Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany) reports that it has successfully begun operation of its new production facility for ROHACELL structural foam core at its Darmstadt, Germany, site, following an investment of approximately €6 million. The new facility will increase the polymerization capacity at the site by 50 percent. Due to the extensive automation of polymerization, the cycle times have dropped by almost half.
“The facility enables us to account for the increasing demand and growth strategy for ROHACELL,” says Dr. Andreas Hoff, head of Performance Foams and responsible for the ROHACELL business segment. At the same time, the polymerization process was automated with modern robot technology in many areas. This led to shorter cycle times and therefore, significantly increased capacity.
Stefan Plaß, head of the growth line advanced technologies, looks toward the future: “ROHACELL is expanding into ever larger serial applications. Our customers expect highly efficient and economic production processes from us. Only in this way can we make lightweight construction with ROHACELL attractive for large quantities and new applications. We’re making an important step in this direction with automating the polymerization, but we are also planning further automations and optimizations in the production process.”
ROHACELL is a structural foam based on polymethacrylimide, which is used in fiber-reinforced composite parts. The most important market segments are aerospace and lifestyle, as well as automotive engineering and wind energy.