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Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic plates for industry

For applications where the mechanical requirements are too high for unreinforced or short fibre-reinforced plastic stock shapes, Ensinger presents continuous fibre-reinforced thermoplastic plates as an excellent alternative.

Thanks to the continuous fiber reinforcement, usually a woven fabric of glass or carbon fibers, they have mechanical properties otherwise achieved only by metallic materials. At the same time, they are significantly lighter than most metal-based alternatives.

Through the use of thermoplastic matrix materials, the plates nevertheless have the same advantages as unreinforced plates made from thermoplastic materials: high impact strength, constant properties over a broad temperature range, chemical resistance and high elongation at break. By selecting a suitable matrix material, a wide range of customer needs can be met.

Plates made from continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics can be processed into finished parts of outstanding quality with minimal tolerances. Alongside water jet cutting, conventional processing methods are also suitable – assuming suitable facilities and processing parameters.

Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic plates for industry

3 new materials. Ensinger has widened its portfolio of composite plates to include three new materials:

  • Tecatec PPS CW50 black (PPS CFK – Polyphenylene sulfide, carbon fiber-reinforced).
    – High-temperature resistance
    – Good chemical resistance
    – Good dimensional stability over a broad temperature and humidity range
    – Carbon fiber reinforcement increases stiffness and strength
  • Tecatec PEI GW50 natural (PEI GFK – Polyetherimide, glass fiber-reinforced)
    – High continuous service temperature (170°C)
    – Good electrical insulation
    – Fire, smoke and toxicity retardant (FST)
    – Glass fiber reinforcement increases the mechanical properties while keeping costs down
  • Tecatec PC CW50 black (PC CFK – Polycarbonate, carbon fiber-reinforced)
    – Outstanding appearance thanks to crystal-clear, transparent matrix
    – High impact toughness
    – Carbon fiber reinforcement increases stiffness and strength

Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic plates for industry

As light as plastic, as stiff and strong as metal
The new composite plates from Ensinger have densities between 1.5 and 1.8 g/cm³, giving them a similar specific weight to unreinforced or short fiber-reinforced plates. Nevertheless, the reinforcing fibers increase their mechanical properties dramatically to a level similar to metal. Compared with unreinforced polymer plates, continuous fiber-reinforced plates achieve values that are 5 times higher for both tensile strength and Young’s modulus.

Low linear thermal expansion
Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics exhibit extremely low coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE) in a range around 5×10-6 K-1. This property is of great importance for applications in which the parts are subjected to temperature fluctuations over a broad range and where high precision is required.

Outstanding mechanical properties
The thermoplastic matrix gives the plates high impact toughness, with the value significantly higher than in plates with a thermoset matrix such as epoxy or phenolic resins. Moreover, the high elongation at break of the thermoplastics ensures tough, non-brittle fracture behavior. For some applications, the intrinsic vibration damping of the matrix can also be a relevant advantage.

Made-to-measure plates
Ensinger produces the thermoplastic composite plates to customer-specific requirements, with maximum dimensions of 525 x 625 mm. The manufacturer is also flexible when it comes to the plate thickness: in the range 0.5 to 95 mm, any thickness is possible.

Standard products are PEI with reinforcing woven glass fiber as well as PC and PPS with woven carbon fiber. Other matrix and fiber combinations, fiber architectures or customer-specific fiber lay-ups can be provided on request.

Fields of application
Fields of application for continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics include the aerospace industry, mechanical engineering, the automotive industry and the sports equipment sector. In particular for the manufacture of prototypes and small batches, stock shapes are of interest as an affordable option for making small quantities.

Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic plates for industry

Companies: Ensinger

Terms: Business, Innovations, News Worldwide

This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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