A foam core structure that encapsulates a highly foamed center layer with solid interior and exterior layers is the key to achieving 50% lightweighting in a polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) pipe developed by Arkema Inc. (King of Prussia, PA). The technology is based on patent-pending foam concentrate technology known as Kynar Flex 2620 FC masterbatch resin.
Kynar PVDF resin systems have a long history in oil and gas, chemical processing, high purity, flame and smoke, and weatherability applications according to Arkema. The new technical development creates additional opportunities in aerospace, aircraft, and automotive applications where weight reduction is paramount.
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Foam core products utilizing this technology have improved flexibility, thermal conductivity, acoustic insulation, and a dramatic overall weight reduction while maintaining excellent physical, mechanical, and chemical resistance according to Arkema "At 50 percent weight reduction, the pure Kynar PVDF structure can be made lighter than water," explains Sean Stabler, Business Development Engineer for Kynar fluoropolymer foams.
Kynar foam products can now be manufactured in monolayer, multilayer, and foam core structures, allowing for a broad range of applications in pipe and sheet. Each structure can be tailored to the desired reduction in density per application. The masterbatch is sold in pellet form, which allows foaming levels to be fine-tuned in any conventional extrusion process.
"We continue to develop cutting edge technology to enable Kynar PVDF to expand into diverse markets not previously explored," says Saeid Zerafati, Ph.D., Arkema's Principal Research Engineer for Kynar PVDF fluoropolymer foams. "Arkema has now developed the technology to produce a multilayer pipe which reduces weight by 50 percent at a significantly lower cost to manufacture while maintaining key Kynar PVDF properties," Zerafati notes.