Influence and prediction of processing parameters on the properties of microcellular injection molded thermoplastic polyurethane based on an orthogonal array test

Hao Yang Mi, Xin Jing, Jun Peng, Lih Sheng Turng*, Xiang Fang Peng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thermoplastic polyurethane is a commonly used polymer in our daily lives. Microcellular injection molding (a.k.a. MuCell) is an emerging method capable of mass-producing thermoplastic polyurethane foams with tunable microstructures and properties. This study investigated the effects of four main processing parameters - namely, plasticizing temperature, carbon dioxide (CO2) content, injection volume, and injection speed - on microcellular injection molded thermoplastic polyurethane ASTM tensile test bars. Property variables of interest included the cell diameter, cell density, skin layer thickness, and Young's modulus. Influence sequences of parameters on each variable were obtained via the orthogonal array test method. It was found that the CO2 content primarily affected the cell diameter and cell density, whereas the temperature mainly influenced the skin layer thickness and Young's modulus. Surface fitting of each dependent variable was done by combining its two most influential parameters from the experiment data. The value of each property variable within the processing window could then be predicted from the fitted surface. In addition, microcellular injection molding of thermoplastic polyurethane was simulated by a commercial software package, and the simulated results confirmed the reliability of the cell diameter prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-458
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Cellular Plastics
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 09 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • microcellular injection molding
  • microstructure and properties
  • orthogonal array test
  • Thermoplastic polyurethane

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