Bead Foams – Raw Material Development, Process Technology and Surface optimization

Bead foams like EPS, EPE and EPP are predominantly closed-celled thermoplastic materials. With typical density range of 15 to 80 kg/m³, these materials offer very good specific mechanical properties, high thermal insulation capabilities and a tremendous potential for lightweight construction. Bead foam parts are moulded on special machines by the use of steam. Main areas of applications are packaging, thermal insulation and technical parts for the automobile industry.

Our key activities in the field of bead foams are focusing on the whole process chain, starting from the development of raw materials to process and tool technologies down to surface optimizations.

In the area of material development, we deal with the fabrication of tailored raw materials and modifications of established bead foams. The processing of the raw materials is performed on the latest manufacturing equipment. In order to achieve the main goals – increase in economic efficiency and energy savings – we are operating with innovative mold concepts and variotherm process operations. We complete our services by optimizing the surface of the bead foam parts. In this research field we focus especially on the optimization of surface adhesion of raw material types with a low polarity (polyolefine-based bead foams).

In addition to our laboratory equipment for the manufacturing of foam-extruded and autoclave foamed raw materials, we also have pre-expanders and shape molding machines for the processing of all kind of available raw materials. Regarding the surface optimization we apply innovative equipment for pre-treating, coating and analyzing the surface of bead foams.

Service Portfolio:

  • Material development: manufacturing and modifications, analytics, mold validations and material screenings
  • Processing technology: increasing the profitability and concepts for energy savings, development of innovative mold technology, integration of variotherm process steps, small series productions, development of product concepts, trainings
  • Surface optimization: direct back-foaming of all kind of decorative materials, coating, optimization of adhesion, surface activation (pretreatment methods like admospheric plasma) and characterization