Production of polystyrene microcellular foam plastics and a comparison of late- and quick-heating

Sumarno*, Yoshiyuki Sato, Shigeki Takishima, Hirokatsu Masuoka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


A batchwise process for the production of microcellular plastics was studied in the polystyrene-nitrogen system. The effects of saturation temperature, saturation pressure, and late- and quick-heating on the microcellular structure were investigated by considering the solubility of the gas in the polymer. It was found that the mean cell diameter was reduced and the cell number density increased with increase in the gas solubility. Variation in the saturation temperature showed that the cell number density had a minimum and the mean cell diameter had a maximum at about 350 K, which was related to the minimum solubility of nitrogen in polystyrene. The long heating time at 393 K of a solution saturated under 25 MPa increased the cell diameter, reduced the cell number density, and gave a maximum volume expansion ratio at about 300 s. Further heating caused the cell size and volume expansion ratio to be decreased, which might be caused by diffusion of the gas out of the polymer sample. The effect of the saturation temperature under high saturation pressure on the cell number density was qualitatively well predicted by the nucleation theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2383-2395
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2000
Externally publishedYes


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