Reticulated polymer foams are commercially relevant materials suitable for a broad range of applications including impact absorption, environmental protection, biological scaffolds and sacrificial templates for the fabrication of functional materials. However, to the best of our knowledge, scalable fabrication of reticulated polymer foams is limited to crosslinked, thermoset materials which are difficult to process and recycle. We report a facile method to prepare reticulated foams of noncrosslinked, thermoplastic polypropylene (PP) containing a small amount of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) fibers, in a fully-scalable continuous extrusion process. Under the optimum conditions, foams with a mass density of 0.07 g/cm3 and an open-cell content of 97.7% are achieved. The formation of a reticulated foam structure is rarely observed in thermoplastic materials, and is attributed to four effects of the PTFE fibers taking place concomitantly during the foaming process: 1) localized plasticization of the matrix due to the CO2-philicity of the PTFE fibers which creates weak sites for pore formation, 2) generation of crystalline heterogeneities during extrusion which forms hard segments in a soft matrix, 3) decrease in cell wall thickness, and 4) reinforcement of the cell strut which preserves the cell trace. The method proposed herein may be extended to other thermoplastic materials for fabricating reticulated foams.
Polymer – Elsevier
Published: Jan 17, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.
Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.
It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera