Model plane wheel

New dimensions in lightweight construction

Particle-foam Composite Injection Molding (PCIM combines a foamed insert with a polymer component. By melting the surface of the EPP insert in a defined manner when injecting the PP, a lightweight part is produced with a permanent mechanical connection, dispensing with the need for downstream assembly steps.

As an example, a hydraulic two-component ALLROUNDER 470 S injection molding machine produces wheels for model planes. First, an EPP tire is inserted into the mold, after which a PP wheel rim is molded onto it. In a second step, the tire is encapsulated with a soft TPE component. The cycle time is 40 s and the part weight is 3.4 g. All handling is performed by an extended Agilus six-axis robotic system. Once the parts have been set down on a conveyor belt, they are packed into bags and printed in a downstream operation.


  • Composite parts: The typical properties of particle foams such as EPP and EPS are combined with those of injection molding compounds such as ABS, PP or TPE
  • Lightweight construction: Weight reductions through particle foam are combined with the hardness, contour accuracy and functionality of conventional polymers
  • Expansion stage: As was demonstrated at the ARBURG Technology Days 2013, the foamed component can additionally be encapsulated with TPE to provide a soft coating

Basic specifications

Model plane wheel
Cavities: 1
Part weight: 3,4 g
Material: EPP + PP
Cycle time: 40 s

Here's how it works

Particle-foam Composite Injection Molding 
Particle-foam Composite Injection Molding (PCIM) produces a permanent mechanical bond, between an EPP tire and a PP rim in this example. Retaining and clip functions can also easily be implemented. The integrated functionality brings significant advantages for cost-effective high volume production at reduced unit prices.
to the process


A finished model wheel in just one step: The hydraulic two-component ALLROUNDER 470 S has a clamping force of 120 tons and 3.7 oz and 1.4 oz injection units. Both injection units operate with an open nozzle and the smaller of the two injects vertically into the mold parting line.
to the hydraulic machines

Robotic System
All the handling operations are performed by a mobile Agilus six-axis robotic system with SELOGICA user interface from Kuka, which moves on an additional linear axis. This enables dynamic movements and fast entry into the mold, resulting in extremely short cycle times and higher productivity.
to the linear robotic systems


Technical injection molding
Particle-foam Composite Injection Molding combines the advantages of foamed parts with those of injection molding materials. In this manner, their properties can be combined in a targeted manner to open up new applications, e.g. for electric mobility, lightweight construction and insulation.
to the industry


ProcessingRuch Novaplast
Automationfpt Robotik