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