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PlastiComp Fills Long Fiber Performance Gap with Development of Hybrid Long Glass+Carbon Fiber Thermoplastic Composites

WINONA, MINN., USA – PlastiComp, Inc., a global leader in long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) materials and technologies, has developed an innovative set of hybrid thermoplastic composites that combine long glass fiber and long carbon fiber reinforcement together in a single, ready-to-mold composite pellet. The new products expand the performance range of long fiber material options available to product designers while offering a cost effective avenue to adopt the high performance capabilities of carbon fiber.

Hybrid Long Glass+Carbon Fiber Composites“PlastiComp’s new hybrid long glass+carbon fiber reinforced products really hit a sweet spot that nicely bridge the performance gap between using either of these fibers by themselves,” said Eric Wollan, business development manager at PlastiComp. “The carbon fiber significantly boosts strength and stiffness while the glass fiber allows the toughness that many choose LFT materials for to be retained. Strength and toughness are key long fiber attributes that can’t be achieved in unison with other reinforcement methods.”

A nylon 6/6 hybrid 40% long glass+carbon fiber reinforced composite with 20% carbon fiber and 20% glass fiber has a tensile strength of 41,200 psi (284 MPa), which is 96% that of an equivalently loaded long carbon fiber material and 24% higher than a similar long glass fiber material. It possesses a flexural modulus of 2,600 ksi (17,931 MPa), which is 87% that of carbon and 86% higher than glass. The inclusion of long glass fiber allows the material to retain 78% of the un-notched impact capability of glass at 18.8 ft-lb/in (1,004 J/m), which is a 25% improvement over carbon alone.

40% Long Glass Fiber PA6/6 Hybrid 40% Long Glass+Carbon Fiber PA6/6 40% Long Carbon Fiber PA6/6
Specific Gravity 1.45 1.40 1.31
Tensile Strength 33,300 psi
230 MPa
41,200 psi
284 MPa
43,000 psi
297 MPa
Tensile Modulus 1,700 ksi
11,724 MPa
3,500 ksi
24,138 MPa
4,500 ksi
31,034 MPa
Flexural Strength 47,500 psi
328 MPa
58,700 psi
405 MPa
66,000 psi
455 MPa
Flexural Modulus 1,400 ksi
9,655 MPa
2,600 ksi
17,931 MPa
A3,000 ksi
20,690 MPa
Notched Izod Impact 4.0 ft lb/in 214 J/m ASTM D-256
Un-notched Izod Impact 24.0 ft-lb/in
1,282 J/m
18.8 ft-lb/in
1,004 J/m
15.0 ft-lb/in
801 J/m
Deflection Temperature @ 264 psi (1,820 kPa) 490 °F
254 °C
490 °F
254 °C
485 °F
252 °C

“There is an interesting synergy taking place in these hybrid long glass+carbon fiber composites,” said Wollan, “we can cut the amount of carbon fiber used in half and still keep 85-95% of the strength and stiffness, plus the addition of glass fiber is bumping up the durability by up to 25%. That performance combination really makes these products attractive, because they land right where a lot of people need to be to use LFT composites as substitutes for metals.”

“Although long carbon fiber reinforced composites are the pinnacle of thermoplastic performance, economically their use can’t be justified in a lot of applications,” said Wollan. “Now, with these new hybrid long glass+carbon fiber composites, PlastiComp has a stepping stone material in the middle of the glass fiber to carbon fiber gap that can be 20-50% less expensive with hardly any performance hit.”

PlastiComp can customize the percentage combinations of glass and carbon fiber in these hybrid LFT materials to tailor performance and cost to meet individual application specifications across any market segment. They are especially advantageous to consumer and sporting goods products where the inclusion of carbon fiber allows them to be marketed as utilizing high performance composites and obtain a price premium. The cost/benefit ratio of these composites should be attractive to the automotive and transportation industries that are aggressively trying to reduce weight for improved fuel economy and lower emissions. They are strong contenders for under-the-hood components that require elevated temperature and load bearing capabilities.

PlastiComp manufactures its LFT Complēt® composite pellets using an optimized pultrusion process that maximizes resin and fiber bonding to obtain the highest possible mechanical properties. Hybrid long glass+carbon and other LFT composites from PlastiComp are made-to-order in polymers from polypropylene to PEEK.

As a vertical, full-service long fiber compounder, PlastiComp can provide design and analysis services when converting applications to new materials as well as partnering with OEMs on new product development programs to customize LFT materials and processes to meet specific performance criteria.

For more information on Complēt® pelletized composite compounds or other LFT products and technologies available from PlastiComp, please call +1 507-858-0330, e-mail info@plasticomp.com, or visit their website at www.plasticomp.com.

About PlastiComp
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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