Polymer Microcellular Foam Molding and Its Functionalization

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Smart and Functional Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2024 | Viewed by 2273

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
Interests: processing, property and application of microcellular foamed polymer and its composites; new technology in polymer processing; development and relationship of structure and property of polymer and its composites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
College of Polymer Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Interests: polymer processing; polymer structure and properties; supercritical CO2 polymer foaming; functional lightweight porous polymer materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymer microcellular foam is a lightweight materials with a porous structure. In addition to reducing the material’s weight, the existence of tiny voids endows it with good impact resistance, insulation, and sorption properties. Therefore, it is widely used in packaging, transportation, buildings, sports, sound insulation, and oil sorbents. Different from conventional polymer foams, polymer microcellular foams generally have a cell size of about 10 μm, a cell density up to 109 cells/cm3, and contain physical foaming agents, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen (N2), instead of chemical foaming agents. The main approaches include batch foaming (rapid temperature rise and/or rapid pressure quench), continuous extrusion foaming, foam injection molding (FIM), and foam compression molding. This Special Issue aims to provide a platform for academic exchange among scholars working in related fields. As Guest Editors, we cordially invite you to submit original research or review articles on this subject. Please also feel free to pass on this invitation to any colleagues you feel may be interested. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Xiaoli Zhang
Prof. Dr. Xia Liao
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • microcellular foams
  • properties of microcellular foams
  • batch foaming
  • injection or extrusion foaming
  • microcellular foamed polymer composites
  • functional application of microcellular foams
  • electric conductive polymer foams
  • EMI shielding polymer foams

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

25 pages, 2941 KiB  
Article
Phosphorus/Bromine Synergism Improved the Flame Retardancy of Polyethylene Terephthalate Foams
by Jia Du, Jiaxin Zheng, Chunling Xin and Yadong He
Polymers 2024, 16(12), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16121690 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 247
Abstract
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foams have the characteristics of being lightweight and high strength, as well as offering good heat resistance, minimal water absorption, etc., and they have been widely used in the wind power field. In addition, they are being promisingly applied in [...] Read more.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foams have the characteristics of being lightweight and high strength, as well as offering good heat resistance, minimal water absorption, etc., and they have been widely used in the wind power field. In addition, they are being promisingly applied in automotive, rail, marine, construction, and other related fields. Therefore, the flame retardancy(FR) of PET foams is an issue that requires investigation. The addition of flame retardants would affect the chain extension reaction, viscoelasticity, and foamability of PET. In this study, zinc diethyl hypophosphite (ZDP) and decabromodiphenylethane (DBDPE) were used to form a synergistic FR system, in which ZDP is an acid source and DBDPE is a gas source, and both of them synergistically produced an expanded carbon layer to improve the flame retardancy of PET foams. The ratio of ZDP and DBDPE is crucial for the carbon yield and the expansion and thermal stability of the char layers. At the ZDP/DBDPE ratios of 9/3 and 7/5, the thickness of the char layers is about 3–4 mm, the limiting oxygen index (LOI) values of FR modified PET are 32.7% and 33.6%, respectively, and the vertical combustion tests both reached the V-0 level. As for the extruded phosphorous/bromine synergism FR PET foams, ZDP/DBDPE ratios of 3:1 and 2:1 were applied. As a result, the vertical combustion grade of foamed specimens could still reach V-0 grade, and the LOI values are all over 27%, reaching the refractory grade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Microcellular Foam Molding and Its Functionalization)
19 pages, 5634 KiB  
Article
Morphology and Compressive Properties of Extruded Polyethylene Terephthalate Foam
by Zhicheng Zhang, Chunling Xin, Chiyuan Ma, Wenchong Xu, Feng Ren and Yadong He
Polymers 2024, 16(6), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16060776 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 841
Abstract
The cell structure and compressive properties of extruded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foam with different densities were studied. The die of the PET foaming extruder is a special multi-hole breaker plate, which results in a honeycomb-shaped foam block. The SEM analysis showed that the [...] Read more.
The cell structure and compressive properties of extruded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foam with different densities were studied. The die of the PET foaming extruder is a special multi-hole breaker plate, which results in a honeycomb-shaped foam block. The SEM analysis showed that the aspect ratio and cell wall thickness of the strand border is greater than that of the strand body. The cells are elongated and stronger in the extruding direction, and the foam anisotropy of the structure and compressive properties decrease with increasing density. The compression results show typical stress–strain curves even though the extruded PET foam is composed of multiple foamed strands. The compression properties of PET foam vary in each of the three directions, with the best performing direction (i.e., extrusion direction) showing stretch-dominated structures, while the other two directions show bending-dominated structures. Foam mechanics models based on both rectangular and elongated Kelvin cell geometries were considered to predict the compressive properties of PET foams in terms of relative density, structure anisotropy, and the properties of the raw polymer. The results show that the modulus and strength anisotropy of PET foam can be reasonably predicted by the rectangular cell model, but more accurate predictions were obtained with an appropriately assumed elongated Kelvin model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Microcellular Foam Molding and Its Functionalization)
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13 pages, 4004 KiB  
Article
Lightweight ZnO/Carbonated Cotton Fiber Nanocomposites for Electromagnetic Interference Applications: Preparation and Properties
by Muhammad Waseem, Yuxiang Xie, Kesong Yu, Xiling Zhou, Yingchun Cai, Xiaoli Zhang, Baochen Liu and Jingbo Chen
Polymers 2024, 16(1), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16010116 - 29 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 784
Abstract
Electromagnetic wave pollution has become a significant harm posed to human health and precision instruments. To shelter such instruments from electromagnetic radiation, high-frequency electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding materials are extremely desirable. The focus of this research is lightweight, high-absorption EMI shielding composites. Simple [...] Read more.
Electromagnetic wave pollution has become a significant harm posed to human health and precision instruments. To shelter such instruments from electromagnetic radiation, high-frequency electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding materials are extremely desirable. The focus of this research is lightweight, high-absorption EMI shielding composites. Simple aqueous dispersion and drying procedures were used to prepare cotton fiber (CF)-based sheets combined with various zinc oxide (ZnO) contents. These composites were carbonated in a high-temperature furnace at 800 °C for two hours. The obtained CF/ZnO samples have densities of 1.02–1.08 g/cm3. The EMI shielding effectiveness of CF-30% ZnO, CF-50% ZnO, and CF-70% ZnO reached 32.06, 38.08, and 34.69 dB, respectively, to which more than 80% of absorption is attributed. The synergetic effects of carbon networks and surface structures are responsible for the high EMI shielding performance; various reflections inside the interconnected networks may also help in improving their EMI shielding performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Microcellular Foam Molding and Its Functionalization)
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