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Plastics & Rubber Solutions
- PLASTINUM Foam Injection Moulding
- PLASTINUM Gas Injection Moulding with N₂
- PLASTINUM Gas Injection Moulding with CO₂
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Jointly developed by Linde and Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid, PLASTINUM® Foam Injection Moulding technology combines the benefits of simple chemical foaming with the efficiency gains of physical foaming. After drying, the plastic granulate is impregnated with the blowing agent carbon dioxide (CO2) in a pressure vessel (autoclave) upstream of the injection moulding machine. The amount absorbed by the granulate depends on the plastic material, pressure, temperature and impregnation time. The CO2 typically remains in the granulate for a period of more than two hours after it has been loaded and the pressure released. This extended holding time enables a highly stable and reproducible process.
Benefits of PLASTINUM Foam Injection Moulding technology
- Ease of installation and operation – can be retrofitted to almost all machines regardless of the manufacturer
- Few or no modifications to existing machinery required
- Up to 60% lower costs than alternative physical foaming solutions
- Increased production flexibility as several injection moulding machines can be supplied simultaneously
- Maximum return on capital investment as the same machine can be used in both foaming and compaction mode
The peripheral systems enabling plastics manufacturers to quickly and easily integrate physical foaming technology into existing injection moulding installations consist of several building blocks jointly developed by Linde and ProTec Polymer Processing GmbH:
- PLASTINUM perfoamer conditioner, which ensures the appropriate temperature and residual humidity of the granulate
- PLASTINUM perfoamer impregnation unit (autoclave and granulate storage)
- A conveying unit
The plastic granule impregnation (with CO2) and feeding process is fully automatic. Since the system can supply many machines simultaneously, PLASTINUM Foam Injection Moulding is economically viable for both small and large batches.
Depending on volume requirements, the CO2 gas can be supplied from cylinder bundles or a bulk tank. Linde and ProTec custom-designed and developed a special manifold to ensure optimum foaming performance and security of supply by automatically switching from an empty to a full cylinder bundle.
If a bulk tank is the preferred supply mode, PLASTINUM Foam Injection Moulding is accompanied by a member of our PRESUS® family of cost-effective, high-pressure gas supply solutions. PRESUS C is an energy-efficient pressure-boosting unit ideal for CO₂-based moulding processes. The entire gas supply, boosting and injection package has been specially engineered to maximise the physical properties of CO₂ as a foaming agent for stable, predictable outcomes in foam injection moulding.
Gas supply for granulate impregnation.
Multiple injection moulding machines can be supplied from one gas supply scheme including PLASTINUM Perfoamer system consisting of granulate conditioning and impregnation unit.