Resource-efficient PET foam core for the composite materials industry

29-Mar-10
Thanks to innovative technolo­gies, Armacell is now able to manufacture foam cores used in trans­port, wind turbine construction or shipbuilding, from the recyclate of PET bottles. So in future the company is going one step further and offering not just a fully re­cyclable foam core, but a product which is manufactured from a recycled raw material. Armacell is adopting the cradle-to-cradle principle. This concept is aimed at avoiding waste by recycling materials in a closed loop and, therefore, continu­ously re-using them. However, this recyclability (and thus the conservation of natural resources) is not the only advantage of the polymer. Its low weight makes PET an ideal material for lightweight construction applications. PET foam cores are extremely energy efficient, because they require less input power than con­ventional materials. Furthermore, ArmaFORM PET foams have high mechanical strength in combination with residual flexibility and excellent fatigue resistance. In addition, they are high-temperature resistant and withstand short-term curing temperatures of up to +180 °C. They also display very slight variances in density of +/- 5 kg/m³ and, unlike natural core materials, their availability is ensured. Typical areas of application for ArmaFORM PET are marine (boat hulls, cabin interiors), transport (carriage body, interior panelling in trains, buses, trucks and cars) and wind turbine construction (rotor blades, nacelles). Whereas the disposal of rotor blades made of conventional composite materials presents problems which will become a real challenge for wind turbine operators in the coming years, PET foams are 100 % recyclable. When future wind turbines are produced, it is surely the logical consequence for this ‘green’ sector to use ArmaFORM PET, which conserves resources and protects the environment. Armacell is a manufacturer of engineered foams and the world leader in the market for flexible technical insulation materials.
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