Chemical Blowing Agent-Based Processing Of Integral-Skin Polyethylene Cellular Composites In Rapid Rotational Foam Molding
The growing industry trends of thriving for increased efficiency, reduced processing costs, and reduced environmental impacts have created strong research motivations for developing better processes for converting plastic materials into advantageous products. This paper focuses on studying the synergistic effects resulting from implementing a recently patented Rapid Rotational Foam Molding (RRFM) process, which innovatively creates a deliberate conjunction of the extrusion foaming and the rotational molding technologies, in order to enhance the quality of the final product while providing considerable time and energy savings in the processing of rotationally molded integral-skin cellular composites. Various polyethylene (PE) grades were combined with a chemical blowing agent (CBA) to conduct multiple batteries of carefully designed experimental trials utilizing a custom-built industrial-grade lab-scale experimental setup. The obtained composite morphologies were qualitatively and quantitatively characterized in terms of foam density, average cell size, and average cell density. The Rapid Rotational Foam Molding (RRFM) process proved its objectives.
Index terms - Rotational molding, Rotomolding, Extrusion, Foaming, Blowing agents, Cellular composites.