A seminar held at ENGEL Austria at the beginning of December had the purpose of communicating the opportunities and potential of MuCell® technology. For the first time the injection moulding machine manufacturer´s training division dedicated itself to the subject of structural foam moulding - with considerable success. Over 90 participants came to Schwertberg from all over Europe. The seminar was organised together with Trexel GmbH, developer of MuCell® technology.
The practical examples presented were met with great interest from the participants, who for the main part came from the automotive and technical injection moulding industries. Injection from thin to thick, no sink marks, high dimensional stability and improved flow properties - a striking presentation was given of how the limitations of compact injection moulding can be overcome and new design vistas opened up with MuCell®. "The MuCell® process permits the dimensioning of thin parts in the component. Modern foam moulded components with wall thicknesses of 1 mm can no longer be represented in compact injection moulding," says Dr Hartmut Traut, Business Director at Trexel. "Designing with MuCell® offers us new potential for lightweight automotive design," adds Michael Fischer, Sales Manager Technologies at ENGEL Austria in Schwertberg.
Exploring new design vistas Demonstration parts were moulded during the seminar at the ENGEL Technical Centre on a fully electric injection moulding machine with MuCell® fittings. This was a clear manifestation of the high level of efficiency of the process. ENGEL safety technology also permits access to the mould area in a pressurised, gasified melt. The TÜV-approved, patented solution increases productivity when the plant is started up, as the process does not need to be restarted after each manipulation on the mould. Likewise, downtimes are prevented in the event of cycle interruptions. The integration of the MuCell® plasticising unit into the CC 200 control unit of the injection moulding machine satisfies the highest demands with regard to documentation, traceability and clarity.
Start without license fees The seminar participants used the breaks for an intensive exchange of ideas and opinions. More and more companies are establishing physical foaming in their production strategy to obtain a competitive edge in global markets. No licence fees have been charged for MuCell® since 2005, creating an additional boost to market penetration.
The physical foaming process with MuCell® involves the injection and homogeneous distribution of pressurised nitrogen or carbon dioxide in a supercritical state into the plastic melt during plastification. After injection into the unpressurised mould, the gas separates from the melt and creates a fine-cell foam structure.