Foaming of thermoplastics is a mature technology facing
new challenges. Traditionally, the "blowing agents" are clorine-based
gases (e.g., chlorofluorocarbon, CFC) which deplete the ozone layer.
The search for environmentally friendly replacements has driven new
research into the fundamental physics of the process. With Arkema Group, Inc.,
our industrial partner, we are investigating the nucleation, growth and
burst of bubbles using phase-field
simulations. In addition, we have developed
an ALE surface tracking
scheme to investigate bubble-bubble and bubble-surface interaction
during bubble growth. See graphics below.