The paper ”Improvement of the surface quality of foam injection molded products from a material property perspective” was accepted by Polymer Engineering & Science.
IF＝ 2.573 、 Citescore ＝ 4.1, placing the journal in Q2
Microcellular injection molding is an attractive method. However, their surface imperfections have been a major problem hindering wide industrial applications. Several methods have been proposed to improve the surface appearance of foams. In this study, we proposed a method to improve the surface appearance of polypropylene foams from the material property perspective, especially with regard to crystallization and viscosity. The basic idea of the surface improvement is to reduce the size of bubbles generated at the flow front, delay the solidification behavior of the polymer at the mold interface, squeeze the bubbles existing at the mold-polymer interface, and redissolve the bubbles into the polymer by holding pressure. Blending a low modulus polypropylene (PP) delays the crystallization of the polymers at the skin layer and solidification, taking enough time to squeeze the bubbles smaller. A sorbitol-based gelling agent, (bis-O-(4 methylphenyl) methylene)-D-Glucitol), was used to increase the viscosity at a low strain rate to reduce the size of the bubbles generated at the flow front during the filling stage. The foam injection molding experiments demonstrated that the proposed method effectively improved the surface appearance of the foams. In particular, the surface appearance of the foams became almost equivalent to that of solid samples using low-modulus polypropylene.