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Development of Micro- and Nanocellular Polymers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Holger Ruckdaeschel
Affiliation:
holger.ruckdaeschel@basf.com, University of Bayreuth, Polymer Engineering, Universitaetsstrasse 30, Bayreuth, 95447, Germany
Peter Gutmann
Affiliation:
peter.gutmann@uni-bayreuth.de, University of Bayreuth, Polymer Engineering, Universitaetsstrasse 30, Bayreuth, 95447, Germany
Volker Altstaedt
Affiliation:
altstaedt@uni-bayreuth.de, University of Bayreuth, Polymer Engineering, Universitaetsstrasse 30, Bayreuth, 95447, Germany
Holger Schmalz
Affiliation:
holger.schmalz@uni-bayreuth.de, University of Bayreuth, Macromolecular Chemistry II, Universitaetsstrasse 30, Bayreuth, 95447, Germany
Axel H.E. Mueller
Affiliation:
axel.mueller@uni-bayreuth.de, University of Bayreuth, Macromolecular Chemistry II, Universitaetsstrasse 30, Bayreuth, 95447, Germany
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Abstract

The batch-foaming behavior of multiphase polymer blends and block copolymers was systematically investigated using carbon dioxide as a blowing agent. Three different polymer systems were evaluated: (i) nanostructured triblock terpolymers, (ii) microstructured polymer blends, and (iii) nanostructured polymer blends. In order to obtain nanostructured blends, immis-cible blends of poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene ether)/poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) (PPE/SAN) were melt-compatibilised via polystyrene-b-polybutadiene-b-poly(methyl methacry-late) triblock terpolymers. Due to the specific interaction between the respective components, a nanostructured interphase between PPE and SAN was observed. With regard to neat block co-polymers, the self-assembly of solvent-cast SBM triblock terpolymers was exploited in order to produce nanostructured morphologies. In each case, the resulting foam morphology was charac-terized by evaluating the foam density as well as the cell size. Combined with the multiphase structure of the non-foamed material and its thermal as well as physical behavior, relationships between the foaming characteristics and the cellular morphology were established. As an exam-ple for the foaming results, submicro-cellular structures were observed by foaming nanostruc-tured polymer blends, while the cell walls still revealed the nanostructured morphology. In con-trast, batch-foaming of neat triblock terpolymers led to the formation of microcellular foams; however, as highlighted by scanning electron microscopy, the cell walls did undergo some fur-ther expansion and formed additional nano-sized cells. In the light of these results, new routes for preparing cellular polymers are derived by systematically exploiting the multiphase charac-teristics of polymer blends and block copolymers.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2008

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