Asahi Kasei at Foam Expo Europe 2019

From 10 to 12 September, the Japanese technology company Asahi Kasei presents its high-performance foam materials SunForceTM and, for the first time, PA Foam – the world’s first polyamide bead foam – at the Foam Expo Europe in Stuttgart, Germany. The materials open new doors for heat and sound insulating applica- tions in the automotive industry.

At this year’s Foam Expo Europe, Asahi Kasei introduces solutions for increased battery efficiency and sound insulation in the automotive sector. This includes SunForceTM – a particle foam based on the engineering plastic m-PPE (modified polyphenylene ether). Compared to standard foams made of polystyrene or polyolefin, the use of m-PPE equips this foamed material with unique properties, open- ing up new possibilities for applications in thermal management and fire protection. The material is certified with the UL 94 V-0 fire protection class (Standard for Safety of Flammability of Plastic Mate- rials for Parts in Devices and Appliances) and thus contributes to an overall product safety.

SunForceTM is the first-of-its-kind material certified with the UL94 V-0 standard. In addition to this outstanding flame retardancy, the material provides superior heat insulation properties while at the same time functioning as a lightweight shock-absorbing material for automotive battery packs. These properties and characteristics enable functions and applications that go beyond those of conventional foams. SunForceTM is suitable for applications in automotive battery packs, lightweight shock absorbers, sandwich composite cores with carbon fiber, as well as for thermal insulation applications.

Noise reducing properties through C- and macaroni-shaped polyamide beads

Asahi Kasei is one of only four fully integrated polyamide manufacturers worldwide – and is able to produce PA 6.6 completely from monomer to compound. Based on this expertise, the company is currently developing PA Foam – the world’s first foam made of polyamide beads. The material like- wise offers solutions for current challenges in the automotive industry.

It features the typical heat, chemical and oil resistant properties of polyamide, mixed with an out- standing rigidity or noise reducing quality – depending on the shape of the beads. PA Foam consisting of round-shaped beads features a strong rigidity. This makes it a promising alternative material for aluminum and metal in structural applications, as well as for use for insulators, ducts, spacers or other lightweight parts of the battery case of electrified vehicles.

PA Foam with a C- or macaroni-shape, on the other hand, provides noise insulation in addition to the typical polyamide properties. Possible applications can be found everywhere around the car, especially in the engine compartment, where the material can unfold its unique qualities. Used for engine covers, it does not only contribute to lightweight, but also significantly reduces the radiating engine noise, making the car quieter in total.

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