Sumfoam’s unique combination of properties offers potential for entirely new and sustainable application solutions. The material class has extraordinary insulating properties, which are used for example in building insulation and technical applications. It also offers high-performance solutions in oil absorption, filtration, lightweight construction, and as an additive or carrier material for the chemical process industry.
Lighter VIPs improve the CO2 footprint of transported goods
Vacuum insulation panels provide by far the best possible insulation through the interaction of core material and vacuum. The use of Sumfoam as core material makes it possible for the first time to significantly reduce the weight of the panels while maintaining the performance.
Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIP) perform by far the best available insulation performance and are about 10 times more efficient than conventional insulation materials. As a result, VIPs are increasingly being used in the healthcare & logistics and home appliances sector, where insulation requirements are steadily increasing.
Particularly in all mobile applications, a weight reduction of the panels is of great importance. For the first time, Sumfoam offers the possibility to significantly reduce the density of the panels while maintaining the same high performance.
Minimization of energy consumption through highly efficient insulation
With a pore structure in the nanometer range, Sumfoam reduces heat conduction via the air to a minimum. This classifies the foam one of the high-performance insulating materials. Its enormous stability levels the foam unique for applications in plaster systems or pour-in insulation.
One of the greatest challenges facing the insulation industry is the provision of high-performance insulation materials with constantly rising energy standards. With Sumfoam we have succeeded for the first time in this market in realizing an extraordinary insulation performance with high stability and an attractive cost structure. While the pores with a size of less than 50 nanometers ensure the highest insulation properties, the large number of bars between the pores and their homogeneous distribution ensure an extremely robust structure.
Insulating plasters with Sumfoam, for example, impress not only with their low thermal conductivity values but also with their stability. At the same time, the plaster systems are so flexible that cracking due to temperature influences is avoided.
Pour-in insulation is used in cavity wall masonry for subsequent improvement of the insulation performance. The masonry is drilled from the outside and filled with insulating materials. The facade is retained in the process. Sumfoam is particularly suitable for this application given the limited space, as only minor effects can be achieved here with conventional insulating materials.
Increasing the energy efficiency of products and technical processes
In technical insulation, materials, components and products are prepared to maintain a desired temperature as long as possible. Sumfoam is used as a component of coatings or as a filling medium.
Since Sumfoam can be ground into different particle sizes to suit specific requirements, it can be used in a wide range of applications for technical insulation. For example, the foam is used as bulk insulation in double-walled containers, both in small vessels and in large tanks. In this way, media can be kept at a constant temperature over a long period of time. The enormous insulation performance is particularly suitable for cooling applications, such as goods transport, where Sumfoam can significantly reduce energy requirements. Sumfoam is also used as an insulating material in coatings, films and in the textile industry.
Efficient and durable binding of pollutants
Oil binders are used to selectively absorb oil and prevent it from being released into the environment. In particular, they are used in the fight against environmental disasters. Sumfoam quickly and powerfully absorbs many times its own weight in oil and binds it permanently.
Due to its open and hydrophobic cell structure and the pore size in the nanometer range, Sumfoam is able to quickly and selectively absorb non-polar substances such as oils. The foam retains these permanently due to its strong capillary forces. Sumfoam is therefore ideal for removing oil, both for removing oil stains on stone, wood or from textiles, and as an oil binder in industrial applications and in the event of environmental disasters. In particular, the solid structure ensures that the oil is not only absorbed, but also remains bound in the foam even under heavy pressure. In October 2019, Sumfoam was added to the list of tested oil binding agents.
Low material usage due to high loading capacity
Carrier materials are used to produce dry mixtures of liquids to simplify handling and dosing. A unique feature of Sumfoam is that, in addition to its high loading capacity, it retains its foam properties even in the form of a very fine powder, while remaining free-flowing.
Porous polymers are particularly suitable as a carrier material for processing liquid additives that cannot be processed with conventional extrusion processes and masterbatching techniques. The absorption of oleophilic substances, such as plasticizers, and the enormous absorption capacity at a porosity higher than 85%, make Sumfoam an excellent carrier material. The polymer foam absorbs many times its own weight while maintaining its flowability, thus setting new standards. Sumfoam then provides the absorbed liquids in dry form for the processing stage.
Sumfoam is also used in the field of microencapsulation. The polymer foam can be loaded as a microcapsule to release substances such as fragrance oils in a targeted manner.
Effective treatment of liquids and gases
Sumfoam can be used as a filter medium for air, water and oil. Due to its fine and homogenous pore structure, the material class is able to bind particles, liquids and gases and release them again as required.
Whether for the filtration of air, water or oil – Sumfoam impresses with its unique properties. The nanoporous structure enables the foam to filter out the finest particles from the media. Sumfoam offers a good alternative to activated carbon in many applications and is used, for example, in compressed air de-oiling. The polymer foam is also capable of selectively separating oils from emulsions, a special function used in water treatment. By additionally coating the inner structure, the foam can be used for a wide range of filtration applications. Sumfoam can be installed in filter systems in the form of flakes or powder in replaceable cartridges.
Additives with low CO2–Footprint
Sumfoam can be added to products in small quantities as an agent or additive to give them certain functional properties. In this way products can be optimized in terms of weight, optical characteristics or structure.
Sumfoam offers numerous functional as well as decorative properties as an additive. The grinding to a fine powder while maintaining full performance enables a multitude of applications, particularly in the field of paints and coatings or adhesives and sealants. Sumfoam is used here as a lightweight additive, insulation material, for the absorption of greasy substances from surfaces, for microencapsulation or for structural effects.
Weight reduction in technical components saves CO2
With Sumfoam, solid materials can be replaced by light foams. The material class offers maximum stability. Thus, technical components can be designed in a way that conserves resources. In addition, Sumfoam can be flexibly processed as a system component.
The combination of low weight and high compressive stability make Sumfoam an ideal class of materials for lightweight construction. The foam is able to replace solid materials and thus meets the goal of saving energy and CO2 through weight reduction. Sumfoam can be effectively processed in resin systems or used as a filler material of molded parts – as loose fill or in bound form.
In all areas the topic sustainability plays a priority role. SUMTEQ GmbH is active in over thirty business areas and develops individual recycling concepts.
We have already received funding from Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt by two project-specific programs, were selected among the top three companies at the StartGreen Award 2019 and reached the finals in the ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2020 for sustainable chemistry.
We are permanently working on the optimization of our CO2 footprint and have received funding to reach the next scaling level as part of the BMU’s environmental innovation program.