It might seem surprising at first blush, but sustainability will be an important theme at Chinaplas 2014, which will be held April 23 to 26 in Shanghai. The theme of the show is “Greenovation – Solution to Sustainability”, and featured events include “The City of Tomorrow” and “Green Conference”.
No question that pollution is a major issue in China and that Chinese authorities are
interested in promoting solutions that don’t impact economic growth.
Enter MuCell, a lightweighting technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and being commercialized by a Massachusetts company called Trexel. Growth of the microcellular foaming technology has taken off since Trexel removed licensing fees on its use, and instead is making money on the sale of equipment used in the process, as outlined by CEO Steve Braig in an interview at K2013.
Trexel partner Engel will demonstrate foam melting on a duo 900 injection molding machine with integrated viper 20 linear robot as the focus of its automotive exhibition. Oil sumps are produced on the large-scale machine with 9,000 kN (918 metric tons) of clamping force. In the MuCell process, the plastic melt is loaded with nitrogen or carbon dioxide and then injected into the mold, during which time the gas expands in the mold cavity. The use of raw materials and the component weight are reduced, while at the same time the rheological properties of the melt improved. This is said to result in dimensionally stable injection molded parts that are free from sink marks.
Haitian, the giant Chinese machine builder, also sells “MuCell ready” injection molding machines in certain markets. At Chinaplas 2013, a Mars II with 2,500 kN produced a 1-cavity box with MCF-technology.
Trexel will be participating in the Green Conference at Chinaplas2014.