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Nanocellular Polymers with a Gradient Cellular Structure Based on Poly(methyl methacrylate)/Thermoplastic Polyurethane Blends Produced by Gas Dissolution Foaming
Año del Documento
Macromol. Mater. Eng. 2020, 305, 1900428
Graded structures and nanocellular polymers are two examples of advanced cellular morphologies. In this work, a methodology to obtain low-density graded nanocellular polymers based on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)/ thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) blends produced by gas dissolution foaming is reported. A systematic study of the effect of the processing condition is presented. Results show that the melt-blending results in a solid nanostructured material formed by nanometric TPU domains. The PMMA/ TPU foamed samples show a gradient cellular structure, with a homogeneous nanocellular core. In the core, the TPU domains act as nucleating sites, enhancing nucleation compared to pure PMMA and allowing the change from a microcellular to a nanocellular structure. Nonetheless, the outer region shows a gradient of cell sizes from nano- to micron-sized cells. This gradient structure is attributed to a non-constant pressure profile in the samples due to gas desorption before foaming. The nucleation in the PMMA/ TPU increases as the saturation pressure increases. Regarding the effect of the foaming conditions, it is proved that it is necessary to have a fine control to avoid degeneration of the cellular materials. Graded nanocellular polymers with relative densities of 0.16–0.30 and cell sizes ranging 310–480 nm (in the nanocellular core) are obtained.
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