Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Rakesh K. Gupta.


Polymer foaming is an emerging technology with many possible benefits. In this work, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) polymer was studied, due to its excellent structural properties, such as impact and flexural/tensile properties. Much research has been undertaken in the field of foaming; however, little information is available with a system as complex as ABS polymer, due to its multi-phase nature. By injection molding ABS polymer along with chemical foaming agents (CFA), information about the effect of process and material variables on the resultant physical properties of the foams could be gained.;This research focused on the effect of parameters such as the mold and melt temperatures, the injection speed, as well as choice of foaming agent and rubber content of the ABS polymer. Varying degrees of correlation between variables were found, in disagreement with some previous findings. Material variables were found to exert much greater effects on the foams than did the process variables. The two different foaming agents employed were seen to produce significantly different cellular morphologies in foams, evidenced by SEM images. TEM images were used to confirm good rubber dispersion at all rubber contents, and regression equation showed excellent predictive capability to describe foam properties. The main finding is that polybutadiene rubber content is by far the most important predictor of the mechanical properties of ABS foam.