Thermal insulation and material lightening are major objectives for a large domain of industrial applications of polymers; namely building, transport and automotive, petroleum and energy industries. As a matter of fact plastic foams are key products for all these industrial activities. The foaming materials industry is a rapidly growing area where constant innovation and added value products are key factors for economic success where international competition is high. The object of the research program is to study interactions between gases and polymers at high pressures and temperatures with the final goal to provide foam manutacturers with recommended gas/polymer systems and process methodologies for keeping the European Community industry ahead in different areas essential in modern technology. Another important aspect is to meet the internationnal regulations about environmental protection by replacing the harmfull CFC's by more ' friendly to environment ' new foaming agents. In all industrial and technical cases considered the knowledge of the interactions between gases and polymers or the mutual behavior of gases and polymeric matrices submitted to high pressure and elevated temperature must be ciearly known and anticipated, that it is to say correlated and predicted to select and recommend new foaming agents and process conditions. The basic r esearch program will consist in developing the most accurate experimental techniques for measuring under high P and T three transport coefficients of major importance for gases in polymers: permeability, diffusivity and solubility. Concomitantly, the necessary accurate experimental techniques will be developed to measure the thermophysical coefficients of polymers submitted to high p and T in glassy and viscous liquid states. The data obtained on selected gas/polymer systems will be used for modelling through equation-of-state (EOS) approach and molecular simulation (MS) approach. Typical pressures will be between atmospheric pressure and 200 MPa and temperatures up to 300°C. Experiments will be carried at both laboratory and industrial levels including large scale extrusion operations. The consortium partnership is well balanced between fundamental and experimental aspects, between research and industrial activities. It includes two major European producers of plastic materials and of foamed materials. a world-wide known research organisation and three laboratories recognised for their expertise in experimental investigations and modelling of high pressure gas-polymer interactions. Key words: Polymers, gases, foaming, environment.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
01 224 Warszawa