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A one-stop shop for LFT pultrusion lines

News International-French

15 Dec 2016

ProTec Polymer Processing has entered the market as one-stop shop for customised pultrusion lines for the production of high-quality long-fibre-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT).

A one-stop shop for LFT pultrusion lines

With planning, construction and commissioning coming from one hand, these lines are capable of reliably processing even difficult pairings of materials, such as carbon fibres and PP. The company provides a fully equipped, versatile pultrusion line for customer- and application-specific develpments in its technology centre in Bensheim.

Versatile technology for high quality LFT compounds

ProTec's LFT technology is suitable for producing a wide range of materials comprising variable fibre reinforcement in a defined pellet length and using different polymers as the matrix. The lines are capable of producing LFT pellets with fibre contents of up to 65 wt.% at throughputs of up to 1,000 kg/h. Any conventional thermoplastics or even biopolymers such as PLA (polylactic acid) can be used as the matrix, while glass, steel, carbon or aramid fibres can be used as the reinforcing fibres.

In practice, LFT materials with fibre lengths of 7 mm to 25 mm are conventional. When injection moulded, LFT compounds with fibre reinforcement along the length of the pellets result in components which combine high strength and light weight with very good surface quality, as is most particularly required in the automotive industry. LFT pellets with a fibre length of approx. 12 mm are particularly adapted.

A high-performance twin-screw compounding extruder is the keystone of the line, permitting highly flexible production of a broad range of individual polymer matrix formulations directly in the process. Recycled material and additional fillers may likewise be included in the material formulation. The LFT line's impregnation die, where the fibre strands are spread apart and coated with polymer melt, is designed in such a way that, even at recycled material contents of up to 10% in the melt, consistently high quality impregnation of the fibre filaments is achieved. The various different creel racks required for unwinding glass and carbon fibres in the pultrusion line are also available. The turntables with the bobbins of fibres rotate automatically in accordance with the bobbin diameter, so preventing fibre twisting during unwinding.

The system control centrally controls ProTec's LFT line and all its modules, with line speed, extruder throughput and pellet chopping length all being variably adjustable. Additional functions, located upstream or downstream depending on application, may also be integrated into the controller. These include drying, conveying, dosing and mixing of the feed components.