One of the crucial factors for the designer is the stiffness-to-weight ratio of relatively large products. TEP’s Engineered Structural Foam (ESF) division meets this criterion and also gives the designer a process which meets many other demands.
Engineered structural foam is a low pressure thermoplastic injection moulding process using a wide range of thermoplastic polymers. The moulding process utilizes a molten thermoplastic polymer which is mixed with either a gas or a chemical blowing agent. The mixture is then injected under low pressure into a mould tool where the blowing agent creates a gas and expands filling the mould tool with foam. As the foam fills the mould tool,a compact outer skin is formed at a density of (1.1g/cc) whilst leaving the inner structurally foamed at a density of (0.4g/cc).
ESF – Engineered Structural Foam
ADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURAL FOAM
- Large complex mouldings with no sinks
- Higher strength to weight ratio (possible metal replacement)
- High rigidity
- Low thermal stresses
- Weight reduction
- Sound deadening properties
- Greater design freedom.
The components shown above (3 cavity mould) are ABS structural foam mouldings currently used for their load bearing properties. The structural foam moulding process gave greater design freedom allowing a lattice work of ribs and steel inserts to be moulded resulting in a low weight, high stiffness, high strength structural product.
TEP has recently invested in two state of the art injection/ structural moulding machines from Krauss-Maffei’s MX series to significantly expand its already diverse polymer processing capability. The two machines, an impressive KM 2700-55000 and a complimentary KM1300-24500 have been installed in the companies main moulding facility complimenting their already extensive range of machines.This latest investment will allow TEP to offer shot weights of up to 25kg, the capability of which can only be found in a number of UK and European suppliers.
TEP have Injection machines ranging from 35t to 2700t
Structural machines ranging from 0.2 kg shot weight to an impressive 25 kg shot weight