DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - Visitors at K'95 looking for polyurethane and reaction injection molding equipment saw automated production systems, environmentally safe blowing agents, mixing heads with more flexibility and a new technology to make large interior panels for cars that chops glass fibers directly into the mold, eliminating the need for glass-fiber mats. Here is a sampling from the Dusseldorf fairgrounds, where K'95 was held Oct. 5-12.
Cannon Group said that by the end of 1995, 11 factories in Germany, Italy and the United States will make PU slabstock foams using its CarDio process, which uses liquid carbon dioxide as a blowing agent.
Cannon, an Italian machinery maker with U.S. headquarters in Mars, Pa., introduced CarDio 18 months ago. Carbon dioxide is an environmentally safe, inexpensive alternative to chlorofluorocarbons, said Heinz Meloth, director of business development.
The first plant converted to CarDio is located near Venice, Italy. Cannon officials said Carpenter Inc. of Richmond, Va., a major North American foam producer, started the second industrial plant.
Cannon also offered a new technology for molding PU foams, called CannOxide. Molding occurs by direct injection at the mixing head, also using liquid carbon dioxide. Applications include flexible, semi-rigid and rigid PU foams in car seats, sound-deadening parts, furniture cushions and rigid insulation.
Milan, Italy-based Cannon claims to be the largest PU machinery maker. Cannon had 1994 plastic processing equipment sales of about $150 million, Meloth said. Almost all of that amount - 93 percent - came from PU processing machinery, he said. Compression molding equipment accounted for 4 percent. The remaining 3 percent came from thermoforming machines.
Cannon machines make more than one-third of refrigerators produced worldwide, the company claims. Refrigerated transport containers are another major market.
Cannon said production began in August at a new Maersk Container Industri SA plant in Tinglev, Denmark, to make sandwich panels for its 40-foot-long containers. Parts include expanded PU side walls, front doors and roofs and foamed polystyrene floors.
Krauss-Maffei Kunststoff-technik GmbH demonstrated automated manufacturing of a car interior panel using a large robot that applied glass fibers cut right at the mixing head and metered with the PU into the mold. In the traditional method, a glass-fiber mat is placed into the mold and PU injected in a second step, a method the company said can cause problems when the mat moves.
For RIM processors, the company expanded its line of RIM-Star metering pump machines with the RIM-Star 2000, featuring a new heat exchanger for the component tanks.
For PU processing, a new computer-controlled GBE 2000 nucleation unit makes it possible to measure nucleation levels of a reaction mix ranging from 3-70percent.
Krauss-Maffei also introduced quicker mold carriers for PU processing for foam insulation of large appiances, such as refrigerators. They open and close in less than half the time of con-ventional carriers, the firm said.
The company showed its LPT (for low-pressure technology) equipment for compression backing technique designed for direct lamination of interior vehicle parts in the original mold.
Krauss-Maffei claims the technology is up to 30 percent cheaper than conventional laminating.
Also new is a Pentamix premixing station for mixing pentane in polyol as a blowing agent. The station can be operated automatically or manually.
Gusmer of Lakewood, N.J., and its new division, Gusmer-Admiral Inc. of Akron, Ohio, introduced FF-3500, a compact, mobile machine that meters, mixes and sprays 1 gallon a minute of polyureas, PU foam and coatings, among other multicomponent chemical systems.
Gusmer-Admiral showed new models of its DeltaRim Series of high-pressure RIM machines, designed to process PU, polyureas, composites, elastomers, filled and abrasive materials and other materials. The firm said the machine easily can process two systems, through two separate mixing heads with a single metering unit.
A new VH-7 hydraulic metering unit was introduced, with a maximum output of 32 pounds a minute. It features a positive displacement, double-acting piston pump with external ball checks for easy maintenance. Gusmer is a division of PMC Inc.