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Open AccessArticle

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

by Chenguang Yang 1,2,3,†, Quan Zhao 1,†, Zhe Xing 1, Wenli Zhang 1,2, Maojiang Zhang 1,3, Hairong Tan 1,3, Jixiang Wang 1 and Guozhong Wu 1,3,*
Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jialuo Road 2019, Jiading, Shanghai 201800, China
University of China Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
School of Physical Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Haike Road 100, Pudong, Shanghai 201210, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 226;
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Foams)
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. PP/FKM foams possessed major concurrent enhancement in their tensile stress and compressive stress compared to neat PP foam. We believe that the added FKM played a key role in enhancing the heterogeneous nucleation, combined with the change of local strain in the multiple-phase system, which was responsible for the considerably improved cell morphology of PP foaming. This work provides a deep understanding of the scCO2 foaming behavior of PP in the presence of FKM. View Full-Text
Keywords: polypropylene; fluoelastomer; scCO2 foaming; heterogeneous nucleation polypropylene; fluoelastomer; scCO2 foaming; heterogeneous nucleation
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MDPI and ACS Style

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.

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