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PlastiComp Develops Drop-in Magnesium Substitute Long Fibre Composites

09 September 2014

PlastiComp Develops Drop-in Magnesium Substitute Long Fibre Composites

PlastiComp, has expanded its Complete LFT composite pellet product line to include drop-in replacements for die-cast magnesium. 

The company states the new LFT products duplicate both the mechanical and electrical properties of magnesium in injection moulding or extrusion materials that offer up to 40% reductions in weight.

“Structurally, long fibre reinforced composites have a history of successfully being used to replace metals, such as aluminium, because they offer weight savings and easier fabrication which provide considerable cost reductions.  Where composites have previously fallen short is in meeting the combination of both structural and electrical characteristics of metals,” said Raj Mathur, Ph.D., Vice President Technology at PlastiComp.  “It is common in the consumer electronics and automotive industries to use metals like magnesium for their stiffness and EMI shielding properties.  Now, PlastiComp is able to offer LFT drop-in substitutes that allow these types of metal applications to be converted to long fibre.”

PlastiComp claims its new LFT composites match the mechanical performance of pressure die-cast magnesium and aluminium with tensile modulus values up to 42,000 MPa.  On the electrical side, they offer surface resistivity values down to 0.2 ohm/sq and EMI shielding capabilities in the 60-80 dB range depending on wall section thickness.

“Even though our new materials contain both long fibre reinforcement and nanofillers to achieve magnesium substitution properties they mould extremely well,” said Mathur.  “PlastiComp has already successfully demonstrated commercial applications, with cross sections in the 0.7 to 1 mm range, which were injection moulded without any difficulty using these LFT composites.  Microstructural characterisation showed a conductive network of intertwined carbon fibres and uniform dispersion of the nanofillers throughout the parts.”

According to PlastiComp, the combination of mechanical and electrical properties provided in these new LFT composites are achievable in a wide range of polymers from commodity to engineering resins based on performance requirements and price sensitivity of applications.

Photo provided by Plasticomp





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