From September 24 to 26, BASF will be displaying its expertise in specialty particle foams for packaging applications at the FachPack trade fair in Nuremberg (hall 5, booth 219). The range extends from transport packaging and reusable solutions right through to impact-resistant disposable packaging for delicate electronic devices: Among other products this year BASF will be showing molded parts made of E-por for the protective packaging of subwoofers made by the Berlin manufacturer Adam Audio.
Smaller packaging delivers cost and transport benefits
The handmade devices in the Sub8, Sub10 and Sub12 model series were previously packaged in protective pads made of non-crosslinked EPE (expanded polyethylene). Due to the elaborate way that the cut and heat-sealed parts needed to be made, this solution resulted in extended delivery times and high costs. In addition, the cushioning pads made of EPE did not entirely cover the bottom and top areas of the subwoofer, which meant that complete protection of the valuable electronics was not guaranteed.
This was why Adam Audio instructed the packaging company Fapack, as a partner of BASF, to look for alternatives. Fapack suggested using molded cushions made of E-por. The expandable interpolymer (PS/PE) offers an outstanding range of properties for the packaging of delicate goods: It is tough-elastic, crack-resistant and displays high energy absorption. In addition, E-por is pleasant to touch and look at and has very good resistance to solvents.
For Adam Audio, the one-off investment in switching over to the foaming method paid off, as André Zeugner, head of marketing at the audio expert, explains: "The cushioning pads made of E-por completely cover the top and bottom parts of the cardboard box and thus offer an improved level of protection." At the same time, the new packaging solution delivers optimized costs thanks to the reduced amount of material required. Christoph Behrens, managing director of Fapack, confirms: "We were able to achieve a net volume saving with foam of 40% and thus reduce the overall size of the packaging by 24.5%." This results in not just cost benefits but also benefits in transportation.
Complete particle foam range for packaging sector
In addition, BASF will also be displaying other specialty particle foams at the three-day packaging trade fair in Nuremberg. Neopolen® E, an expanded, crosslinked polyethylene (EPE), is offered in the form of boards and is used primarily in recyclable packaging and reusable transport containers. The foam is offered in the form of boards with densities of 22, 32 and most recently 52 kilograms per cubic meter as well as in the colors of white and black. Its ease of processing by means of milling, punching or cutting, for example, opens up a wide range of possible applications. The expanded polypropylene Neopolen® P is offered in the form of particles in bulk and can be processed to make moldings of a wide range of different types, shapes and colors. Both foams have high energy absorption coupled with low weight and excellent resilience – for a high level of protection even when the material is subjected to repeated impacts. Neopolen also absorbs only a very small amount of water.
The range is complemented by the world's first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU), which BASF recently unveiled under the brand name Infinergy®. Infinergy boasts exceptionally high resilience and is therefore suitable for use in special applications where there are particularly high constant stresses.