Type: Article
Title: Developing Insulating Polymeric Foams: Strategies and Research Needs from a Circular Economy Perspective
Authors: Doyle Gutierrez, Lucia 
Weidlich, Ingo 
Di Maio, Ernesto
Issue Date: 7-Sep-2022
Keywords: insulation; polymer; foaming; circular economy; cradle2cradle; green engineering; circular design
Insulating polymeric foams have an important role to play in increasing energy efficiency and therefore contributing to combating climate change. Their development in recent years has been driven towards the reduction of thermal conductivity and achievement of the required mechanical properties as main targets towards sustainability. This perception of sustainability has overseen the choice of raw materials, which are often toxic, or has placed research efforts on optimizing one constituent while the other necessary reactants remain hazardous. The transition to the circular economy requires a holistic understanding of sustainability and a shift in design methodology and the resulting research focus. This paper identifies research needs and possible strategies for polymeric foam development compatible with Circular Product Design and Green Engineering, based on an extensive literature review. Identified research needs include material characterization of a broader spectrum of polymer melt–gas solutions, ageing behavior, tailoring of the polymer chains, detailed understanding and modeling of the effects of shear on cell nucleation, and the upscaling of processing tools allowing for high and defined pressure drop rates.
Subject Class (DDC): 624: Ingenieurbau und Umwelttechnik
HCU-Faculty: Technisches Infrastrukturmanagement 
Journal or Series Name: Materials 
Volume: 15
Issue: 18
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1996-1944
Publisher DOI: 10.3390/ma15186212
URN (Citation Link): urn:nbn:de:gbv:1373-repos-9976
Directlink: https://repos.hcu-hamburg.de/handle/hcu/778
Language: English
Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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