Self-Reinforced Thermoplastic Polyurethane Wrinkled Foams with High Energy Absorption Realized by Gas Cooling Assisted Supercritical CO2 Foaming


Self-reinforcement of polymer foams by cellular structure manipulation is a cost-effective approach to boost the performance and extend the applicable fields of the foams. Herein, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) foams with special wrinkly structures were fabricated via a gas cooling assisted scCO2 foaming process which employed a CO2 flow to rapidly reduce the temperature of the foam and trigger the release of intramolecular stress in the form of macroscopic distortion via the formation of wrinkles on the cell surface. The wrinkly structure could be regulated in the range of 1.61 to 2.16 μm by the key processing parameters, including foaming temperature (T), foaming pressure (P), waiting time (Δt), and temperature drop (ΔT). The wrinkled foams demonstrated superior compressive properties, recoverability, and energy absorption in cyclic compression tests compared with conventional foams with the same cell size. The wrinkled foam with a wrinkle wavelength of 1.77 μm achieved 153.0%, 2.83%, and 99.0% improvement in compressive modulus, recovery rate, and energy absorption, respectively. It also displayed a low energy loss coefficient of 3.50% which was only 31.48% of that of the conventional foam. This work provides a feasible approach to realize the self-reinforcement of TPU foams by creating wrinkly structures on the cell surface, and extends potential applications of wrinkled TPU foams in cushioning and buffering.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Civil Engineering
Additional Information: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, copyright © 2022, American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Uncontrolled Keywords: Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering,General Chemical Engineering,General Chemistry,Chemistry(all),Chemical Engineering(all),Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Publication ISSN: 1520-5045
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL) ... cs.iecr.2c00001 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-04-13
Published Online Date: 2022-04-01
Accepted Date: 2022-03-21
Authors: Hu, Jiashun
Gu, Ruixing
Mi, Hao-Yang
Jing, Xin
Antwi-Afari, Maxwell Fordjour (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-6812-7839)
Dong, Binbin
Liu, Chuntai
Shen, Changyu



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 April 2023.

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