NetComposites
3M

Aptiform to Mould Self-Reinforced Plastics

17 September 2006

Composites Europe 2006 will see the launch of a new business, Aptiform, specifically to mould components from self-reinforced plastics, borne out of extensive development work and increasing customer demand.

The business is dedicated to the manufacture of complex components from self-reinforced plastics - a family of materials that offer a unique balance of properties and cost. The unique forming process used by Aptiform allows OEMs to benefit from the light weight, recyclability, high impact performance and low cost offered by self-reinforced plastics.

Self-reinforced plastics bridge the gap between isotropic polymers and fibre-reinforced composites, with stiffness and strength values typically 5 times those of conventional unreinforced plastics.

Because these materials are not contaminated with dissimilar reinforcing materials like glass fibres they can be more easily recycled, whist offering comparable strength and stiffness properties and the advantage of reduced weight.

Moulding self-reinforced plastics via conventional moulding techniques gives mixed results, but Aptiform’s process has been developed over several years in collaboration with leading industrial companies and universities, enabling them to successfully mould complex shapes in these relatively new materials. Their capabilities also include finishing, joining, painting and recycling of self-reinforced plastics, allowing the complete supply of finished, assembled components.

Aptiform will show how OEM’s can benefit from light weight, recyclability, high impact performance and low cost materials at their launch at Composites Europe 2006 in Essen, Germany. On show will be a variety of moulded self-reinforced polypropylene products ranging from painted automotive body panels to medical orthoses, demonstrating the uses of moulded self-reinforced plastic products in the automotive, medical, protective equipment and construction sectors. The image shows automotive panels similar to those that will be on display at the show.

Aptiform has been created from the applied research work undertaken at NetComposites, the applied R&D, consultancy and information organisation. Both Aptiform and NetComposites will share a stand at Composites Europe, and will be pleased to provide further information on both organisations to visitors. Composites Europe will be held in Essen, Germany, next week, from 20th to 22nd September.






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