Melt rheology and its time-temperature dependence have long been known to be fundamental properties associated with satisfactory expansion characteristics in vinyl foam. Since much is known about the relationship between rheology and material variables like polymer morphology and system composition, adequate rheological characterization should be quite helpful in polymer design and plastisol compounding.

Earlier attempts to study the melt rheology of plasticized PVC foam systems were only partially successful because instrument limitations required that the material be studied at too high shear rate or temperature, or that behavior of specific compositions be extrapolated from data obtained at considerably higher plasticizer level.

This paper deals with measurement of the viscoelastic behavior of melts from actual azodicarbonamide foam compositions. The Rheometrics Mechanical Spectrometer was used in the orthogonal mode to study both elastic modulus and loss modulus (viscosity) in the range of shear rates and temperatures which actually occur during commercial utilization of PVC foam compounds. The effects of changing vinyl resin types and plasticizer types and levels were explored.