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Microcellular injection-compression molding (micm): A novel technology for effectively improving cellular structure of polystyrene foams

Authors

  • Han-Xiong Huang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lab for Micro Molding and Polymer Rheology, the Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering of the Ministry of Education, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China
    • Lab for Micro Molding and Polymer Rheology, the Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering of the Ministry of Education, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China. E-mail: mmhuang@scut.edu.cn

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  • Jia-Dong Tian,

    1. Lab for Micro Molding and Polymer Rheology, the Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering of the Ministry of Education, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China
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  • Wei-Sheng Guan

    1. Lab for Micro Molding and Polymer Rheology, the Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering of the Ministry of Education, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

A novel technology, being called as microcellular injection-compression molding (MICM), was proposed for the first time to search an effective way for improving the cellular structure of foamed parts. Both MICM and standard microcellular injection molding (MIM) were used to mold rectangular foamed polystyrene plates with the thicknesses of 5, 4, and 3 mm. Compared to the MIM samples, the MICM samples exhibited thinner outer zone, in which irregular striation-shaped cells were dominated, at three positions along the sample axis; the MICM samples exhibited a little more uniform cellular shape and size distribution in the outer zone, and more uniform cellular structure with smaller sizes in the inner zone, being dominated by ellipsoidal cells, at three positions. Improved cellular structure in the MICM sample leads to its higher storage modulus in the glassy state. Based on the cellular structure in the samples with the three thicknesses, a cellular development mechanism in the compression stage during MICM was proposed and analyzed thoroughly. Moreover, using the MICM can lower the maximum cavity pressure by about 18.6, 29.3, and 55.6% for 3, 4, and 5-mm-thick samples, respectively. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 54:327–335, 2014. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers

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