Düsseldorf, 20 April 2022 – Asahi Kasei Europe has opened a new Foam Lab at its R&D Center in Düsseldorf, Germany. Localizing the technical support and grade development in Europe is the company’s next step of business expansion of its SunForceTM family of high-performance particle foams.

The new Foam Lab was installed in December 2021 and is scheduled to start operation in spring 2022. Centerpiece of the new Lab is the beads foaming facility which will be used to locally produce test samples of the engineering plastics-based particle beads foam SunForceTM for the European customers. This high-performance foam family is made of modified polyphenylene ether (mPPE) and poly-amide (PA) and is a key element of Asahi Kasei’s business expansion in Europe.

Yoshito Kuroda General Manager R&D at Asahi Kasei Europe: “The Foam Lab is the next milestone for us to realize a faster local support and will allow us to more flexibly react to our European custom- ers’ needs.”

Local development of recyclable grades Both SunForceTM types are unique, with the mPPE-based SunForceTM BE being the first material of its kind to receive the UL 94 V-0 flame retardancy. In addition, it offers a high dimensional stability,
high processability and superior insulation properties that can for example contribute to safer, more efficient and more sustainable EV battery modules. The PA-based SunForceTM AS convinces with its heat resistance (190°C/30min), as well as with resistances against oils and chemicals. Common to both particle foam types are the very good adhesion properties in interaction with metals, carbon fiber- reinforced plastics or even fiber materials. Their properties open up new application fields, which were not feasible for conventional foams.

Located in the center of Europe, the heart of innovation of more sustainable materials, the Foam Lab will furthermore focus on the development of SunForceTM grades with an improved recyclability. “The close proximity to the European market and the strong collaboration with our partners will help to develop new recyclable grades which perfectly fit the increasing demands of our customers in re-gard to maintaining the material performance while at the same time drastically improving its carbon footprint and recyclability”, concludes Takashi Onoe, Manager R&D of SunForce at Asahi Kasei Eu-

The Foam Lab is located at Asahi Kasei Europe’s R&D Center in Düsseldorf Harbor, Germany. In addition to the new facility for SunForceTM, the R&D Center provides grade development and technical customer support in the field of engineering plastics, synthetic rubber, as well as for battery and coating materials.

Asahi Kasei Europe will exhibit SunForceTM from 3-5 May at the JEC World, the leading international composites show, in Paris: Hall 5, booth number P18.