Production of Thick Microcellular & Thermoplastic Sheets and Components
Introduction Thick microcellular plastics for lightweight, energy efficient building materials and other applications have been developed. Up to 70% reduction in relative density of the materials has been achieved. Technology description Researchers at the UW have developed a process to make thick, lightweight plastic sheets. A key aspect of the invention is production of flat sheets that could provide a new basic construction material. Business opportunity This technique reduces the density of solid plastics, and thus saves on raw material costs in applications where the full mechanical properties of solid plastics are not needed. Being a foam material, the microcellular polymers are lightweight and have low thermal conductivity. The materials maintain reasonably high tensile and shear strength. These sheets can be used in advanced panel systems to reduce house construction time and maintenance cost, cut energy consumption, reduce the risk of injury during construction, and improve the durability of buildings. Stage of development The proof of concept has been demonstrated, and working prototypes exist for this technology.
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