Block Copolymer-Assisted Microcellular Supercritical CO2 Foaming of Polymers and Blends

Abstract : The behaviour in supercritical CO2 of block copolymers containing styrenic, butadiene, and methacrylic or perfluroalkyl blocks is studied in view of a specific swelling and foaming by a gas dissolution process. These block copolymers are considered as neat materials or as additives in blends e.g in polystyrene (PS) or polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) matrices. In both cases (neat or blend) the copolymers may exhibit a structuration at a micro or nano level. The phase separated (nano) structures depend on the block type and the concentration of copolymers in the polymer matrix, so that micelles, vesicles, lamellas, or warm-like structures are generated. Furthermore when one block is chosen as a highly CO2-philic moiety the nanostructures are able to act as CO2 reservoirs. The result is the possibility to control microcellular foaming, or sometimes nanocellular foaming, of commodity amorphous polymers such as PMMA and PS. Besides, at room temperature, the blocks can be either glassy or rubbery in order to freeze the growth and coalescence of cells during foaming. Different cellular polymers were elaborated by varying either the copolymer type or the foaming conditions (saturation pressure, temperature, depressurization rate). CO sizes are accessible in a range from 0.2 to 200 mu m, and densities from 0.40 to 1 g/cm(3). It is also shown that nanostructuring polymers are also efficient to produce polymer foams with oriented / structured voids. This new approach could be used to produce nanocellular or ultra microcellular polymer foams in a simple process, using blending and extrusion.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 4:45:44 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 22, 2019 - 1:27:52 AM

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Michel Dumon, José Antonio Reglero Ruiz, Javier Pinto Sanz, Miguel Angel Rodriguez Perez, Jean-Marc Tallon, et al.. Block Copolymer-Assisted Microcellular Supercritical CO2 Foaming of Polymers and Blends. Cellular Polymers, Smithers Rapra, 2012, 31 (4), pp.207-222. ⟨hal-00758412⟩

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