Peter Elsner

Publications

1 Study of Influencing Factors on the Flowability of Jute Nonwoven Reinforced Sheet Molding Compound

Authors: Miriam I. Lautenschläger, Max H. Scheiwe, Kay A. Weidenmann, Frank Henning, Peter Elsner

Abstract:

Due to increasing environmental awareness jute fibers are more often used in fiber reinforced composites. In the Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) process, the mold cavity is filled via material flow allowing more complex component design. But, the difficulty of using jute fibers in this process is the decreased capacity of fiber movement in the mold. A comparative flow study with jute nonwoven reinforced SMC was conducted examining the influence of the fiber volume content, the grammage of the jute nonwoven textile and a mechanical modification of the nonwoven textile on the flowability. The nonwoven textile reinforcement was selected to support homogeneous fiber distribution. Trials were performed using two SMC paste formulations differing only in filler type. Platy-shaped kaolin with a mean particle size of 0.8 μm and ashlar calcium carbonate with a mean particle size of 2.7 μm were selected as fillers. Ensuring comparability of the two SMC paste formulations the filler content was determined to reach equal initial viscosity for both systems. The calcium carbonate filled paste was set as reference. The flow study was conducted using a jute nonwoven textile with 300 g/m² as reference. The manufactured SMC sheets were stacked and centrally placed in a square mold. The mold coverage was varied between 25 and 90% keeping the weight of the stack for comparison constant. Comparing the influence of the two fillers kaolin yielded better results regarding a homogeneous fiber distribution. A mold coverage of about 68% was already sufficient to homogeneously fill the mold cavity whereas for calcium carbonate filled system about 79% mold coverage was necessary. The flow study revealed a strong influence of the fiber volume content on the flowability. A fiber volume content of 12 vol.-% and 25 vol.-% were compared for both SMC formulations. The lower fiber volume content strongly supported fiber transport whereas 25 vol.-% showed insignificant influence. The results indicate a limiting fiber volume content for the flowability. The influence of the nonwoven textile grammage was determined using nonwoven jute material with 500 g/m² and a fiber volume content of 20 vol.-%. The 500 g/m² reinforcement material showed inferior results with regard to fiber movement. A mold coverage of about 90 % was required to prevent the destruction of the nonwoven structure. Below this mold coverage the 500 g/m² nonwoven material was ripped and torn apart. Low mold coverages led to damage of the textile reinforcement. Due to the ripped nonwoven structure the textile was modified with cuts in order to facilitate fiber movement in the mold. Parallel cuts of about 20 mm length and 20 mm distance to each other were applied to the textile and stacked with varying orientations prior to molding. Stacks with unidirectional orientated cuts over stacks with cuts in various directions e.g. (0°, 45°, 90°, -45°) were investigated. The mechanical modification supported tearing of the textile without achieving benefit for the flowability.

Keywords: Nonwoven, filler, Jute fiber, flowability, sheet molding compound

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Abstracts

2 Reduction of Residual Stress by Variothermal Processing and Validation via Birefringence Measurement Technique on Injection Molded Polycarbonate Samples

Authors: Kay André Weidenmann, Peter Elsner, Christoph Lohr, Hanna Wund

Abstract:

Injection molding is one of the most commonly used techniques in the industrial polymer processing. In the conventional process of injection molding, the liquid polymer is injected into the cavity of the mold, where the polymer directly starts hardening at the cooled walls. To compensate the shrinkage, which is caused predominantly by the immediate cooling, holding pressure is applied. Through that whole process, residual stresses are produced by the temperature difference of the polymer melt and the injection mold and the relocation of the polymer chains, which were oriented by the high process pressures and injection speeds. These residual stresses often weaken or change the structural behavior of the parts or lead to deformation of components. One solution to reduce the residual stresses is the use of variothermal processing. Hereby the mold is heated – i.e. near/over the glass transition temperature of the polymer – the polymer is injected and before opening the mold and ejecting the part the mold is cooled. For the next cycle, the mold gets heated again and the procedure repeats. The rapid heating and cooling of the mold are realized indirectly by convection of heated and cooled liquid (here: water) which is pumped through fluid channels underneath the mold surface. In this paper, the influences of variothermal processing on the residual stresses are analyzed with samples in a larger scale (500 mm x 250 mm x 4 mm). In addition, the influence on functional elements, such as abrupt changes in wall thickness, bosses, and ribs, on the residual stress is examined. Therefore the polycarbonate samples are produced by variothermal and isothermal processing. The melt is injected into a heated mold, which has in our case a temperature varying between 70 °C and 160 °C. After the filling of the cavity, the closed mold is cooled down varying from 70 °C to 100 °C. The pressure and temperature inside the mold are monitored and evaluated with cavity sensors. The residual stresses of the produced samples are illustrated by birefringence where the effect on the refractive index on the polymer under stress is used. The colorful spectrum can be uncovered by placing the sample between a polarized light source and a second polarization filter. To show the achievement and processing effects on the reduction of residual stress the birefringence images of the isothermal and variothermal produced samples are compared and evaluated. In this comparison to the variothermal produced samples have a lower amount of maxima of each color spectrum than the isothermal produced samples, which concludes that the residual stress of the variothermal produced samples is lower.

Keywords: Residual Stress, injection molding, birefringence, polycarbonate, variothermal processing

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1 Study of Influencing Factors on the Flowability of Jute Nonwoven Reinforced Sheet Molding Compound

Authors: Miriam I. Lautenschläger, Max H. Scheiwe, Kay A. Weidenmann, Frank Henning, Peter Elsner

Abstract:

Due to increasing environmental awareness jute fibers are more often used in fiber reinforced composites. In the Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) process, the mold cavity is filled via material flow allowing more complex component design. But, the difficulty of using jute fibers in this process is the decreased capacity of fiber movement in the mold. A comparative flow study with jute nonwoven reinforced SMC was conducted examining the influence of the fiber volume content, the grammage of the jute nonwoven textile and a mechanical modification of the nonwoven textile on the flowability. The nonwoven textile reinforcement was selected to support homogeneous fiber distribution. Trials were performed using two SMC paste formulations differing only in filler type. Platy-shaped kaolin with a mean particle size of 0.8 μm and ashlar calcium carbonate with a mean particle size of 2.7 μm were selected as fillers. Ensuring comparability of the two SMC paste formulations the filler content was determined to reach equal initial viscosity for both systems. The calcium carbonate filled paste was set as reference. The flow study was conducted using a jute nonwoven textile with 300 g/m² as reference. The manufactured SMC sheets were stacked and centrally placed in a square mold. The mold coverage was varied between 25 and 90% keeping the weight of the stack for comparison constant. Comparing the influence of the two fillers kaolin yielded better results regarding a homogeneous fiber distribution. A mold coverage of about 68% was already sufficient to homogeneously fill the mold cavity whereas for calcium carbonate filled system about 79% mold coverage was necessary. The flow study revealed a strong influence of the fiber volume content on the flowability. A fiber volume content of 12 vol.-% and 25 vol.-% were compared for both SMC formulations. The lower fiber volume content strongly supported fiber transport whereas 25 vol.-% showed insignificant influence. The results indicate a limiting fiber volume content for the flowability. The influence of the nonwoven textile grammage was determined using nonwoven jute material with 500 g/m² and a fiber volume content of 20 vol.-%. The 500 g/m² reinforcement material showed inferior results with regard to fiber movement. A mold coverage of about 90 % was required to prevent the destruction of the nonwoven structure. Below this mold coverage the 500 g/m² nonwoven material was ripped and torn apart. Low mold coverages led to damage of the textile reinforcement. Due to the ripped nonwoven structure the textile was modified with cuts in order to facilitate fiber movement in the mold. Parallel cuts of about 20 mm length and 20 mm distance to each other were applied to the textile and stacked with varying orientations prior to molding. Stacks with unidirectional orientated cuts over stacks with cuts in various directions e.g. (0°, 45°, 90°, -45°) were investigated. The mechanical modification supported tearing of the textile without achieving benefit for the flowability.

Keywords: Nonwoven, filler, Jute fiber, flowability, sheet molding compound

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