Fabrication of highly expanded thermoplastic polyurethane foams using microcellular injection molding and gas-laden pellets

Xiaofei Sun, Hrishikesh Kharbas, Lih Sheng Turng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is one of the most widely used and versatile thermoplastic materials. TPU foams have been extensively applied in various industries including the furniture, automotive, sportswear, and packaging industries. In this study, two methods of producing highly expanded TPU injection molded foam were investigated: (1) microcellular injection molding (MIM) with N2 as a blowing agent, and (2) a novel gas-laden pellet/MIM combined process with N2 and CO2 as co-blowing agents. Two designs of experiments (DOEs) were performed to learn the influences of key processing parameters and to optimize foam quality. By using N2 and CO2 as co-blowing agents, a bulk density as low as 0.20 g/cm3 was successfully achieved with a hysteresis compression loss of 24.4%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2643-2652
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
Volume55
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society of Plastics Engineers.

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