Antibending system in EPS block moulding machine

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  • Specially developed “Antibending” avoids the bending of EPS boards
  • Faster cycle times with electrically driven shape moulding machines
  • EPS insulation also growing in hot areas, such as North Africa

The need to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions is leading to a boom in building insulation using expanded polystyrene (EPS). Not only in the Northern regions, but also in very hot areas, such as North Africa and the Middle East, the market for the insulation of residential buildings is showing a steady increase. German headquartered company Erlenbach has been offering systems for processing particle foams (EPS and EPP) for over 50 years and has delivered more than 8,000 machine units worldwide. The company also offers a special kind of block mould technology to eliminate the bending of EPS boards.

EPS insulation sheets (source: Erlenbach)

EPS insulation sheets (source: Erlenbach)

Faster cycle times with electrically driven shape moulding machines

Erlenbach’s main objective is to provide efficient technology for the processing of particle foam applications. As a supplier of the complete application range (block moulding, shape moulding, pre-expanders, recycling units, cutting lines) the company offers electrically driven shape moulding machines with a lower energy consumption, faster cycle times and higher precision than traditional hydraulic driven machines.

Production of EPS insulation boards is carried out in several stages

The EPS block moulding is the main technology to produce heat insulation boards. The production of an EPS insulation board is carried out in the following stages:
1. Pre-expansion of the EPS raw material to the required density
2. Storing the expanded material
3. Foaming the EPS blocks
4. Post treatment of the foamed EPS block
a) Block pressing
b) Storage of the EPS block for drying and to reduce
the residual stresses
5. Cutting the blocks into insulating boards and packaging

Frontal view of Antibending block moulding machine (source: Erlenbach)

Frontal view of Antibending block moulding machine (source: Erlenbach)

Specially developed “Antibending” avoids the bending of EPS boards

The residual stress in the foamed EPS blocks causes the bending of the cutting sheets. Factors such as a reduction in throughput time, material savings, and increase in production volume are crucial for the EPS board production. Erlenbach has invested a significant amount of resources to develop and verify a new kind of block mould technology. The “EMTower antibending” technology is said to be able to combine all requirements in one new block mould.

Main Picture: Block mould system with specially developed “Antibending” which avoids the bending of EPS boards

Block mould system with specially developed “Antibending” which avoids the bending of EPS boards (source: Erlenbach)

Compression affects the numbers of cell walls/beads, thickness and density

Due to high temperatures in the block mould, EPS is not evenly compressible on its entire width, and an optimal density distribution can only be achieved therefore by symmetrical steaming and symmetrical compression. Furthermore the EPS pearls will be converted into an oval form by compression. This compression affects the numbers of cell walls/beads at the same thickness and density of a board. An improvement in thermal conductivity at the same density, which results in material saving for ?–based products up to 10%, can be achieved.

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