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FOAMS | TECHNOLOGY


New resin and additive developments are allowing the performance of foamed plastics to be ever more focused to the task.Peter Mapleston finds out more


Expanding options for foams


Polymer and additive producers are making significant progress in developing new formulations for foamable thermoplastic compounds in applica- tions that span packaging, automotive, building and construction, and broader industrial uses. Com- pounders and foam producers now have more options than ever for fine-tuning their products to suit performance and cost requirements. SABIC, for example, continues to build up its


range of polymer building blocks for foam. Among its most recent offerings are metallocene-catalysed linear low density ethylene-octene copolymers, which now go under the Supeer banner, as well as Cohere polyolefin plastomers (POPs) and Fortify polyolefin elastomers (POEs) – also produced using metallocenes.


Emanuel van der Ven, Global Technology Leader,


Foam & Lightweighting at the polymer giant, sees these copolymers improving flexibility of foams across various applications. They can be blended “to give you the opportunity to play with proper-


www.compoundingworld.com


ties,” he said during a presentation at the Polymer Foam conference organised by Compounding World publisher AMI in Hamburg last November. Typical uses for Supeer are in protective packag-


ing, while Cohere is aimed more at applications in building and construction, such as pipe insulation and floor underlay; yoga mats and shoe mid-soles are among products being targeted for Fortify. SABIC Fortify C11075DF, for example, is de- signed as a low density and high-performance copolymer modifier to provide superior resilience and compression-set properties. Also aimed at foam applications are Fortify C1055D and C1070D, which provide superior impact properties and flow characteristics.


HMS developments SABIC also offers a high melt strength polypropyl- ene, SABIC PP-UMS, launched in late 2017. With a melt strength of over 65 cN, this is claimed to enable an “unprecedented” level of light-weight-


January 2019 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 53


Main image: The options for foaming plastics are extending, with new resins and additives allowing fine tuning of performance and processing


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK


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