19 Oct 2022

Caronno Pertusella, (Varese), Italy, October 19, 2022

Cannon Viking, a company of the Cannon Group, a market leader in technologies, processing and molds for polyurethanes and urethane elastomers, is set to celebrate three decades of the CarDio® system – a patented eco-friendly process using liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) to manufacture today both low- and high-density PU foams.

Prior to joining the Cannon Group in 1989, Viking Engineering was already a leading and well-established OEM designing and producing metering and mixing equipment for flexible and rigid polyurethane (PU) foams. 

There was a persuasive, and growing need at the time to ban halogenated blowing agents and other volatile organic compounds from the production of expanded PU foams. Numerous advantages characterized carbon dioxide which has zero ozone depletion potential and an extremely low global warming potential, is inexpensive, non-toxic and does not consume isocyanates when reacting, contrary to water, offering significant cost savings, but it was very difficult to control in a formulation at room temperature as it expands three times more than existing blowing agents.

Jonathan Rayner, Sales Director at Cannon Viking

Combining mechanical engineering and chemical formulation expertise, the late, and highly respected Carlo Fiorentini together with a well-known foam technologist, Tony Griffiths, developed the first commercial process to add and successfully use natural liquid carbon dioxide as a physical blowing agent in PU foam production on a continuous basis. Cannon set up a pilot plant and quickly defined a reaction process to tame the turbulent expansion of the foam generated by CO2 that stays liquid only above 5.2 Bar (754 psi). Novel equipment to overcome and control pressure, difficult mixing behavior and distribution was designed and following successful trials the innovative CarDio® system was patented and launched in 1993.

Core to the patented CarDio® system is a proprietary steel gatebar that works as a pressure reducing and blend distribution device. Applying Cannon’s expertise in precision machining with tolerances measured in microns, an airless gatebar which provides a lower exit velocity of the reacting blend was developed and introduced in 2002. 

This significant improvement offered further unique features and benefits to the CarDio® system by practically eliminating remaining miniscule voids that could appear in foams manufactured with certain chemicals. It also allowed customers to process the maximum level of liquid CO2 in their foams as well as the widest range of chemicals including high viscosity polyols and graft polyols, as well as a wide variety of powders and fillers such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and barium sulphate BaSO4 – for increased foam density and soundproofing, respectively – and melamine – for fire retardancy.

Forced by a high-pressure mixing head through a square expansion chamber that leads to a thin, progressively wider gap, the blend gradually loses pressure allowing the liquid CO2 to convert to its gaseous state. The geometry of the airless gatebar provides a highly homogenous froth of foam evenly laid across the entire width of the conveyor, characterized by a very uniform structure.

Further benefits include the use of filler particles, such as powders and flakes, of up to 400 microns. Generous slots, double the diameter of particles, avoids build-up and blockage. Another advantage is switching color and grades within a very short transition span of only 25 cm, drastically reducing waste. 

The CarDio® system also allows for exceptionally long production runs of up to 5 hours for most used grades, with or without fillers and can be supplied as an integral part of a new custom-built Cannon Viking Maxfoam or Maxfoam Elite continuous slabstock facility or installed as a retro-fit in an existing foaming plant – irrespective of the machine manufacturer.

Cannon Viking has developed a gatebar (patent-pending) for non-CO2 liquid laydown techniques which offers all the advantages of the CarDio® system and installed as a retrofit for manufacturers who continue to use traditional foaming methods. 

To learn more, visit the Cannon Group at K2022, Düsseldorf, Germany (Oct. 19-26), in Hall 13 Booth B87. 

About Cannon Viking

Cannon Viking was formed in 1989 when Viking Engineering, a UK-based family-owned industrial engineering company joined the Cannon Group.
Established in 1956, Viking Engineering collaborated with the leading British and world’s largest chemical company at the time and specialized in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of continuous slab-stock technology and single block machines. Embracing the innovative mind-set at Cannon brought about the first patented eco-friendly blowing agent dispensing system – CarDio® – which is still the most advanced liquid carbon dioxide-based blowing agent used by producers of continuous flexible foams. Cannon Viking has been an integral part of the development and evolution of the polyurethane foam industry worldwide, particularly for the bedding and furniture markets with over 800 customers in 140 countries supported by Cannon’s worldwide aftersales service network. To this day, Cannon Viking solutions are still designed and manufactured in the UK utilizing a modular and tailored made approach that allows the upgrading or retrofitting of machines and equipment, at any time, to follow and support the evolution of our customers’ businesses.

About Cannon Group

Founded in 1962, Cannon Group comprises 30 companies, with a global presence in more than 40 countries and is recognized as a market leader in technologies, processing and molds for polyurethanes and urethane elastomers for the plastics and composites industries. The Group designs and manufactures high- and low-pressure dosing machines and mixing equipment, for continuous slab and discontinuous molded polyurethane foams. Dedication to continuous innovation now positions Cannon Group as a driving force offering the design, manufacture, servicing, and maintenance of equipment also in other key technology areas including: Energy – industrial boilers for standard and special applications, comprising steam boilers, hot water heaters, heat recovery boilers, and thermal oil heaters, with in-house engineering and fabrication services; Water & Wastewater Treatment – deareators, condensate treatment and recovery, effluent treatment plants, sanitary water treatment and sewage treatment, injection water treatment, demineralization, produced water; and Automation, where Cannon Group offers process digitization and condition monitoring, connect-IT and emissions monitoring. Cannon Group is committed to reducing the ecological footprint of all the Group’s technologies and industrial processes offered to the market through energy efficiency, resource consumption reduction and emissions reduction. Cannon Group delivered net sales of €230 million in 2021. To learn more, visit www.cannon.com

Media Contact

Alberta Stella
Head of Corporate Marketing Communications
+39 347 63 76 787

Cannon Viking to celebrate 30 years of CarDio® sustainable liquid CO2 blowing agent technology for PU flexible slabstock foams.

Photo: Cannon Group

Downloadable Version