New cell opening mechanism in flexible polyurethane foam

X. D. Zhang, H. T. Davis, Chris Macosko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Literature on the polyurethane foam cell opening mechanism is reviewed and discussed. A new cell opening mechanism is proposed. Cell opening is observed to be triggered by urea precipitation which changes the rheology of the polyurethane dramatically. The foam matrix shows extensional thinning behavior after urea phase separation. The extensional thinning behavior will lead to localized cell window thinning. The cell window thickness distribution will lead to different film rupture times for individual cell windows and will result in cell windows in different states. Some windows are totally missing and others leave torn-off films. Windows with only pin holes or totally closed were also observed. The cell opening event is shown to be a continuous process rather than a sudden event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-476
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cellular Plastics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

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