Structural foam molding is an injection molding process that creates structurally sound and lightweight parts less likely to warp. Structural foam creates a cellular core and solid outer skin during molding, making it an ideal method for large, thick parts. It is widely used in medical, self-serve kiosk, and industrial markets.
At Cadrex, we have injection molding and sheet metal fabrication experts that can help you convert sheet metal parts to structural foam or form the sheet metal base that supports the structural foam skins in-house.
Benefits of Structural Foam Molding
Lighter Weight Parts
Decreased Material Costs
Increased Part Stiffness and Strength
Thick Parts Without Sink Marks
Minimal to Zero Warpage
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How it Works
Structural foam molding is an injection molding process that creates structurally sound and lightweight parts less likely to warp. A foaming agent is mixed with part resin while still in pellet form. The plastic resin and foaming agent are heated by the barrel in the injection molding machine. Once injected into the mold, the foaming agent turns into gas. The gas bubbles created by the foaming agent expand until the cavity is filled. As the material pushes against the wall of the mold, it creates a thick skin while leaving the inside of the part with a cellular like structure. This not only creates a part that is much lighter than a traditional molded part but also uses less material because of the cellular-like structure.
Due to the unpredictable nature of the gas, structural foam parts have an uneven surface color; you can see tints and shades of the chosen color in a swirl-like pattern. For parts that require high cosmetics, we offer in-house painting services.
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