Influence of process parameters on mechanical properties of physically foamed, fiber reinforced polypropylene parts
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Due to the high complexity of the foaming technology, the relationship between processing and final properties of parts produced is not completely understood. Investigating the causality chain Processing?Morphology?Properties is of great importance, especially for the automotive industry, in order to be able to tailor the mechanical properties of foamed parts. This article examines and qualifies the effects of seven process parameters (melt/mold temperature, degree of foaming, injection speed, delay time, gas content, and back pressure) on biaxial bending and flexural behavior?the predominant deformation mechanisms in interior automotive applications?of foamed plaques, using the MuCell process. The results clearly show that three major factors (mold temperature, degree of foaming, and delay time) have significant impact on the mechanical properties of the foamed parts. For a clear understanding of these interactions, computed tomography scans of certain plaques are correlated to process parameters and mechanical performance. This article should forge a bridge between production and performance.