TPOs in Development for Special Twin-Sheet Process

A range of new TPO materials is being designed to advance the use of a special twin-sheet thermoforming process.

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A range of new TPO materials is being designed to advance the use of a special twin-sheet thermoforming process. Solvay Engineered Polymers Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich., has teamed up with Novo Foam Products LLC, Findlay, Ohio, the developer of a lightweight thermoformed pallet that combines a strong and durable TPO outer skin with a lightweight, resilient expanded PP (EPP) bead foam core.


A key element of the special process is the steam-chest molded EPP foam, which serves as a plug assist as well as the stiff, lightweight core of the finished pallet. The heat of forming causes the foam to expand a little more while it is being encapsulated by the twin sheets, and the pressure enhances the bonding between the sheet and foam without requiring any adhesives.


Solvay’s Sequel E3000 TPO provides low-temperature impact resistance and dimensional stability for the pallet’s top and bottom surfaces. Novo’s Air Ride pallet is currently aimed at the food-processing and distribution industries. Solvay is developing more materials for automotive structural panels such as tonneau covers and load floors and horizontal load-bearing panels like trunk decks and RV floors. Another goal is to achieve a Class-A finish with paint, paint film, or a high-gloss laminate.