Foaming Of polystyrene / thermoplastic starch blends

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Journal titleJournal of Cellular Plastics
Pages215236; # of pages: 23
Subjectthermoplastic starch; polystyrene; foam extrusion
AbstractThis study investigates the fabrication of extruded foams from polystyrene/thermoplastic starch (PS/TPS) blends. A specially designed twinscrew extrusion process is used for starch gelatinization, PS incorporation, polymer mixing, and blowing agent incorporation. In-line rheometry is used to monitor the viscosity of the TPS/PS blends and to evaluate the plasticizing effect of 1,1,1,2 tetrafluoroethane (HFC-134a) used as blowing agent. Differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, density measurement, and picnometry are used to evaluate the thermal properties, the blend morphology, and the foam cell structure. Glycerol content in the TPS phase and the TPS content in the overall blend have a strong effect on the blend viscosity and, in turn, on the ability to foam the material. The foams blown with the hydrofluorocarbone alone have large open-cell content and their density cannot be reduced below 170 kg/m³. The addition of a small amount of ethanol however results in three-fold reductions in density and much better foam cell homogeneity.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Industrial Materials Institute
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number53661
NPARC number15826002
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Record identifier43335b28-49c7-4640-877c-1d79813ff029
Record created2010-07-19
Record modified2016-05-09
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