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Engel Foam Molding Reduces Pressure for Success

Image: Engel foam molding
Virtual conference in November will cover all aspects of structural foam molding.

Engel is providing detailed information on all aspects of structural foam molding at a three-day online conference from 17 to 19 November 2020. For the first time, the traditional foammelt conference will be a virtual event.

Conceived as a free event, this is an opportunity for anyone looking to get started with structural foam molding. foammelt experts will also benefit from taking part. The conference is geared towards plastics processors and mold manufacturers as well as developers and design engineers. The conference languages are German and English.

"Structural foam molding has established itself as one of the most important lightweight engineering technologies," emphasizes Wolfgang Kienzl, Product Manager Technology at Engel, "which is why many different foammelt technologies are now in use. In any case, however, process engineering know-how is important for good injection molding results. Engel supports its customers in selecting the most suitable process for the respective application and in implementing it in the customer's operations."

The online conference will convey this know-how. The range of topics covers the entire process chain, from foammelt compatible component development and design, through materials and the injection molding process, to surface technology.

Over the course of three days, three different blocks of topics will be presented in four practice-oriented keynotes each – in German in the morning and in English in the afternoon. Michael Fischer, Head of Business Development Technology at Engel, and Wolfgang Kienzl are the hosts for the interactively designed event. Questions from participants will be answered by the speakers directly after the presentations.

The first day of the conference is dedicated to the technological basics and the specific advantages of the foaming process. Besides a comparison of physical and chemical foaming, participants can look forward to an interesting presentation on the lightweight engineering and sustainability aspects of a combination of foaming and co-injection. At the end of the first day of the conference, Trexel is providing insights into the future development of the physical MuCell process.

The key topic on day two is product development, mold engineering and quality assurance. The focus is on which components are suitable for structural foam molding and why tooling technology is crucial for a first-class component surface. In addition, participants can expect insights into simulation for process optimization and new developments in inline measuring methods for high quality parts.

The third day is taking an in-depth look at implementation and practical experience with structural foam molding. Among other contributions, Borealis is presenting special granulates for PP structural foam molding. ProTec Polymer Processing is demonstrating the SOMOS Perfoamer process, in which the plastic granulate is enriched with CO2 in an autoclave before further processing.

In the second part, Kostal is reporting on experiences from the practice of structural foam molding. Finally, Engel and the Chase Competence Center Linz are providing insights into research on structural foam molding and embarking on a journey into the future of foammelt, together with the conference participants.

The thing that unites all the different structural foam injection processes is the idea of making savings without sacrifices. High-quality components can be produced that are up to 20 percent lighter than the compact versions. These components show their advantages, above all, where shape retention, dimensional accuracy, insulation properties and production efficiency are important in addition to weight reductions. Foaming processes are also increasingly being used for high-quality visible components.

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