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Overcoming the Challenge of Producing Large and Flat Nanocellular Polymers: A Study with PMMA
Año del Documento
Advanced Engineering MaterialsVolume 21, Issue 6, 2019
Although nanocellular polymers are interesting materials with improved properties in comparison with conventional or microcellular polymers, the production of large and flat parts of those materials is still challenging. Herein, gas dissolution foaming process is used to produce large and flat nanocellular polymethylmethacrylate samples. In order to do that, the foaming step is performed in a hot press. The methodology is optimized to produce flat samples with dimensions of 100 × 100 × 6 mm3, relative densities in the range 0.25–0.55 and cell sizes around 250 nm. Additionally, foaming parameters are modified to study their influence on the final cellular structure, and the materials produced in this paper are compared with samples produced by using a most conventional approach in which foaming step is conducted in a thermal bath. Results obtained show that an increment in the foaming temperature leads to a reduction in relative density and an increase of cell nucleation density. Moreover, differences in the final cellular structure for materials produced by both foaming routes are studied, proving that although there exist some differences, the mechanisms governing the nucleation and growing are the same in both processes, leading to the production of homogeneous materials with very similar cellular structures.
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