Method for providing continuous processing of microcellular and supermicrocellular foamed materials

  • US 6,051,174 A
  • Filed: 01/08/1999
  • Issued: 04/18/2000
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/04/1993
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A method comprising:

  • providing a material to be foamed;

    mixing a supercritical fluid foaming agent into the material to create a mixture;

    creating a homogeneous single-phase solution from the mixture having a uniform concentration of foaming agent distributed therein and maintaining the single-phase solution at a pressure able to maintain the foaming agent in a supercritical state;

    nucleating the homogeneous single-phase solution by creating a rapid pressure drop in the single-phase solution at a pressure drop rate of at least about 0.18 Gpa/s (26,100 psi/s) to create a nucleated stream;

    shaping the nucleated stream essentially immediately after nucleating the solution to create a shaped microcellular extrudate; and

    releasing the shaped microcellular extrudate into ambient conditions essentially immediately after shaping.

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