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thermoplastic composites | LFTs

Unlike continuous fi bre thermoplastics, LFTs can be processed on conventional moulds and machines and present opportunities in many demanding application areas

Progress continues in LFTs Right: The IP

carrier on the VW Golf 7 is injection moulded in

Fibremod short and long glass

fi bre reinforced PP from Borealis

High-end, large automotive parts claim a large part of the spotlight, but there are also other applications suitable for substitution of metals by various types of TPCs and numerous suppliers of injection mouldable long fi bre reinforced thermoplastics are focusing on these. Compounding company Epic Polymers, with

its latest long fi bre reinforced compound range Strator XC, is eyeing portable electronics (as well as automotive). Epic says the PA66 and PPA-based compounds incorporate “a new carbon fi bre technology which results in far higher mechanical performance than the traditional carbon fi ber reinforced compounds.” Fred Panhuizen, director of marketing and technol- ogy says: “With a stiffness of 45 GPa (the same level as magnesium) and tensile strength levels of 350 MPa (the same level as steel), Strator XC achieves a level of performance that up to now is only possible with metals. Compared to magnesium alloys, these materials have a 30% lower density and a strength level which is 40% higher. On top of this, these products have a far better creep performance at elevated tempera- tures and do not suffer from corrosion.” Luvocom SCF is a new generation of extra strong,

Right: EPIC

Polymer says its Strator XC carbon fi bre

LFT compounds provide the stiffness of

diecast metal alloys


stiff and impact resistant carbon fi bre reinforced compounds from Lehmann&Voss. “Increases in strength and stiffness in materials often lead to greater fragility, the company says. “This new carbon-fi bre technology, however, pushes the performance bounda- ries of traditional injection-moulding engineering compounds even higher, thereby offering new design possibilities for lighter, stronger components. US-based PlastiComp, mean-

while, claims to have developed the next generation in long fi bre reinforced polyamides, which feature high fl ow characteris- tics and superior surface fi nish, even with high fi bre loadings

INJECTION WORLD | January/February 2014

and without a reduction in thermal or mechanical properties. Cycle time reductions up to 25% along with injection

pressure reductions of up to 40% in thin wall parts are possible, PlastiComp claims. Flow lengths in thin wall parts can also be increased by as much as 30%. PlastiComp has also launched a translucent,

long-fi ber reinforced thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) compound. The company says the compound “can revolutionize structural parts where see-through quality or contact transparency imparts added function- ality.” It cites advantages in medical devices, pumps, fi lters, power tools, sporting equipment, or anything requiring a see-through part-section. Borealis’s Fibremod family of engineered short (SGF)

and long glass fi bre (LGF) compounds consolidates the company’s Xmod and Nepol glass fi bre brands under one common name. Borealis says this portfolio evolution is designed “to streamline the product brand portfolio and to build the stage for the innovation pipeline of all future, fi bre-based materials.” Fibremod will be the future product brand for all fi bre-based, PP compound solutions for automotive applications as well as for white goods and small appliances.

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