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Keywords:

  • medium-density cellular plastics;
  • polypropylene;
  • mechanical properties;
  • microstructure

Abstract

This paper is focused on the production and characterization of a collection of polypropylene (PP) foams with relative densities ranging from 0.3 to 0.6. Samples were foamed using the improved compression moulding method. The process allows controlling density and cellular structure independently as well as obtaining PP foams without fillers, crosslinking or using special PP grades. The influence of blowing agent content, density, cellular structure and foaming conditions on the mechanical response measured in compression, tensile, bending and Charpy impact tests was determined. Results show that density, open cell content and blowing agent concentration have a significant influence on the mechanical performance of medium-density PP foams. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry