Study and Application Development of FPA300 for Plastics Industry

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Background

FPA300 is a processing aid that reduces the frictional properties and improves flowability of the material during the plastic extrusion process and helps prevent plastic dripping while igniting.

FPA300 synthesis, however, often results in large, medium and very small FPA300 particles of less than 75 microns (FPA300 fibrils) in size, all of which have the same chemical composition. But the very small particle size is fluffy and not free-flowing, making it difficult to feed and convey into the screw or unable to consistently maintain the quantity of the compound. Therefore it is necessary to sort out the very small FPA particles upon synthesis.

Currently, IRPC Public Company Limited has approximately 200 tons of accumulated FPA300 fibrils, worth approximately 60 million baht. The Company therefore wants to study the feasibility of commercial use of FPA300 fibrils.

Goal

To convert FPA300 fibrils into a free-flowing form that is easily conveyed into the screw and to find new ways of use of FPA300 in various plastics industries in order to add value and business opportunities.

What does the research team do?

  • Apply knowledge of plastics engineering and processing (compression / grinding / extrusion / injection molding) to convert FPA300 fibrils into free-flowing granules and test the properties of specimens with FPA300 added.
  • Test the efficiency of FPA300 pellets as the processing aids during polymer extrusion.

Research results

Transformation of FPA300 fibrils: It can transform FPA300 fibrils into free- flowing granules which can be used as a processing aids for the molding of plastic parts in various processes. However, FPA300 has limited compatibility with many plastics. Therefore, it is necessary to adjust the chemical composition to improve the chemical compatibility between FPA300 and specific plastics.

The value of FPA300: It can be added to acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) during sheet extrusion process. In the case of sheets thicker than 0.8 mm, the surface roughness is reduced by 2.9-5.4%. The addition of FPA300 also increases the elongation of the ABS sheet by at least 32%, which is beneficial for deep drawing process or thermoforming.

Using FPA300 as an anti-dripping agent: The addition of 30% flame retardant in combination with FPA300 0.5 phr (parts per hundred part of resin) in ABS acquired UL94-5VA rating, the top rank in fire-retardant test. This means the tested material is flame-retardant and non-dripping. If FPA300 and the flame retardant are not added ABS is rated only HB (lowest level).

Research status

Completed

Outlook

The company has been recommended to improve the chemical compatibility of FPA300 with various plastics in order to further enhance the performance of the FPA300 as a processing aid or anti-dripping agent.

The transformation of FPA300 fibrils into a free-flowing form can be performed without compromising on the chemical structure and properties of the FPA300. However, the compression and crushing processes developed in the research project were of small scale. The processes need to be optimized to accommodate the transformation of the FPA300 at the industrial level appropriately and cost-effectively.

Research team

Dr.-Ing. Patcharee Larpsuriyakul, Jareenuch Rojsatean, Dumrong Thanomjitr, Sanya Kaewkate
and Kawin Keeratipinit

Contact

Dr.-Ing. Patcharee Larpsuriyakul
Material Processing and Manufacturing Automation Research Group
Tel: 02 564 6500 ext. 4449
Email: Patcharl@mtec.or.th