At the end of November 2012, 130 representatives of plastics processing firms visited the ENGEL AUSTRIA technology centre in Schwertberg to learn about the possibilities of MuCell foam injection moulding. The seminar – arranged by ENGEL together with Trexel and other partners – had a capacity crowd. ENGEL will continue the highly successful series of events to promote MuCell in 2013; new dates have already been scheduled.
“The fact that physical foaming is becoming hugely more important is clear from the steadily rising numbers of people attending the MuCell seminars”, pointed out Michael Fischer, Sales Manager (Technologies) at ENGEL AUSTRIA. Two factors in particular are driving growth: the gathering trend towards lightweight construction and the low distortion of products manufactured under the MuCell process. Moreover, it is becoming easier all the time for plastics processing firms to implement the technology. ENGEL supplies complete, ready-to-use MuCell manufacturing cells. The company imports MuCell systems from Trexel, performs integration with injection moulding technology for control and safety purposes and offers application-specific consulting.
Weight savings of up to 20 percent
The event in late November focused on the manufacture of highly polished components for automobile interiors, the simulation of foamed structural components (using dashboard carriers as an example) and the cost-effectiveness of MuCell processes. Innovation Engineer Emmanuel Hallauer and Dominique Manceau, R&D Manager at Plastiques du Val de Loire, reported on their practical experiences; other speakers were from Borealis, Wobbe Bürkle Partner, Digimat, Trexel and ENGEL.
Thin or thick injection, no sink marks, high dimensional stability and improved rheological properties – the presentations illustrated how MuCell overcomes the limitations of compact injection moulding and opens up new design vistas. The MuCell process also facilitates the dimensioning of thin component areas, while wall thicknesses of 1mm are no longer possible in conventional injection moulding. In addition, the example products on display clearly showed how MuCell can be used to cut component weight by as much as 20 percent while significantly reducing carbon footprints.
Medical engineering sector also recognises MuCell benefits
The participants were from Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Scandinavia, France and Portugal – and the automobile industry was not the only sector represented. “The automobile sector is still a focus for our applications”, said Michael Fischer. “However, we’re noticing that more and more sectors are recognising the potential of MuCell technology and exploiting the advantages. In 2013 we expect new medical engineering applications to emerge, for instance.”
Next year’s MuCell seminars will take place on 4th/5th June and 27th/28th November 2013; in both cases, the events will start at 1pm on the first day and conclude at noon on the second day. The venue will be the technology centre of ENGEL AUSTRIA in the Austrian town of Schwertberg.