There is a constant drive to make lighter parts and use less material in sectors as diverse as automotive, aerospace, medical and white goods. Innovative foam technologies are making this happen.
The automotive industry is a case in point. In its pursuit of excellence, ‘less is more’ is its ever-present watchword. Or to put it another way, the lighter, the better.
Cutting a vehicle’s weight brings many benefits. As well as enhancing fuel economy, it can improve braking, handling, acceleration and the ability to pull larger loads. And, crucially, for the future of the auto industry, reducing weight will increase the distance range of electric and hybrid vehicles.
This development – known as light weighting – has touched many sectors of the vehicle parts industry. Body panels, bumpers, door handles, mirror housings, seating, dashboards, fascias and grilles have all been subjected to an exhaustive process of continuous redesign to keep shaving the ounces off.
Other industries have been quick to see the advantages. Flat screen surrounds, hospital bed tables, shopping baskets, washing machine tops, fridge handles – even manhole covers – have all benefited from light weighting and the material efficiency it brings.
Using foam for light weighting
Foam injection moulding is one of the best ways to achieve light weighting, as foam injected parts offer the perfect combination of lightweight structure, less warpage and the elimination of sink marks.
BOC’s innovative technology impregnates the plastic raw material with carbon dioxide (CO2) creating a chemical foaming which is more controllable and efficient than traditional foaming processes.
Once set within the mould, the part has an internal honeycomb structure and tough external skin. It’s strong, with stable dimensions and, of course, much lighter. Crucially, because only the raw material has been treated to create the foaming effect, it can be applied to any of your existing moulding machines without the need for time consuming and costly adaptation.
60% cost savings
Our PLASTINUM® technology is not only extremely adaptable to almost all machines regardless of the manufacturer, it costs up to 60% less than alternative physical foaming solutions. It also gives you increased production flexibility, serving several moulding machines simultaneously, and you can switch from foam back to compact mode without requiring machine modifications, thereby providing maximum return on your capital investment. All this creates up to 50% lower part costs than alternative methods.
Perhaps most importantly, a cellular-based structure uses far less raw material, a big factor when meeting your materials cost efficiency targets.
Whether you’re new to Foam Injection Moulding or keen to see the latest FIM technologies, BOC can offer a consultant session to explore how PLASTINUM® gas solutions could benefit your plastics manufacturing processes and make your production faster, leaner and cheaper.
Could BOC’s advanced gas techniques boost your injection moulding productivity? Download our e-book for more detail on the cycle time and profitability improvements you could achieve by making the switch.