Modeling of the dynamics of R-11 blown polyurethane foam formation

Baser, S. A. ; Khakhar, D. V. (1994) Modeling of the dynamics of R-11 blown polyurethane foam formation Polymer Engineering & Science, 34 (8). pp. 632-641. ISSN 0032-3888

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The dynamics of R-11 blown polyurethane foam formation depend on the rates of viscosity increase of the reacting mixture and R-11 evaporation, and both are controlled by the polymerization process. Detailed experiments were carried out to study the dynamics of foaming and the measurements made included the cream and rise times, the density change of the expanding foam with time, and the temperature rise during reaction. Dynamic temperature measurements at different points in the foaming mixture were also made to study the spatial variation of the temperature in the foam. The experimental results showed the rate of foaming, the final density, and the maximum temperature decreased with increasing R-11 concentration. The heat losses from the foam were also found to be significant towards the later stages of foaming when density was low. Theoretical models were developed to predict the temperature and density change with time and spatial variation of temperature in the foam due to heat losses, by considering the foaming dynamics to be either heat generation controlled or heat and mass transfer controlled. In the former, the foam was assumed to be a pseudohomogeneous phase and the approach was similar to that of Rojas, et al. (5). New features accounted for in the model were dilution of the reactant concentration due to the presence of liquid blowing agent and heat loss from the foam due to radiation. While excellent agreement between theoretical predictions and experimental results was obtained for temperature variation with time at different locations in the foam, the model gave a much sharper reduction in density with time as compared to the experimental data. In the second model, the rate of foaming was assumed to be controlled by the rate of heat and mass transfer to a single bubble in the foam. Assuming a film model for heat and mass transfer, the theoretical predictions for both temperature and density were found to be in very good agreement with experimental data.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Society for Plastic Engineers.
ID Code:76887
Deposited On:07 Jan 2012 11:39
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