A new milestone in the history of the hottest poly

2022-08-16
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A new milestone in the history of polymer foam

since the invention of styropor (EPS: expandable polystyrene) in 1952, BASF has continued to write a successful chapter in the field of polymer foam: it has developed extruded polystyrene rigid foam board styrodur (XPS), high-strength elastic polyolefin series neopolen, melamine foam Basotect and an upgraded version of EPS for heat insulation. Based on this, BASF currently has a wealth of products and unique professional knowledge of overrun automatic shutdown in terms of particles and extruded foam. Through unremitting research and the listing of various new products, BASF has opened up new application fields in many industries. These industries include automobile and aviation, as well as solar energy, construction and, of course, packaging

now BASF has achieved success in another innovation: e-por based on new formula and new process. E-por is the first crack resistant foam that can be transported, stored, processed and recycled like traditional styropor materials, with high strength and elasticity. This material is characterized by its excellent surface weldability, excellent solvent corrosion resistance, and attractive appearance. Plasma TVs, laptops, refrigerators, washing machines and other high-quality electronic and electrical (e/e) products are sensitive to vibration. E-por has excellent crack resistance, so it can withstand multiple impacts, and is very suitable for the transportation and packaging of such products. With its special properties, this new particle from BASF can benefit the entire value chain of transportation packaging - from raw material processors, appliance manufacturers and retailers to consumers

the anti-seismic requirements for the packaging of electronic and electrical products continue to improve

the weight and impact resistance of products are closely related to the safe transportation of electronic and electrical equipment. For strong and light goods, protective cardboard packaging is usually sufficient. However, cardboard can only absorb a small part of energy, and the cushioning effect is limited, so it is usually used with styropor. Styropor is not only light in weight, but also has excellent cushioning performance. However, styropor is a kind of hard foam, which may break when items fall, such as unloading from a truck. Once the styropor breaks or tears, the cushioning performance will be greatly reduced

the weight of electronic products continues to reduce, but its internal structure is becoming more and more precise, and it is more and more sensitive to the impact of repeatability. Therefore, the requirements for packaging are changed to be strict. This is why expensive and vibration sensitive products need to be packaged with polyolefin and copolymer foam that can withstand multiple shocks. However, compared with the standard packaging material styropor, these foam show some disadvantages in processing, and cannot be easily recycled like styropor

e-por not only has the impact resistance and aesthetics of copolymer foam, but also has the recycling cost-effectiveness advantage of standard material styropor and the simplicity of processing. The content of e-por foaming agent is very low, less than 6%. The foaming agent content of competitive products with copolymer foam as raw material is more than 10%. These abundant foaming agents must be kept frozen in the raw materials that allow non-ferrous metal electrowinning to continuously "save energy and reduce consumption", which means that the transportation and storage of copolymers must be completed in the cold chain. So far, competitive products with polyolefin as raw material cannot contain foaming agent, and can only be pre foamed in the production process, that is, in the process of transporting products from raw material manufacturers to packaging material manufacturers, air occupies most of the space of transportation tools, resulting in a sharp rise in transportation costs

in contrast, e-por saves transportation, storage and energy costs. It can be transported and stored at room temperature. The packaging material manufacturer can foam it with the help of a small amount of steam. This material can be processed on traditional styropor machinery, which is more energy-saving than polyolefin processing. Most importantly, e-por is the only foam that uses styropor technology for degassing, recycles according to international practice, and can withstand multiple shocks: this means that raw material processors do not need to replace their own equipment

contribution to the whole value chain

in addition to raw material processors, e-por benefits the whole value chain, including consumers: appliance manufacturers get a dust-free flexible packaging material, which not only has an attractive appearance, but also reduces the packaging volume, reduces damage and returns, and reduces waste disposal costs. Retailers and consumers can handle this reliable transportation packaging material that can catch the downward trend of the industry like styropor, which not only has the advantage of cost-effectiveness, but also does not need to increase human and material resources

The successful development of e-por should be attributed to a new research method: BASF researchers no longer treat foam as a static mixture of polymer and foaming agent like copolymers; Instead, e-por is developed as a complex formula containing many components. These components not only react with each other, but also with pentane blowing agent. Researchers successfully transplanted the modified concept of impact strength of polymeric materials to granular foam. This formula is produced by BASF's new process. Then, BASF's direct customers, namely raw material processors, can use the traditional styropor technology to treat the particles and produce products with a new foam structure. BASF has been piloting the supply of e-por in the market for nearly a year, and has carried out a series of customer projects in various regions of the world. At present, these projects are running successfully

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