Foaming behavior of water-soluble cellulose derivatives: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and ethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose
Journal article, 2015
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and ethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose could be interesting candidates for production of lightweight, foamed packaging material originating from non-fossil, renewable resources. The foaming ability of nine different grades of the two cellulose derivatives, using water as the blowing agent, was investigated using a hot-mold process. The foaming process was studied by evaluating the water loss during the heating, both in a real-time experiment and by thermal gravimetric analysis. Further, the development of the rheological properties of the derivative-water mixtures during a simulated foaming process was assessed using dynamical mechanical thermal analysis and viscosity measurements. Five of the studied derivatives showed promising properties for hot-mold foaming and the final foams were characterized with regard to their apparent density. It was concluded that the foamability of these systems seems to require a rather careful tailoring of the viscoelastic properties in relation to the water content in order to ensure that a network structure is built up and expanded during the water evaporation.
Ethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose (EHEC)
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)