The use of polymer foams is extremely widespread. Indeed, it is hard to think of any industries where polymer foams do not have a part to play. They can be found for example in sports and leisure products, in military applications, in vehicles, in aircraft, and in the home. Most people will encounter polymer foams every day in one form or another, whether it be in furniture, in packaging, in their car, in refrigerator insulation, or in some other common application.
Although naturally occurring polymer foams have been known for a long time, (e.g., sponges, cork), synthetic polymer foams have only been introduced to the market over the last fifty years or so. The development of a new polymer has usually been quickly followed by its production in an expanded or foam form owing to the unique and useful properties, which can be realised in the expanded state.
Handbook of Polymer Foams details the fundamental principles, which apply to all polymer foams. There is also a chapter on the blowing agents used to expand polymers; blowing agents having undergone considerable change and development in recent years in order to meet the requirements of the Montreal Protocol in relation to the reduction and elimination of chloroflurocarbons (CFC) and other ozone depleting agents. A chapter is also included on microcellular foams - a relatively new development where applications are still being explored. Most chapters have references to facilitate further exploration of the topics. The chapters are all written by experts in the field.
This book will be of interest to those just embarking upon an exploration of the subject of foams, whether in industry or academia. But this will be equally useful to those already working in the field, who need to know about different types of foam.