AACHEN, GERMANY — In March, Krallmann AG presented the latest development of the particle foam composite injection molding (PCIM) process on its stand at the biannual plastics colloquium of the IVK plastics processing institute in Aachen.
Krallmann's technical managing director Ingo Brexeler showed European Plastics News an example of the PCIM process part, produced by first molding a particle foam part, then injection molding a PP threaded fitting into a recess in the foam.
Brexeler said Krallmann intended to call the application “K-Fix” (standing for Krallmann-Fix). Krallmann will promote K-Fix at the upcoming Fakuma trade show.
K-Fix parts also will be shown at Arburg's stand at the show.
“With this so-called PCIM process we have bound together two technologies that have not so far not had much to do with each other,” said Thomas Walther, Arburg's application technology manager, in an interview with the VDMA KuG association of German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers. “This opens up new applications, particularly in lightweight construction and in thermal insulation. Secure assembly of large parts such as car bumpers are conceivable, for example.”
Krallmann says this latest version of the PCIM process is by no means limited to standard K-Fix threaded fitting elements, but that it may be used for particle foam parts with clips and snap-fitting elements, and also for various tailor-made customer solutions. All versions feature integrated parts with inherent tight sealing against ingress of dust and liquids.
Brexeler sees potential for insulated door panels made in a single-stage process and applied to electric vehicles, reducing heating and cooling demands on battery capacity. Krallmann's work in this area is assisted by its membership of NILS, a German network for intelligent lightweight construction systems.
As with the first PCIM parts, a defined degree of melting of the particle foam surface ensures tight bonding between the particle foam and the molded-in plastic part, “making the two components inseparable.”
For a complete version of this story, see EuropeanPlasticsNews.com.