Preventing Ostwald Ripening in Rigid PU Foams

Title: PRODUCTION OF FINE CELL FOAMS USING A CELL AGING INHIBITOR

Number/Link: WO2017093058  (German)

Applicant/Assignee: Evonik

Publication Date: 8 June 2017

“Gist”: Perfluorinated hydrocabons reduce Ostwald ripnening in PU foam formulations

Why it is interesting: Polymeric foams form by nucleation and growth of gass bubbles in the reacting mixture followed by (or simultaneous with) ageing of the bubbles through coalesence and Ostwald ripening, i.e. the growth of larger bubbles at the expense of smaller bubbles. Ostwald ripening ultimately results in fewer and larger cells, which has a negative effect on the thermal insulation properties of rigid foams. According to this invention the ripening effect can be prevented or reduced by incorporating in the foam formulation an “Ostwald hydrophobe”, i.e. a highly hydrophobic liquid which is largely immiscible with the reacting mixture. Examples of such liquids are perfluorinated hydrocabons with a boiling point of less than 150°C, e.g. perfluoropentane, perfluorocyclohexane and perfluoroisohexene (used in the examples).

Perfluorocyclohexane

 

Aerogels from Isocyanates and Epoxies

Patent Title: ORGANIC AEROGELS BASED ON ISOCYANATE AND CYCLIC ETHER POLYMER NETWORKS

 Number/Link: WO2017016755

Applicant/Assignee: Henkel

Publication date: 2-feb-2017

Gist”: Isocyanate and epoxy are reacted in solvent and supercritically dried

Why it is interesting: While most ‘conventional’ aerogels are based on silica, organic aerogels, especially isocyanate-based aerogels, are also well known: polyurethane-, polyurea-, polyamide-, polyimide-, polycarbodiimide- and polyisocyanurate aerogels have all been reported. This invention adds another type of aerogel based on the reaction of isocyanates and cyclic ethers, esp. oxetanes and oxiranes. The isocyanate with a functionality of (pref.) 2 to 3, (e.g. 4,4′-MDI or methylidynetri-p-phenyletriisocyanate) is reacted with a cyclic ether  of (pref.) functionality of 2 to 3, (e.g. N,N-diglycidyl-4-glycidyloxianiline) in a suitable solvent (e.g. DMAc). After washing, the gel is dried with supercritical carbon dioxide. The materials are useful for thermal insulation and are said to have better mechanical properties compared to other organic aerogels.

N,N-Diglycidyl-4-glycidyloxyaniline

N,N-Diglycidyl-4-glycidyloxyaniline

 

 

PU Rigid Foams with very Small Cell Size

Title: RIGID POLYURETHANE FOAM HAVING A SMALL CELL SIZE

 Number/Link: WO2015/109488

Applicant/Assignee: Dow

Publication date: 30-07-2015

Gist”: Rigid foams are blown with CO2 under pressure

Why it is interesting: It is known that the thermal conductivity of conventional rigid polyurethane foams can be most efficiently improved by reducing the conductivity contribution of the gas present in the foam cells. This, in turn, can be achieved by reducing the gas pressure, by using ‘heavy’ blowing agents or by reducing the average cell size.  The current application discloses rigid PU foams having cell sizes small enough to achieve a thermal conductivity of less than 16 mW/m.K without the need for a strong vacuum or special blowing agents. This is achieved by first saturating the polyol formulation with CO2 under pressure, then adding the isocyanate and increasing the pressure for a set amount of time and finally releasing the pressure to allow the material to expand. Examples are given using a pressure of 7 MPa at 40°C for 30 minutes to saturate the polyol, and a pressure of 10 MPa for up to about 10 minutes after addition of the isocyanate.  Foams with average cell sizes of 8 to 70 μm and porosities of up to 90% are obtained at densities of about 250 to about 300 kg/m³.  Oddly enough no thermal conductivity (λ) values are given.

Rigid polyurethane insulation foams (Wikimedia)

Rigid polyurethane insulation foams (Wikimedia)

 

Improved “Black” Insulation Foams

Title: ISOCYANATE-BASED POLYMER FOAM COMPOSITE WITH IMPROVED THERMAL INSULATION PROPERTIES

 Number/Link: US20140151593

Applicant/Assignee: Dow

Publication date: 5-06-2014 (Priority PCT/US)

Gist”: Use of fluorinated carbon black to improve insulation value of rigid polyurethane foams

Why it is interesting: It is known that carbon black can be used to improve the insulation value of rigid foams by reducing the radiation component of the thermal conductivity. The carbon black however needs to have a very small particle size and needs to be extremely well dispersed into the reacting medium. According to the invention using a fluorinated carbon black improves the dispersion into the raw materials which, in turn, improves the final insulation value of the foam.
A small but valuable innovation.

Different grades of carbon black

Different grades of carbon black