Description: Polystyrene (PS) nanocomposite foams were prepared using supercritical fluid (SCF) CO2 as a solvent and blowing agent. PS was first in-situ polymerized with a range of concentrations of montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS). The polymerized samples were then compression molded into 1 to 2mm thick laminates. The laminates were foamed in a batch supercritical CO2 process at various temperatures and pressures from 60°-85°C and 7.6-12MPa. The resulting foams were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy to determine effect of MLS on cellular morphology. Differential scanning calorimetry was used to determine the impact of nanocomposite microstructure on glass transition of the foamed polymer. X-ray diffraction spectra suggested that the PS/MLS composite had an intercalated structure at both the 1% and 3% mixtures, and that the intercalation may be enhanced by the foaming process.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Strauss, William C.