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Particle foam perfectly distributed

Particle foam perfectly distributed

News 28.11.2023

BASF is expanding its proven Ultrasim® simulation portfolio for plastics applications: From now on, the simulation competence will also cover the manufacturing process of components made of particle foam. Customers can use Ultrasim® to accelerate the development process for their components and save costs.

P353e Ultrasim for Infinergy 1

BASF’s Ultrasim® simulation competence now also covers the manufacturing process of components made of particle foam. Customers can use Ultrasim® to accelerate the development process for their components and save costs.

From bicycle tires to shoe soles: Simulation for components made of Infinergy®
The new Ultrasim® solution was developed for Infinergy®, an expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (E-TPU), which is used in a wide range of applications. “Whether in bicycle tires or shoe soles, particle foams such as Infinergy® usually use pneumatic filling,” says Achim Besser, Team Leader Ultrasim® Core. “This means that the particles are distributed in the mold with the help of compressed air. But how can potential problems in the manufacturing process already be identified in the development stage of the component? That’s exactly where Ultrasim® will help from now on.”

The new simulation competence covers the entire manufacturing process of components made of particle foam, as Moritz Höfert, Simulation Engineer, adds: “Which path does the air take into the mold and out again? Should the customer change the venting of the mold or the placement and number of fillers to avoid air pockets? Is gravity used optimally? How does closing the mold change the particle packing? And finally, how does the finished part perform under load?”

“If our customers know the answers to these questions, they can fully leverage the potential of particle foams,” Martin Vallo, Senior Manager Global Tech Development, affirms. “For example, in a shoe midsole, the filling affects the density and stiffness of the sole. Ultrasim® simulation can optimize these two parameters - and fully exploit the potential of Infinergy®.”

The new application was initially developed for the E-TPU Infinergy®. The simulation expertise can be transferred to other particle foams and thus enables an evaluation of which particle foam is best suited for the planned component.

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