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The partnership, which also includes Milacron, has created a competence cell for physically foamed, lightweight mono-sandwich parts. Trials and samples produced with an 800-ton Milacron MuCell mono-sandwich machine will be available next year.

Clare Goldsberry

December 9, 2016

2 Min Read
Trexel and Sorcole expand longstanding partnership into production of foamed parts

The successful, longstanding partnership between Sorcole GmbH (Hutthurm, Germany), a custom injection molder that produces lightweight parts for automotive and other industries, and Trexel (Wilmington, MA) is expanding into the production of foamed parts. Starting in 2017, in a collaboration that includes Milacron (Cincinnati, OH), Sorcole will install the first 2K-M mono-sandwich machine with MuCell technology. Sorcole will make this technology available for customer trials and samples.

From left to right: Timo Gunzel (Milacron); Dr. Hartmut Traut and Harald Heitkamp (Trexel); Gunter Brunner (Sorcole); and Stephane Grossnickel (Milacron).

“The successful cooperation between Sorcole and Trexel goes back many years,” commented Dr. Hartmut Traut, Trexel CEO and Business Director Europe. Recently both companies have been increasingly confronted by the challenges of producing aesthetically acceptable lightweight parts, said Traut. The 2K mono-sandwich technology offers a process that is capable of producing high-quality lightweight parts with a skin of 1A material around a core of physically foamed material. Taking this approach means that the two components—the solid skin material and the foamed core—can be adapted independently without making compromises for a specific application. The advantages of MuCell technology, thus, can be brought to bear on thin-walled, lightweight parts with high surface specifications.

Milacron is contributing its know-how from many years' experience with 2K and mono-sandwich technology. Combining this expertise with Sorcole's lightweight design and moldmaking experience and Trexel's processing know-how has created a competence cell for physically foamed, lightweight mono-sandwich parts, explains Trexel. The basic structure of the parts opens up new possibilities: For example, the foamed core can be made of recycled material with filler.

The 800-ton Milacron MuCell mono-sandwich machine will be available in 2017 for trials and samples. “Our cooperation offers a unique opportunity worldwide to test the mono-sandwich process and MuCell together in practical, real-life projects,” points out Günter Brunner, Sorcole CEO. “Our customers no longer need to depend on theories and simulations; they can now try out their designs in practice with a real product.”

For all three partners, this real-life aspect was a central consideration. Sorcole has now installed three MuCell injection molding machines ranging in clamp force from 400 to 1300 tons. The machines are fully operational and ready to run customer trials and projects.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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