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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,*
1
Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jialuo Road 2019, Jiading, Shanghai 201800, China
2
University of China Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020226
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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