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EMS-GRIVORY Develops Continuous Thermoplastic Composites Process

19 October 2001

EMS-GRIVORY, the Swiss specialist for nylons, has performed successful trials with a novel production process called ECP (EMS-Continuous Polymerisation).

As a key feature, the ECP-process works with a nylon based liquid impregnation system developed by EMS-GRIVORY some years ago. This matrix system, consisting out a monomer and an activator, combines the processing advantages of thermosets such as low viscosity with the property profile of thermoplastics. However, in contrast to conventional thermoset systems, the water-like viscosity of this system is even lower and the reaction time of a few minutes is even shorter. The final product offers the well-known properties of nylon such as high toughness, excellent chemical resistance and of course all kind of thermoplastic post-processing.

After intensive work on discontinuous processes such as thermoplastic resin transfer moulding, EMS-GRIVORY is now in a position to process in its laboratory the same nylon system in a continuous process. After a pressureless, but complete impregnation of the fibres, the composite product is polymerised and cooled down in a short time. The production speed depends of course on the length of the polymerisation zone, but can be also increased by different kind of activators. An output of several metres per minutes can be achieved with the present concept of the ECP-process.

""The process is of interest for a large variety of applications, such as profiles and tapes, but the production of impregnated sheets for subsequent, discontinuous stamp forming an option , "" said Peter Maskus, Manager of the composite department at EMS-GRIVORY. The technology has attracted great interest and there are ongoing discussions and trials with potential users of this technology. EMS-GRIVORY is still open for further ideas and willing to grant licences.

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