flexible melamine resin foam
Basotect® – The Versatile Melamine Resin Foam
Sound absorption, fire resistance, thermal insulation or abrasiveness: Basotect® combines many requirements for high-performance foam in one product. In construction and industrial applications, in the automotive and transportation sectors, but also in consumer applications, Basotect® provides a great variety of options.
Basotect® is a flexible, open-cell foam made from melamine resin – a duroplastic synthetic material. A typical characteristic is the intricate spatial mesh structure that is formed by thin ribs that can therefore be bent into shape easily. Basotect® has excellent sound absorption properties, a low weight, high temperature resistance and low flammability.
Basotect® allows significant acoustic improvement in, for example, restaurants, reception areas, meeting rooms, and airplane cabins. However, Basotect® is not only the ideal solution for acoustic insulation. With its very good thermal insulation properties and easy processing, Basotect® also impresses with respect to thermal insulation and air conditioning technology.
In automobile manufacturing, Basotect® can be pressed into precisely contoured components, and thus offers optimum sound proofing. At the same time it can also function as a thermal shield in the engine compartment, for example.
A very different application option can be found in everyday life: With its flexible micro structure and gentle, abrasive effect, Basotect® effortlessly cleans tiles, glass ceramic stove tops, and stained wallpaper ‒ without the additional use of additional cleaning agents. Furthermore, you are using a product that was tested for harmful substances, because Basotect is OEKO-TEX® certified.
Properties of Basotect®
Basotect®’s open-cell surface guarantees that sound waves are not reflected as an echo but can penetrate the cell structure unhindered. The sound energy is reduced in the cell structure, giving Basotect® an excellent sound absorption capacity. At low frequencies, improved sound can be achieved by adding layers of a heavier material for example.
Thanks to Basotect®’s highly cross-linked structure, it is resistant to all organic solvents. When it comes to acids and alkalis, the resistance has to be checked in concrete application cases since the temperature, the exposure time and the concentration all have a great deal of influence on the resistance of the foam to these media.
Basotect® meets the most important international fire safety standards. Basotect®’s long-term resistance to high temperatures and excellent fire characteristics are based on the melamine resin used. The high nitrogen content of the resin is responsible for the extremely flameresistant property of the foam without the need to use fire retardants.
Basotect® is a thermoset, and thus, in the event of a fire, the material does not melt or produce burning droplets when it comes into contact with flames. The foam simply chars and produces a small amount of smoke, and there is no afterglow, making Basotect® particularly suitable for applications with high fire safety requirements. In tests on the fire characteristics required to meet national and international standards, Basotect® achieves the highest classification possible for organic materials.
Basotect® is produced without using halogenated hydrocarbons, flame retardants and/or toxic heavy metals. Basotect does not contaminate water. The supplied product is free of blowing agents and is not subject to labeling requirements under the German hazardous material regulations.
Basotect® is certified to the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. Solutions with Basotect® reduce the weight of the components, thus contributing to energy savings and to a reduction in emissions in transportation applications.
The excellent cleaning effect is achieved without the need for any other chemical cleaning agents. Thanks to the product’s property profile, Basotect® contributes to efficient energy utilization and to improving the well-being of people in buildings and vehicles.
Basotect® Product Range
The pure-white Basotect® cleans efficiently and is certified to OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 in product class I. Because of its slightly abrasive properties, Basotect® W is used as a household cleaning eraser. It is used without additional cleaning agent and works like a soft sandpaper. When moistened with water, the foam slides easily and so can remove heavy dirt on a variety of surfaces such as tiles, ceramic stove tops, ceramics, doors, leather seats and hubcaps.
Basotect® B is a high performance material especially designed for visible interior applications where it takes advantage of its full potential. The flame resistant foam combines excellent sound absorption and high light reflection.
Various options in shaping and coloring opens up a great freedom of design. Hence, Basotect® B provides functionality and enables creative acoustic and optical interior designs.
Basotect® UL has an impressive ultralight weight and is thus especially well-suited for all applications that call for a low weight, for example, in aviation and aerospace.
Special technical applications that call for the thermoforming of Basotect® can be manufactured with Basotect® TG. Its dark gray coloration makes it a material of choice in automotive construction.
The light gray product variant is called Basotect® G+ and is equal to the white Basotect® B regarding thermal conductivity, flame retardancy and simple, mineral fiber-free fabrication. Its coloration makes it less sensitive to soiling, which also makes Basotect® G+ especially suitable for many construction and industrial applications.
The gray Basotect® UF is characterized by a very high elasticity and by improved fire properties, which makes this elastic version of Basotect® suitable for the construction industry and rail transportation, providing much greater freedom of processing and design.
Processing of Basotect®
Basotect® is supplied in the form of foam blocks to processors for further processing. This is where the product is cut into multi-dimensional shapes by slitting, milling, sawing and stamping to form the required contour. The elastic resilience of panels made of Basotect® also allows the use of shaped cutting.
Surface coatings for coloring purposes or for improving the mechanical properties can easily be applied to the fine-cell surface of Basotect® by spraying, for example.
By the same token, a very wide range of adhesives commonly available on the market can be used for bonding sections made of Basotect®. Adhesives containing solvents as well as reactive resins can also be used without any problem. This means that numerous material combinations are possible. It should be kept in mind, however, that processing with adhesives changes the flammability properties of the components.
Numerous shaped parts made of Basotect® are produced by means of thermo-embossing. Since conventional Basotect®, a thermoset polymer, cannot be thermoformed, the Basotect® has to be impregnated with a thermally reactive adhesive liquid. This is done in post-production using so-called impregnating systems. In order to accelerate drying, the excess liquid is squeezed out by means of a two-roll mill after impregnation. The impregnated Basotect® can then be processed by means of thermoforming. Composite materials consisting of a Basotect® core and felt, fabric, metal and plastic laminates can be manufactured in one pressing procedure. The hot-press process can also be used to emboss decorative patterns on the surface of panels made of Basotect®.
Intensive research work has led to the development of a thermoformable Basotect® type Basotect® TG. Sections cut from Basotect® TG can be formed at a temperature of >200°C [>392° F] to produce three-dimensionally shaped components. This dispenses with the impregnation step with the adhesive liquid as is needed with Basotect® standard grades in order to produce such shaped parts. This manifests itself in greater cost-effectiveness in the processing steps. Along with the fact that Basotect® TG can be thermoformed without a preceding impregnation step, it also has the proven material properties of the standard grade.
Basotect® is an extremely open cell foam with highly hydrophilic and oleophilic properties. Cut sections of Basotect® can be rendered water-repellent by impregnating them in silicon emulsions. Fluorocarbon resins allow hydrophobing and oleophobing in one single step. It is practical to carry out the hydrophobing and oleophobing in an impregnation procedure as mentioned above.
Processing of any semifinished products, like Basotect®, by e.g. cutting or sawing can lead to dust formation. Any dust that might be produced during certain processing steps should be removed by vacuum directly at the cutting site. Wearing a dust mask during these tasks is recommended. Unlike products based on fibres, Basotect® is an open-cellular foam. Basotect® is therefore not associated with any irritating effects caused by the release of fibers, and so there is no need for additional safety measures during handling and transportation.
Due to the absorption behavior of melamine resin and the open-cell structure of the foam, the moisture content of the material changes with the ambient conditions. This is associated with changes in dimensions that occur similarly in the case of wood, concrete or clay tiles. This behavior must be taken into consideration during processing. The foam blocks, which are delivered sealed in PE film, must be unpacked and stored for several days prior to processing under atmospheric conditions corresponding to the blocks’ later use.