The European FoAM-BUILD project, coordinated by Fraunhofer ICT, will develop thermoplastic particle foam using newly developed raw materials, additives and process set-ups. A nano-scaled structure will be used for the particle foam cell morphology to achieve the targeted insulation behaviour; new polymer blends and nano-scaled nucleating agents in combination with a new high pressure drop rate expansion process will be developed to realise the nano-cellular foam. This development has the following objectives:
- Higher insulation properties than conventional insulation materials
- Cost and energy-efficient, industrial-scale processes that are used for EPS production.
- Recyclability (100% of the foam due to thermoplastic material).
- Same properties as conventional ETICS in terms of insulation properties, mechanical resistance and stability health environment etc.
The project consortium consists of 10 European Partners where Fraunhofer ICT and Fraunhofer IGB are part of the project team.
Competences Fraunhofer ICT
High-performance materials for lightweight construction, and their resource-efficient manufacturing, are important fields of development. Foamed materials make a significant contribution, and are finding increasing application in transport packaging, thermal insulation in buildings, and the automotive sector.
The research topics at Fraunhofer ICT include the development of new foamed materials and thermoplastic foams with tailored properties. Fraunhofer ICT also focus on innovative processes, including the optimization of existing systems and the production of foam compounds, significantly broadening the application field for these materials.
Using processing technologies across the entire process chain for foam development, foamed materials can be produced both as semi-finished products in a direct extrusion process and as particle foams in extrusion with underwater pelletizer. Beside conventional polymers such as polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, biopolymers and technical polymers are also investigated.
Current research topics in the field of foam development include the extrusion manufacturing of foamable polymer compounds based on sustainable raw materials, and the targeted application of functional additives, for example environmentally-friendly flame retardants, or additives to improve the mechanical properties or temperature stability of the materials.