Extrusion Parameters for Foaming of a β-Glucan Concentrate
Journal article, 2019

Plastics is a group of materials commonly encountered on a daily basis by many people. They have enabled rapid, low-cost manufacturing of products with complicated geometries and have contributed to the weight reduction of heavy components, especially when produced into a foamed structure. Despite the many advantages of plastics, some drawbacks such as the often fossil-based raw-material and the extensive littering of the material in nature, where it is not degraded for a very long time, needs to be dealt with. One way to address at least one of the issues could be to use polymers from nature instead of fossil-based ones. Here, a β-glucan concentrate originating from barley was investigated. The concentrate was processed into a foam by hot-melt extrusion, and the processing window was established. The effect of different blowing agents was also investigated. Water or a combination of water and sodium bicarbonate were used as blowing agents, the latter apparently giving a more uniform pore structure. The porous structure of the foamed materials was characterized mainly by using a combination of confocal laser scanning microscope and image analysis. The density of the samples was estimated and found to be in a similar range as some polyurethane foams. A set of 3D parameters were also quantified on two selected samples using X-ray microtomography in combination with image analysis, where it was indicated that the porous structure had a pre-determined direction, which followed the direction of the extrusion process.



Image analysis


X-ray microtomography


Kristina Karlsson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

Emanuel Larsson

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Niklas Lorén

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Mats Stading

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Mikael Rigdahl

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

Journal of Polymers and the Environment

1566-2543 (ISSN) 15728919 (eISSN)

Vol. 27 6 1167-1177

Subject Categories

Polymer Chemistry

Polymer Technologies

Composite Science and Engineering



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