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Identification of formation stages in a polymeric foam customised by sonication via electrical resistivity measurements

Torres-Sanchez, C. and Corney, J. (2009) Identification of formation stages in a polymeric foam customised by sonication via electrical resistivity measurements. Journal of Polymer Research, 16 (5). pp. 461-470. ISSN 1022-9760

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Abstract

The polymerisation reactions associated with foam formation have distinct stages (i.e. nucleation, growth, packing, stiffening, solidification) some of which are known to be more sensitive to external inputs than others. Consequently, precise detection of the start and end points of each of the polymerisation stages would enable the fine control of material properties such as porosity in solid foams. The development of such process control can only be pursued if those sensitive stages can be clearly distinguished during the manufacture process. This paper reports how an electrical resistivity tracking method was used to assess the differences in the foaming processes when ultrasound was irradiated to polymeric melts undergoing foaming with the aim of tailoring the architecture of the final solid matrix. The electrical resistivity tracking method is also appraised with regard to its suitability to accurately identify the formation stages in the foam.