Thermoforming Quarterly is a journal published quarterly by the Thermoforming Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. The magazine is a great way to keep up with industry trends and developments. SPE Thermoforming Division members receive the magazine by mail four times a year. Non-members can access old issues here via PDF file. If you are not an SPE member this is a great reason to join! Become a member today to start receiving this valuable information in your mailbox.
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Third Quarter 2020
Thermoforming Evaluation of Coextruded Multilayer EVOH/LDPE Film/Foam
A multi-layered film/foam system having 16, 32, and 64 alternating foam and film layers has been developed using multilayer coextrusion technology. The film layer was based on ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer and foam layer on low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The cellular structure was characterized by scanning electron microscopy investigating the effect of the number of layers and layer composition on the film/foam structure. The film/foam materials produced exhibited variable properties, such as density, cell size, cell density, and mechanical properties by changing the layer number and composition. The stress-strain behavior of these film/foam materials at several temperatures was examined. The stress‐strain curves obtained were referenced to understand the influence of temperature on the uniaxial deformation process. This information provides insight into the material properties and process conditions influencing thermoforming behavior and performance. The thermoformability of the film/foam materials were evaluated. Optimum forming capacity was achieved at 60ºC. These film/foam materials showed a lower reduction of thickness in the sidewalls, as well as a higher dimensional uniformity in the thermoformed product.
Multilayer coextrusion is a cost-effective processing technique that can be used to combine polymers with widely dissimilar properties into multilayered structures that exhibit a synergistic combination of properties that would be unavailable in a single material. Layered polymeric systems are important in achieving films that exhibit a desired mix of end-use characteristics. Mechanical, optical, gas barrier, electronic and aesthetic properties can all be improved through multilayering. Multilayer coextrusion technology also provides a unique research tool for studying phenomenon including interdiffusion, crystallization, and adhesion due to their large interface to volume ratio [5-7].
What’s the Matter with Recycling?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
We’ve been hearing this phrase and teaching it to our children for more than 40 years. It’s ingrained in our collective consciousness: if you care about the planet, then you recycle.
The petrochemical and fossil fuel industries put forth compelling facts and figures and marketing messages like this infographic showing how plastics can be recycled to the point that waste and landfill of plastics is virtually eliminated. But the reality is that after four decades of talking about the importance of recycling, more than 90% of plastic still ends up in the landfill or leaked into the environment as land and ocean waste.
Of course, we all agree we should recycle all the paper, glass, aluminum, and plastics that we can. So why hasn’t plastic recycling delivered on the promise to eliminate plastic waste?
Today we use five times more plastic than we did in 1980, so clearly “reduce” hasn’t worked. “Reuse” hasn’t worked either. Forty years later, there is still virtually no “reusable” packaging for consumer goods. The “recycle” component has been highly dependent on the ability to send waste to China or SE Asia which is no longer an option thanks to cross contamination. In the best of circumstances, no more than 10% of plastic has ever been recycled.
Full articles appears in print magazine mailed to members.