valve DOHC Four-Cylinder Engine

1994-10-01
942006
Charge dilution is commonly used to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from internal combustion engine exhaust gas. The question of whether to use air or exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) as a charge diluent for the natural gas-fuelled test engine is addressed first. The decision to use EGR is based on the potentially lower NOx and unburned hydrocarbon emissions that could be achieved if a three-way catalyst were applied to the engine. The effect of EGR on the spark advance for maximum brake torque (MBT), NOx, and unburned hydrocarbon emissions is then examined in detail. The effect on fuel efficiency is discussed briefly.
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