SPE South Texas Section   The Extruder Newsletter

October 2016

The Society of Plastic Engineers

Table of Contents

Dynamar Polymer Processing Additives

President’s Message

UofH FootballAs we wind down another hot summer here in south Texas, it’s time to kick-off another year of events with the STX-SPE Chapter! In that spirit, we recently had a tail-gate event at the University of Houston football game to get the season started right. I’d like to thank the people and sponsors who participated in the event and I look forward to seeing members at other functions we will have this year.

Reflecting back over last year’s events, one thing that was apparent to the section leadership was that our most attended meetings were the social functions such as the St Arnold’s Brewery event. It’s not too surprising when you consider that in today’s age, technical information is just a click away while you are sitting at your desk. The networking aspect of our organization has become a primary driver for people to get involved. With that in mind, we will work hard this year to make our meetings more oriented towards this end.

As I’ve stated before, this organization only operates well when we have volunteers who are willing to engage and get involved in some way. We have a large pool of talented professionals in this organization and we would love to have our members get more involved. Please feel free to contact any of the STX-SPE officers or board members if you would be willing to help out in any way.

Thanks again to all the members who have made this such a great section!

Best regards,
Kevin Alexander


In The News


Baker Hughes Rig Counts in US Up in 17 of Last 19 Weeks

OGJ reports that Oil-directed rigs continuing a steady drilling rebound that began in June. (Read about it.)

16 attend the June Breakfast Bunch Meeting

The coffee was hot and the conversation was lively at our June Breakfast Bunch meeting. Why not attend our next meeting which will be Tuesday, November 1 at the I-HOP at Washington and I-10 starting at 7:00 a.m.

Next Breakfast Bunch Meeting

When: November 1, 2016
Where: I-Hop, 6508 Washington Ave., 77077, 7:00 AM (map)
Breakfast Bunch Meetings - The first Tuesday of each month all year.


AkzoNobel Polymer Chemistry

UH Cougars Crush Lamar 42-0

It took over six hours because of a 3-hour lightning delayed for the Cougars to win 42-0 on Saturday, September 10. Not sure how many fans stayed to the end with the odds of Houston winning this game was 99.9%, but what a great home game win it was!

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Join the South Texas Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers on LinkedIn. Click on the above link and you will be directed to group page. LinkedIn serves as another communication tool for SPE-STX.

LinkedIn is a free web site for professional networking with over 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

LinkedIn enables discussions and networking between SPE-STX members and those related to the plastics industry. LinkedIn compliments the current SPE-STX web and membership to LinkedIn is free.

News Highlight
LinkedIn SPE-STX group currently has over 375 members as of 2014. To date, the tool has been used primarily to promote and discuss SPE-STX meetings.

Members are also notified of meetings from board members plus email blasts sent by SPE International.

As always, both the monthly newsletter and SPE-STX web site are the leading sources of information on SPE-STX activities.

Birch Plastics delivers colorful sprinkles for the Ice Cream Museum Open

The Ice Cream Museum needed plastic pellets that look like ice cream sprinkles and Birch Plastics worked through the night to complete this two day rush order.

Furthermore, it was Birch's newest salesman, Brian Frye, who drove the Penske box truck to NYC making sure the Museum could open on time with their sprinkle pool complete.

Museum of Ice Cream/Facebook
Visitors to the Museum of Ice Cream in New York can play in a pool of candy sprinkles. Actually, they're strands of multi-colored plastic pellets, supplied by Birch Plastics.

Brabender Technologie

SPE Student Support and Activites

Over 80% of the South Texas budget goes here!

The SPE South Texas Section is dedicated to supporting education and supporting Universities in Texas who have polymer programs and a SPE Student Chapter.

This year we approved a budget of $94,000.

SPE supports:

  1. Each University SPE Student Chapter receives $1,100 to support their activities which involve meetings with guest speakers and field trips. There are 8 SPE Student chapters.
  2. Each of the 8 Universities with SPE student chapters receives $2,000/year for student scholarships which is administered by the University.
  3. We have a dedicated group of people who judge at the Houston Science Fair and award prizes to students that range from $100 to $500. Every May the Science Fair winner attend a South Texas monthly meeting with their parents and/or teacher to receive their awards,
  4. Active South Texas Section members can apply for scholarships for their children or grandchildren who live in Texas. Scholarships are up to $2,500 depending upon the number of qualified applicants.
  5. We have created nine $25,000 endowed scholarships over the last 40 years at Texas Universities that the schools administer.
  6. We give money for equipment at the 8 Universities based on requests, sufficient justification, and money in the budget.
  7. Videos of Plenary and Tutorial talks from the last several years of the SPE International Polyolefins Conference are made available to the student chapters at no charge.

The South Texas SPE Section organizes the SPE International Polyolefins Conference in Houston every year. As part of the conference we:

  1. Give free registration and hotel rooms for 5 students from each SPE student chapter to attend the Polyolefins Conference every year
  2. Conducts a poster competition for University Students with prizes ranging from $100-$500
  3. Awards six $1,000 scholarships.

Educational support offered by the SPE South Texas Section.

Read more about Our Educational Program.

SPE South Texas Section supported Schools and SPE Liaison and the Faculty Adviser:



Faculty Adviser

University of Houston

David Hansen

Megan Robertson

University of North Texas

Aliene Elkins

Nankika D'Souza

Texas Tech

Paul Banks

Ronald Hedden

Texas State Tech @Harlingen

Oscar Garcia

Ricardo Limas

Lamar University

Fred Monita

Paul Bernazzani

Texas A&M (College Station)

David Hansen

Hung-Jue Sue

Baylor University

Jeff Applegate

David Jack

Texas State University

Glenn Rasberry

Christopher Rhodes

Our support has been effective

The last two years Baylor University and Texas A&M have been ranked in the top three of all the Society of Plastic Engineer's student chapters in the US.

Baylor's extensive student chapter activities.

Read more about SPE Baylor Student Charter.

Watch this video of Professor Sue from Texas A&M talk about what the STX educational support has meant to them.

Get involved with the Educational Committee

Help us manage educational programs. Contact David Hansen at 713-248-2273 or email David Hansen.

We particularly need science fair judges and University Liaisons.

Three CHE graduate students share 2016 Raider Red Best Graduate Student Paper Award

From Lubbock, TX. September 2016.

Graduate students Sriramvignesh Mani, Fardin Khabaz and Rutvik V. Godbole were awarded the 2016 Raider Red Award for Outstanding Peer-Reviewed Journal Paper for their work "Structure and Hydrogen Bonding of Water in Polyacrylate Gels: Effects of Polymer Hydrophilicity and Water Concentration," that was co-authored with Chemical Engineering faculty members Ronald C. Hedden and Rajesh Khare. The award of $500 was shared by the three students who also received a Certificate of Award for their efforts.

Sriram Mani holding (certificate) for the Raider Red Best Peer-Reviewed Graduate Student Paper at the Fall kickoff meeting of the Student Chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers. From left to right: Prof. Greg McKenna (SPE student chapter advisor); Prof. Sheima Khatib (award committee chair); Sriram Mani (awardee); Prof. Ron Hedden (faculty author); Prof. Rajesh Khare (faculty author).

The award was given at the Fall kickoff meeting of the Student Chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers, which handles the administration of the award. The award committee was headed by Assistant Professor Sheima Khatib. Assistant Professors Nurxat Nuraje and Wei Li were also members of the committee. The competition that they refereed was made up on nine papers submitted by students from Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, though eligibility is campus wide. The image below shows Sriram Mani receiving his certificate during the kickoff meeting. The other students have graduated and moved on to professional positions.

The award was established in 2000 to recognize excellence in polymer research by a doctoral student and has broadened to include the materials sciences in general. "The award will be given to a doctoral student for an outstanding thesis, an outstanding research publication, or an outstanding patent application in the fields of Polymer Science or Polymer Engineering." (now broadened to include the Materials Sciences and Engineering.

The Baylor Student Section proposal which details their activities and awards from the prior year.

Student Body Outreach Events
The Baylor chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers received second place for the SPE chapter of the year from all SPE chapters throughout the world. We are striving to educate the students within the program in possible careers and research opportunities within the plastics field. To this end we have monthly meetings where we have leaders of industry come to Baylor and discuss challenges and opportunities for young engineers. In the past three years we have had guests from L-3 Communications, SpaceX, Kuraray, Waco Composites, Birkeland Current, Texas A&M, T-Squared Manufacturing, Chevron-Phillips, Waco Boom, Harvest Technologies, Texas Injection Molding, and Caterpillar. This past year we had hands-on demonstrations for SPE student members to learn various aspects of plastics and composites fabrication and testing, and will continue these opportunities into our fourth year as a chapter. The objective of these hands-on opportunities is twofold. First is to provide student members the opportunity to learn, in a one-on-one to one-on-three format, about various challenges of plastics fabrication and testing. Second is to increase membership in the society by keeping these demonstrations to student members. The hands-on training sessions are for 2-3 hour blocks of individualized instruction. This individualized instruction means small groups of students can gather around the equipment to discuss the challenges and gives everyone the chance to perform the test or create a part.

Graduate Student Research Efforts
Since 2005 Baylor has offered a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and kicked off our PhD program in the fall of 2014. We have successfully graduated – since the inception of the program – nearly twenty graduate students in the area of plastics and polymer based composites. We are looking to continue this record in the future, with a little more than fifteen students currently enrolled in the program with an emphasis in the polymer’s area. We have several research projects that would benefit from all three pieces of equipment: the photo stress measurement device, the 3D thermoset printer, and the polymer dryer. These devices would serve use in both the SPE chapter as part of the demonstration sequence and the graduate research efforts.

Undergraduate Lab Instruction
Baylor currently has four faculty members who work in the area of composites. Much of the research work has been on polymer/composites characterization and process based modeling. We are gaining experience as both a student body and faculty members in the manufacturing of composites. We have already established demonstration labs for small groups of students (3-6) for many different processes (i.e., injection molding, compression molding, biaxial testing, VARTM with a core, DMA and DSC for thermosets, etc.), but having access to these the proposed systems would allow us to develop additional educational lab sequences and also hands on demonstrations for the SPE students. The goal of our hands-on demonstrations is to have each student fabricate a part that they can take home with them after the demo.

Read more.


Plastics Information: Check It Out

Houston Public LibraryThe Houston Public Library on McKinney has resources on plastics and polymers. Check out their catalog at http://catalog.houstonlibrary.org. If you are not near the McKinney location, you can arrange to pick up your books at your local branch.

The Fondren Library at Rice University has the most complete collection of books on plastics and polymers. This is also a prime resource for patent and trademark information, as well as other US Government documents. You cannot check out books there unless you join Fondren Library [$50], but you can arrange for books to be sent to your library by inter-library loan. Use their catalog at http://library.rice.edu/.

The next best place to browse is at the MD Anderson Library at the University of Houston central campus. South Texas Section has donated many plastics books to this library. If you plan ahead, you can get a TexShare library card from a library where you are a member, which will allow you to check out books from any U of H library. Their catalog is at http://www.library.uh.edu/.

Carter Day

Congratuations to The South Texas SPE Section Officers and Board Members

We have our 2016-17 officers and board members. Thanks to everyone of you for supporting the STX-SPE section.

Click here to see all of our volunteers for this year.

Chemical Market Resources Inc.

Understanding Adhesives and Their Chemical Resistance

By Austen Williams, Application Engineer
Henkel Corporation


With the advancements made in modern manufacturing, adhesives are becoming not only a key product for industrial assembly but also a key product for chemical and corrosion resistance. Adhesives are capable of mating dissimilar materials, providing full stress distribution along the bond line, and sealing the bonded assembly from chemical exposure. While an adhesive is capable of fulfilling all three of these requirements, the chemical resistances of Henkel’s industrial adhesive line vary by application and chemistry. Before choosing a product that will be exposed to a chemical it is important to first identify the chemical and the parameters that the adhesive will be exposed to.

Read more.



Program Calendar

Event Title
Event Specifics
10/24/16 Social Gathering Boca2 Gastro Bar & Bites Networking 125 W. Gray, Houston 5:30 p.m.
12/13/16 TBD        
01/13/17 (pending) Arnold's Friday Night Annual Friday Night at Arnold's Brewery Social Arnold's Brewery TBD
02/26/17 –
International Polyolefins Conference Various Subjects Polyolefins Hilton Houston North, Houston, Texas All Day
03/17/17 TBD        
04/17 Golf Outing        
05/09/17 Awards Banquet Student Presentations and Awards      
09/09/17 Kickoff Event Houston Cougars Tailgating Party and Game Social TDECU Stadium  


Section Officers

President – Kevin Alexander
KwaTech LLC

Vice-President – Dell Doyle

President/Chair-elect – Steve King
SOLVAY Specialty Polymers

Treasurer –Peter Lauzon
Peal Processing Inc.

Secretary – Ashley Raines
EGC Critical Components

Councilor – Ed Bourbonais
Chemtrusion Inc.

Committee Chairpersons

Awards –Edgard Chow
Kuraray America, Inc.

Education – David Hansen

Housing – Iman Bahrani

Membership – Steve King
SOLVAY Specialty Polymers

Newsletter –Dell Doyle

Public Interest – Dave Hansen

Technical Program – Steve King
SOLVAY Specialty Polymers

Polyolefins Conference – Chuck Crosby

Golf Outing – April Hix

Board Members

Kevin Alexander

Steve King

Iman Bahrani

Bill Diecks

Terry Vermaas

David Hansen

David Grice
C and K Plastics / Valley Extrusions
281 352-6761

Dell Doyle

Ashley Raines

Tom Walsh
President, Walsh Consulting Services, Inc.

Chuck Crosby

Web Content/Section Coordinator

Suzanne Biggs – 713.829.9226