Format Messtechnik GmbH of Karlsruhe, Germany, is always looking for gaps in the foam-testing sector, that it can design new equipment to meet.
For example it has recently launched the Resimat device specifically to evaluate the behaviour of viscoelastic foams, to meet a standard from demanding Swedish furniture group IKEA.
And the German specialist has also developed the SubCASE unit for estimating pot life and monitoring cure in the CASE (coating, adhesive, sealant and elastomer) sector.
Erland Hofmann, manager of new test technologies for PU with Format, said at K2010 that SubCASE is a device to assess foam rise for microcellular foams. To test high-density, expensive formulations such as shoe soles in standard Foamat equipment, users would need 1-litre of the chemistry in a 2.5-litre container, Hofmann said: “It is much better to test smaller amounts.”
SubCASE uses 300 ml and can test PU, polyester or epoxy types — all reactive plastics — and measures start, rise time and shrinkage. Hofmann noted its use for sealing foams, which he said are gaining market share, partly since they can be applied by robot.
The device has controlled reaction temperature, with reliable measurement of core temperature using a thermocouple and of polarisation using a CMD sensor in the base of the device. Covering the base with cling film before each test, and use of a replaceable cardboard test cylinder, minimises contamination and cuts the need for…