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  • Multifunctional polymer foams with carbon nanoparticles

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Progress in polymer science
    Date of publication: 2014-03
    Journal article

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    Increasingly demanding industry requirements in terms of developing polymer-based components with higher specific properties have recently aroused a great interest around the possibility of combining density reduction through foaming with the addition of small amounts of functional nanosized particles. Particular interest has been given to the creation of lightweight conductive polymers by incorporating conductive carbon-based nanoparticles, related to processing improvements in attaining homogeneous nanoparticle dispersion and distribution throughout the polymer as well as new processes that enable a higher control and throughput of highly pure carbon nanoparticles, which could overcome some of the common problems of conductive polymers, such as high cost and poor mechanical properties. This review article considers the use of carbon nanoparticles in polymer foams, initially focusing on the important aspects of foam preparation, the main results found in the literature about conductive polymer composites containing carbon nanoparticles, as well as the main polymer foaming processes and types of foams. The main section is dedicated to the properties of multifunctional polymer foams with carbon nanoparticles, with special focus being given to the electrical and transport properties of these materials.

  • Diffusion of CO2 in polymer nanocomposites containing different types of carbon nanoparticles and nanoclays for solid-state microcellular foaming applications

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Gedler, Gabriel; Arencón Osuna, David; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Journal of nano research
    Date of publication: 2014-01
    Journal article

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    This work considers the study of the diffusion of carbon dioxide in polypropylene and amorphous polymers containing carbon nanoparticles, particularly carbon nanofibres and graphene, as well as nanoclays, to be used in microcellular foaming. The diffusion of CO2 out and into the nanocomposites was studied during high pressure CO2 dissolution, as the amount of CO2 dissolved into the nanocomposite and CO2 desorption rate are crucial in order to have a proper control of foaming. Comparatively, platelet-like nanoparticles slowed down the desorption of CO2 out of the nanocomposites by means of a physical barrier effect, enabling a higher concentration of CO2 to remain in the polymer and be used in foaming. As a consequence of the higher amount of CO2 retained in the polymer and the cell nucleation effect promoted by the nanoparticles, polymer nanocomposite foams presented finer microcellular structures, in the case of PMMA even submicrocellular, and higher specific moduli and electrical conductivities when compared to their pure counterparts.

  • Thermal stability and fire behaviour of flame retardant high density rigid foams based on hydromagnesite-filled polypropylene composites

     de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Haurie Ibarra, Laia; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Composites Part B: Engineering
    Date of publication: 2014-03
    Journal article

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    The present work deals with the development of new rigid polypropylene composite foams filled with high amounts of flame-retardant systems based on synthetic hydromagnesite, a basic magnesium carbonate obtained from an industrial by-product. A partially-interconnected cellular structure with a cell size around 100 micrometers was obtained for the hydromagnesite-filled PP foams. A 40% reduction of this cell size was observed when a small amount of a combination of montmorillonite and graphene layered nanoparticles was added to the hydromagnesite. The combination of hydromagnesite with an intumescent additive (ammonium polyphosphate) and layered nanoparticles led to improved thermal stability. In particular, the intumescent additive delayed the beginning of the thermal decomposition temperature and the layered nanoparticles split the second step of thermal decomposition in a third peak observed at higher temperatures. Improved flame retardancy, measured by means of cone calorimetry, was observed in the samples containing the intumescent additive. A novel normalized parameter, called foam efficiency ratio (FER), which takes into account the expansion ratio of the foam and the relation of its fire properties with that of the base solid, was also analyzed.

  • Graphene-induced crystallinity of bisphenol A polycarbonate in the presence of supercritical carbon dioxide

     Gedler, Gabriel; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Polymer
    Date of publication: 2013-11-01
    Journal article

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    Changes in the crystallinity of polycarbonate (PC) induced by the simultaneous presence of 0.5 wt% graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) and supercritical carbon dioxide (sc-CO2) were examined by means of Raman spectroscopy, WAXS, SAXS and DSC. Composites were prepared by melt-mixing, compression-molding and dissolving sc-CO2 at high pressure and temperature. It was found that dissolved CO2 induced the formation of an ordered non-crystalline phase in PC during slow cooling under pressure. A fast depressurization and cooling did not cause such an effect in the resultant foams. GnP induced a higher crystallinity in PC, especially when combined with sc-CO2, even during fast depressurization and cooling. Raman spectroscopy enabled to correlate changes in the PC vibration modes with the presence of ordered phases, as well as to detect interactions between GnP and PC. Additionally, evidence of GnP exfoliation in the composites could be explained by the intensity reduction of the (002) graphite diffraction peak.

  • Application of layered nanoparticles in the micromechanical reinforcement and flame retardancy of polymer foams

     de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Date of publication: 2013
    Book chapter

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    One of the key objectives of nanotechnology is to develop our knowledge to manipulate matters at nanoscale level to create novel, smart, cost effective and eco-friendly macrostructures to improve quality of human life. Recent advancement in development of nano-materials and structures motivate engineers to design nano-modified smart, effective, high performance and sustainable macro-units. This volume contains recent research progresses on development and application on construction based nanomaterials, market potential, problems regarding conventional building system and nanostructures characterized by higher potency, greater robustness and resilience, increased speed of construction, and lessened environmental impact. It contains vivid discussion on methods, mechanical properties, electrical and resistive properties, thermal conductive and damping properties of nanomaterials like titanium dioxide and carbon nanotubes, ultra high pressure ¿sensitive cement based composites and their potential applications. Authors lucidly and ornately discussed about self cleaning rods, fabrics, electricity generating coatings, heating/ cooling installation systems, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) in automobiles, development of nano based structures for disaster protection, waste and pollutant treatment, aviation and land transportation systems, and their applications. Nanotechnology not only finds its use in building highways, dams, bridges and flyovers, but also in making eco-friendly and smart nano-surfaces in ceramics and glasses which currently holds a very potential market globally. This volume will not only expand the knowledge and enhance the analytical ability of the students and researchers, but also help the industrial scientists, engineers, constructors and developers, to address many unsolved problems regarding production and characterisation of construction materials and their prospective applications.

  • Foamed polypropylene for industrial applications

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Date of publication: 2013
    Book chapter

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    There is a great deal of industrial interest in the development of increasingly lighter materials based on polymer foams with improved specific properties for the most varied purposes, from flexible foams for packaging to rigid ones for structural applications. Due to its good combination of properties and reduced cost, foamed polypropylene (PP) could come as a good option. Depending on the base material, foam density and developed cellular structure and microstructure, PP foams may cover a wide range of characteristics and properties which, combined with the incorporation of functional fillers, could ultimately result in the development of multifunctional lightweight materials. This chapter presents a review of the most recent developments in polypropylene foams, starting out by the commercially available PP grades thought out for foaming applications, the different types of PP-based foams depending on their characteristics and final uses, from low-density flexible foams for cushioning and packaging to medium-high density foams for structural purposes, and the main industrial foaming processes, going from melt-like foaming to solid-state chemical and physical foaming. Recent developments in the field of PP foams are also considered, focusing on the combination of cellular structure control via foaming and the incorporation of micro and nanosized functional fillers, with the ultimate objective of developing PP-based foams with a wide range of properties and unique characteristics, from electrically conductive foams through the incorporation of conductive carbon-based nanofillers to foams with direction-dependent transport properties.

    There is a great deal of industrial interest in the development of increasingly lighter materials based on polymer foams with improved specific properties for the most varied purposes, from flexible foams for packaging to rigid ones for structural applications. Due to its good combination of properties and reduced cost, foamed polypropylene (PP) could come as a good option. Depending on the base material, foam density and developed cellular structure and microstructure, PP foams may cover a wide range of characteristics and properties wich, combined with the incorporation of functional fillers, could ultimately result in the development of multifunctional lightweight materials. This chapter presents a review of the most recent developments in polypropylene foams, starting out by the commercially available PP grades thought out for foaming applications, the different types of PP-based foams depending on their characteristics and final uses, from low-density flexible foams for cushioning and packaging to medium-high density foams for structural purposes, and the main industrial foaming processes, going from melt-like foaming to solid state chemical and physical foaming. Recent developments in the field of PP foams are also considered, focusing on the combination of cellular structure control via foaming and the incorporation of micro and nanosized functional fillers, with the ultimate objective of developing PP-based foams with a wide range of properties and unique characteristics, from electrically conductive foams through the incorporation of conductive carbon-based nanofillers to foams with direction-dependent transport properties.

  • Mechanical¿viscoelastic characterization in nanocomposites

     de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Arencón Osuna, David; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Date of publication: 2013-06
    Book chapter

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    Caracterización mecánica, térmica y a fuego de aerogeles arcilla/polímero modificados con partículas  Open access

     Sanchez Soto, Miguel Angel; Wang, Liang; Martinez Benasat, Antonio; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; Santana Pérez, Orlando Onofre; Maspoch Ruldua, Maria Lluïsa
    Congreso Nacional de Materiales Compuestos
    Presentation's date: 2013-07-03
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Los aerogeles son una clase de materiales que se caracteriza por su extrema ligereza y alto contenido de aire. En este trabajo se han preparado diferentes aerogeles polímero/arcilla (PVOH/Na+-MMT) mediante un proceso simple de congelación y liofilización. Mediante esta técnica se han preparado aerogeles modificados conteniendo diferentes agentes ignifugantes en forma de partículas. La adición de dichos agentes causó un ligero incremento de la densidad aparente. Las propiedades mecánicas en compresión tanto a baja como a alta velocidad en general se vieron ligeramente reducidas debido a una menor unión entre el polímero y la arcilla. La excepción fue la muestra modificada con Al(OH)3 que incrementó la rigidez de los compuestos y la tensión a máxima deformación. En cuanto a las propiedades térmicas, la presencia de polifosfato de amonio (APP) o de silica gel (SG) redujo notablemente la velocidad de descomposición de los aerogeles en el rango de temperaturas entre 250ºC y 650ºC, sin embargo, la temperatura de inicio de descomposición no se vio sensiblemente alterada. El comportamiento a fuego se analizó mediante calorimetría de cono y los resultados han indicado que tanto la presencia de Al(OH)3 como de APP retardan la combustión del sistema y reducen la tasa de liberación de calor.

    Los aerogeles son una clase de materiales que se caracteriza por su extrema ligereza y alto contenido de aire. En este trabajo se han preparado diferentes aerogeles polímero/arcilla (PVOH/Na+-MMT) mediante un proceso simple de congelación y liofilización. Mediante esta técnica se han preparado aerogeles modificados conteniendo diferentes agentes ignifugantes en forma de partículas. La adición de dichos agentes causó un ligero incremento de la densidad aparente. Las propiedades mecánicas en compresión tanto a baja como a alta velocidad en general se vieron ligeramente reducidas debido a una menor unión entre el polímero y la arcilla. La excepción fue la muestra modificada con Al(OH)3 que incrementó la rigidez de los compuestos y la tensión a máxima deformación. En cuanto a las propiedades térmicas, la presencia de polifosfato de amonio (APP) o de silica gel (SG) redujo notablemente la velocidad de descomposición de los aerogeles en el rango de temperaturas entre 250ºC y 650ºC, sin embargo, la temperatura de inicio de descomposición no se vio sensiblemente alterada. El comportamiento a fuego se analizó mediante calorimetría de cono y los resultados han indicado que tanto la presencia de Al(OH)3 como de APP retardan la combustión del sistema y reducen la tasa de liberación de calor.

  • Determinación de las curvas tensión-deformación verdaderas en polímeros

     Maspoch Ruldua, Maria Lluïsa; Loaeza, David; Martinez Benasat, Antonio; Arencón Osuna, David; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Encuentro del Grupo Español de Fractura
    Presentation's date: 2013-03-14
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Analysis and thermo-mechanical characterization of mixed plastic wastes

     Sanchez Soto, Miguel Angel; Maspoch Ruldua, Maria Lluïsa; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Polymer-Plastics technology and engineering
    Date of publication: 2013
    Journal article

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  • Influence of foaming process on the structure-properties relationship of foamed LDPE/silica nanocomposites

     Saiz Arroyo, Cristina; Rodríguez Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; de Saja, José Antonio
    Composites Part B: Engineering
    Date of publication: 2013-05
    Journal article

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    In this paper LDPE/silica nanocomposites are foamed by two different processes. First one is the pressure quench method which is based on the use of a physical blowing agent and second one is the improved compression moulding technique. As the latter process uses a chemical blowing agent, both types of foamed nanocomposites will provide very useful information about the relationship between foaming process-microstructure and macroscopic properties. Results have revealed how silica nanoparticles are able to act as nucleating sites during foaming step in both processes; however, the optimum amount of particles strongly depends on the foaming route. Thermal and mechanical properties of solid and foamed nanocomposites have been analyzed by means of thermogravimetric analysis and compression tests. Results have revealed that nanosilica particles act as effective nucleating agents, not only reducing cell size and increasing cell density but also achieving more homogeneous cellular structures. Thermal and mechanical properties are improved due to the presence of silica nanoparticles. It has been found that the improvement degree reached for samples produced using chemical blowing agents is greater than that achieved for samples produced using physical blowing agents.

  • Addition of flame retardants in epoxy mortars: thermal and mechanical characterization

     Haurie Ibarra, Laia; Lacasta Palacio, Ana Maria; Ciudad Alvarez, Aleix; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Construction & building materials
    Date of publication: 2013-05
    Journal article

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    In this work we have studied the effect of different flame retardants on the fire behavior and mechanical properties of epoxy mortars. Flame retardants acting under different mechanisms of action have been compared: phosphate flame retardants as well as magnesium hydroxides and carbonates. Besides the commercial flame retardants we have also used a magnesium basic carbonate obtained from an industrial by-product. The use of an alternative based on an industrial by-product combines an economic and sustainable solution. Different formulations of flame retarded epoxy mortars have been prepared and characterized. The obtained results prove the effectiveness of the tested flame retardants on the improvement of the fire properties of the epoxy mortars without a significant decrease on their mechanical properties.

  • Multifunctional nanocomposite foams based on polypropylene with carbon nanofillers

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Gedler, Gabriel; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Journal of cellular plastics
    Date of publication: 2013-05
    Journal article

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    This work considers the preparation and characterization of polypropylene foams with variable concentrations of graphene and carbon nanofibres, focussing on the influence of the foaming process and the nanofillers on the microstructural and dynamic-mechanical- thermal properties of the foams. Great differences were found in terms of foam morphology depending on the type of foaming process, with foams prepared by physical foaming showing a vertically deformed cell structure, while chemical foams presented an isotropic-like cellular structure. The addition of graphene resulted in foams with higher cell densities and more uniform cellular structures when compared to the ones with nanofibres. All these considerations are of extreme importance, as some of the most promising applications of these polymer foams require a good electromagnetic interference shielding efficiency, which greatly depends on the developed foam morphology.

    This work considers the preparation and characterization of polypropylene foams with variable concentrations of graphene and carbon nanofibres, focussing on the influence of the foaming process and the nanofillers on the microstructural and dynamic-mechanical- thermal properties of the foams. Great differences were found in terms of foam morphology depending on the type of foaming process, with foams prepared by physical foaming showing a vertically deformed cell structure, while chemical foams presented an isotropic-like cellular structure. The addition of graphene resulted in foams with higher cell densities and more uniform cellular structures when compared to the ones with nanofibres. All these considerations are of extreme importance, as some of the most promising applications of these polymer foams require a good electromagnetic interference shielding efficiency, which greatly depends on the developed foam morphology.

  • Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) as functional fillers in polymer composites

     Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; Ardanuy Raso, Monica; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo
    Date of publication: 2012-10-31
    Book chapter

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  • Multifunctional nanocomposite foams based on polypropylene with carbon nanofillers

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Gedler, Gabriel; Mudarra Lopez, Miguel; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    International Conference on Blowing Agents and Foaming Processes
    Presentation's date: 2012-05-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Comportamiento a fractura de láminas de espuma de polipropileno producidas mediante dos métodos diferentes de espumación

     Arencón Osuna, David; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Martinez Benasat, Antonio; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Encuentro del Grupo Español de Fractura
    Presentation's date: 2012-03-22
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Nucleation efficiency of talc in the foaming behavior and cellular structure of polyolefin-based foams: new perspectives for optimized lightweight materials

     Meli, Gilles; Abler, Caroline; Jouffret, Frédéric; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Gedler, Gabriel; Arencón Osuna, David; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    International Conference on Foam Materials & Technology
    Presentation's date: 2012-09-12
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The research consisted in evaluating the nucleation efficiency of different types of talc (with different particle size distributions, morphologies and even surface modifications) in the foaming behaviour and cellular structure os polypropylene-based materials, with the objective of developing lightweight materials with improved stiffness and lower densities. Nucleation efficiency was first evaluated in talc filled PP foamed with a physical blowing agent inside a high pressure vessel. Depending on different talc characteristics, such a particle size distribution, surface area and morphology, cell density as much as doubled. Optimized foamed PP-talc composites prepared by injection-moulding using the MuCell process displayed further weight reductions for similar stiffness values.

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    Characterization of polycarbonate foam structures prepared by one-step SC-CO2 dissolution process  Open access

     Gedler, Gabriel; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    International Conference on Foam Materials & Technology
    Presentation's date: 2012-09-12
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    In this communication polycarbonate foams were prepared by a supercritical CO2 dissolution one-step batch foaming process. Firstly, CO2 diffusion behavior in polycarbonate was studied by means of desorption experiments. The cellular structure of foams prepared under different foaming conditions was characterized through scanning electron microscopy. Different foaming temperatures as well as CO2 saturation pressures and times were applied. The foams displayed typical closed-cell structures with cell densities ranging from 3x10⁵ to 3x10⁶ cells/m³ and cell average sizes from around 70 to 150μm. Analysis by X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry seemed to suggest that slight crystallization took place because of the plasticizing effect of CO2 during saturation and foaming. Thermogravimetric analysis showed a higher thermal stability of the foams when compared to the compact polymer. The preliminary results shown in this work suggest the possibility of developing lightweight polycarbonate components with improved specific thermal properties through carefully controlling the foaming parameters.

    Electronic version of an article published as "FOAMS 2012: 10th International Conference on Foam Materials & Technology : Barcelona, Spain, September 12 - September 13, 2012". Society of Plastics Engineers.

  • Halogen-free flame retardant polyolefin foams

     de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Santana Pérez, Orlando Onofre; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    International Conference on Foam Materials & Technology
    Presentation's date: 2012-09-12
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • The multi-scalar effect of incorporating nanofillers and cellulosic-based reinforcements into polyurethane foams: towards the development of low cost structural lightweight materials

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Maspoch Ruldua, Maria Lluïsa; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    International Conference on Foam Materials & Technology
    Presentation's date: 2012-09-13
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Influencia de las nanocargas en las propiedades termomecánicas de espumas poliméricas  Open access

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Gedler, Gabriel; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Encuentro del Grupo Español de Fractura
    Presentation's date: 2012-03-22
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Se presenta la influencia de nanopartículas y nanofibras sobre las propiedades termomecánicas de espumas poliméricas. A una formulación base polipropileno especial para espumación se le incorporaron nanocargas (silicatos laminares) y nanofibras de carbono al objeto de aportar a los materiales celulares resultantes características de multifuncionalidad (rigidezm retardancia a la llama y conductividad). En el presente trabajo se analizan los efectos que introducen las partículas incorporadas sobre las características termodinámicas de las espumas, a través de análisis térmico mecánico dinámico (DMTA), en relación con la composición de las espumas, con su densidad relativa y con su estructura celular. Los resultados han demostrado que la influencia de las nanopartículas y nanofibras añadidas al polímero base de la espuma alcanza, no sólo a su cristalidad, temperaturas de transición características o propiedades mecánicas, sino también a la generación de estructuras celulares más finas y homogéneas que las de sus homónimos de referencia sin partículas.

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    Espumas ignífugas de poliolefina libres de halógenos  Open access

     de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Haurie Ibarra, Laia; Maspoch Ruldua, Maria Lluïsa; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Congreso Nacional de Materiales
    Presentation's date: 2012-06-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    En el presente trabajo se han preparado y caracterizado espumas ignífugas de poliolefinas libres de halógenos. Se ha utilizado para ello una formulación comercial, empleada típicamente en la industria de cables, y se le ha añadido pequeños porcentajes másicos (entre 2 y 4%) de dos sistemas retardantes de llama: "sílice-borato de zinc" y manolaminillas de "montmorillonita y grafeno expandible". Durante la caracterización celular de las espumas, preparadas por espumación química utilizando como agente espumante azodicarbonamida, se ha constatado que la presencia de las nanopartículas promovía una estructura celular con tamaño de celda más pequeño. Mediante un análisis termogravimétrico, se ha observado un aumento del residuo inorgánico de la formulación base a temperaturas superiores a 500ºC. Esta observación puede ser debida, en cierta medida, a un efecto sinérgico entre ambos sistemas retardantes de llama, el cual promueve una mayor estabilidad térmica de la formulación base. Durante la caracterización del comportamiento frente al fuego mediante ensayos de cono calorimétrico, se ha constatado que el sistema "síliceborato de zinc" retarda en tiempo hasta ignición de la llama (mayores valores de TTI) y que la presencia de las nanopartículas disminuye el valor del PHRR (máxima tasa de liberación de calor).

  • Study of the fracture behaviour of flexible polypropylene foams using the Essential Work of Fracture (EWF)

     Arencón Osuna, David; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Martinez Benasat, Antonio; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Polymer testing
    Date of publication: 2012-04-01
    Journal article

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  • Vegetable fibres from agricultural residues as reinforcement in recycled polyolefin-based green foams

     Ardanuy Raso, Monica; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Waste management
    Date of publication: 2012-02
    Journal article

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  • Moulded polypropylene foams produced using chemical or physical blowing agents: structure¿properties relationship

     Saiz-Arroyo, Cristina; de Saja, José Antonio; Rodríguez Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Journal of materials science
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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    Polypropylene (PP) foams have become essential items due to their excellent properties. Nevertheless, obtaining net-shaped PP foams with medium relative densities is a complicated issue. In this article, two processes able to produce moulded PP foams in this density range are presented. One of them is based on a modification of the pressure quench foaming method and therefore uses a physical blowing agent (CO2). The second one is the improved compression moulding technique which uses a chemical blowing agent (azodicarbonamide). PP foams with relative densities in the range between 0.25 and 0.6 and cylindrical shape were prepared using these foaming techniques. A common PP grade (instead a highly branched one) was used to obtain the samples, showing, that by combining the appropriate foaming technique, the adequate moulds, suitable blowing agent and proper foaming parameters, net-shaped PP foams with excellent properties can be produced starting from a conventional PP grade. Samples were characterized by analyzing their cellular structure and their mechanical properties. Results have showed that depending on the chosen foaming route isotropic or anisotropic structures with cell sizes ranging from 40 to 350 lm and open cell content in the range between 0 and 65% can be obtained. Moreover, mechanical properties are highly influenced by the production route and chemical composition of the foams. For instance, the stiffer materials at relative densities higher than 0.4 are the ones produced using the chemical blowing agent while at relative densities lower than 0.4 are the ones produced using the physical blowing agent.

  • Thermal conductivity anisotropy in polypropylene foams prepared by supercritical CO2 dissolution

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; Solórzano Quijano, Eusebio; Rodríguez-Pérez, Miguel Ángel; de Saja, José Antonio
    Materials chemistry and physics
    Date of publication: 2012-09
    Journal article

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  • Thermal stability of polycarbonate-graphene nanocomposite foams

     Gedler, Gabriel; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Polymer degradation and stability
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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  • Low energy impact indentation of a modified polyethylene terephthalate by instrumented falling weight

     Martinez Benasat, Antonio; Arencón Osuna, David; Navas, Javier; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Journal of applied polymer science
    Date of publication: 2012-04-27
    Journal article

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  • Improvement of the fire behaviour of PCM in building applications

     Haurie Ibarra, Laia; Lacasta Palacio, Ana Maria; Fernandez Llado, Javier; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    International Conference on Energy Storage
    Presentation's date: 2012-05-17
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Phase change materials (PCM) have been proved to be an effective tool to regulate indoor temperature fluctuations and reduce the energetic demand of buildings [1,2]. Paraffins are among the most common PCM used for thermal storage in building applications. A broad range of melting temperatures, with an elevated heat of fusion associated, can be obtained varying the length of the hydrocarbon chain that forms the paraffins. Furthermore, they exhibit numerous benefits such as the nearly absence of supercooling, chemical stability, low vapor pressure during the phase change and no phase segregation [3]. These paraffins can be incorporated in several forms to building materials like gypsum or concrete [4]. Despite all these advantages, one major concern regarding the paraffins as PCM is their possible contribution to flame propagation in case of fire [5]. Several authors have tried to improve this aspect by combining the paraffins with HDPE polymers to obtain a form-stable PCM [6]. Blends of paraffin and polyethylene usually contain some inorganic filler, which can act improving both the thermal conductivity as well as the flame retardancy of the system [3, 7]. Microencapsulated PCM or paraffins adsorbed in a substrate are designed to be incorporated directly into the building material and, therefore blending with HDPE is less interesting. Another possibility to increase the fire performance of the PCM is the addition of flame retardants directly into the matrix-PCM mixture. Paraffins usually present their combustion between 220-320ºC and therefore the flame retardants selected should act in this temperature range. In this work we have studied the effect of different loads of PCM on the fire behaviour of gypsum boards. In order to improve the fire behaviour of the gypsum-PCM system, two different types of flame retardants have been added. We have chosen two endothermic flame retardants: aluminium hydroxide (ATH) and a synthetic basic magnesium carbonate, hydromagnesite (HM), obtained from an industrial by-product. Both FR have an endothermic decomposition starting around 200ºC and can be found among the cheapest alternatives to achieve flame retardancy.

  • Foaming behavior, cellular structure and physical properties of polybenzoxazine foams

     Ardanuy Raso, Monica; Rodríguez-Pérez, Miguel Ángel; de Saja, José Antonio; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Polymers for advanced technologies
    Date of publication: 2012-04-10
    Journal article

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    In this paper, polymer foams based on a benzoxazine resin have been successfully prepared using azodicarbonamide (ADC) as a chemical blowing agent and have been characterized regarding their foaming behavior, cellular structure, and physical properties. The effect of the ADC on the curing process of the resin was analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry and blowing agent decomposition was followed by thermogravitmetric analysis (TGA). The characterization of the cellular structure of the foamed samples was done using scanning electron microscopy. The mechanical properties of the foams were determined using compression tests and the thermal conductivity was assessed using the transient plane source method. The results indicated that the curing process and gas release took place in a similar time interval. The foams showed an isotropic cellular structure with relative densities in the range 0.35–0.60, and showed compressive strengths and compressive moduli in the range of 10–70 MPa and 400–1100 MPa, respectively. Thermal conductivities were in the range of 0.06–0.12 W m−1K−1. The findings in this paper demonstrate the possibility of producing polybenzoxazine foams using a simple process in which curing and foaming take place simultaneously. In addition, the mechanical characterization of these materials indicates that they are suitable for structural applications.

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    Novel polycarbonate-graphene nanocomposite foams prepared by CO2 dissolution  Open access

     Gedler, Gabriel; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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    Polycarbonate foams reinforced with 0,5 wt% of graphene were obtained by firstly melt-mixing the polycarbonate and graphene in an internal mixer, compression-moulding the melt-compounded grinded material and lastly dissolving CO2 inside a high pressure vessel. The CO2 desorption behaviour in the unfilled polycarbonate and nanocomposite was studied in terms of the CO2 saturation concentration and desorption diffusion coefficient, with the graphene-filled nanocomposite displaying a higher CO2 loss rate when compared to the neat polycarbonate. The cellular structure of the foams was found to be highly dependent on the saturation/foaming temperature, with smaller cell sizes being obtained with decreasing the temperature. Another parameter that had an important influence was the residual pressure, with higher residual pressure values resulting in foams with more uniform and regular cells.

    Originally published as "IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering", vol. 31, no 1, 2012. DOI:10.1088/1757-899X/31/1/012008. .

  • Optical expandometry: a technique to analyze the expansion kinetics of chemically blown thermoplastic foams

     Solórzano Quijano, Eusebio; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Saiz-Arroyo, Cristina; Rodríguez-Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; de Saja, José Antonio
    Journal of applied polymer science
    Date of publication: 2012-07
    Journal article

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  • Preparación y caracterización termo-mecánica de espumas de polipropileno reciclado reforzado con fibras celulósicas

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Ardanuy Raso, Monica; Martinez Benasat, Antonio; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Congreso Nacional de Materiales Compuestos
    Presentation's date: 2011-07-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Fractura postcedencia de polímeros  Open access

     Maspoch Ruldua, Maria Lluïsa; Franco Urquiza, Edgar Adrián; Santana Pérez, Orlando Onofre; Gamez Pérez, Jose; Sanchez Soto, Miguel Angel; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; Martinez Benasat, Antonio
    Encuentro del Grupo Español de Fractura
    Presentation's date: 2011-04-08
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Caracterización mecánica de espumas rígidas multifuncionales de poliuretano  Open access

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Cano, Álvaro; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Arencón Osuna, David; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Congreso Nacional de Materiales Compuestos
    Presentation's date: 2011-07-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    En el presente trabajo se prepararon y caracterizaron espumas de poliuretano con refuerzo multi-escalar combinando concentraciones variables de arcilla organofílica (montmorillonita) y de lana de esparto, con el propósito de desarrollar espumas rígidas multifuncionales. La incorporación de montmorillonita contribuyó a favorecer la espumación y la formación de estructuras celulares más finas y homogéneas, resultando en espumas con esfuerzos de colapso a compresión inferiores a los obtenidos para las espumas de poliuretano. Sin embargo, un análisis comparativo frente a la densidad relativa, demuestra que las propiedades mecánicas de ambas series de espumas siguen una única tendencia común. La combinación de lana de esparto y montmorillonita contribuyó a reducir aún más el tamaño celular, promoviendo simultáneamente la apertura parcial de las celdas, lo que resulta es espumas con esfuerzos de colapso inferiores.

  • The effects of combining nanoclay and steel wires multi-scalar reinforcements on the structure and properties of polyurethane foams

     Cano, Álvaro; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Haurie Ibarra, Laia; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    SPE EUROTEC Plastics Technical Conference
    Presentation's date: 2011
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    In this paper we prepared and characterized several polyurethane composite foams by combining variable concentrations of organophilic clay (montmorillonite) and metal reinforcement, with the objective of developing novel multi-scalar multifunctional rigid foams. The addition of montmorillonite clay promoted foaming and the formation of finer and more homogeneous cellular structures, resulting in foams with compressive elastic moduli and collapse stresses lower than that of the unfilled polyurethane foams. However, a comparative analysis versus the foams’ relative density demonstrated that both mechanical properties follow one single trend for the two materials. The combination of montmorillonite and metal reinforcement further reduced the cell size of foams, ultimately resulting in foams with similar mechanical properties for considerably lower relative densities. Although no important differences in thermal conductivity were found for the polyurethane foams with adding montmorillonite, the incorporation of the metal reinforcement led to considerably higher thermal conductivities, its value increasing with increasing relative density.

  • Composite and biocomposite foams based on polypropylene with reinforcements and functional fillers prepared by supercritical CO2 dissolution

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Ardanuy Raso, Monica; Maspoch Ruldua, Maria Lluïsa; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    International Conference Blowing Agents and Foaming Processes
    Presentation's date: 2011-05-10
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Fire behaviour of flame-retardant rigid polypropylene foams

     de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    EUROTEC
    Presentation's date: 2011-11-15
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Low energy impact indentation of an epoxy-carbon fiber laminate

     Martinez Benasat, Antonio; Xiang, Gao; Arencón Osuna, David; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Polymers and polymer composites
    Date of publication: 2011-08-01
    Journal article

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  • Influence of the electric arc furnace dust in the physical and mechanical properties of EVA-polyethylene-butene blends

     Niubo Eslava, Maria; Fernández Renna, Ana Inés; Haurie Ibarra, Laia; Capdevila, X.G.; Chimenos Ribera, Josep Maria; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Materials science and engineering A. Structural materials properties microstructure and processing
    Date of publication: 2011-05-24
    Journal article

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    This study assesses the processing behaviour and mechanical properties of different thermoplastic polymers filled with Electric Arc Furnace Dust (EAFD). Design of Experiments (DoE) approach enabled the evaluation of the influence of each component and the interactions between them. There were prepared different composite formulations varying the content of EAFD. The mechanical properties and the melt flow index (MFI) of composites were selected as output responses and the effect of CaCO3, BaSO4 and EAFD fillers as well as different polymer matrixes were evaluated. It was observed that slight variations in the formulation yield to a broad range of response values. Polyethylene-co-vinyl acetate (EVA) concentration showed a significant effect on all responses. It was found that the presence of EAFD increased fluidity and decreased the elasticity modulus and the elongation at break. In addition, when added with barite, the presence of EAFD caused an increase of the tensile strength.

  • Characterization of highly filled magnesium hydroxide-polypropylene composite foams

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; Haurie Ibarra, Laia
    Journal of cellular plastics
    Date of publication: 2011
    Journal article

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  • Characterization of rigid polypropylene-based microcellular foams produced by batch foaming processes

     Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Ardanuy Raso, Monica
    Polymer engineering and science
    Date of publication: 2011
    Journal article

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    The properties of polypropylene (PP) foams can be extended by controlling the cellular structure and adding functional fillers. PP-based microcellular foams having an interesting combination of mechanical and transport properties were prepared by two different batch foaming processes. The batch processes employed were a semisolid state CO2 dissolution physical foaming process and a chemical one based on the dissolution of the gases generated by the thermal decomposition of a chemical blowing agent in the molten state. The role of the cellular structure and nanofillers (5 wt% of organoclay and 10–20 wt% of cellulosic fibers) on the foam properties and CO2 diffusion rate was discussed. Foams with expansion ratios around 3 but different cell structures were prepared and studied concerning their structural characteristics. For unfilled foams prepared by CO2 dissolution, the microcellular structure resulted in the highest values of the specific storage modulus. A fraction of organically-treated montmorillonite dispersed into the PP matrix resulted in superior mechanical properties due to the combined effect of a finer cell structure and inherent higher stiffness of the silicate layers. Despite displaying an opencell structure, foams reinforced with high contents of cellulosic fibers showed increased specific storage moduli with respect to the unfilled foams

  • Polypropylene foams: production, structure and properties

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina
    Date of publication: 2011-11-01
    Book chapter

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  • Essential work of fracture (EWF): a useful tool for the fracture toughness characterization of particulate polyolefin composites

     Arencón Osuna, David; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Date of publication: 2011-01-03
    Book chapter

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    The characterization of the fracture toughness of polyolefin composites filled with inorganic particles is commonly solved by means of standardized testing procedures based wherther on the Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) and the Elastic-Plastic Fracture Mechanics approaches. Fracture parameters as Kc, Gc and Jc are obtained and managed as "material" parameters in plain strain conditions. Nevertheless, particulate polyolefin composites are often in form of film or sheet, making difficult to achieve the specimen size criteria for fracture toughness characterization under plain strain conditions. In such cases, the concept os Essential Work of Fracture (EWF) is nowadays being increasingly applied and considered as a reliable way of fracture toughness determination for this kind of composites. The EWF has traditionally been used for fracture characterization of metals and ductile polymers under plain stress conditions, and most recently applied to ductile particulate composites. In the present chapter, the application of the EWF testing method to the particulate polyolefin composites is reviewed analyzed with regard to the variables of the testing method and the composite characteristics, such as the polyolefin nature and its ductility , the reinforcing particle characteristics and concentration, and the interfacial adhesion level, among others.

  • Heat transfer in polyolefin foams

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; Solórzano Quijano, Eusebio; Rodríguez-Pérez, Miguel Ángel
    Date of publication: 2011
    Book chapter

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    This chapter is dedicated to the study of heat transfer in polyolefin-based foams, particularly thermal conductivity, as a function of their structure and chemical composition. A small review of the main experimental techniques used to measure the thermal conductivity of these materials is also given, focusing on the transient plane source method (TPS), as well as different theoretical models commonly used for estimating its value. Alongside cellular structure (cell size, anisotropy, etc) and composition considerations, particular importance is given to the analysis of the presence of micrometric and nanometric-sized fillers in the resulting cellular composite thermal properties. This is a novel research field of particular interest, thought to extend the application range of these lightweight materials by tailoring their conductivity.

  • Determinación del grado de reticulación de 7 muestras de tubo por DSC

     Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina
    Date: 2011-10-28
    Report

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  • Fracture behaviour of flexible polyethylene foams for potential use in damping applications

     Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio; de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Arencón Osuna, David; Martinez Benasat, Antonio
    Applied mechanics and materials
    Date of publication: 2011-09
    Journal article

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    The application of the essential work of fracture (EWF) methodology for the fracture behavior characterization of closed-cell low density polyethylene flexible foams is discussed in the present paper. The thickness of the foamed sheet and the relative orientation of the initial crack were the main parameters studied. The interpretation of the results is carried out on the basis of the material microstructure and the applicability of the testing method.

  • Esparto wool as reinforcement in hybrid polyurethane composite foams

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; Cano, Álvaro; Haurie Ibarra, Laia; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Industrial crops and products
    Date of publication: 2011-11
    Journal article

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  • Mechanical Properties and Morphology of Multifunctional Polypropylene Foams

     de Sousa Pais Antunes, Marcelo; de Redondo Realinho, Vera Cristina; Ardanuy Raso, Monica; Maspoch Ruldua, Maria Lluïsa; Velasco Perero, Jose Ignacio
    Cellular polymers
    Date of publication: 2011
    Journal article

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