Update on Mouldable Particle Foam Technology
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Moulded particle (bead) foam products are ubiquitous, in packaging and construction,
from drinking cups to motorway foundations. The industry which started with
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) has grown spectacularly and now also includes Expanded
Polypropylene and Expanded Polyethylene, and its technology and machinery has
become so specialised that it is seen as an almost isolated branch of the plastics
Mouldable Particle Foam Technology summarises the present status of particle
foam technology and how specific challenges have already driven its development.
This includes the potential threats to the fire retardants and blowing agents
which have been used for many years.
The potential for particle foams made from "renewable" polymers such
as starch, polylactic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoates and cellulosics is also covered.
For each of these, existing technology is reviewed, together with the issues
for research and development.
Mouldable Particle Foam Technology is written by a plastics technologist
who recently joined the EPS industry. It will be of interest to both relative
newcomers and those who already have long experience but wish to know more technical
detail about a fascinating branch of plastics technology.