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Numerical And Experimental Studies Of Bubble Growth During The Microcellular Foaming Process

N. Ramesh, D. Rasmussen, G. Campbell
Published 1991 · Materials Science

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A new experimental technique for studying the dynamics of bubble growth in thermoplastics using scanning electron microscopy is developed. The influence of temperature, saturation pressure, molecular weight, and the nature of physical blowing agent are investigated. The experimental results show that, the above, process variables control the growth of foams during processing. The existing Newtonian model for the growth of a single bubble in an infinite amount of polymer has been modified to account for the non-Newtonian effects by modeling the polymer as a power law fluid. The experimental data has been compared with the appropriate viscoelastic cell model which considers the growth of closely spaced spherical bubbles during the foaming process. The simulation results indicate that the predictions of the cell model are in qualitative agreement with the trends of the experimental data and the quantitative agreement is reasonable. The cell model also gives an equilibrium radius which agrees with the experimental data. Other viscous models do not predict the equilibrium radius of the bubble and underpredict the experimental data.

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