Manufacture of rigid PVC/wood-flour composite foams using moisture contained in wood as foaming agent

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Relationships between the density of foamed rigid PVC/wood-flour composites and the moisture content of the wood flour, the chemical foaming agent (CFA) content, the content of all-acrylic foam modifier, and the extruder die temperature were determined by using a response surface model based on a four-factor central composite design. The experimental results indicated that there is no synergistic effect between the CFA content and the moisture content of the wood flour. Wood flour moisture could be used effectively as foaming agent in the production of rigid PVC/wood-flour composite foams. Foam density as low as 0.4 g/cm3 was produced without the use of chemical foaming agents. However, successful foaming of rigid PVC/wood-flour composite with moisture contained in wood flour strongly depends upon the presence of all-acrylic foam modifier in the formulation and the extrusion die temperature. The lowest densities were achieved when the all-acrylic foam modifier concentration was between 7 phr and 10 phr and extruder die temperature was as low as 170°C.

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Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology