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Foams Webinar

Event Details This webinar is a 3 Part Series regarding Foam

August 12, 2014 - Nanocellular Foams

Materials with nanocellular structure are expected to possess unique optical, mechanical, dielectric or thermal properties. For instance, nanocellular foams may offer higher strength-to-weight ratio and enhanced toughness compared to microcellular or solid counterparts. Provided that nanofoams can be produced at relatively low densities, thermal insulation performance should be enhanced by the reduction of air thermal conductivity when cell size approaches the mean free path between air molecules (75 nm).

However, the process to produce nanocellular foams by physical foaming has been very challenging, in particular when trying to produce nanofoams at expansion ratios higher than 2 (>50% void fraction), due to the necessity of nucleating about 1015 cells/cm3, and expanding these cells in a controlled manner. Yet, significant progress has been made in the past 5 years using a variety of polymer systems.

In this webinar, we will review templating strategies that have been used to control nucleation events, and recent foray by Dow Chemical and others towards production of low density homogeneous foams without templates. These examples will illustrate similarities and differences in the foaming mechanisms at the nanoscale compared to conventional and microcellular foaming.


Presenter: Dr Stéphane Costeux

Stéphane Costeux is a Principal Research Scientist with The Dow Chemical Company. He joined Dow Plastics R&D in 2002 (Freeport, TX) and transferred to Dow Building & Construction business R&D (Midland, MI) in 2006. His current work relates to experimental and theoretical aspects in materials science, product and process development for advanced materials for building applications, in particular thermoplastic and thermoset insulation foams.

Prior to joining Dow, he earned an engineering degree from ESPCI* and a Ph.D. from University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris, France). He then worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Chemical Engineering department at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). His core expertise includes rheology of complex fluids, the role of branched molecules architecture on polymer properties and processing, and kinetic modeling.

He has authored 30 publications and is an inventor on 25 patents applications. He received the Best Paper award at the SPE FOAMS conference in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He currently serves as a director on the board of the Thermoplastic Materials & Foams division of SPE, as a member of the New Technology Forum committee of ANTEC and on the Editorial board of J. Cellular Plastics.

August 19, 2014   Bio and Sustainable Foams  

Biopolymers are promoted as an important element of the solution to the problem of persistent plastic waste, but their acceptance as replacement materials is often hindered by their processability and final properties. This webinar will focus on biodegradable polymers from renewable sources which have grown consistently in the plastic industry in recent years. Biopolymer processing and applications will be presented. Within the state of current biopolymer research, many studies have been performed to synthesize foams of biopolymer Polylactic acid PLA with controlled morphologies. PLA has challenging foaming attributes of low melt strength and susceptibility to hydrolytic degradation. Recently it has been shown that these attributes can be overcome and controllable cell morphologies can be obtained by branching or by chain extending the PLA. Other studies have focused on the foaming of PLA composites with the intent of improving sustainability, mechanical and physical properties. Polymer nanocomposites are of interest because the nanometer scaled filler can be used as a nucleation agent in the foaming process. The nanometer scaled pellets with a high aspect ratio and their nanometer scale dispersibility tend to produce a good reinforcement and improve the mechanical properties of the polymer. Also, nanocomposites generally provide improvements in transport barrier, thermal resistivity, and flame-retardance in comparison with the original polymers.


Presenter: Dr. Hani Naguib

Hani Naguib is a Professor at the University of Toronto and holder of a Canada Research Chair in Smart and Functional Materials. His major expertise is in the area of smart and multifunctional polymer and composites including electro-active polymers; nanostructured polymers; and biopolymers and gels. He has many refereed publications, scholarly addresses, and technical seminars to date in the field.

Hani is the recipient of numerous honours and awards such as the Canada Research Chair, the Premier’s Early Research Award of Ontario, the Canada Foundation of Innovation, and the faculty Early Teaching Award. He is a Professional Engineer in Canada, a Chartered Engineer in U.K., a Fellow of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining IOM3 in UK and Fellow of the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers, with other professional engineering affiliations. He has been serving on the technical divisions board of directors for the Society of Plastics Engineers SPE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASME, the Materials Information Society ASM, and the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers CSME. He has been organizing and chairing various technical sessions, symposia and seminars in national and international conferences. He is actively involved in collaborative research projects with academic institutions, hospitals and industrial partners in Canada and worldwide.

Hani got his Ph. D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2001.

August 26, 2014 - Cellular Nanocomposites

During the last years novel cellular polymers with improved cellular structure and properties have been developed. One of the key strategies to develop these novel materials has been the addition of nano-particles to the polymeric matrix creating foamed or cellular nanocomposites. The new nanometric phase introduced has the ability of playing a multifunctional role and has the potential of improving the cellular structure and properties of the materials. The use of nano-particles has the following potential advantages:

  1. If the particles are well dispersed and act as nucleating agents a significant improvement of the nucleation rate is expected and a better cellular structure can be obtained.
  2. The particles can improve the matrix polymer morphology
  3. They could also improve the polymer rheology improving the foamability of the composite.
  4. It is well known that the use of a well dispersed nanometric phase improves the mechanical, thermal and fire resistance properties of the polymeric matrix.

Therefore, it is expected that by using adequate combinations of polymer/nanoparticles with a well dispersed nanometric phase cellular polymers with excellent properties could be produced.

During this webinar we will explain the basic concepts associated to cellular nanocomposites and we will present several examples (silica nanocomposites, PP/clays nanocomposites, PU/clays nanocomposites) of successful cellular nanocomposites.


Presenter: Dr. Miguel Angel Rodriguez-Perez

Miguel Ángel Rodríguez-Pérez is a Full Professor of the Department of Condensed Matter Physics of the University of Valladolid in Spain since 2010. He founded the Cellular Materials Laboratory (CellMat) of that University in 1999. This laboratory is mainly focused on the development of new cellular polymers and new production routes for these materials.

His research has always been related to cellular materials. He has been involved in more than 50 research projects connected with the development of improved polymer foams and has published more than one hundred publications in international journals and two books. He has been the supervisor of twelve PhD students and has participated in more than one hundred international conferences. At the moment he is a member of the editorial committee of the journal “Cellular Polymers” and the “Journal of Cellular Plastics” and a member of the board of directors of the thermoplastic and foams division of SPE.

Currently his research is mainly focused on cellular nanocomposites, micro and nanocellular materials and cellular bioplastics.

Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the presentation start time.
For more information, contact Scott Marko, +1 203-740-5442.

Registration: All webinars will be presented in Eastern time unless otherwise noted.
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All webinars will be presented in Eastern time, unless otherwise noted and are typically one hour in length.

Registration Fees:
SPE Member: $99.00
Nonmember: $150.00

If you have registered and did not receive your login information within 30 minutes of registration, it may have gone to your spam filter; or you can contact Customer Relations at +1 203-740-5403.

If you have registered for a webinar and cannot attend, please send a cancellation request to Customer Relations or call +1 203-740-5403 at least one hour before the start of the webinar. You will be refunded minus a US $25 processing fee.

All webinars are recorded by SPE for future distribution. For further information, contact Barbara Spain; +1 203-740-5418.

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» Start Date: 12/08/2014

» End Date: 27/08/2014

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [605658].

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