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Continuous Extrusion Foaming of Lignin Enhanced Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)

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In recent days, there has been growing concern about the potential negative impact of isocyanates part of TPU on environment and human health and their usages are being discouraged. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce/replace isocyanates and continuous foaming of lignin enhanced TPU will be an effective method, and also using renewable biomass as well as increasing the green material in TPU foam. For the extrusion of lignin enhanced foamed TPU with chemical foaming agent, the correlations between machine, chemical foaming agent and process parameters and the resulting foam quality are still unknown. Therefore the correlations between process parameters, chemical foaming agent contents and the resulting foam quality are examined in this paper. Due to the addition of various contents of lignin, the melt flow index, viscosity and density of TPU is influenced and their phase compatibility is found homogeneous. The thermal stability of TPU could be enhanced especially at high temperature due to the addition of lignin. It is also found that the chemical agent content has a significant influence on the TPU cellular structures and their content 1 wt% is optimum for finer cellular structures. The production of lignin enhanced TPU foam leads to density reduction for existing applications, but also opens new fields of application as the foaming reduces the material hardness without additional plasticizers.
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Keywords: CELLULAR MORPHOLOGY; EXTRUSION FOAMING; LIGNIN; MELT FLOW INDEX; THERMOPLASTIC POLYURETHANE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2013

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  • The goal of the creation of a biobased economy is challenging to agriculture, forestry, academia, government and industry. The extractable resources of the Earth are finite, regardless of the quibble over when they will be depleted. The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering. In keeping with the growth of knowledge in this field, there is a strong need for a forum to share original research related to biobased materials and bioenergy. The Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMB) has been created as an international peer-reviewed periodical to fulfill the need for communication in these research areas. This journal will encompass related research activities in all fields of science, engineering and the life sciences.
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