Effects of Organoclay on the Thermal Insulating Properties of Rigid Polyurethane Foams Blown by Environmentally Friendly Blowing Agents

Youn Hee Kim, Seok Jin Choi, Ji Mun Kim, Mi Sun Han, Woo Nyon Kim, Kyu Tae Bang

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46 Citations (Scopus)


A process designed to synthesize rigid polyurethane foam (PUF) with insulative properties via the modulation of PUF cell size via the addition of clay and the application of ultrasound was assessed. The blowing agents utilized in this study include water, cyclopentane, and HFC-365mfc, all of which are known to be environmentally-friendly blowing agents. The rigid PUFs were prepared from polymeric 4,4'-diphenylmethane diisocyanate (PMDI) and polyether polyol with a density of 50 kg/m3. In addition, rigid PUFs/clay nanocomposites were synthesized with clay modified by PMDI with and without the application of ultrasound. The PUF generated using water as a blowing agent evidenced the highest tensile strength. The tensile strength of the PUF/nanocomposites was higher than that of the neat PUF and the strength was even higher with the application of ultrasound. The cell size of the PUF/clay nanocomposites was less than that of the neat PUF, regardless of the type of blowing agent utilized. It appears that the higher tensile strength and lower cell size of the PUF/clay nanocomposites may be attributable to the uniform dispersion of the clay via ultrasonic agitation. The thermal conductivity of the PUF/clay nanocomposites generated with HCFC-141 b evidenced the lowest value when PUF/clay nanocomposites were compared with other blowing agents, including HFC-365mfc, cyclopentane, and water. Ultrasound has also proven effective with regard to the reduction of the thermal conductivity of the PUF/clay nanocomposites with any of the blowing agents employed in this study. It has also been suggested that the uniformly dispersed clay particles in the PUF matrix function as diffusion barriers, which prevent the amelioration of the thermal insulation property.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-681
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecular Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec 1



  • Blowing agent
  • PUF/clay nanocomposies
  • Rigid polyurethane foam
  • Thermal conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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