January 1, 2014.
TufFoam is a Sandia-developed, closed cell polyurethane foam designed for insulation and impact force dispersion. Unlike similar commercially available foams, TufFoam does not require the carcinogenic compound toluene diisocyanate in the production process. Since properties of foams can change with moisture content, this study examines the capacity of TufFoam to absorb water. Samples of TufFoam were created in two different thicknesses, at three different densities, and with two different exteriors and were weighed to the microgram. Weights were tracked from ambient conditions until the disks had finished drying in ovens and then while being moistened in airtight canisters held at three different temperatures.
TufFoam takes about two weeks to dry from ambient conditions of around 24°C and 50% relative humidity and loses approximately 1% of its mass. Samples can subsequently gain water quickly, with one set gaining 3% of the dry mass in the first day. Weight gain is fastest at for thinner disks at low density. Skin increases later water absorption. Temperature increase initial mass gain, but higher temperature disks taper more quickly. There is not yet data to compare total eventual weight gain. In later experiments, after the total saturation point has been found, samples can be fully saturated and their various mechanical and electrical properties can be determined and compared to their properties at ambient conditions.
Sandia National Laboratory/California (SNL)
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).