The Kurtz team is looking forward to your visit at the K 2019 in hall 13 at booth B27 – the Kurtz engineers will be happy to explain the functionality of the WAVE FOAMER in detail!
With the WAVE FOAMER, Kurtz GmbH is presenting its revolutionary automatic moulding machine at K 2019, which opens up completely new possibilities for particle foam processing – steam-free, energy-efficient, resource-saving. For more than 60 years, little has changed in the processing of particle foams; the multifunctional beads made of EPS, EPP, EPE etc. are used as insulation panels, packaging or automotive components such as seat elements, bumper elements and roof rails. Since then, the beads have been welded with steam, which requires complex installations.
Over several years, Kurtz GmbH has developed a process based on electromagnetic waves – the WAVE FOAMER uses a steam-free process to remove the previous restrictions and open up new worlds. It can also be used to process engineering plastics with high temperature resistance. The functional principle in brief: The foam beads are heated by excitation by means of high voltage in the form of radio waves. An alternating dielectric field causes polar molecule chains to oscillate – the resulting friction generates heat. Polar additives are added to work with a non-polar material. The technology is suitable for new materials with process temperatures of up to 250 °C, which corresponds to a vapour pressure of 40 bar. Unlike the steam process, welding takes place from the inside to the outside. This also makes it possible to process very compact compression processes and recyclates; high-quality molded parts with a 70 percent recycled content are already feasible. “After the in-house development of the WAVE FOAMER to technical maturity, we have developed laboratory machines that are already in use at raw material manufacturers and scientific institutes and are working on new materials that can be processed with our process,” explains Kurtz Managing Director Uwe Rothaug. At K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Kurtz will present the world´s first production machine for EPS, on which moulded parts are produced live. Soon, EPP will be a viable option – as will biodegradable plastics such as BASF´s ecovio©, which is made from the biodegradable plastic ecoflex® and polylactic acid (PLA), which is obtained from renewable, sugar-based raw materials.
With the new Kurtz process, processors can save up to 90 percent energy compared with the steam process – depending on the number of molded parts, the return on investment can be calculated quickly. The technology is also worthwhile for new installations, as no complex steam installation with water treatment or separate cooling water installations are required to operate the plant. Thanks to their light weight and very good mechanical properties, numerous applications for materials such as PET and polycarbonate are within easy reach, for example in electromobility or aviation, since they meet the high requirements for fire protection and temperature resistance, whether in the air or in the automobile.