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30. July 2006

First thermoset foam suitable for thermoforming

BASF’s new Basotect TG foam on the basis of melamine resin is introduced by the company as the first thermoset foam that can be shaped under heat. The impregnating step that used to be indispensable for thermoforming this material is now gone, vastly simplifying its processing. The first vehicle parts have already gone into serial production. Unlike thermoplastics, thermoset materials such as Basotect cannot be shaped or melted under heat. This is why until now, Basotect had to be impregnated with adhesives, pressed and then dried in order to form complex, three-dimensional automotive parts. This costly impregnation step is a thing of the past for the new Basotect TG; now it can be directly compression-moulded under the usual processing conditions, so that making moulded parts is easier and more efficient. Calculations have shown according to BASF that production costs can be cut by as much as 20%, depending on the throughput rate. This foam is of interest not only in automotive construction but also in other industries that make use of compression-moulding methods for shaping. Basotect’s familiar properties have been retained in the TG variant: this foam is lightweight (approx. 9kg/m³) and flame-resistant, it can be used at temperatures of up to 200°C [392°F] and displays according to BASF an extraordinary sound-absorption capacity. In tune with the requirements of the automotive industry, it is offered in the colour grey. Basotect lends itself for acoustic insulation in automobiles wherever high continuous working temperatures prevail, such as in covers for engine hoods, partition walls between the engine and the passenger compartments, transmission tunnels as well as in engine proximity shells.

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