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Polystrand Product Enables In-Mould Reinforcement

09 June 2006

Samples of thermoplastic components augmented with Polystrand in-mould reinforcement will be shown this month in Chicago at NPE 2006, where Polystrand is exhibiting for the first time.

“We look forward to having the market know about this new processing possibility,” said Ed Pilpel, president of Polystrand. “Customers who worked with us in testing the process are excited about the ability to add strength and impact resistance in-mould with a lightweight reinforcement that requires no adhesive for lamination. Thermoplastic resin impregnated in the reinforcement is able to bond the materials together.”

Pilpel said ThermoPro reinforcements work with vacuum forming in much the same way molders currently add in-mould colours and graphics. He said the in-mould augmentation will be done with Polystrand Unidirectional and X-ply tapes, which are reinforcement materials made in a proprietary process that impregnates continuous fibre with a polypropylene thermoplastic resin. Tapes are generally 60 to 70 percent continuous advanced fibres, including E or S glass fibre, and 30 to 40 percent polypropylene thermoplastic. The fibres are arranged in a parallel or 0°/90° orientation.

“The tape gives thermoplastic moulders a great way to add strength, impact resistance and stiffness to their products without adding a lot of weight or adding another step to their process,” said Pilpel. “The tapes provide a clean and easy way to reinforce thermoplastic parts.

Also at NPE, Polystrand will show laminated structural panels incorporating ThermoPro reinforcements, and ThermoBallistic-H armour panel, a hybrid thermoplastic material made with both E and S glass fibre. Announced in February this year, the new hybrid material combines layers of ThermoBallistic-E and ThermoBallistic-S reinforcing tape in a 0°/90° orientation. Previously, Polystrand reinforcing materials were made with only E Glass or S Glass.

Pilpel said all of the new products have the same benefits as other Polystrand continuous fiber and thermoplastic products. In comparison to messy thermosetting composites, processing Polystrand material is easy, clean and simple. There are no Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions or hazardous chemicals involved. The reinforcing material is dry and easily cut into needed shapes. No special storage is required and shelf life is virtually indefinite.

Polystrand reinforcements are distributed in North America by Composites One.