Long Chain Branching, Part 3 – Demonstrating Improved Drawability

In Part 2, we irradiated three samples of LLDPE with the electron beam to impart long chain branching and we achieved the improvement in melt tension we were looking for.

In Part 3, we irradiated one of the samples with a higher dose to produce LCB (long chain branched) LLDPE with a melt tension measurement of 14 cN.

In the first demonstration, we extruded, as a control, 100% unirradiated LLDPE sample B into a slot die with a three stack chill roll take-away device. The neck-in was measured as an indication of the drawability of the material. Then we extruded a pellet/pellet blend of 20% LDPE and 80% unirradiated LLDPE. Finally we extruded a pellet/pellet blend of 20% LCB LLDPE and 80% unirradiated LLDPE sample B.

Not only did the 20% LCB LLDPE blend reduce neck-in significantly, it also eliminated the edge weave problem observed in the 100% unirradiated LLDPE.

In a second demonstration, again, as a control, we extruded 100% high flow PP and measured neck-in as described earlier. Then we extruded a pellet/pellet blend of 20% LDPE and 80% high flow polypropylene (PP). Finally, we extruded a pellet/pellet blend of 20% LCB LLDPE sample B and 80% high flow PP.

Conclusion:

LCB LLDPE can be used as a melt strength modifier in both PE blends and PP blends, and at the same time offer the improved properties and higher heat resistance of the LLDPE.

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, E-Beam, Rheology Control | Comments closed

Long Chain Branching, Part 2 – Experimental results

Hypothesis:  long chain branching of LLDPEs can improve melt strength in terms of drawability.

 We irradiated 3 LLDPE feedstocks with an electron beam and compared the properties of the 3 processed resins to a LDPE Control.  The starting samples were:

Radiation Processing

We dosed the samples with a 150kW, 4.5 MeV electron beam accelerator.  The electron beam irradiation initially breaks the polymer chains, creating free radicals that subsequently reform as long chain branches.  Improvements in melt behavior are attributed to this branched structure.

Observations

We observed a decrease in melt index and an increase in melt tension as dose was increased.  For LLDPE sample B, at dose level 3 the melt index and melt tension are equivalent to the LDPE Control.  This indicates that the desirable melt strength properties of LDPE can be imparted into LLDPE.

In Part 3 of this study we will blend these dosed samples with polyethylene to increase the properties of the alloy.

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, E-Beam, Rheology Control | Comments closed

Welcome to the family!

E-BEAM Services is proud to announce the newest member to their accelerator capacity family, a sweet little 1.5 MeV Dynamitron electron beam accelerator!

Coming in at more than 10,000 pounds and measuring more than 20 feet, this newest addition will be upgraded and installed in a future location, becoming the 5th accelerator owned and operated by E-BEAM Services (which is already the largest contract service provider for electron beam processing in North America).

The E-BEAM family is doing well, and is very happy with the potential for additional capacity to help meet the projected business growth and increased demand for e-beam processing.

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, E-Beam, Sterilization | Comments closed

The Top 10 Facts About E-beam Sterilization of DEA-regulated Substances

The top 10 facts about e-beam sterilization of DEA regulated substances at E-BEAM Services, Inc.

  • E-BEAM Services is licensed by the DEA and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to process class III non-narcotic drugs.
  • E-BEAM Services sterilizes in accordance with International Standards (ISO9001-2008, ISO13485, ISO11137) for the operation of our equipment, dosimetry systems, and product qualification.
  • Class III drugs are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence (such as testosterone).
  • For E-BEAM Services to sterilize your controlled substance, you also will need to be licensed by the DEA and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
  • Our Ohio facility has two separate e-beam accelerators, which provide built-in backup capacity.
  • E-beam sterilization has a higher dose rate than gamma, meaning a faster processing time and less degradation to the products.
  • We can process the products in their final packaging, which means a time savings for us and a cost savings for you!
  • If your product has never been validated for sterilization before, we will validate it by performing a material test, dose map, and dose audit.
  • We have the ability to process and ship your products within the same day.
  • We have a DEA-approved secured storage room on site, and when removed from the room, your controlled substances are monitored by at least two E-BEAM personnel at all times.

Still have questions or want to start the validation process? Give us a call at 513-933-0031!

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in E-Beam | Comments closed

Innovation is a team sport

shutterstock_203701285The CEO of a plastics company visited E-BEAM Services to talk about ramping up production of the new crosslinked product they have created using electron beam. E-BEAM’s COO said that we enjoy working with nimble, innovative and entrepreneurial companies.

The CEO responded, “If that is what you want to do, Dan Yasenchak has demonstrated every one of those things during this project. I cannot thank him enough for the persistence he has shown.”

On this successful project, innovation was a team sport! Even Thomas Edison’s successes were ‘team sports’.

Wikipedia asserts that innovations require only three things:

1. A recognized need,

2. Competent people with relevant technology, and

3. Financial support.

If you recognize a need, you can turn to E-BEAM Services to put “competent people with relevant technology” on your team.

Then, if you can come up with $900 for the first experiment, your team can be on its way to instant innovation!

Might electron beam be a relevant technology for your need or opportunity? Check out a short white paper: “Instant Innovation: Product Development Using E-BEAM Irradiation”.

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, E-Beam, Sterilization | Comments closed

E-BEAM attends the International Meeting on Radiation Processing (IMRP) 2016

imrp-2016-gala

The E-BEAM crew at the IMRP gala

 

This past week, E-BEAM’s President, COO, and Technology and Development Manager packed up their bags and headed to Vancouver for the 2016 International Meeting on Radiation Processing (IMRP).

IMRP meetings are organized by the International Irradiation Association (iia), whose members consist of some of the brightest minds in the field of irradiation science from around the world. This year, the IMRP celebrated its 40th year of collaboration, innovation, and education, and the agenda did not disappoint.

E-BEAM President Paul Minbiole, Chairman of the Plenary

E-BEAM President Paul Minbiole, Chairman of the Plenary

Here are some of E-BEAM’s favorite parts of the meeting:

* Paul Minbiole, E-BEAM’s President and CEO, served as Chairman of the Plenary

* Being introduced to a new Rhodotron the size of a large truck tire

* The patent-pending use of e-beam to create a nano-gel spray to target the delivery of insulin to the brain to treat Alzheimer’s

 

* Learning that Dan, the Technology and Development Manager, does in fact own a suit

* The opportunity to be with the industry leaders who are shaping the standards and technology

* Dan also owns a tie!

* Seeing those new to the industry exchange ideas with the established industry leaders

* Discussing topics such as sterilization validation of 3D printed parts and how e-beam can reduce the need for pesticides

The next meeting was announced to be two and a half years from now in Strasbourg, France, and E-BEAM is already looking forward to it!

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, E-Beam, Sterilization | Comments closed

Long Chain Branching – Background. Part I

polypropene

This is the first of a three part series highlighting the advantages of long chain branching and crosslinking – – valuable modifications made by electron beam treatment.

History

Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) has been used in extrusion coating and blown film since the 1950s, where its excellent melt strength created new possibilities. Polypropylene (PP) brought alternative solutions: with better surface characteristics, tensile properties, hardness, and stiffness, PP began to see widespread use. However, PP suffered from poor sag resistance and strain hardening.

In the 70s and 80s, special blends or “alloys” of PP and highly branched LDPE (as well as compatibilizers) were offered and opened material attributes that were previously unavailable. While it was an improvement, these composites still had flaws. High concentration of the linear PP components limited maximum drawability. Heat resistance was also compromised by the LDPE components.

In the 1990’s, 100% longchain branched PP was created by bombarding conventional PPs with an electron beam. These new PP products now had the inherent PP advantages, as well as high melt strength. Electron beam technology was creating new opportunities for rheology control – – via branching and chain scissioning.

So what does this mean?

At E-BEAM Services many applications for electron beam technology are being developed and commercialized.  Electron beam branching and chain scissioning offer material enhancements beyond the original specifications of many polymers .  This adds to the innumerable commercial successes using electron beam to crosslink polyethylene.

Over the next several months, we will be sharing our results – – demonstrating that electron beam irradiation creates superior LLDPEs.  Our methods show increased sag time in thermoforming, increased hang time in extrusion blow molding, and delayed onset of melt resonance in extrusion coating.  And these are just a few of the findings we will be discussing in the coming months.

If you are interested in material modification for your own projects, contact us and we can design an experiment to deliver the polymer enhancements you are looking for.

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Chain Scissioning, Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, Rheology Control | Comments closed

Capacity vs Agility

collaboration

Last summer, my neighbor loaded up his RV for a two-week long family vacation. They were going out West to see the great national parks. I couldn’t help but think, though, that I would rather have my other neighbor’s speedy roadster when driving through the twisting mountain passes. It seems you give up agility and flexibility when you drive something as large as an RV. However, hauling all the gear with a roadster would have certainly meant being broken down on the side of the road. As for what sits in my driveway, I compromised and bought a family sedan.

But with electron beam processing, you don’t have to compromise, and pick one or the other. At E-BEAM Services, we operate the highest power (throughput) accelerators in North America, with 7 times the capacity of the other e-beam service centers.

That means we are like the RV, right? Yes, we have an amazing amount of capacity. For sterilization, it can mean four-hour turnaround for a truckload of medical devices. For industrial applications, such as polymer modification or crosslinking, E-BEAM provides the same kind of high throughput and cost effectiveness.

But unlike the RV, electron beam is nimble, too. Unlike gamma processing (they’re the stodgy RV, dragging their load up the mountain pass), we can change from one custom processing configuration to the next in just a few minutes.

The beauty of e-beam is how capable it is in handling so many different applications. And the beauty of E-BEAM Services is that we have been able to combine the RV and roadster qualities into one, with great capacity and the agility to handle unique and customized products.

Maybe that’s why I’m thinking about buying myself a hot new SUV!

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, E-Beam, Processing Capabilities, Processing Capabilities, Sterilization | Comments closed

At home with electrons

electron-beam-house

At this point, if you’ve read through a number of our blog entries you might be thinking, “Okay, this electron beam thing is REALLY cool, but I’m not a medical device manufacturer or a resin supplier, so it doesn’t really affect me.” In actuality, you might be surprised to learn that products modified by electron beam processing are all around you, even throughout your home.

Let’s start in your garage. Did you know that many of the components in your car have probably been e-beam crosslinked? From the tires, foam headliner, and seat cushions to the molded side panels, parts of the dashboard, and some under-hood components, e-beam has helped increase the heat resistance and strength to provide a safer and more efficient vehicle.

In your kitchen, e-beam has helped increase the thermal resistance of the icemaker tubing in your freezer. And your steaks and burgers you’re getting ready to throw on the grill? E-beam can help kill harmful bacteria and microbes before they even hit grocery store shelves.

I bet you didn’t know that you most likely have electrons to thank for your hot shower every morning! PEX (crosslinked polyethylene) pipe has been widely used as a replacement for copper pipes in most residential and commercial settings.

And while we’re looking at the bathroom, I’ll also mention that many pharmaceuticals, syringes, herbal supplements, medical devices, bandages, ophthalmic eye drops, and even insulin pumps have undergone bioreduction or been sterilized using e-beam.

The possibilities are endless! Electrical wires, catheters, diapers, sponges, soap, bee hives, colored gemstones, food packaging film, snake food, newspaper ads, breastmilk pump bottles, tennis shoes, composite decking, grandma’s hip replacement, and little Johnny’s cast from when he fell out of the tree this spring are just a few other examples of products that could have been enhanced by electron beam processing.

So, curious about what e-beam can do for your product? Give us a call or shoot us a quick email at ebeam@ebeamservices.com!

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Bioreduction, Chain Scissioning, Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, E-Beam, Molded Parts, Property Improvements, Rheology Control, Sheet Processing, Sterilization, Wire, Cable, & Tubing | Comments closed

Capacity in two flavors

shutterstock_203701285I have been asked a number of times how much available capacity we have. Here’s my usual answer: I have yet to see a customer’s capacity need that we couldn’t handle! Part of that ability is due to E-BEAM’s commitment to stay ahead of the demand curve by adding capacity (by upgrading our current facilities, building a new accelerator, or even a new plant).

The other part is simply that our accelerators have a lot of capacity to start with. The power (kW) of an e-beam accelerator is really a measure of throughput – so our accelerators are 150 kW, while our competitors’ are often about 20 kW – meaning we have about eight times more capacity. That’s a big difference.

The other aspect of capacity has to do with the actual volume of an individual item we can fit into our beams.  Our conveyor system consists of trays that are up to 98 inches by 51 inches – large enough for a 4’x8′ piece of plywood. Not only that, depending on density, we can process items that are almost four feet high. And because E-BEAM has a “can-do” mentality, we have developed a specialized system that can process items as long as 20 feet!

If you think you have too much product or too large of an item, challenge us! We would love to hear about it.Karen with Signature III

Share this onTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Crosslinking & Polymer Modification, E-Beam, Processing Capabilities, Processing Capabilities, Sterilization | Comments closed

About E-Beam Services

E-BEAM Services, Inc. is a leading supplier of contract electron beam processing services, with more than 450kW of installed accelerator capacity — enough to process nearly one billion pounds of material annually. Electron beam processing effectively and efficiently creates useful changes in material properties and performance, such as polymer crosslinking and chain scissioning. E-beam processing is also widely used for the sterilization of medical devices and pharmaceuticals as well as bioreduction.