Armacell is the global leader in innovative and environmentally friendly structural PET (polyethylene terephthalate) based foam cores. As a pioneer in the field of PET technology, Armacell was the first manufacturer to succeed in foaming high-quality, bottle-grade PET on an industrial scale and qualifying PET foams for the wind turbine blade manufacturing industry.
But our research did not stop there; as a technology leader, Armacell is the inventor of its patented r-PET technology to produce high-quality PET foam cores made from 100% post-consumer PET materials (recycled beverage bottles). This patented process provides a more sustainable alternative to standard (virgin) PET foams: the recycled raw material base reduces CO2 emissions by 33% and ensures an improved (lower) price level thanks to its more economical feedstock. The environmental and economic benefits are even greater when compared to other foam cores such as PVC.
Since its introduction in 2006 until today, more than 80,000 wind turbine blades around the world have been made with Armacell's PET foam cores, called ArmaForm. 100% supervised quality; superior fatigue properties and excellent strength-to-weight ratios are just a few examples that have made Armacell the supplier of choice for leading players in this industry.
ArmaForm displays excellent fatigue properties, with a threshold level greater than 60%, as compared to PVC (of comparable density) with a limit of approximately 35 to 40%. The development of blade manufacturing methods with higher peak exotherm temperatures, in order to increase curing speeds and improve cure cycles has pushed the use of PET foam cores. Unlike PVC, ArmaForm has the necessary temperature resistance and allows regular processing temperatures of +150°C with full vacuum. Due to the extrusion process used to produce ArmaForm, as opposed to the batch process used for most other structural foam cores, the variations in density are markedly low, amounting to less than ±5kg/m3. Thus they ensure more consistent density control and mechanical properties. Epoxy resin infusion has become the main manufacturing process for modern rotor blades. In contrast to PVC, PET does not outgas during the curing process and provides proper lamination of the sandwich construction with reduced cycle times and increased quality levels.
Armacell has developed a unique quality control system that exceeds today's quality standards in wind turbine manufacturing. Several in-line devices monitor the production line during the entire manufacturing process and allow statistical process control (SPC). Fully integrated ERP enables each individual board to be traced back to the raw material batch used for its production. Several tests are constantly carried out to guarantee the compliance of each material property with both internal and customer specifications. Armacell's quality staff has also been trained to comply with wind energy specific quality requirements such as APQP4.
Highest quality at lowest environmental impact
Our PET foam cores meet not only stringent technical requirements for composites in wind turbine manufacturing but also follows the guidelines for circular economy and helps to preserve and enhance the human environment.
In addition to its sustainable raw material base, ArmaForm is manufactured according to an energy and resource-optimised production process: 100% reuse of material loss and no use of ozone-depleting HFC or CFC blowing agents. Furthermore, it is fully recyclable at its end-of-life. We are proud to say that ArmaForm outperforms any other structural foam core in the composite industry in terms of environmental benefits. It enables Armacell and its customers to present a more sustainable solution to standard PET foams and other foam core materials currently available in the market.
As the inventors of flexible foam for equipment insulation and a leading provider of engineered foams, Armacell develops innovative and safe thermal, acoustic and mechanical solutions that create sustainable value for its customers. Armacell's products significantly contribute to global energy efficiency making a difference around the world every day. With 3,000 employees and 27 production plants in 17 countries, the company operates two main businesses: Advanced Insulation and Engineered Foams. Armacell focuses on insulation materials for technical equipment, high-performance foams for high-tech and lightweight applications and next generation aerogel blanket technology.