Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Modeling Particle Inflation from Poly(amic acid) Powdered Precursors (Part I): Preliminary Stages Leading to Bubble Growth

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Morphological characteristics of polyimide microstructures obtained by solid-state powder foaming determine the geometric properties of the unit cell, in polyimide foams prepared by this process. Morphological analysis of precursor particles has shown that particle size and shape, as well as the presence of embedded microvoids, exert a strong influence on the final microstructure morphology. Of equal importance in the morphological development are processing conditions such as heating rate and primary blowing agent content in the particles, prior to thermal treatment. In the present paper, the first of two numerical schemes is presented. A numerical model has been developed to study the preliminary stages that lead to particle inflation. Based on this model, a parametric analysis is performed for pertinent governing parameters, with the purpose of determining their effect on the onset of particle inflation and the potential morphological characteristics of polyimide microstructures. It has been found that precursor particle morphology and nuclei density are the key parameters in determining the potential morphology of the microstructures, by limiting the number of bubbles that grow within each particle. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 47:560–571, 2007. © 2007 Society of Plastics Engineers.

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Polymer Engineering & Science





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