Mechanism of bubble nucleation in poly(epsilon-caprolactone) foaming at low temperature

LY Wang and HF Zhou and XD Wang and JG Mi, POLYMER, 79, 47-55 (2015).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2015.10.012

CO2 bubble nucleation on the microrough poly(epsilon-caprolactone) surface has been investigated using a density functional theory approach. For the considered system, the effect of chemical and morphologic characteristics of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) on the solubility, surface tension, interfacial density distribution, nucleation free-energy barrier, and critical nucleus radius have been calculated to interpret the nucleation mechanism. All calculations are performed with the universal force field parameters. Some results have been examined by the available experimental data. According to the free- energy barrier and critical radius, the nucleation number with respect to pressure has been estimated under the instant depressurization. As a result, this work provides a theoretical explanation of bubble formation mechanism of polymer foaming at low temperature. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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