MAT'NEWS Clariant

Lighten Up !

Hydrocerol® Chemical Foaming Agents combine weight reduction and cost optimization

Hydrocerol® concentrates are specified worldwide to reduce weight, improve performance, and optimize costs in products ranging from business machine housings, food and medical packaging to material handling systems, automotive parts and window profiles. Hydrocerol® masterbatches also add special visual effects and rigidity, and they allow the design of more functional, complex parts. Aesthetics and processability are also enhanced.

Hydrocerol® chemical foaming agents produce foam by decomposing at processing temperatures, liberating gases into the polymer melt.

Foam injection molding

In the manufacture of lightweight structural parts, Hydrocerol® CFAs produce a uniform fine cell structure in the part interior and a smooth part surface, with reduced cycle times.

This technology delivers many advantages, including the following :

  • Reduced part weights (5-30%)
  • Reduced cycle times (5-20%)
  • Reduced warping and sink marks
  • Improved melt flow
  • Improved dimensional stability
  • Enhanced specific mechanical properties

In foam injection molding, the foaming agent masterbatch is either mixed or fed together with the polymer. The cavity is only partially filled with polymer melt during the injection phase then expansion of the blowing gas completes the fill. No holding pressure or cushion is required during either cell growth or subsequent cooling.

Compared to classic foaming processes, core back expansion (cf. pictures below) can deliver impressive weight reductions up to 50%!

Clariant - technique d'ouverture du moule

Core back expansion (Step 1-3: injection, expansion, cooling)

The Hydrocerol® ITP Series is designed for use in thin-wall parts that require the elimination or reduction of sink marks and warpage.

Foam extrusion

Foam extrusion is used for the manufacture of cast film, blown film, sheet, profile and piping. The wide variety of applications ranges from thermoformed packaging (food trays, cups) to profiles for picture frames and foam core pipes.

In the extrusion of chemically foamed products, the foaming agent masterbatch is either pre-mixed with the resin or fed separately into the extruder.During processing, the temperature of the polymer melt activates the decomposition reaction of the CFA. Gaseous components are generated and dissolved in the polymer melt by the extrusion pressure. The pressure gradient between the extrusion pressure and the ambient pressure as the polymer exits the die causes a cellular structure to form within the extrudate in much the same way uncorking a bottle of champagne causes the wine to foam. This cellular structure results in density reductions of 15 to 30% in films and sheets and 20 to 40% in pipes, profiles and boards.

Clariant - Structure mousse

Foam structure in extrusion

The Hydrocerol® PEX series is specially designed for Extrusion applications and is available for most common resins, such as PP, PE, PS, PET, PVC and PLA.

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If you would like to understand how Hydrocerol® can reduce weight, improve performance, and optimize costs in your products, please contact :

Donald Laurent - Application Support Additives France

Tél. : +33 (0)4 72 68 88 79

Mail : Donald.Laurent@clariant.com 

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