Composition and cure temperature: The influence on properties of final flexible PU cold cure foam parts
Cerva, A., Capela, C., Mateus, A., Bartolo, P. J. and Mitchell, G. (2007) Composition and cure temperature: The influence on properties of final flexible PU cold cure foam parts. In: Paolo, J. d. and Jorge, M.A. (eds.) Virtual and Rapid Manufacturing. Taylor and Francis, pp. 395-400. ISBN 9780415416023
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Foams are cellular structures, produced by gas bubbles formed during the polyurethane polymerization mixture. Flexible PU foams meet the following two criteria: have a limited resistance to an applied load, being both permeable to air and reversibly deformable. There are two main types of flexible foams, hot and cold cure foams differing in composition and processing temperatures. The hot cure foams are widely applied and represent the main composition of actual foams, while cold cure foams present several processing and property advantages, e.g, faster demoulding time, better humid aging properties and more versatility, as hardness variation with index changes are greater than with hot cure foams. The processing of cold cure foams also is attractive due to the low energy consumption (mould temperature from 30 degrees to 65 degrees C) comparatively to hot cure foams (mould temperature from 30 degrees to 250 degrees C). Another advantage is the high variety of soft materials for low temperature processing moulds. Cold cure foams are diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) based while hot cure foams are toluene diisocyanate (TDI) based. This study is concerned with Viscoelastic flexible foams MDI based for medical applications. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) was used to characterize the cure kinetics and Dynamical Mechanical Analisys to collect mechanical data. The data obtained from these two experimental procedures were analyzed and associated to establish processing/properties/operation conditions relationships. These maps for the selection of optimized processing/properties/operation conditions are important to achieve better final part properties at lower costs and lead times.
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