Petrochemical firm Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil) has developed high-melt-strength polypropylene (HMS-PP) that can be used to produce high-performance foams for specialty packaging, automotive and industrial applications. The company’s HMS-PP, which will make its debut at K Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany, this October, has received positive feedback from clients using the product in extruded foams over a wide range of densities and using various blowing agent types.
The characteristics of Braskem’s HMS-PP,along with polypropylene’s inherent chemical resistance and high service temperatures, make this product an suitable choice for extruding foams via direct-injection (DI) processes, processes using chemical foaming agents, and other specialty foam processes. In some processes, foam densities as low as 40 kg/m3 with high stiffness have been achieved, according to Braskem.
In other applications, foams with extraordinarily high-closed cell content and surface quality have been demonstrated. Low density foams made with the company’s HMS-PP offer superior recyclability, making it an ideal replacement in foam applications currently dominated by cross-linked PE, PVC and PUR. This will offer a more sustainable solution and an alternative to some less environmentally-friendly foam products.
Braskem also sees its HMS material as having possibilities in many solid compounded or deep-draw thermoforming applications where melt strength can expand the window of PP process performance.
“Our new HMS-PP offers a unique balance of foam process performance and mechanical properties, including very high stiffness and heat resistance. We are excited about the vast array of possibilities that our new technology brings. We look forward to working with clients to demonstrate the value it can bring to the market,” said Alexandre Elias, Vice President of polypropylene for Braskem America.
To support the development and demonstration of HMS-PP technology, Braskem has installed a pilot-scale engineered foam line in its state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Center in Pittsburgh, PA.