|355. Ruckdäschel, H.; Gutmann, P.; Altstädt, V.; Schmalz, H.; Müller, A.H.E.: Foaming of Microstructured and Nanostructured Polymer Blends, Adv. Polym. Sci. 227, 199 (2010) -- DOI: 10.1007/12_2009_32|
|Key words: Blend, Foam, Morphology, Compatibilization, Multiphase, Nanostructured|
Foaming of multiphase blend systems can be identified as a promising approach to satisfy the steadily growing demand for cellular materials with enhanced properties. However, combining the sophisticated fields of polymer blends and polymer foams not only offers great chances, but also poses a significant challenge, as the multiphase characteristics of blends and the complexity of foam processing need to be taken into account. Therefore, the foaming behavior of polymer blends is systematically analyzed, correlating the blend structure and the physical characteristics of reference systems to their foam processability and resulting foam morphology. The cellular materials are prepared via batch-foam processing, using carbon dioxide as a blowing agent. Starting with an immiscible poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene ether)/poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) blend, pathways to tailor the foaming behavior via controlling the micro- and nanostructure of such blends are developed; strategies aiming at reducing the cell size, enhancing the foam homogeneity, and improving the density reduction. As a result of adjusting the blend structure over multiple length scales, cooperative foaming of all blend phases and cell sizes down to several hundred nanometers can be achieved. In the light of the results presented, a general understanding of foaming multiphase blends is developed and guidelines for the selection of blend systems suitable for foaming can be deduced.
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