A Close Look at Armacell’s Recycled Multi-Density PET Foam Core
Armacell is a leading company that provides a range of eco-friendly, lightweight materials for structural core and insulation applications using 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET). From a throw-away plastic bottle that pollutes our oceans to lasting value, Armacell is truly an innovative company making a real difference around the world.
Armacell originally produced PET foam cores from virgin PET. Dedicated research into finding ways to manufacture the same quality foam cores using recycled PET was driven by the company’s concern over the fact that more than 16,000 PET bottles are sold every second around the world, most of which end up in landfill.
Today, Armacell’s entire PET foam product range is created using recycled PET, making them a true innovator in the composite materials sector.
Finding Sustainable Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic
The impact of plastic on our ecosystem is devastating and undisputed. Less than 50% of consumer plastic bottles are collected for recycling and only 7% go on to make new PET bottles. The vast majority of plastic bottles end up in landfill or our environment, where it takes hundreds of years to decompose. It’s never been more important to encourage innovations in production methods and solutions designed to boost sustainability and the circular economy.
A circular economy is about switching from a linear ‘make-take-dispose’ economy to a model based on ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. The goal is to create an economy in which waste and pollution are designed out by leading manufacturers and products and materials are kept in use longer, giving natural systems the opportunity to regenerate. The UN and the EU (Armacell is based in Belgium) have launched circular economy initiatives, an effort that is also being matched by initiatives by businesses, NGOs and citizen action groups.
Armacell’s Multi-Density Recycled Foam Core
Armacell is the pioneer in the field of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) technology and initiated the breakthrough of PET foams as a structural core material in the composite industry. This includes the development of the ArmaFORM PET MultiCore (MC), which was created in response to market demand for a multiple core design.
This product combines different densities in one foam core to improve impact and point load resistance while at the same time ensuring weight is kept at a minimum. This offers a unique combination of useful properties, including higher impact and point load resistance, and better strength-to-weight ratio. The use of higher density layers also allows for up to 30 per cent better screw retention without the need for additional reinforcement.
Armacell’s PET MC grade was developed in 2017 and generally designed to replace traditional multi-ply panels used in applications such as load bearing floor panels in lightweight trucks and trailers, side wall panels in trucks, in modular housing or accessible areas like scaffolding platforms, pedestrian bridges, stage panels, the body structure in caravans and motorhomes, and much more.
Closing the Loop
Like Armacell’s PET GR range, ArmaFORM PET MC is 100% made of recycled PET and is 100% recyclable again once used. By “closing the loop” in the life cycle of PET, Armacell presents a real green alternative to standard PET foams and other foam core materials currently available in the market.
The different layers are bonded by means of a thermo-welding process without the use of adhesive, thus ensuring its recyclability. Due to a high density upper core layer, ArmaFORM®PET MC helps reduce the amount of resin intake. The lower density core acts as a shock absorber, reducing the stress locally applied to the panel and leading to improved strain failure.
A Billion Recycled PET Bottles and Counting
Armacell constantly innovate, improve and rethink their approaches with a focus on sustainable, profitable growth through the development and manufacturing of products that have a positive impact on industries and communities. The company has recycled 1,000,000,000 PET bottles so far with no signs of slowing down. Armacell’s unique recycled PET foam products meet the stringent technical requirements of today‘s composite core materials and follow the circular economy guidelines to protect our environment.
Armacell’s PET MC is Supplied By Liner
At Liner, we share the same passion and dedication for supplying manufacturers with the highest quality green materials. We supply Armacell’s recycled PET products across Australia, including ArmaFORM PET MultiCore (MC). Contact us today for a quote, product sample, consultation or for more information about Armacell products.
Why is so little PET recycled?
Since recycled PET is eventually sold to manufacturers, they must meet certain standards. They can’t have too many impurities, since recycled materials compete with virgin materials for use in manufacturing and dealing with those impurities costs money and takes time. So a lot of PET tends to end up in landfill because it simply isn’t clean enough or has certain additives which disqualifies it from reuse.
What is the process of recycling PET?
PET bottles are crushed into flakes and then melted down into granules. To create foam cores, these granules are then extruded through a die.
Does recycling PET take less energy than producing new PET?
Using 100% recycled PET as a raw material base for PET foam products delivers significant CO2 emission savings of 33%. The production of just one new 500ml plastic bottle produces 82.8 g of carbon dioxide. Recycling more PET products drastically reduces the carbon footprint of both the plastics manufacturing industry and the industries related to it.