Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Improving the Supercritical CO2 Foaming of Polypropylene by the Addition of Fluoroelastomer as a Nucleation Agent

Version 1 : Received: 24 December 2018 / Approved: 25 December 2018 / Online: 25 December 2018 (09:11:51 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Yang, C.; Zhao, Q.; Xing, Z.; Zhang, W.; Zhang, M.; Tan, H.; Wang, J.; Wu, G. Improving the Supercritical CO2 Foaming of Polypropylene by the Addition of Fluoroelastomer as a Nucleation Agent. Polymers 2019, 11, 226. Yang, C.; Zhao, Q.; Xing, Z.; Zhang, W.; Zhang, M.; Tan, H.; Wang, J.; Wu, G. Improving the Supercritical CO2 Foaming of Polypropylene by the Addition of Fluoroelastomer as a Nucleation Agent. Polymers 2019, 11, 226.

Journal reference: Polymers 2019, 11, 226
DOI: 10.3390/polym11020226

Abstract

Polypropylene (PP) foam has a great deal of application since it normally exhibits non-uniform cell size distribution, low cell density, and cracked cells. In this study, a small amount of fluoroelastomer (FKM) was used as a nucleating agent to prepare well-defined microporous PP foam by supercritical CO2. It was observed that solid FKM was present as the nanoscale independent phase in PP matrix and the FKM could induce a mass of CO2 aggregation, which significantly enhanced the diffusion rate of CO2 in PP. The resultant PP/FKM foams exhibited much smaller cell size (~24 μm), and more than 16 times cell density (3.2×108 cells/cm3) as well as a much more uniform cell size distribution than that of the neat PP foam. PP/FKM foams possessed major concurrent enhancement in their tensile stress and compressive stress compared to neat PP foam. We believed that the added FKM played a key role in enhancing the heterogeneous nucleation, combined with the local strain field variation in the multiple-phase system, which was responsible for the considerably improved cell morphology of PP foaming. This paper provides a deep understanding of the scCO2 foaming behavior of PP in the presence of FKM.

Subject Areas

polypropylene; fluoelastomer; scCO2 foaming; heterogeneous nucleation

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