First use of reaction injection molding (RIM) on aliphatic polyurethanes enables complex, lightweight and seamless designs and new property combinations.
Polymer manufacturer Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany) and Arcesso Dynamics (Barcelona, Spain), a manufacturer of custom polyurethane parts, launch Arfinio, a solution based on reaction injection molding (RIM) aliphatic polyurethanes. The technology enables manufacturers to benefit from new combinations of design freedom, functional performance and sustainability in multiple solid-surface and injection-molded applications. Liquid Plastic For Molds
Arfinio material is made by injection molding a combination of high-performance liquid polymers and minerals. According to the partners, this produces truly seamless shapes without requiring sheets.
These properties are now said to be opening new possibilities in applications including an Estoli shower plate, and a luxury design chair. In bathroom furniture, Arfinio provides a solution at least 50% lighter than traditional solid surfaces with improved wet slip resistance and increasing safety during installation and use. Its formulation can also be supplemented with antibacterial additives, enhancing hygiene on high-touch surfaces. In furniture, injection molding enables a quick production of complex, truly seamless structures. Finally, the thermal coefficient of Arfinio makes it warm to the touch, and its texture and color can be customized. This also enables backlighting in electronic applications.
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Arfinio also contributes toward sustainability. Its high impact, abrasion, and chemical resistance properties give it a long service lifetime, according to the partners. Additionally, as a monomaterial, it can be easily repaired by sanding or milled and recycled into new products.
“It’s been great working with Covestro to bring our innovation for aliphatic PUR to life,” Ernest Montón, CEO Arcesso Dynamics, says. “Our partnership has already helped customers in several industries to solve key product challenges. Together, we’ll continue to develop new Arfinio products that are designed to meet our customers’ and end-users’ needs.”
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