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Trexel Inc. (Booth E9600) foresees packaging and other applications for its microcellular foam extrusion technology.

Trexel Vice President Matt Pallaver said his firm is targeting applications suited to foams less than one-eighth-inch thick. The MuCell technology is applicable to PE, PS and polyester foams.

Pallaver said Trexel is working with more than a dozen companies to commercialize MuCell applications. Alusuisse-Lonza Group of Zurich, Switzerland, expects to be the first firm with a commercial application by the end of the year.

MuCell creates cell sizes typically in the range of 5-30 microns, compared with more than 125 microns for conventional foaming technologies. Trexel of Woburn, Mass., claims environmental benefits for MuCell. It is blown using supercritical gases normally found in air and no nucleating additives are needed. The process is adaptable to existing extrusion equipment. It also recently began developing MuCell injection molding technologies.

Pallaver said Trexel employs about 20 and has industry partners worldwide that are investing about $10 million in MuCell commercialization.