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Long term water uptake of a low density polyvinyl chloride foam and its effect on the foam microstructure and mechanical properties
Acceso Abierto
The water uptake, evolution of the cell morphology and basic mechanical properties of a 48 kg/m3 commercial polyvinyl chloride (PVC) foam immersed in distilled water and seawater for up to 12 months is investigated. The samples of PVC foam immersed in distilled water showed a faster water absorption rate and water uptake than the samples immersed in seawater. For both conditions, the tensile and compressive properties of the foam evidence a plasticization effect with a small reduction in the elastic modulus (10%) and an increase in the ultimate tensile strain (19%) for 12 months of immersion. The detailed micrographic analysis conducted provides conspicuous evidence that for both conditions the cells at the surface of the foam are severely damaged after a few days of immersion, but such cell damage is superficial and does not cause severe irreversible damage to the internal cellular microstructure of the foam.
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