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Düsseldorf, August 30, 2019 – From 10 to 12 September, the Japanese technology company Asahi Kasei presents its high-performance foam materials SunForce™ and, for the first time, PA Foam – the world’s first polyamide bead foam – at the Foam Expo Europe in Stuttgart, Germany. The materials open new doors for heat and sound insulating applications in the automotive industry.

At this year’s Foam Expo Europe, Asahi Kasei introduces solutions for increased battery efficiency and sound insulation in the automotive sector. This includes SunForce™ – a particle foam based on the engineering plastic m-PPE (modified polyphenylene ether). Compared to standard foams made of polystyrene or polyolefin, the use of m-PPE equips this foamed material with unique properties, opening up new possibilities for applications in thermal management and fire protection. The material is certified with the UL 94 V-0 fire protection class (Standard for Safety of Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Appliances) and thus contributes to an overall product safety.

SunForce™ is the first-of-its-kind material certified with the UL94 V-0 standard. In addition to this outstanding flame retardancy, the material provides superior heat insulation properties while at the same time functioning as a lightweight shock-absorbing material for automotive battery packs. These properties and characteristics enable functions and applications that go beyond those of conventional foams. SunForce™ is suitable for applications in automotive battery packs, lightweight shock absorbers, sandwich composite cores with carbon fiber, as well as for thermal insulation applications.

Noise reducing properties through C- and macaroni-shaped polyamide beads

Asahi Kasei is one of only four fully integrated polyamide manufacturers worldwide – and is able to produce PA 6.6 completely from monomer to compound. Based on this expertise, the company is currently developing PA Foam – the world’s first foam made of polyamide beads. The material likewise offers solutions for current challenges in the automotive industry.

It features the typical heat, chemical and oil resistant properties of polyamide, mixed with an out-standing rigidity or noise reducing quality – depending on the shape of the beads. PA Foam consisting of round-shaped beads features a strong rigidity. This makes it a promising alternative material for aluminum and metal in structural applications, as well as for use for insulators, ducts, spacers or other lightweight parts of the battery case of electrified vehicles.

PA Foam with a C- or macaroni-shape, on the other hand, provides noise insulation in addition to the typical polyamide properties. Possible applications can be found everywhere around the car, especially in the engine compartment, where the material can unfold its unique qualities. Used for engine covers, it does not only contribute to lightweight, but also significantly reduces the radiating engine noise, making the car quieter in total.

Together with SunForce™, the newly developed PA foam will be on display at booth 533.