Processing filled polyurethane is more manageable, efficient, and effective with Cannon solutions.
Polyurethane is a versatile polymer that can be tailored to meet specific needs, making it a popular choice for various applications, including building panels and polyiso boards. Fillers are often added to polyurethanes to optimize their properties. They can enhance physical and mechanical properties, such as strength, stiffness, and resistance to fire.
In Europe and Asia, particularly, interest in flame retardants has significantly grown in recent years, supported by regulatory activity imposing very high fire resistance and low smoke emissions standards, especially for applications such as building insulation or public transportation. In parallel, recent European regulations have banned the use of the most common flame retardants: halogenated and brominated flame retardants.
This led to the use of mineral-origin fillers, such as expandable graphite, ammonium polyphosphate (APP), and red phosphorus, that represent a valid alternative to the most common halogenated flame retardants, which are typically blended in the Polyol formulation, such as melamine (declared “substance of concern” in Europe since the beginning of the year), and can give polyurethane very high levels of fire resistance.
At the same time, copper oxide is inserted with flame retardants to reduce toxic smoke emissions.
Not just flame retardants
Depending on the application, polyurethane can be filled with different solid additives. Percentages of recycled polyurethane or natural fibers can be injected into the chemical to increase the sustainability of the finished product.
Still, other fillers, such as nano clay, are instead used to improve the generation of foam cells.
The Cannon EG-AX Solution
Cannon EG-AX is a system applied to a 4-stream mixing head, allowing for more efficient and cost-effective processing of fragile solid fillers such as expandable graphite for continuous and discontinuous foaming processes. Today this system allows processing not only expandable graphite but also recycled polyurethane or several fillers together.
The OptiFiller Package
To effectively process fillers in polyurethane, however, it is essential to have a set of equipment that can accurately prepare, mix, and dose the chemistry.
This is why we have designed the OptiFiller package, which is suitable for new lines and retrofitting existing production systems. The package includes:
- Controlled transfer of fillers from storage
- Premix station, batch, or in-line (Solimix)
- Dosing unit (Solistream or A-Compact HF)
- High-pressure L-shaped multicomponent head
Thanks to this system, it is possible to inject “slurry” (polyol and fillers), directly into the head, either at high or medium pressure, depending on the application and the chemical system. Cannon’s expertise leads to the development of a solution to the typical process issues; the OptiFiller represents a complete and robust technology for the dosing and mixing of various fillers in many PU foams nowadays.