Long fibre thermoplastic is injection mouldable

Pellets from NetComposites are an alternative to glass LFT and continuous fibre composites.
NetComposites has developed injection mouldable long fibre thermoplastic (LFT) flax/PP and jute/PP pellets.

The pellets are offered as an alternative to glass LFT and continuous fibre composites and made using pultrusion technology and commingled yarns.

Benefits include a stiffness due to natural fibres, that is comparable to glass, resulting in pellets which are low weight, capable of complex moulding geometries. They also offer good impact and creep resistance and improved performance over alternative short-fibre materials, claims the company.

The pellets are suited to light-weight applications such as automotive interiors. The company is working with an automotive trim supplier to develop an interior panel using flax/PP pellets. The materials have a specific modulus comparable with that of glass fibres, but around 40% lighter.

Other LFT variants are in development, such as polymer reinforced polymer (PRP) pellets with a PET reinforcement and PP matrix. These offer another lightweight and highly impact-resistant alternative to glass/PP products.

The pellets will be at JEC Europe 2015 (10 to 12 March) Paris, France.

Caroline Hayes

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