- A manufacturing process which combines inert gas (nitrogen) and a thermoplastic resin during the extrusion cycle.
- The nitrogen gas and resin are combined in the extruder.
- After injection into the mold the pressurized nitrogen bubbles trigger cell nucleation from the rapid pressure drop in the mold.
- Creates a part with a solid skin and a cellular interior.
Benefits of Structural Foam
a) Reduced Part Weight/Material
Density is reduced from 10-30%, while maintaining strength,
resulting in less material used and providing excellent strength
to weight ratio.
b) Large Shot Size = Large Parts
Provides the ability to combine smaller parts into one large part
to reduce complexity. Create large parts that other processes
cannot, or parts you would never think to make from plastic!
c) Large Platens = Multiple Molds/Family Tools
Allows for multiple molds to be run together, saving cost and lead times. Multi-part assemblies can be molded in one “family” tool, providing better fit and colour match as they are molded in one shot.
d) Process Flexibility – Use of Recycled Materials
Parts can be made from up to 100% post-industrial/post-consumer materials, diverting waste from landfill. All Structural Foam products are 100% recyclable. Low Pressure molding uses less energy and material per pound than other processes, reducing the overall footprint.
e) Dimensional Stability/Repeatability
The process puts less internal stress in the part due to the lower pressure. This results in parts with better flatness and dimensional stability both after molding, and in the field under various environmental conditions.