Microcellular foaming behavior of ether- and ester-based TPUs blown with supercritical CO2
Kucuk, Emine Busra
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The bead foaming behavior of ether- and an ester-based Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) resins were investigated in a lab-scale reactor using supercritical CO2 as the blowing agent. The samples were saturated at various saturation temperatures and the effects of hard segment crystallization during the saturation on the foaming behavior of the TPU samples were explored. The results revealed that the different HS crystallization tendencies and possible CO2 solubility differences in two TPU grades led to their different foaming behaviors. The ester-based TPU could be foamed within a wider saturation temperature range and revealed an easier cell growth and foam expansion while the ether-based TPU showed a more limited cell growth behavior and hence processing window. The effect of pre-annealing and hence the isothermally induced HS crystallization on the foaming behavior of the ether-based TPU and the influence of depressurization rate on the foaming behavior of ester-based TPU was also explored.
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