Polymer Engineering and Science, Vol.35, No.23, 1899-1906, 1995
Study on Reaction Injection-Molding of Polyurethane Microcellular Foam
Processing of microcellular foam was investigated for the feasibility of production of tough and lightweight polyurethanes. To increase the nucleation rate in a gas-supersaturated resin, ultrasonic excitation was applied to the mixture of polyol(polyether-based polyol) and isocyanate(diphenyl methane diisocyanate). A microcellular structure was produced by two sequential steps, i.e., supersaturation of the polyol resin with nitrogen gas at elevated pressure and ultrasonic bubble nucleation right after the impingement mixing of two components of the polyurethane system. Theoretical analyses based on nucleation theories were employed to predict the rate of nucleation in the gas-supersaturated polyurethane. The rate of nucleation in the resin was predicted by classical nucleation and cluster theories. In the experimental investigation, ultrasonic excitation was applied to increase the nucleation rate in the resin that had been saturated by nitrogen at a saturation pressure < 2.0 MPa.