Kurtz Ersa Magazine


It´s the surface that counts!

Particle foam components are currently used in the automotive sector for technical applications, but are usually “hidden” due to the modest surface quality. These include, for example, shock absorbers, rear seats and sun visors.

If it were possible to combine the advantageous properties such as low weight, good insulation and high energy absorption with a high surface quality, this would open up new areas of application in lightweight construction and make them extremely attractive for use in automobiles. The THERMO FOAMER, a specially developed particle foam machine from Kurtz, opens up completely new avenues. Thanks to the special process control, moulded parts with outstanding surface quality can be produced reproducibly – and even within a narrow tolerance window. The aim is to use the EPP moulded parts as visible parts.

Creation of a special EPP partial structure

Kurtz relies on the creation of a special EPP partial structure, a closed cooling system and significantly reduced steam consumption for welding the EPP beads. An injection moulder is now also in a position to produce EPP moulded parts, as it is not designed for the complex production structures of a wet steam process with boiler house, central steam supply etc. The EPP moulded parts can be produced by a single injection moulder. The reduced steam quantity is provided by a small high-speed steam generator. Compared to a conventional automatic moulding machine, the volume of the mould of a THERMO FOAMER is reduced by 88 percent. The mould and the associated cavities are connected to the closed cooling system. During the stabilization phase of the foam, the cavities are only cooled down to the bare essentials, while the mould itself remains warm. This reduces heating and cooling losses to a minimum.


Combination of particle foam and
plastic to form a cohesive substance

Due to the EPP partial structure, the moulded part can be overmoulded in an injection moulding machine after the foaming process, so that a material-locking combination of particle foam and plastic is produced. This allows the advantages of the lightweight foam with the higher strength of injection moulding to be optimally utilized.

If special surface technologies are used on the mould, the high demands on surface structure and dimensional accuracy in the automotive sector are fully met. There are almost no limits to the possibilities of laser textured tools with regard to structures. Various grainings such as leather, woven carbon braiding, brushed or 3D structures are possible. Whether door side panels, components in the cockpit, panels for A-pillars in vehicles or saddles for two-wheelers, medical devices or electronic housings – the potential for applications of EPP moulded parts is immensely high.

EPP moulded parts with now available high surface quality in the visible area have a significant advantage in terms of weight, especially for applications in lightweight construction. With the THERMO FOAMER, Kurtz Ersa has added a machine to its product portfolio to produce moulded parts for lighter vehicles with lower emissions of pollutants, thereby also making a contribution to achieving climate targets.


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