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Aptiform, the business launched last year to mould products from self-reinforced plastics, has significantly enhanced its capability by adding self-reinforced PET to its portfolio.
Self-reinforced plastics are a family of materials where the matrix is reinforced by a fibre of the same material, such as polypropylene reinforced with polypropylene. These materials bridge the gap between isotropic polymers and fibre-reinforced composites, with stiffness and strength values typically 5 times those of conventional unreinforced plastics.
Previously, most self-reinforced plastics were based on polyolefins, but PET offers additional advantages. Self-reinforced PET is particularly applicable to large, low-volume parts and is easily painted and bonded, offering significant weight savings compared to GRP mouldings. Applications are anticipated in areas where GRP is currently used but where weight savings are beneficial, such as in mass transit, specialist and construction vehicles.
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.
Aptiform’s proprietary forming 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. This allows OEMs in these sectors to benefit from the light weight, recyclability, high impact performance and low cost offered by self-reinforced PET.
Aptiform’s 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 the light weight, recyclability, high impact performance and low cost of self-reinforced PET at the launch at the JEC Composites Show in Paris. On show will be a variety of moulded self-reinforced PET and 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.
Aptiform has been created from the applied research work undertaken at NetComposites, the applied R&D, consultancy and information organisation. You can visit Aptiform at stand C17 of the JEC Composites Show
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