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PlastiComp, Inc. has installed and commissioned a patent-pending manufacturing line for extruding Long Fiber Thermoplastic (LFT) pipes, beams, and other structural profiles.
The crosshead profile-dies used are designed to co-extrude fiber tows or unidirectional tapes as continuous axial reinforcement in the extruding profile. Polymer is delivered from a 3.5 inch extruder, providing potential profile outputs up to 800 pounds per hour, depending upon profile thickness and reinforcing fiber content. In two initial development applications, 2-inch wide rectangular beams and 6-inch diameter tubes were co-extruded with unidirectional glass-fiber tapes as the axial reinforcement. The matrix materials of these beams and tubes were long glass-fiber polyethylene (PE) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) compounds, whose composition was specific to the in-use load profile and other material considerations. Possible matrices include any melt processable polymer.The addition of extrusion manufacturing complements PlastiComp’s goal of expanding manufacturing options and form-factors of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics for its customers. PlastiComp also acquired a 50,000 ft2 facility to showcase and expand on such novel manufacturing technologies. In addition to its independent process & product development, PlastiComp will also partner with customers to develop application-specific, extruded-forms and respective material compositions and fiber architecture. The customer programs are fully supported with in-house computer aided engineering (CAE) capabilities that integrate part & tool design, material-selection, and manufacturing. About PlastiComp:The PlastiComp business focus is in long fiber reinforced composite thermoplastic technology: both LFT (long fiber reinforced thermoplastic pellets) and D-LFT (direct long fiber reinforced thermoplastic), and D-GMT (direct glass mat thermoplastic) direct in-line compounding technologies. Complēt composite pellets, produced with LFT technology, are made for the injection molding market in standard as well as custom formulations. PlastiComp manufactures and installs Pushtrusion machinery for direct in-line compounding as a D-LFT technology for injection molding as well as a D-GMT technology for compression molding. In addition, PlastiComp does advanced technology part molding and contract research and development including: material formulation, part testing, process development, and evaluation. PlastiComp also licenses LFT pellet manufacturing technology, with agreements in place at industry-leading companies in Europe and Asia. More information:www.plasticomp.com