22.03.2020

InVento - commissioning of Geopolymer systems

For many years, the production of the EPS grey insulation material has been carried out on the basis of using graphite as an athermal additive. Originally manufactured partly with the use of graphite, our new InVento products currently redefine the EPS extruded technology. This involves a high potential for development and new possibilities, in the scope of defining their properties. An important element of the new technology is the use of the so-called geopolymer additive, instead of graphite, which has been produced since 2019, based on our own solution and used to produce the EPS granulate by extrusion.

The use of geopolymer for the production of the EPS athermal additive and its specific modification allows a polymeric filler to be obtained that also offers flame retardant properties. The geopolymer additive acts not only as an infra-red radiation blocking (dispersing) compound, but also, after an additional modification, gains the function of a flame retardant, without the necessity to use halogenated flame retardants. In addition, this material is more recycling-friendly. EPS containing the new additive in the modified form can be reprocessed, without a significant increase in the polymer's melt flow index.

Production of the geopolymer additive is carried out by Synthos, based on their own technology, in a newly launched production facility in Oświęcim, which is the last element of the InVento complex. The facility consists of eleven technological nodes, in which process steps are carried out, aimed at producing and modifying the geopolymer additive. In addition, the facility features elements that ensure the unloading of raw materials and transporting of the material between the nodes and the InVento extrusion facility .

The first batches of the geopolymer additive were manufactured at the end of 2019. This raw material is currently used to produce a new product under the name InVento Optima.

Filip Kondratowicz, PhD Eng.

R&D Manager for Polystyrene Plastics

Synthos S.A.