Enhanced Surface Appearance Distinguishes PlastiComp’s Velocity Series of Long Fiber Reinforced Nylon Composites
WINONA, MINN., USA – PlastiComp, Inc., a global leader in long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) materials and technologies, recently revealed the enhanced aesthetic capabilities of its Velocity® high flow nylon long fiber reinforced composites. The products simplify the injection molding of high fiber content LFT components by more easily producing the smooth, fiber-free finish desired on external surfaces.
PlastiComp developed its Velocity series of high flow nylon (polyamide) 6 and 66 LFT composites to facilitate easier and quicker molding of high glass or carbon fiber content materials. Standard LFT materials with fiber loadings of 50% or above exhibit high viscosity characteristics which can make them problematic to mold, especially in thin wall sections.
“What was originally a side benefit of improving flow has turned out to be a very desirable attribute of our Velocity long fiber products,” said Eric Wollan, business development manager at PlastiComp. “As the use of LFT’s progresses from industrial goods and internal structural elements to consumer goods and exposed housings, their appearance and surface finish has become a more important selection criteria.”
With standard high fiber content materials, higher molding temperatures are required to obtain a resin-rich surface, which results in slower cycle times and increased operating costs. When using PlastiComp’s Velocity long fiber grades, enhanced, fiber-free surfaces are obtainable at 30-40°F (17-22°C) lower processing temperatures. A smooth to the touch, resin-rich surface free of fibers makes colors appear more vibrant and is capable of holding finer embossed details – such visual characteristics are important to establishing high product quality perceptions among consumers.
“The superior surface finish of our Velocity LFT products virtually eliminates the need for any type of secondary finishing operations and it’s possible to achieve a near class-A surface finish with polished molds,” said Wollan. “Combining these aesthetic benefits with Velocity’s capabilities for producing thinner wall sections that facilitate more complex designs while utilizing less material and PlastiComp has long fiber reinforced materials that are ready to take on a new generation of applications.”
3X images show (left) the surface finish of a standard 50% long glass fiber nylon 66 composite with fibers present on the part surface and (right) the surface finish of a Velocity® 50% long glass fiber nylon 66 composite with its smooth, fiber-free surface finish that is better able to hold fine details. Both samples were injection molded using the same processing conditions.
Deploying a partnership philosophy combined with a fully integrated approach to application development, PlastiComp focuses its expertise on moving innovative long fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite technology into new markets and applications by applying long fiber’s stronger, tougher, and lighter capabilities to make products better. Ready to process Complēt® composite pellets for injection molding provide made to order performance by incorporating long carbon, glass, or specialty fibers with thermoplastic polymers ranging from polypropylene to PEEK for application specific structural material solutions.
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