12 November 2004
12 November 2004
Milliken & Company have introduced Mouldable Fabric Technology (MFT), an engineered thermoplastic composite based on PURE with improved impact resistance and stiffness.
MFT is made from a patent-pending, polypropylene technology that is claimed to preserve its impact-resistance properties even at low temperatures, is fully recyclable and safer to handle than glass-filled composites. It is a composite material based on PURE technology resulting in a highly-engineered polypropylene tape yarn, with a highly-drawn core for strength properties within a lower melt polymer matrix for composite processing.
“Milliken’s leadership in the plastic and textile markets uniquely positions us to bring this highly innovative product to the marketplace,” says Mark Blackman, business manager, Milliken New Ventures. “Milliken plans to leverage its global research and development capabilities, as well as its sales and technical support centres, to facilitate the initial rollout of MFT. Initial interest has been very high in the transportation and recreational markets for applications such as under-body shields, small boats and body panels.”
Designed for use in pressure thermoforming processes, Milliken state that MFT is 30 percent to 60 percent lighter, at the same stiffness, than homo-polymer polypropylene (HPP), impact copolymer (ICP), high density polyethylene (HDPE), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), glass mat thermoplastic (GMT), woven glass products, steel and aluminium. At the same time, MFT provides 2X to 15X improvement in impact resistance over typical thermoplastics and thermoplastic composites, even at low temperatures of -40º C. A data sheet that verifies this data is available from Milliken.
MFT is available in fabric and consolidated sheets. Processing temperature of the thermoplastic composite is 140-160 C, and it can be moulded using aluminium tooling. MFT can also be moulded in few or many layers and can be sandwiched to make composites with aluminium and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) films, among others.
PURE technology is the springboard for the product launch of MFT which is the result of five years of research. As the market grows and the applications for our products grow, the combination of the PURE technology and Milliken polymers additives capabilities and expertise will allow us to tailor our products to meet a wide range of cost and performance targets.
Research to develop a revolutionary high-performance composite metal hybrid stabiliser bar for trucks and trains has entered a new phase. The findings from the project to date show that the technology has the potential to spin out into other sectors such as aerospace and could see the UK take a global lead with this disruptive technology.