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Pulverized polyurethane foam particles reinforced rigid polyurethane foam and phenolic foam



Polyurethane consumption has been increasing in recent years, raising concerns about how to deal with the polymer waste. Post-consumer rigid polyurethane foams or polyurethane foam scraps (PPU) ground into particles were utilized to strengthen mechanical properties of rigid polyurethane foam (PUF) and phenolic foam (PF). Viscosity of prepolymer with PUF was measured and PPU was well dispersed in prepolymer, as observed by optical microscope. Microstructures and morphologies of the reinforced foam were examined with scanning electron microscope (SEM) while cell diameter and density were measured by Scion Image software. Universal testing machine was employed to optimize compressive properties at various weight ratios of PPU. Both PUF and PF with 5 wt % PPU, respectively, exhibited considerable improvement in mechanical properties especially compressive property. The compressive modulus of PUF with 5 wt % PPU was 12.07 MPa, almost 20% higher than pure PUF while compressive strength of PF with 5 wt % PPU reached 0.48 MPa. The thermal stability of the reinforced foam was tested by thermal gravity analysis (TGA) and the result shows no obvious impact with PPU. The decomposition temperatures of PUF with PPU and PF with PPU were 280°C, because PPU has relatively weak thermal stability. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39734.