Experimental and numerical investigation of bubble nucleation and growth in supercritical CO2-blown poly(vinyl alcohol)

Azimi H., Jahani D., Aghamohammadi S., Nofar M.

KOREAN JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, vol.39, no.8, pp.2252-2262, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11814-022-1078-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Chemical Abstracts Core
  • Page Numbers: pp.2252-2262
  • Keywords: Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), CO2, Solubility, Diffusivity, Foaming, Visualization, Simulation, FOAMING BEHAVIOR, CELL NUCLEATION, EXTRUSION, SIMULATION, POLYSTYRENE, POLYMERS, DYNAMICS, DIOXIDE, SYSTEM, CO2
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Bubble nucleation and growth was experimentally and numerically investigated in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) while using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO(2)) as a blowing agent. The solubility and diffusivity of CO2 in PVA were first evaluated using a magnetic suspension balance (MSB). Bubble nucleation and growth during foaming was then examined using a batch foaming setup equipped with a visualization system. It was observed that the increase in depressurization rate during the foaming increased the average bubble density. The average bubble size during the foaming was also evaluated through three different numerical models based on the integral method. Moreover, according to the bubble pressure profile, the PVA viscosity and CO2 diffusion control the bubble growth. According to the sensitivity analysis, the bubble growth seems to be more affected by the changes of thermodynamic parameters than the PVA rheological properties. Eventually, the average CO2 concentration and the critical free energy were numerically calculated using the classic nucleation theory.