Achieving a Major Decrease in Weight up to 50% using 3x- Injection Foam Molding
─Development of Further High-Foaming Technology and
Aiming to Expand the Market Scale─
September 18, 2008
items through its original injection foam molding system technology for polypropylene resin that creates a 3x-foamed polypropylene thinner than any till now (patent pending). Using this 3x expansion to achieve a major weight reduction, our immediate goal is to sell it to automobile manufacturers and we are aiming to have it used in 2010 models.
Injection molding products manufactured using polypropylene resin are superior in lightness and processability, and low in cost as well, which means they are often used for automobile parts and home electronics or household goods. In recent years, particularly in response to the demands for increased lightness in automobile parts, we have been able to reduce material thicknesses and achieve low expansion ratio of less
than two times, but weight reduction was limited to about 10 to 30%. Automobile manufacturers are required by the New Fuel Efficiency Standards for Passenger Vehicles (issued by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in July 2007) to achieve a 23.5% improvement in automobile fuel efficiency by 2015 as compared with 2004, so are increasingly promoting reductions in weight.
Normal polypropylene resin is poor at foaming, so it has a limit of about 2x even when making it high- expansion, and polypropylene resin sold commercially is for extrusion
foam, so has low fluidity and is hard to shape using injection molding. Our company has leveraged our resin improvement technologies and foam shaping technologies to allow
the independent development of both a polypropylene resin that has both high fluidity and high expansion ability, as well as foam injection molding technology that uses the
attributes of this resin and can be used for large parts as well.
Since we are able to decrease weight considerably, by 30 to 50%, while maintaining the same strength as existing non-injection molded polypropylene resin products, the needs that we are expecting are:
– Automobile parts, home electronics and daily goods that require lightness.
– In terms of external appearance, since its texturing surface is in no way inferior to existing products, it can be used for luggage boxes and similar uses.
– Furthermore, it can be used for door trims and other areas of automobile interior styling where looks are at a premium.
– Construction and building materials where lightness is required.