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Phenolic foams from wood tar resols



This article investigates resole-type phenolic foams, in which 40% phenol was substituted with distilled oily fractions from wood tar. Different proportions of blowing agent, hexamethylenetetramine, and stabilizer, a sodium alkyl sulfate surface active agent, were used to produce a series of rigid foams, which were characterized by curing index, density and hardness. The average curing index was about 90% and densities ranged from 480 to 960 kg.m−3. A fractal dimension (Df) approach was used to assess the homogeneity of pores within the foams and an average (dimensionless) value of 2.6 was found, indicating a non uniform structure. Compressive strength tests of the foams gave values above 1.0 MPa, which is higher than those for typical phenolic foams. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010