From the empty bottle to a genuine foam core!
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) foams are the newest structural core materials in the composite industry. The first in the market, Armacell launched ArmaFORM® PET in 2006. In less than ten years, ArmaFORM® PET has been able to establish a place among core materials for sandwich structures and is steadily substituting traditional materials such as Balsa, SAN or PVC.
The reason is simple: with outstanding product quality, tremendous diversity of uses and truly sustainable production, ArmaFORM® PET offers new perspectives. It is the change in the core that changes the options - whether in wind energy, rail and road transport, marine or building and construction.
Lightweight and high mechanical strength in conjunction with residual flexibility and maximum service life are expected of a modern composite material. And that is what Armacell offers - with a great deal more:
excellent fatigue properties: The long-term behaviour of sandwich structures is a major concern for dynamically loaded applications. ArmaFORM® PET foams display a threshold level of >60%.
high temperature resistance: Higher curing temperature can be converted into shorter cycle times and increased productivity, better mechanical properties in the laminate and peel strength. At +140°C ArmaFORM® PET allows a process time of days, and at +180°C, a couple of hours with full vacuum.
limited density variation: The mechanical properties are all related directly to the density; even small variations have a big impact. ArmaFORM® PET's extrusion process keeps density variations rather low, at less than 5%.
process versatility: High-performing core material is of less use if it adds complexity and costs to the manufacturing process. ArmaFORM® PET is compatible with various production methods like infusion or pre-preg, as well as with all common resin systems.
thermoformability: Due to its thermoplastic nature, ArmaFORM® PET is well-suited for thermoforming. 3D-shaped or double curved sandwich panels are possible without cutting the foam core and thus eliminating core stress concentration and increased resin consumption.
recyclability & sustainability: ArmaFORM® PET is 100% recyclable after its use phase. Furthermore, our PET GR grade is already 100% made of post-consumer PET and is still recyclable afterwards. You cannot find a more sustainable foam core in the composite industry!
The ArmaFORM® PET Core product family comprises two grades, PET GR and PET FR. Our foams are offered in densities from 65 to 250 kg/m³, in thicknesses from 5 mm to 150 mm.
PET GR - for highly sustainable requirements
The short-cut ‘GR’ stands for 'green', which refers more to the guiding principal than to the foam's colour. A ‘green’ plastic? What sounds like a contradiction in terms is in fact a cutting-edge technology which took the Armacell global R&D team several years to develop: to produce PET foam boards with consistent, reliable qualities, 100% made of post-consumer (recycled) PET material. Our green foam core meets not only stringent technical requirements for composites but also follows the guidelines for circular economy and helps to preserve and enhance the human environment.
Armacell is the only manufacturer able to offer PET foams 100% made from PET bottle recyclate. We are proud to say that ArmaFORM® PET outperforms any other structural foam core in the composite industry in terms of environmental benefits, whether competing PET foam or other polymeric foams like PVC, SAN or PUR.