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Kurtz Ersa Magazine

 
 
 
THERMO FOAMER

Particle foam, show yourself!

Moulded parts made of particle foam have excellent properties. They are very light, can retain heat or cold and at the same time reduce a lot of force at short distances. If you think of electrically powered vehicles, lightweight construction, sound and heat insulation play an even greater role alongside shock absorption. This is why particle foam parts are used in many vehicles, but are usually hidden behind other components.

 

Why? Because the surfaces of most particle foam parts in the past looked visually unattractive. For years, attempts have been made to achieve better surface qualities of the particle foam parts on standard automatic machines by using textures in the foaming tool. Unfortunately, this was usually associated with high reject rates. Injection moulding (Solid Plastic) was temporarily regarded as a sensible process, but could not score points in terms of weight, energy absorption and insulation.

 

The THERMO SELECT process of the Kurtz Moulding Machine produces premium surfaces and allows the direct insertion of injection moulded elements due to low shrinkage
The THERMO SELECT process of the Kurtz Moulding Machine produces premium surfaces and allows the direct insertion of injection moulded elements due to low shrinkage

Not everyone can produce beautiful foam parts

Sturdy and lightweight: A-pillar cladding, woolly and with laser texture
Sturdy and lightweight: A-pillar cladding, woolly and with laser texture

With the THERMO FOAMER, Kurtz has developed a variant for the Kurtz FOAMER family and EPP processing that focuses on the process-stable production of thin-walled parts and high-quality surface quality. The THERMO SELECT process allows temperature zones to be regulated separately, thus enabling the production of high-quality surfaces and an attractive design for the vehicle cab. Even without a physical exhibit, the Kurtz Moulding Machine generated a great deal of visitor interest at the FOAM EXPO EUROPE in Stuttgart and the K trade fair in Düsseldorf in autumn 2019 – it achieves a steam chamber volume that is up to 80% smaller than that of the standard mould and can produce innovative combination components from EPP and thermoplastic.

On the THERMO FOAMER, premium moulded parts can be produced reproducibly within narrow tolerances. In the future, foam parts will no longer have to hide behind other components. The Kurtz THERMO SELECT foaming process is used to produce EPP moulded parts that not only have a good surface but also low shrinkage. This means, for example, that moulded parts can be overmoulded immediately after the manufacturing process. Or – where connection technology is required – an injection-moulded element can be inserted directly into the foam part. In addition to sophisticated body parts and EPP applications in vehicle interiors, the technology is also used, for example, in medical equipment or electronic housings.

A high flyer not only in the automotive sector: The combination of EPP and plastic is also worthwhile for saddle production
A high flyer not only in the automotive sector: The combination of EPP and plastic is also worthwhile for saddle production

Less infrastructure required, more automation possible

Further advantages of the Kurtz specialist are a closed cooling system with variable and constant temperature control unit and a significantly smaller infrastructure. Robot systems for inserting and removing the moulded parts, a quality inspection station, e.g. for weight determination or optical measurement, the allocation of bar codes and conveyor systems for connection to a packaging line allow a process sequence with more automation. Furthermore, the THERMO FOAMER can also be connected to the Industrial IoT solution Kurtz POWerBoard. This allows individual machines as well as the entire production hall to be kept in view – after evaluation and interpretation of the data and processes, the entire production chain is further optimized.
 

 

Cooperation with T.Michel Moulds

The “In-Mould Particle Foam Coating” (IMPFC) process recently introduced by T.Michel GmbH also requires the THERMO SELECT process. In a single-stage process, EPP moulded parts are equipped with a PP coating that enables different colors and is also UV-resistant. Equipped in this way, a moulded part made of particle foam can literally be seen in the future.

 
 
 

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