Extrusion foaming of thermoplastic cellulose acetate sheets with HFO-1234ze and co-blowing agents
Cellulose acetate is a bio‐based plastic which can be used to produce foam sheets through the extrusion process. In this study, different co‐blowing agents (BAs) were added to the foaming process in order to improve the extrusion foaming behavior and cell density of sheets foamed with HFO‐1234ze. The effect of co‐BAs on the melt viscosity was investigated with an inline extrusion rheometer. Furthermore, the resulting cell morphology of foam sheets was studied. While the plasticizing effect of the co‐BA is similar to HFO‐1234ze, the cell density of the foam sheets could be improved by adding co‐BAs in concentrations between 0.04 and 0.16 mol/kg. Adding 0.06 mol/kg of ethanol increased the cell density from approximately 1 to 12 × 105 1/cm³ at an invariant density of ∼130 kg/m³. The density reduction of the foam sheets can be calculated in good agreement from the molar concentration of the BAs. However, high amounts of co‐BA slightly reduce the BA yield.