Braskem (U.S. office in Philadephia) has developed high-melt-strength polypropylene (HMS-PP) for the production of high-performance foams targeted for specialty packaging, automotive, and industrial applications. The company also sees potential for its HMS-PP in many solid compounded or deep-draw thermoforming applications where melt strength can expand the window of PP process performance.
The company now joins less than a handful of resin suppliers who offer HMS-PP: Austria’s Borealis (U.S. office in Port Murray, N.J.) which has been importing it here and Houston-based Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc., which began producing its own HMS-PP earlier this year.
According to Braskem’s v.p. of polypropylene, the new HMS-PP boasts a unique balance of foam process performance and mechanical properties, including very high stiffness and heat resistance. The material is reportedly ideal for extruding foams via direct injection (DI) processes, processes using chemical foaming agents, and other specialty foam processes. In some, foam densities as low as 40 kg/m3 with high stiffness have been achieved. In other applications, foams with extraordinarily high-closed cell content and surface quality has been demonstrated. Low-density foams made with this material offer superior recyclability, making it a potential replacement in foam applications currently dominated by cross-linked PE, PVC, and PUR.