Long Fibre Thermoplastics
Metal substitution has entered a new phase, further pushing the performance limits of thermoplastic materials. For some applications, fibreglass reinforced materials need to support very high loads, or to absorb high impact energy without compromising on part rigidity. In this area, where even highly optimized short glass fibre reinforced products reach their limits, Long Fibre Thermoplastics (LFTP) definitely offer new opportunities.
The key feature of parts made from long glass fibre reinforced plastic is the 3-D glass fibre skeleton formed during the conventional injection-moulding step. This skeleton, made up of 3 to 6 millimetre fibres, forms the core of the component and is retained even after ashing. It explains the outstanding physical properties of the end products at both low and high temperatures. In a moulded piece, conventionally reinforced with chopped strands, glass fibres tend to be oriented in the flow direction, leading to distortion effects. With long glass fibres, the preferential orientation is reduced and pieces are more isotropic with very limited warpage and excellent dimensional stability after moulding. This 3-D structure introduces significant improvements in impact resistance, in particular notched and multi-axial impact, without affecting the component rigidity. In the same way, it’s easy to understand that LFTP based components display much better long-term resistance to solicitations (creep and fatigue) in a wide range of temperatures.
A world of new opportunities thanks to 3B LFTP rovings
The automotive industry is the major market for LFTP materials, representing more than 85% of the applications. Glass Mat Thermoplatsic (GMT) replacement is already ongoing thanks to cost and production advantages. New opportunities are clearly foreseen in engine mounts, crash absorbers, seat structure inserts, safety parts.
Other industry segments show increasing interest for LFTP materials. Applications are to be found in household appliances, power tools, electronic components and structural panels. Glass fibre is playing an important role in the performance of LFTP materials through the control of the fibre-resin adhesion and the strength of the 3-D glass skeleton.
3B has developed flexible direct roving grades specifically designed to respond to process requirements and offer enhanced mechanical performances towards established reference materials. These make 3B products ideal for pursuing LFTP penetration on new markets.
3B Product Offering
|3B E-CR glass for Thermoplastics|
|SE 4220||LFTP processes. Polypropylene compatible|
|SE 4535||LFTP processes. Polyamide compatible|