BASF develops first crack resistant foam

30-Jun-10
BASF developed E-por, a material which is based on a new formulation and is manufactured in a new production process. E-por is the first tough-elastic, crack-resistant foam which can be transported, stored, processed and recycled like traditional Styropor. It is noted for very good fusion of the surface, excellent resistance to solvents, and an appealing look and feel. Because of its high crack-resistance it is multishock-safe and therefore well-suited to being used as transport packaging for high-quality, shock-sensitive electrical and electronic (E/E) products, such as plasma televisions, laptops, refrigerators or washing machines. Thanks to its special property profile, the new BASF granules offer advantages along the entire value chain for transport packaging - from the converter, the appliance manufacturer and the retailer right to the consumer. As electronic products are becoming lighter and lighter, but electronically more elaborate and thus more sensitive to multiple shocks, the requirements for the packaging are becoming more stringent. This is the reason why valuable and sensitive products are packed in multi-shock safe polyolefin and interpolymer foams. E-por combines the shock resistance and aesthetic appeal of interpolymers with the cost-effective recycling and ease of processing of the standard material Styropor. E-por has a very low blowing agent content of less than 6 percent. Rival products based on interpolymers require a blowing agent content of more than 10%. This large amount of blowing agent has to be frozen in the raw material, which means that interpolymers have to be transported and stored in a cold chain. Rival products based on polyolefins have not been capable of containing a blowing agent so far. They are pre-foamed during the production process, which means that it is mainly air that is transported from the raw material producer to the packaging manufacturer. This increases the transport costs considerably. E-por thus saves transport, storage, and energy costs. It can be transported and stored at room temperature. It is foamed by the packaging manufacturer with a small amount of steam. The material can also be processed on conventional Styropor machines, which is more energy-efficient than processing polyolefins. Ultimately, E-por is the only foam resistant to multiple shocks which can be degased and recycled using Styropor technology: This means that converters do not have to change their machines.
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