At NPE2015, Trexel, Inc., Wilmington, Mass., revealed the result of its collaboration on smooth-surface foam compounds with Asahi Kasei Plastics North America, Fowlerville, Mich. The two firms jointly developed glass/PP formulations that provide a much smoother surface when foamed by the MuCell microcellular process. These specialty grades of Asahi’s Thermylene PP can provide a 10% weight reduction along with significantly reduced warpage and shorter cycles in a variety of automotive and consumer products. Although not yet at the level of automotive Class A finish, work is continuing. The accompanying photo shows 10%-glass plaques (left to right) of a commodity grade unfoamed, a commodity grade with MuCell, and the new Thermylene grade with MuCell.