Fabrication and characterization of nanocellular polymeric materials from nanostructured polymers

Abstract : This dissertation focuses on the production and study of nanocellular foams from PMMA based(poly(methyl methacrylate) materials by CO2 gas dissolution foaming.Due to the novelty of this research field several experimental techniques have been improved or adapted in order to provide valuable information from the systems understudy. Nanostructuration of PMMA-based blends induced by the addition of a block copolymer (MAM, poly(methyl methacrylate)-b-poly(butyl acrylate)-b-poly(methyl methacrylate)) and the cellular structure of the foams produced from these blends have been characterized and related; obtaining that the nanostructuration acts as a pattern for the cellular structure, allowing obtaining a wide range of cellular structures and in particular nanocellular foams. It is demonstrated that processing parameters, such as pressure and temperature, allow differentiating between two foaming routes ; and present a significant influence on the foaming process and final characteristics of neat PMMA foams, but not on PMMA/MAM blends. PMMA/MAM blends present a heterogeneous nucleation mechanism controlled by the nanostructuration that avoid the influence of the processing parameters in the cell nucleation. In addition, some PMMA/MAM blends also present a high stability during the cell growth, avoiding the cellular collapse and coalescence. Finally, it has been studied the influence on the foams properties of the transition between the microcellular and the nanocellular ranges; obtaining that there is a clear influence on the thermal conductivity, which decreases in nanocellular foams due to the Knudsen effect,and the glass transition temperature, which increases in nanocellular foams due to the confinement of the polymer chains in the cell walls, but not on the Young’s modulus.
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Javier Pinto Sanz. Fabrication and characterization of nanocellular polymeric materials from nanostructured polymers. Polymers. Université de Bordeaux; Universidad de Valladolid, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014BORD0380⟩. ⟨tel-01148340⟩

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