Thermoplastics and Thermoplastic Composites

Thermoplastics and Thermoplastic Composites

Technical Information for Plastics Users

1st Edition - April 26, 2007

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  • Author: Michel Biron
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080489803

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Thermoplastics represent appx 90% by weight of all plastics consumed world-wide. We know them mainly in the form of polythenes, polyolefins, polystyrenes, nylons and acrylics. Under different heating conditions and by varying the composition of the plastic it is possible to make many different products with differing properties.This is a decision-making tool and source-book of information for plastics users, providing detailed accounts of the materials used, their economics,the selection of appropriate materials, and the use of thermoplastic resins and their composites. By having this book to hand, you will use the right material in the right way to produce the right product.

Key Features

· Provides a quick and pragmatic approach to selecting thermoplastics for the non-specialist plastics user
· Offers detailed accounts of thermoplastics including economic and technological elements
· Clear and easy to understand illustrated with figures, tables and graphs throughout


Users, designers, specifiers and manufacturers of plastic parts in the automotive, transport, aeronautical, sports and leisure, consumer goods and packaging industries. Research and Development departments; academic departments.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1
    Outline of the actual situation of plastics compared to conventional materials

    1.1 Polymers: the industrial and economic reality compared to traditional materials
    1.1.1 Plastic and metal consumptions
    1.1.2 Mechanical properties Intrinsic mechanical properties Specific mechanical properties
    1.1.3 Thermal and electrical properties
    1.1.4 Durability
    1.1.5 Material costs Cost per weight of various materials Cost per volume of various materials [Performance/cost per litre] ratios of various materials
    1.2 What are thermoplastics, TPE, thermosets, composites and hybrids?
    1.2.1 Thermoplastics
    1.2.2 Thermoplastic elastomers -TPE
    1.2.3 Thermosets
    1.2.4 Polymer composites
    1.2.5 Hybrid materials
    1.3 Plastics: an answer to the designer’s main problems
    1.3.1 Economic requirements
    1.3.2 Technical requirements
    1.3.3 Marketing requirements
    1.3.4 Environmental requirements
    1.3.5 Some weaknesses of the polymer materials
    1.4 Outline of the technical and economic possibilities of processing
    1.4.1 Thermoplastic processing Moulding the solid thermoplastics Extrusion and connected processes Calendering Blow moulding Moulding the liquid thermoplastics Secondary processing Brief economic comparison of some processing costs Repair possibilities: a significant thermoplastic advantage for large parts

    1.4.2 Thermoset processing Moulding the solid thermosets Moulding the liquid thermosets Secondary processing
    1.4.3 Composite processing Primary processes Secondary processing Repair possibilities: a significant composite advantage
    1.4.4 Hybrid processing
    1.5 Environmental constraints
    1.5.1 Toxicity and pollution
    1.5.2 The recycling of polymers
    1.6 The final material/process/cost compromise

    Chapter 2
    The plastics industry: economic overview
    2.1 Overview of the global plastics industry to day and to morrow
    2.2 Market shares of the various thermoplastic families versus total thermoplastics in the main industrialized countries
    2.3 Market shares of composites
    2.4 Market shares for the main application sectors
    2.5 Importance of the various processing modes
    2.6 Consumption trends
    2.6.1 Thermoplastics
    2.6.2 Composites
    2.7 The North American market
    2.8 The West European market
    2.9. The China market
    2.10 Structure of the plastic processing industry
    2.11. Plastic costs
    2.11.1 Raw material costs
    2.11.2 Examples of additive costs
    2.11.3 Reinforcement costs
    2.11.4 Processing costs
    2.11.5. Some good reasons to use plastics and a few examples of success stories
    2.12 Survey of main markets
    2.12.1 Packaging Films for packaging Bottles and other containers Foams
    2.12.2 Building & civil engineering Building exterior Building interior Pipes and tubing Geomembranes, geotextiles, geogrids
    2.12.3 Automobile & transportation
    2.12.4 Electricity & electronics
    2.12.5 Household, entertainment & office appliances
    2.12.6 Mechanical engineering
    2.12.7 Sports and leisure
    2.12.8 Medical market
    2.12.9 Furniture & bedding
    2.12.10 Agriculture

    Chapter 3
    Basic criteria for the selection of thermoplastics

    3.1 Evaluation of plastic properties
    3.1.1 Thermal behaviour
    3.1.2 Low temperature behaviour
    3.1.3 Density
    3.1.4 Mechanical properties
    3.1.5 Long-term mechanical properties
    3.1.6 Long-term light and UV resistance
    3.1.7 Chemical resistance by immersion or contact
    3.1.8 Electrical properties
    3.1.9 Gas permeability
    3.1.10 Flammability
    3.1.11 Optical properties
    3.2 Evaluation of plastic structural properties
    3.3 ISO standards concerning polymer testing
    3.3.1 Moulding of test specimens
    3.3.2 Mechanical properties
    3.3.3 Thermomechanical properties
    3.3.4 Long-term properties
    3.3.5 Fluid contact behaviour
    3.3.6 Electrical properties
    3.3.7 Oxygen index, flammability, smoke generation
    3.3.8 Optical properties
    3.4 Analysis and diagnostic equipment
    3.5 Material selection
    3.6 Precision of the moulded parts
    3.7 Schematic comparison of thermoplastic and composite properties
    3.8 Upgrading and customisation of raw polymers
    3.8.1 Thermoplastic alloying
    3.8.2 Compounding with additives Mechanical property upgrading and customization: toughening, reinforcement, Ageing protection: additives, films Sensorial properties Specific properties: specific grades and specific additives The cost cutters

    Chapter 4
    Detailed accounts of thermoplastic resins
    4.1 Polyethylene or polythene (PE)
    4.1.1 General properties
    4.1.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.1.3 Optical properties
    4.1.4 Mechanical properties
    4.1.5 Ageing
    4.1.6 Electrical properties
    4.1.7 Joining, decoration
    4.1.8 Crosslinked polyethylene
    4.1.9 Foams
    4.1.10 Industrial fibres
    4.1.11 Specific ISO standards concerning polyethylenes
    4.1.12 Trade name examples
    4.1.13 Property tables
    4.2 Polypropylene (PP)
    4.2.1 General properties
    4.2.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.2.3 Optical properties
    4.2.4 Mechanical properties
    4.2.5 Ageing
    4.2.6 Electrical properties
    4.2.7 Joining, decoration
    4.2.8 Foams
    4.2.9 Specific ISO standards concerning polypropylenes
    4.2.10 Trade name examples
    4.2.11 Property tables
    4.3 Other polyolefins (PO)
    4.3.1 Polybutene-1 or polybutylene-1 (PB)
    4.3.2 Polymethylpentene (PMP)
    4.3.3 Cyclic Olefin Copolymers or Cyclic Olefin Polymers (COC or COP)
    4.4 Polyolefin and non polyolefin copolymers
    4.4.1 Ethylene-vinylacetate copolymers (EVA, E/VAC, EVAC, VAE, EVM)
    4.4.2 Ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymers (EVOH)
    4.4.3 Ethylene-methacrylate ionomers (EMA)
    4.4.4 Ethylene-acid and ethylene-ester copolymers (EBA, EGMA, EMAH, EEA, EAA…)
    4.5 Chlorinated polyethylene (CPE, CM)
    4.6 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
    4.6.1 General properties
    4.6.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.6.3 Optical properties
    4.6.4 Mechanical properties
    4.6.5 Ageing
    4.6.6 Electrical properties
    4.6.7 Joining, decoration
    4.6.8 Foams
    4.6.9 Specific ISO standards concerning PVC
    4.6.10 Trade name examples
    4.6.11 Property tables
    4.7 Chlorinated PVC (PVC-C or CPVC)
    4.7.1 General properties
    4.7.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.7.3 Mechanical properties
    4.7.4 Ageing
    4.7.5 Electrical properties
    4.7.6 Joining, decoration
    4.7.7 Specific ISO standards concerning PVC-C
    4.7.8 Trade name examples
    4.7.9 Property tables
    4.8 Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC)
    4.8.1 General properties
    4.8.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.8.3 Mechanical properties
    4.8.4 Ageing
    4.8.5 Trade names
    4.8.6 Property tables
    4.9 Other vinyl polymers
    4.9.1 Polyvinyl alcohol (PVAL or PVOH)
    4.9.2 Polyvinyl butyrate (PVB)
    4.9.3 Polyvinyl acetate (PVAC)
    4.10 Polystyrene (PS, SB, SMA)
    4.10.1 General properties
    4.10.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.10.3 Optical properties
    4.10.4 Mechanical properties
    4.10.5 Ageing
    4.10.6 Electrical properties
    4.10.7 Joining, decoration
    4.10.8 Crosslinked polystyrene (X-PS or PS-X)
    4.10.9 Foams (EPS - Expandable polystyrene)
    4.10.10 Specific ISO standards concerning polystyrene
    4.10.11 Trade name examples
    4.10.12 Property tables
    4.11 Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), methylmethacrylate-acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (MABS)
    4.11.1 General properties
    4.11.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.11.3 Optical properties
    4.11.4 Mechanical properties
    4.11.5 Ageing
    4.11.6 Electrical properties
    4.11.7 Joining, decoration
    4.11.8 Specific ISO standards concerning ABS and MABS
    4.11.9 Trade name examples
    4.11.10 Property tables
    4.12 Styrene acrylonitrile (SAN), acrylate rubber modified styrene acrylonitrile (ASA), acrylonitrile EPDM styrene (AES or AEPDS), acrylonitrile chlorinated polyethylene styrene (ACS)
    4.12.1 General properties
    4.12.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.12.3 Optical properties
    4.12.4 Mechanical properties
    4.12.5 Ageing
    4.12.6 Electrical properties
    4.12.7 Joining, decoration
    4.12.8 Specific ISO standards concerning SAN, ASA, AEPDS and ACS
    4.12.9 Trade name examples
    4.12.10 Property tables
    4.13 Polyamides or nylons (PA)
    4.13.1 Polyamides 66 and 6 (PA 66 and PA 6) General properties Thermal behaviour Optical properties Mechanical properties Ageing Electrical properties Joining, decoration Specific ISO standards concerning polyamides Trade name examples Property tables
    4.13.2 Polyamides 11 and 12 (PA 11 and PA 12) General properties Thermal behaviour Optical properties Mechanical properties Ageing Electrical properties Joining, decoration Specific ISO standards concerning polyamides Trade name examples Property tables
    4.13.3 Linear polyamides intermediate between PA 6 or 66 and PA 11 or PA 12: PA 610 and PA 612
    4.13.4 Polyamide 46 (PA 46)
    4.13.5 Semi-aromatic polyamide, polyphthalamide (PPA), polyarylamide (PAA), transparent amorphous polyamide (PA-T)
    4.13.6 Cast nylon
    4.14 Thermoplastic polyesters (PET, PBT, PETG, PCT, PTMT, PETP, PBTP, PCTG, PCTA, PTT)
    4.14.1 General properties
    4.14.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.14.3 Optical properties
    4.14.4 Mechanical properties
    4.14.5 Ageing
    4.14.6 Electrical properties
    4.14.7 Joining, decoration
    4.14.8 Specific ISO standards concerning polyesters
    4.14.9 Trade name examples
    4.14.10 Property tables
    4.15 Acrylics (PMMA, PMI, SMMA, MBS)
    4.15.1 General properties
    4.15.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.15.3 Optical properties
    4.15.4 Mechanical properties
    4.15.5 Ageing
    4.15.6 Electrical properties
    4.15.7 Joining, decoration
    4.15.8 Foams
    4.15.9 Specific ISO standards concerning acrylics
    4.15.10 Trade name examples
    4.15.11 Property tables
    4.16 Polycarbonates (PC)
    4.16.1 General properties
    4.16.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.16.3 Optical properties
    4.16.4 Mechanical properties
    4.16.5 Ageing
    4.16.6 Electrical properties
    4.16.7 Joining, decoration
    4.16.8 Specific ISO standards concerning polycarbonates
    4.16.9 Trade name examples
    4.16.10 Property tables
    4.17 Polyoxymethylene, polyacetal, acetal or polyformaldehyde (POM)
    4.17.1 General properties
    4.17.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.17.3 Optical properties
    4.17.4 Mechanical properties
    4.17.5 Ageing
    4.17.6 Electrical properties
    4.17.7 Joining, decoration
    4.17.8 Specific ISO standards concerning acetals
    4.17.9 Trade name examples
    4.17.10 Property tables
    4.18 Polyphenylene oxide, polyphenylene ether (PPO, PPE)
    4.18.1 General properties
    4.18.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.18.3 Optical properties
    4.18.4 Mechanical properties
    4.18.5 Ageing
    4.18.6 Electrical properties
    4.18.7 Joining, decoration
    4.18.8 Specific ISO standards concerning PPE
    4.18.9 Trade name examples
    4.18.10 Property tables
    4.19 Fluorinated thermoplastics: perfluorinated thermoplastics (PTFE or TFE, PFA, FEP), copolymers (ETFE), partially fluorinated (PVDF, PVF), chlorofluoroethylene (PCTFE) and copolymer (ECTFE)
    4.19.1 Perfluorinated thermoplastics (PTFE or TFE, PFA, FEP)
    4.19.2 Tetrafluoroethylene and ethylene copolymer (ETFE)
    4.19.3 Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE)
    4.19.4 Ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene copolymer (ECTFE)
    4.19.5 Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)
    4.19.6 Polyvinyl fluoride (PVF)
    4.20 Cellulosics (CA, CAB, CP)
    4.21 Polysulfone, polyarylsulfone, polyethersulfone, polyphenylenesulfone, (PSU, PAS, PESU, PPSU)
    4.21.1 General properties
    4.21.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.21.3 Optical properties
    4.21.4 Mechanical properties
    4.21.5 Ageing
    4.21.6 Electrical properties
    4.21.7 Joining, decoration
    4.21.8 Foam
    4.21.9 Trade name examples
    4.21.10 Property tables
    4.22 Polyphenylene sulphide or polyphenylene sulfide, (PPS)
    4.22.1 General properties
    4.22.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.22.3 Optical properties
    4.22.4 Mechanical properties
    4.22.5 Ageing
    4.22.6 Electrical properties
    4.22.7 Joining, decoration
    4.22.8 Trade name examples
    4.22.9 Property tables
    4.23 Polyetheretherketones, polyetherketones and polyaryletherketones (PEEK, PEK, PAEK)
    4.23.1 General properties
    4.23.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.23.3 Optical properties
    4.23.4 Mechanical properties
    4.23.5 Ageing
    4.23.6 Electrical properties
    4.23.7 Joining, decoration
    4.23.8 Trade name examples
    4.23.9 Property tables
    4.24 Polyetherimide (PEI)
    4.24.1 General properties
    4.24.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.24.3 Optical properties
    4.24.4 Mechanical properties
    4.24.5 Ageing
    4.24.6 Electrical properties
    4.24.7 Joining, decoration
    4.24.8 Trade name examples
    4.24.9 Property tables
    4.25 Polyamide-imide (PAI)
    4.25.1 General properties
    4.25.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.25.3 Optical properties
    4.25.4 Mechanical properties
    4.25.5 Ageing
    4.25.6 Electrical properties
    4.25.7 Joining, decoration
    4.25.8 Trade name examples
    4.25.9 Property tables
    4.26 Polyimides (PI)
    4.26.1 General properties
    4.26.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.26.3 Optical properties
    4.26.4 Mechanical properties
    4.26.5 Ageing
    4.26.6 Electrical properties
    4.26.7 Joining, decoration
    4.26.8 Foams
    4.26.9 Trade name examples
    4.26.10 Property tables
    4.27 Liquid crystal polymers (LCP)
    4.27.1 General properties
    4.27.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.27.3 Optical properties
    4.27.4 Mechanical properties
    4.27.5 Ageing
    4.27.6 Electrical properties
    4.27.7 Joining, decoration
    4.27.8 Trade name examples
    4.27.9 Property tables
    4.28 Polybenzimidazole (PBI)
    4.28.1 General properties
    4.28.2 Thermal behaviour
    4.28.3 Optical properties
    4.28.4 Mechanical properties
    4.28.5 Ageing
    4.28.6 Electrical properties
    4.28.7 Trade name examples
    4.28.8 Property tables
    4.29 Alloys
    4.29.1 ABS/PC alloys
    4.29.2 ASA/PC alloys
    4.29.3 ABS/PA alloys
    4.29.4 Polypropylene/polyamide PP/PA alloys
    4.29.5 Thermoplastic polyester alloys
    4.29.6 ABS/PVC alloys
    4.29.7 Polysulfone-based alloys
    4.29.8 Polyphenylene sulphide-elastomer alloys
    4.29.9 Polyetherimide/polycarbonate alloys (PEI/PC)
    4.29.10 Other alloys
    4.30 Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)
    4.30.1. Thermoplastic styrenics TPS (SBS, SEBS, SIS, SEPS…)
    4.30.2. Thermoplastic olefinics TPO (PP/EPDM…)
    4.30.3. Thermoplastic vulcanizates TPV (PP/EPDM-V, PP/NBR-V, PP/IIR-V…) PP/EPDM-V PP/NBR-V PP/IIR-V
    4.30.4. TPE/PVC
    4.30.5. Thermoplastic polyurethanes TPU
    4.30.6. Melt processible rubber (MPR)
    4.30.7. Thermoplastic polyester elastomers (TPEE or COPE)
    4.30.8. Polyether block amides (PEBA)

    Chapter 5
    Thermoplastic processing

    5.1. Moulding thermoplastics
    5.1.1 Injection moulding Standard injection moulding Injection micro-moulding Co-injection, over-moulding Gas assisted injection moulding
    5.1.2 Blow moulding
    5.1.3 Compression moulding
    5.1.4 Rotational moulding or rotomoulding
    5.1.5 Slush moulding
    5.1.6. Casting
    5.1.7. RIM
    5.1.9 Spraying
    5.2 Extrusion and connected processes
    5.2.1. Extrusion
    5.2.2 Blown film extrusion
    5.3. Calendering
    5.4. Coating
    5.4.1. Extrusion coating
    5.4.2 Roll dipping, spreading
    5.4.3 Powdering, electrostatic deposition
    5.4.4 Solvent casting of films
    5.4.5 Laminating
    5.5. Foaming
    5.5.1. Moulding of expandable beads
    5.5.2. Structural foam injection
    5.5.3 Extrusion of thermoplastics containing blowing agents
    5.5.4 Direct gas extrusion process
    5.5.5 Liquid foam process
    5.6. Composite processing
    5.6.1. Processing of short fibre reinforced thermoplastics
    5.6.2. Processing of LFRT or LFT -long fibre (reinforced) thermoplastics: Injection, compression moulding, extrusion-compression, composite insert moulding
    5.6.3. Stamping and compression moulding of GMT sheets
    5.6.4. Prepreg draping and consolidation by vacuum or pressure bag moulding, autoclave…
    5.6.5. Filament and tape winding
    5.6.6. Continuous processes: Pultrusion and derived processes
    5.6.7. Sandwich composites…
    5.6.8. Hybrids
    5.7. Curing of thermoplastics
    5.8. Secondary processing
    5.8.1. Thermoforming
    5.8.2. Machining of thermoplastics and composites
    5.8.3. Boilermaking
    5.8.4. Inserts, outserts Inserts Installation of inserts
    5.9. Finishing
    5.9.1 Cleaning and surface treatments Cleaning of plastic parts Surface treatments of plastic parts
    5.9.2. Decoration, marking
    5.10. Assembly of fabricated parts
    5.10.1. Welding
    5.10.2. Adhesive bonding
    5.10.3. Mechanical assembly
    5.11 Repair possibilities: a significant thermoplastic advantage for large parts
    5.12. Annealing

    Chapter 6
    Thermoplastic composites

    6.1 Definitions
    6.2 Reminder of some basic principles
    6.3 Composite mechanical performances according to the reinforcement type
    6.3.1 Reinforcement by randomly distributed short fibres
    6.3.2 Reinforcement by arranged continuous fibres Unidirectional reinforcement Reinforcement with two orthogonal layers
    6.3.3 General approximate method for strength estimation
    6.4 Composite Matrices
    6.4.1. Recall of some basic characteristics of thermoplastic matrices
    6.4.2 Influence of the matrix on the composite properties
    6.5 Reinforcements
    6.5.1 Fibres Glass fibres for polymer reinforcement Carbon fibres (CF) for polymer reinforcement Aramid fibres (AF) for polymer reinforcement Comparison of the three main types of fibres Sustainable natural vegetal fibres Other mineral fibres Other textile fibres Industrial fibres
    6.5.2 The different fibre forms used for reinforcement
    6.5.3 Foams for sandwich technology
    6.5.4 Honeycombs
    6.5.5 Plywood and wood
    6.5.6 Influence of the core on the sandwich properties
    6.5.7 Nanofillers
    6.6 Intermediate semi-manufactured materials
    6.6.1 Glass mat thermoplastics (GMTs)
    6.6.2. Prepregs
    6.6.3 Property examples of intermediate semi-manufactured composites
    6.6.4 Advanced all-polymer prepregs or self-reinforced polymers
    6.7 Examples of composite characteristics
    6.7.1 Basic principles
    6.7.2 Nanocomposites
    6.7.3 Short fibre composites Significant parameters Short glass fibres Short carbon fibres Short aramid fibres
    6.7.4 Long fibre reinforced plastics: LFRT
    6.7.5 “Continuous” fibre composites
    6.7.6 Sandwich composites
    6.7.7 Conductive composites

    Chapter 7
    Future prospects for thermoplastics and thermoplastic composites

    7.1 The Laws and requirements of the market
    7.2 Thermoplastic and thermoplastic composite answers and assets
    7.3 Markets: what drives what? The forces driving development
    7.3.1 Consumption trends
    7.3.2 Requirements of the main markets
    7.4 Cost savings
    7.4.1 Material costs
    7.4.2 Hybrids
    7.4.3 Processing costs Example of compounding integrated on the process line Translation towards other conventional, new or modified processes Integrating finishing in the process Low-cost tool examples
    7.5 Material upgrading and competition
    7.5.1 Carbon nanotubes (CNT)
    7.5.2 Molecular reinforcement
    7.5.3 Polymer nanotubes
    7.5.4 Nanofillers
    7.5.5 Short fibre reinforced thermoplastics to compete with LFRT
    7.5.6 Thermoplastic and thermoset competition
    7.5.7 3D reinforcements compete with 2D
    7.5.8 Carbon fibres compete with glass fibres
    7.5.9 New special performance polymers
    7.6 The immediate future seen through recent patents
    7.6.1 Analysis of patents by polymer type
    7.6.2 Analysis of patents by reinforcement type
    7.6.3 Analysis of patents by structure and process type
    7.7 The immediate future seen through recent awards
    7.8 Environmental concerns
    7.8.1 Recycling of thermoplastics and thermoplastic composites Collection and pre-treatment of wastes The main recycling routes Composite specifics Thermoplastics and thermoplastic composite recyclates: mechanical and calorific properties Recycling costs
    7.8.2 Sustainable and biodegradable thermoplastics
    7.8.3 Sustainable standard and high-performance reinforcements
    7.8.4 Examples of sustainable composites

Product details

  • No. of pages: 944
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2007
  • Published: April 26, 2007
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080489803

About the Author

Michel Biron

Michel Biron is a plastics consultant based in Les Ulis, France, and is a Graduate Chemist Engineer from the Institut National Supérieur de Chimie Industrielle

de Rouen and Polymer Specialist from the Institut Français du Caoutchouc. He has authored numerous technical papers and books on plastics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Plastics Consultant, Les Ulis, France

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