Hierarchical Porous Polyamide 6 by Solution Foaming: Synthesis, Characterization and Properties
School of Textiles, Tianjin Polytechnic University, No.399 Binshui West Road, Xiqing District, Tianjin 300387, China
Key Laboratory of Advanced Textiles Composites of Ministry of Education, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Binshui West Road 399, Tianjin 300387, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121310
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Foams)
Porous polym er materials have received great interest in both academic and industrial fields due to their wide range of applications. In this work, a porous polyamide 6 (PA6) material was prepared by a facile solution foaming strategy. In this approach, a sodium carbonate (SC) aqueous solution acted as the foaming agent that reacted with formic acid (FA), generating CO2 and causing phase separation of polyamide (PA). The influence of the PA/FA solution concentration and Na2CO3 concentration on the microstructures and physical properties of prepared PA foams were investigated, respectively. PA foams showed a hierarchical porous structure along the foaming direction. The mean pore dimension ranged from hundreds of nanometers to several microns. Low amounts of sodium salt generated from a neutralization reaction played an important role of heterogeneous nucleation, which increased the crystalline degree of PA foams. The porous PA materials exhibited low thermal conductivity, high crystallinity and good mechanical properties. The novel strategy in this work could produce PA foams on a large scale for potential engineering applications.