Exploring Plastic Crystallization Pathways: Insights from Fast Scanning Calorimetry and Rheometry
Xiaoshi Zhang, Ph.D.
Research Faculty Member
Penn State Behrend
Wednesday, December 13, Webinar at 6:00 PM Pacific time
In plastic manufacturing, understanding the interplay between processing conditions and the resulting properties of plastics is crucial. In this presentation, I will delve into the intricate relationship between processing conditions and the resultant properties of polymers, with a particular focus on nylons, PEEK, and their composites. Initially, I will discuss our recent research that utilizes Fast Scanning Calorimetry along with other technologies to unravel the complexities of crystallization pathways. We observe that through crystallization cooling pathways in a wide range from 10 K/s to 2000 K/s, kinetics and morphology can exhibit completely different behaviors, even under identical crystallization temperatures. Following this, I will examine the impact of shear on crystallization. Our exploration includes how rotational rheometry, employing Couette flow instead of traditional Poiseuille flow, broadens our understanding of shear-induced kinetics and morphological transitions. This is complemented by techniques such as synchrotron X-ray and X-ray CT, through which we will discuss intriguing observations in PEEK glass fiber and carbon fiber composites. Throughout the presentation, I will demonstrate how these methodologies significantly enhance our understanding of plastic processing, particularly in the context of injection molding. The insights gained are pivotal for the strategic manipulation of key processing parameters, such as injection velocity, pack pressure, and mold temperature. This knowledge is essential for optimizing the final properties of the manufactured parts.
Dr. Xiaoshi Zhang is a research faculty member at Penn State Behrend, where he dedicates his efforts to studying polymer crystallization under processing-relevant conditions, advanced plastic polymer characterization, and the sustainability of plastics. His work at Penn State is marked by notable industry collaborations, securing funding from organizations including INVISTA, SKF, Shell, and the American Chemical Council. Prior to joining Penn State Behrend in 2020, Dr. Zhang gained valuable industry experience at DSM, a leader in engineering plastics. His contributions to polymer science have been recognized through his published work, which has been featured on the covers of journals like Macromolecules and Macromolecular Rapid Communications, and has received acknowledgment from the DOE Office of Science. Dr. Zhang earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Florida State University, studying under Professor Rufina Alamo.
DATE: Wednesday, December 13
Registration deadline: Tuesday, December 12, 1:00 PM.
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Webinar Timing: 6:00 PM.
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