Optical expandometry: A technique to analyze the expansion kinetics of chemically blown thermoplastic foams

Authors

  • Eusebio Solórzano,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cellular Materials Laboratory (Cellmat), Condensed Matter Physics Department, University of Valladolid, Prado de la Magdalena S/N, E-47011, Valladolid Spain
    Current affiliation:
    1. Institute of Advanced Materials, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Glienicker Strasse 100, D-14190, Berlin, Germany
    • Cellular Materials Laboratory (Cellmat), Condensed Matter Physics Department, Cellular Materials Laboratory (CellMat), University of Valladolid, E-47011 Valladolid, Spain
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  • Marcelo Antunes,

    1. Centre Català del Plàstic, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, C/ Colom 114, E-08222 Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Cristina Saiz-Arroyo,

    1. Cellular Materials Laboratory (Cellmat), Condensed Matter Physics Department, University of Valladolid, Prado de la Magdalena S/N, E-47011, Valladolid Spain
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  • Miguel A. Rodríguez-Pérez,

    1. Cellular Materials Laboratory (Cellmat), Condensed Matter Physics Department, University of Valladolid, Prado de la Magdalena S/N, E-47011, Valladolid Spain
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  • José I. Velasco,

    1. Centre Català del Plàstic, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, C/ Colom 114, E-08222 Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain
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  • José A. de Saja

    1. Cellular Materials Laboratory (Cellmat), Condensed Matter Physics Department, University of Valladolid, Prado de la Magdalena S/N, E-47011, Valladolid Spain
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Abstract

A novel technique to determine in situ the free expansion kinetics of chemically foamed thermoplastic foams, so-called optical expandometry, is presented in this work. This technique is based on the camera monitoring of a free-foaming material placed inside a furnace. Images are acquired under special illumination conditions to facilitate the later image processing. The present article explains the experimental set-up and the image processing methods used to determine the free volumetric expansion of different polyolefin-based foams. The results are compared with those obtained using thermo-mechanical analysis. In addition, several possible applications of this method are detailed, such as studying the effect of polymer rheology, foaming temperature, blowing agent content and the anisotropy of the expansion. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012

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