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Foam injection for molded parts with flawless surface quality

News 04.10.2017

At Fakuma 2017, Trexel, the German-based specialist in foam injection molding, is presenting a solution for the production of complex MuCell components with high quality surfaces. The solution was developed in a collaborative project with the innovation group “Zukunft Spritzguss”. Integrating interdisciplinary expertise has produced a complete, highly functional production system. This innovative solution will be demonstrated in action on the Milacron stand at Fakuma 2017.


Demo product “Car with High-gloss Surfaces” produced on a system developed jointly by members of the innovation group zukunft-spritzguss.de.


Injection molding satisfies contradictory demands – looks vs. light weight
Every technical solution is bound to have both benefits and drawbacks or limitations. So, for example, foam injection molding has to date found it a challenge to deliver both looks and light weight. One approach to solving this problem is to combine different technologies so that each one not only emphasizes the strengths of the others, but also eliminates their drawbacks.

Now an innovative system approach has produced a solution that delivers MuCell components with high-quality surfaces – at a competitive cost. Key to this powerful solution is rapid, precise tool temperature change. The system produces high-gloss surfaces as effortlessly and efficiently as structured surfaces. A side effect is opening the way to new designs.

“Fundamental to the demo production system in action at the Fakuma is the fact that there are no limitations to be taken into account either relating to lightweight design or to surface quality, on the contrary, the advantages of the two technologies reinforce each other to create an impressively complete and cohesive solution.” explains Dr. Hartmut Traut, CEO and Business Director Europe at Trexel. “In other words, this solution is another building block in the range of solutions for lightweight components.” It removes major obstacles to the continued expansion of foam injection molding.


Standalone version of the operator-friendly T Series MuCell machine with touchscreen


Teamwork is the key to success
Market demand for attractive lightweight parts is growing exponentially, driven by end-user pressure on prices and costs. Bridging the gap between high surface quality and light weight requires cooperative solutions produced by effective teamwork.

This approach delivers end products that meet all expectations, including affordable cost. The production solution being demonstrated at the Fakuma integrates the knowhow of a number of cooperation partners. The demo product shows conclusively that the solution produces surfaces that meet exacting quality criteria and also illustrates the full potential of the MuCell process in terms of “designing for function”.

“We have been able to produce wall thickness changes where they are necessary for component functionality.” says Traut, “and we have combined this with the highest surface quality, even where the surface is slanted or convex.” The key to this achievement is an innovative 3D tool temperature change system, in combination with the MuCell process.

MuCell in action
Visitors to the Fakuma can see the MuCell system in action on the Milacron stand. A demo product “Car with High-gloss Surfaces” will be produced on a Milacron MTS200 injection molding machine. It convincingly illustrates the successful outcome of the work of the cooperation group “zukunftspritzguss.de”.

In addition to the MuCell process, this system features successful solutions for 3D temperature change, tool and cooling duct design, hot runners and laser surface graining, together with other systems.

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