Mineral plastic foams†
We describe a route to synthesize a mechanically stable, non-flammable poly(acrylic acid)–calcium salt (the so-called mineral plastic) foam whose structure can be tailored. Main steps of the foam synthesis are: (1) foaming of the PAA-containing solution, (2) gelation of the continuous foam phase, and (3) drying of the hydrogel foam. The main challenge was to formulate an aqueous solution with a large amount of poly(acrylic acid), PAA, and calcium to yield a mechanically stable foam. The resulting PAA-based solid foams with pore sizes of around 220 μm can easily be dissolved, i.e. recycled, in an acidic solution.