CINCINNATI - Quantum Chemical Co. is developing two new polyethylene compounds for rotomolding applications that it intends to introduce commercially in 1996 and 1997. Quantum is working on a powder that would allow rotomolders to make a part with a good surface finish and a foamed interior in one step.
Phil Dodge, a development associate at Quantum's Allen Research Center in Cincinnati, said the product would be suitable to replace both dump-box and post-molded polyurethane foam-fill processes in making foam-cored, rotomolded products. The material has been effective with both wide-walled parts and narrow-walled parts, Dodge said.
The product and process relies on the centrifugal force inherent in rotomolding to distribute a resin that forms a solid outer skin, and the inherent heat and time to form a foamed core.
Dodge said the process could provide a 30 percent savings in cycle time and a significant savings in cost. Further, it allows rotomolders to produce parts with double walls with effective, foam insulation barriers, he said.
While he would not discuss the details, Dodge said Quantum has manipulated resin chemistry and additives in laboratory situations to produce the one-step foam resin. Quantum is planning to introduce the resin in the first quarter of 1996, Dodge said.
Separately, Quantum is developing a new flame-retardant PE for rotomolding, Dodge said. It would provide burn rating protection of V-0 for walls one-eighth inch thick, Dodge said. Current technology has burn rating protection of V-0 for walls one-quarter inch thick, and V-2 for walls one-eighth inch thick, he said.
Dodge said Quantum's flame-retardant grades of rotomolding powder are in laboratory development stages, and that steps toward commercial development will continue through 1996, so that the resins could be introduced by early 1997.
While he could not provide full details, he said Quantum is experimenting with several flame-retardant additives, including some that require low loading levels to achieve the desired protection.
Dodge said Quantum also is experimenting with powdered PP resins for rotomolding applications that would have better impact strength than other PP products. He said Quantum is looking at applications in the medical and chemical industries for its new PP products.