Innovation news – Trocellen takes part at the foam MRS reactor project


Trocellen is very proud of being a cooperative partner to the European Union and the state North Rhine-Westphalia -supported foam MRS reactor project.

The foaming of plastics represents a key technology to improve resource efficiency through the enabled material savings in the production (savings in new virgin material through density reduction) and in the application (savings in heating energy through insulation; fuel savings through lightweight construction of cars).

The overall goal of the joint project “Foam MRS Reactor” is to develop a unit for decoupled reactive modification of plastics to be integrated into the foam extrusion process.The controlled reactive modification allows the adjustment of the melting properties relevant for the foaming process and the foaming properties.By separating the process steps, the MRS reactor allows a mode of operation decoupled from the rest of the process. This makes it possible to retrofit existing equipment in a favourable way and integrate it into existing process chains. The application of the systems technology to be developed is examined on the basis of examples of PET foam for food packaging and chemically cross-linked PE foam (includingautomotive).

The desired production technology allows a resource-efficient production of customized foam products where the material modification is incorporated into the production process and where multistage process chains are substituted.The project consortium covers the entire value added chain from material through machine technology and process engineering to product examples.In this context, first the basic requirements for the mechanical engineering (Fraunhofer UMSICHT) are developed, and on this basis a first prototype of a reactor will be devised and manufactured (Gneuss), which is then tested in a laboratory plant (IKV).Here the foams produced on the laboratory scale are tested by the producers (Trocellen, Inde Plastik).Based on the findings gained, a pilot reactor will be designed and produced (Gneuss), which is then tested by plastic producers (Inde Plastik).In addition to the machine, additives are also necessary, which are first developed in basic experiments (UMSICHT), before the additives are compounded on an industrial scale (A. Schulman).

By integrating the material finishing step with the extrusion process, this value-creation step is shifted from the raw material producer (global company groups) to the processor (regional SMEs).

 This project is funded by the European Union and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.