Influence of chemical nature, expansion ratio and cellular morphology on the fracture behaviour of flexible polyolefin-based foams assessed by the Essential Work of Fracture (EWF)
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Several commercial polyolefin-based flexible foams produced by extrusion foaming were characterized in terms of their cellular morphology and fracture behaviour using the concept of the Essential Work of Fracture (EWF), focusing on the influence of foam's chemical nature, expansion ratio and cellular structure on the values of the fracture parameters. Correction procedures were proposed in order to take into account the complexity of foams in the obtained fracture parameters, particularly a correction procedure based on their expansion ratio, and a second one based on the fraction of polymer present in the foams determined from cellular structure characterization. Although doubts remain about the applicability of the EWF methodology to LDPE foams, the correction procedure based on the expansion ratio seemed to provide more accurate results than that based on polymer fraction, with EWF effectively distinguishing between polyolefin foams having different chemical nature. Comparatively, foams based on a P-E copolymer presented the highest values of the essential work of fracture in the MD direction, while significant differences were only observed in the TD direction for foams having a highly oriented cellular structure. All PP-based foams showed similar non-essential work of fracture values in both MD and TD directions.
CitationArencon, D., De Sousa Pais, M., De Redondo, V., Velasco J.I. Influence of chemical nature, expansion ratio and cellular morphology on the fracture behaviour of flexible polyolefin-based foams assessed by the Essential Work of Fracture (EWF). "Polymer testing", Maig 2015, vol. 43, p. 163-172.