Shun Yao a, Dongdong Hu a, Zhenhao Xi a, Tao Liu a, Zhimei Xu a, Ling Zhao a,b,*
a Shanghai Key Laboratory of Multiphase Materials Chemical Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 200237, PR China
b College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xinjiang University, Urumqi, 830046, PR China
Currently Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foam is the most promising structural core materials, and the tensile mechanical properties are one of its important application indicators. Herein, environmental-friendly supercritical CO2 (ScCO2) extrusion foaming was adopted to prepare PET foam. Aiming at investigating the influence of crystals on the mechanical properties, isothermal treatment in the post-process was used to improve the crystallization process of PET foams. Due to the crystal perfection proceeds via migration and rejection of the structural defects at the crystallites induced by slow crystallization, the crystallinity increased rapidly with the rise of isothermal temperature, especially above the glass transition temperature (Tg). Qualitatively, it can be concluded that the crystalline phase contents have an intimate positive correlation with the tensile modulus, meanwhile, the shape ratio of the crystal have no significant effects on the tensile modulus. In addition, a coupling scheme of aggregate two-layered composite inclusion model and Simone-Gibson equation was first proposed to quantify the mathematical relationship between crystallization and tensile modulus of PET foam, which realized basic agreement.