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Macro Engineering & Technology Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario, has added the option of including gas foaming into any layer of a multilayer films produced on its cast film extrusion equipment.
Macro's cast film lines can produce barrier film structures up to 11 layers and three meters wide.
Individual layer foaming is done with nitrogen gas through a sophisticated feedblock system, which distributes each layer of the melt flow. The design alleviates the need for a significantly more-costly multi-manifold system.
Macro recently installed a seven-layer coextrusion film line in Europe that produces high-barrier films with foaming in two of the seven layers, as well as doing inline embossing.
"Not only can foaming reduce weight and lead to raw material savings, but it can also create favorable properties in the film," said Andrew Erksine, Macro's marketing manager. "By foaming one or more layers embedded in the coextruded film, thermal and sound insulation can be improved, flexibility and conformability can be enhanced and opacity an be obtained without using fillers.
The foaming can create new applications for cast film, such as thermoformed trays, insulation pouches, lamination materials and stiffer, glossy films.
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