Structural Foam Molding for Polycarbonate Plastics | Covestro

Physical and chemical foaming makes plastics lightweight and dimensionally stable

Structural foam molding Overview

Some automotive, electronics, IT and comunication device applications demand high-performance materials, methods and technologies that can be used to fabricate molded parts that are lighter, stiffer and less prone to distortion. In particular, efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and trends in electric mobility are driving demand for thermoplastic foam injection molding technology. This technology can also satisfy the increasing desire for lightweight housings and covers.

label printer
Housing components for industrial inkjet printer using foam injection molding process

The primary interest is in the weight reduction made possible by thermoplastic foam molding.
Weight and density reductions of between 5 and 10 % to as high as 20 % can be achieved depending on the part geometry and material.
The method offers a number of other processing and part performance advantages.




Foamed part performance and quality advantages include:

  • weight reduction
  • lower propensity for distortion
  • increased stiffness relative to weight
  • fewer or no sink marks
  • flow length extension

Process advantages lie in:

  • reduced clamp force requirement
  • shortened cycle times
  • reduced melt viscosity
  • lower or no holding pressure
  • lower melt and mold temperatures

Covestro supports this technology.

  • Makrolon® SF is our grade designation for tailored materials with UL listings for low flammability even when foamed.
  • We offer filled materials that use nucleation sites to enhance the foaming process.
  • Our materials can be foamed both chemically and physically.
  • We have our own MuCell machines for conducting projects and studies with our customers.

In the area of process development, we are studying ways to achieve better surfaces using technologies such as film insert molding, flexible mold temperature control and two-component injection molding.


Case Study
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Weidmüller PrintJet ADVANCED industrial inkjet printer. Housing of Makrolon® SF800Z – lightweight, robust and cost-effective.
Lightweight construction
Established process for new generation of printers more »
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