Top 10+ Companies in Polypropylene Foam Extrusion Industry
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Top 10+ Companies in Polypropylene Foam Extrusion Industry

Views: 107     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-05-07      Origin: Site

There are many types of polypropylene foamed products, but the most used are polypropylene foamed sheet and foamed bead molded products. This article will discuss these two product forms and some world's top 10+ companies in Polypropylene foam extrusion industry.

Polypropylene foam board sheet:

In Japan, Toray and Furukawa Electric started to launch foamed PP products in the late 1970s, and in the early  1980s, their PP foam output reached 50-60t/a. Currently, there are about 4-5 companies in Japan capable of producing PP foamed products. In Europe, foamed PE began to be produced in the 1970s, while cross-linked foamed PP was not industrialized until after the 1980s.

In recent years, some other countries have also developed PP foam products for different purposes. Germany Reifenhauser adopts the co-extrusion method to produce PP foamed sheets with a density of 0.1-0.5g/cm3, which can be used for food or meat packaging, and can also be used to make thin shell products and plates, dishes, bowls, boxes, etc. utensils and inserts for sound-absorbing and insulating materials in automobiles.

Battenfield uses a T-head to produce chemically foamed PP sheets that are 50% lighter than non-foamed PP sheets. Packaging Trays in the UK forms foamed PP sheet on a rotary thermoformer. The company uses chemical cross-linking agents to produce foamed PP sheets with a density of 0.5g/cm3, which are mainly used in the automotive industry to manufacture carpet backing materials, visors, door liners and luggage racks.

Dow Chemical USA produces PP foam board under the trade name Strandfoam, extruded in multiple layers of foam sheets, which are then rapidly cooled into a stiff, highly oriented sheet that can be used as a surfboard. Foamed PP developed by the company is also used in thermal insulation and automotive applications.

The Swiss company Alveo has been producing radiation-cross linked PP/PE foams, mainly for the automotive industry. Cross linked foams retain their shape more readily after thermoforming than uncross linked foamed articles.

The Italian Oman company uses the Compact EPX T-head co-extrusion production line, and uses the endothermic foaming agent to produce PP foamed sheets with a density lower than 0.5g/cm3. They cooperate with Reedy-International to co-extrude the sheet with surface skin unfoamed and core layer foamed 80%.

Endothermic blowing agents (which emit CO2) produced by Endex Polymer Additives in Canada have been used in the production of PP foam sheets for many years. The endothermic foaming agent produced by the company has been successfully used in the production of PP, HDPE and PET foamed sheets. When using high melt strength PP resin, the company's foaming agent can be used to form foam with a thickness of 40 μm film.

Expanded Polypropylene Beads (EPP):  

At present, Japan's JSP, Kaneka, Germany's BASF, Berstorff, etc. have EPP production technology, and China's Wuxi Huitong also opened up the EPP production process the year before last, with large-scale production capacity. EPP products are mainly molded foam products (as packaging and auto parts), among which, the vibration-resistant energy-absorbing parts and impact-resistant packaging materials for automobiles are formed by the molding process of polypropylene foam beads. Due to the simple production process, It is easy to control and can form parts with complex shapes and occupy a large market share. The USA CSI company has built a production line for the production of expanded PP products from expandable PP beads for the production of food packaging boxes, microwave trays and containers.

China's EPP product manufacturers such as Shanghai Zhongtong Auto Parts Co., Ltd., Shanghai Yibiyi Thermal Insulation Products Co., Ltd., Foshan Nanhai Marine Packaging Materials Factory and Tianjin Runsheng Packaging Materials Co., Ltd. all use imported polypropylene pre-expanded particles. , to make packaging for auto parts and industrial products through secondary foaming and molding processes. And this kind of imported EPP raw material is expensive. For example, some brands of JSP's expanded PP beads (EPP) sell for as high as 60,000 yuan per ton. In addition, EPP particles are foam beads, density is very low (20 ~ 150kg/m2), the corresponding volume is large, and the transportation cost in the import price is very high.

At present, many factories of JSP, BASF, GEFINEX and other companies all over the world are producing PP foam molding products. According to incomplete statistics, the consumption of PP foam in the United States in 2016 was 650kt, in Europe 570kt, in Japan 310kt, and in other Asian countries 21kt. These PP foam products are mainly used to manufacture auto parts and various packaging products.

The research on foamed PP in China began in the late 1970s. Sinopec Beijing Chemical Research Institute undertook the national "Ninth Five-Year" research project and developed a new type of modified PP resin with high melt strength. At present, Sinopec has built on this foundation. Several polypropylene grades that can be used for foaming have been commercialized and produced on a large scale in Zhenhai Refinery and other places.

Petro China is also actively promoting the development of high-melt-strength polypropylene resins. Related research work continues, and some raw material systems for small-scale synthesis have been developed. Shenhua Group synthesizes polypropylene from coal-to-olefin, which has significant cost advantages, and is also focusing on developing high-melt-strength polypropylene for applications in foaming, film and blow molding. The Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Nanjing Oil Refinery have produced high-melt-strength  polypropylene through a new catalytic system, which has also formed a certain production scale.

Developed countries such as Borealis, Dow, ExxonMobil, etc. have all developed high melt strength polypropylene suitable for foaming, and have successfully developed and applied products abroad.

At present, the industrial development of PP foam products is in full swing in China, and many Chinese manufacturers and scientific research institutes are trying to develop. China Chuangbo began to develop polypropylene foam material molding technology very early, evaluated and characterized the foaming performance of various polypropylene raw materials, and initially established a polypropylene foamable performance evaluation system. On this basis, the industrial technology of continuous extrusion and foaming of polypropylene was developed.


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