Polymer and Materials Engineering

Table of Contents

Introduction.

1.1 Bio based polymers.

1.2 PLLA..

1.3 Injection Molding.

1.4 Mechanics of molded pen body.

1.5 Characterization Techniques.

1.6 Sustainability.

1.7 Conclusions.

Introduction to Polymer and Materials Engineering

1.1 Bio-Based Polymers

Bio-based polymers consist of those polymers which are acquired from biological sources. Most of these polymers are obtained in their own polymeric configurations within the particular organism that is responsible for the generation. These include microorganisms, algae as well as plants. Along with this many polymers are produced from the bio-based configuration of monomers. Some of the bio-based polymers are employed to a great extent in everyday processes. These include cellulose and starch. These polymers were mostly employed in the sectors and processes of construction, packaging as well as textiles. A few common types of the naturally occurring bio-based polymers include proteins, polysaccharides, cellulose starch as well as bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates. There is a total of three main classes of bio-based polymers. This classification has been conducted in accordance with the monomeric units that are employed along with the specific structural configuration of the biopolymer that is developed. These classes of bio-based polymers include polynucleotides, polypeptides as well as polysaccharides.

Polynucleotides include RNA and DNA, polypeptides consist of different proteins among which include fibrin, collagen, and actin whereas the polysaccharides class consists of structures of polymeric carbohydrate which are bonded in linear configuration (Rudd, 1997). Along with these other common types of bio-based polymers include lignin, rubber, suberin as well as melanin. With the advancement of technology, bio-based polymers find their applications in the food industry, biomedical engineering and related applications, manufacturing as well as packaging processes. The bio-based polymers comprise various monomeric units that join together to form large structures through the development of a covalent bond. The applications of bio-based polymers include both biomedical as well as industrial applications. In the biomedical applications, the bio-based polymers are employed on a large scale in the process of tissue engineering as well as in various biomedical devices and the pharmaceutical industry and its applications.

Along with this the polymers also find their usage in the application of regenerative medicine, delivery of drugs and other related medical applications and processes. The bio-based polymers are used significantly in the biomedical sector due to the provision of advantages and special medical features which include healing of wounds as well as the provision of catalysis of bioactivity. Due to the bio-based polymers comprising of complex level structures just like the human body, these are considered to be better and viable regarding the body integration process. Bio base polymers also find their usage in applications related to the coating of foods as well as effective packaging of the food items (Attia, 2009).

1.2 PLLA

Polylactic acid which is also referred to as PLA is basically a thermoplastic polyester. This is acquired through the condensation process of lactic acid with the reduction of water. Polylactic acid has acquired considerable importance since this material is cost-effectively acquired from various renewable sources. Along with this polylactic acid is also the most commonly employed plastic filament that is used in three-dimensional printing applications. PLA finds its applications in the preparation of feedstock material. Polylactic acid is also employed as medical implants along with decomposable configuration of packaging material and development of cups and bags. The bio-based polymer also finds its usage and application in loose-fill configuration packaging, disposable tableware as well as compost bags. Other applications include disposable garments, hygiene products, and in drug delivery processes through usage in polymeric scaffolds (Brouwer, 2003).

1.3 Injection Molding

Injection molding comprises a specific manufacturing procedure to carry out the production activities of certain parts through the injection of molten material into a mound. The procedure of injection molding is employed on a vast scale for the fabrication of the vast majority of items which include plastic items, toys, containers, cases for cell phones along with body parts for automobiles. Several different manufacturing processes come under the category of injection molding which includes thermoplastic injection molding, cold runner as well as hot runner molding, over-molding, and insert molding. The main operational principle of injection molding consists of the heating of the plastic material above the melting point temperature. This excessive heating of the specific plastic material leads to the requisite conversion of the plastic polymer in its solid-state to a molten fluid configuration that comprises of a low level of viscosity. This is then followed by forcing the molten fluid state of the plastic polymer into a closed configuration of the mound through which the shape that is required can then be developed and obtained.

The main reason why the process of injection molding is preferred is the fact that the parts that are manufactured do not require any additional work because they give off a finished look after being injected from the mounds. The conditions regarding molding are varied concerning the temperature values. For the walls with thin structure higher values of melting temperatures can be incorporated whereas for the thicker structures the melting temperature values can be selected close to the melting points of the polymer. The injection pressures are specified within the range of 6000 to 14000 psi. The filling rates of the mound are specified following the thickness as well as the geometry of the specific parts. Along with the cycle time of the molding procedure is largely dependent on the size of the part, melt temperatures along with the cavity of the mound (Sha, 2007).

1.4 Mechanics of Molded Pen Body

An accurate cooling mechanism within the structure of the mound is ensured for an effective molded configuration of the pen body. The mounds of plastic pens comprise of various cavities and further equipped with an assembly for cooling. The overall effectiveness of the cooling mechanism for these mounds ensures the optimum quality of the body of the pen regarding the parameters of strength and finish. The requirement of the pen body is the incorporation of a deep hole comprising of a very small diameter so that faster and more accurate level of cooling can be provided by core pin. The drilling of the core pin for the mounds of the pen body requires the drilling of a hole comprising of the diameter value of approximately 2 mm including depth of over 250-300 mm. The molded pen body developed from the process of injection molding comprises of the features of plastic injection molded pen with a bolt action mechanism along with the pocket clip and overall forked design. The cap of the pen is molded around an insert that is threaded and then is further employed for the molding of internal threads. The barrels of the pen are molded to make the entire body strong as well as durable (Dimla, 2005).

1.5 Characterization Techniques

The company can assess as well as ensure the overall quality of the polymer that is incoming along with the molded product that is obtained through assessing the characterization of the flow properties in the melt solution. This can also be ensured through the evaluation and measurement of the melt flow index or the viscosity index in the solution. A quality inspection can be carried out on the raw form of plastic materials in both resin and fiber formation. For the resin structure, the main requirements include various parameters of the level of moisture as well as viscosity whereas tensile strength tests can be conducted to evaluate and assess the quality of continuous fibers. Along with this the various other standard level methodology include the wet chemical analysis providing the incorporated groups in the plastic compound. Chromatography testing can be employed since the weight of the molecular structure and overall distribution have a direct effect on the viscosity of the plastic material as well as the mechanical characteristics. Sound waves of high frequency can be incorporated for the tracing of any kinds of internal flaws within the plastic mound material (Dimla, 2005).

Another inspection methodology comprises of the firing of a radiation beam through the specific plastic component followed by an assessment of the overall power of that beam of radiation when it gets out of the plastic mound component. This difference that is evaluated regarding the initial intensity of the beam as well as the intensity of the beam after it passes through the plastic material helps in the determination of the internal defects that are produced in the specific object. This can assist in the detection of certain flaws which include large spaces, patterns of the fiber which are not aligned, fractures as well as uneven distribution of the fibers. Another characterization technique that can be employed for the effective assessment of the quality of incoming polymer and the product obtained in molded form is the deployment of sound waves for determining any defects in the material. This technique has a large dependence on the sound for emitting the relevant stress emissions from damaged areas within the structure of the mound. This can assist in the determination of certain defects of high degree which involved cracking at the microscopic level, delamination, detachment of the fiber, and breakage of the fiber (Michaeli, 2002).

1.6 Sustainability

An important aspect here is the consideration of the sustainability of the molded plastic products. During the conduction of the molding procedure, an excess amount of plastic is produced. The excess amount of plastic is considered as waste and recycling is considered as the imperative way to effectively deal with the excess amount of plastic that is produced. There are other strategies in this regard as well which include the manner in which the raw materials are provided and ensuring their compliance with various practices that are sustainable. Another consideration can be in assessing the conversion of the waste from the facility into energy which can provide a limitation of the total waste that goes into landfills. The sustainable level of manufacturing also ensures the availability and incorporation of the raw materials in a local way. The process of plastic injection molding on sustainable terms employs machinery that is state of the art and provided the overall reduction of the amount of waste that is developed during the production phase. Along with this, the impact of the particular company during the procedures of transportation as well as packaging can be assessed and various solutions can be employed for its minimization (Edirisinghe, 2005).

Conclusions on Polymer and Materials Engineering

Polylactic acid is also the most commonly employed plastic filament. The process of injection molding comprises the production of thermos plastic parts in high volume. The main operational principle of injection molding consists of the heating of the plastic material above the melting point temperature. This excessive heating of the specific plastic material leads to the requisite conversion of the plastic polymer in its solid-state to the molten fluid configuration that comprises of a low level of viscosity. This is then followed by forcing the molten fluid state of the plastic polymer into a closed configuration of the mound through which the shape that is required can then be developed and obtained. The company can assess as well as ensure the overall quality of the polymer that is incoming along with the molded product that is obtained through assessing the characterization of the flow properties in the melt solution. This can also be ensured through the evaluation and measurement of the melt flow index or the viscosity index in the solution followed by quality inspection. Moreover, the excess amount of plastic that is produced during the implementation of the injection molding procedure needs to be recycled instead of being improperly disposed of.

References for Polymer and Materials Engineering

Attia, U. M. (2009). Micro-injection molding of polymer microfluidic devices... Microfluidics and nanofluidics, 7(1), 1.

Brouwer, W. D. (2003). Vacuum injection molding for large structural applications. . Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 551-558.

Dimla, D. E. (2005). Design and optimisation of conformal cooling channels in injection moulding tools. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 1294-1300.

Edirisinghe, M. J. (2005). fabrication of engineering ceramics by injection moulding. I. Materials selection. International Journal of High Technology Ceramics, 1-31.

Michaeli, W. S. (2002). New plastification concepts for micro injection moulding. Microsystem technologies, 55-57.

Rudd, C. D. (1997). Liquid moulding technologies: Resin transfer moulding, structural reaction injection moulding and related processing techniques. . Elsevier.

Sha, B. D. (2007). Investigation of micro-injection moulding: Factors affecting the replication quality. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 284-296.

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