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Responding to customer demand for a short fibre thermoplastic material that would outperform the mechanical strength of long fibre thermoplastic (LFT) materials, Piper Plastics has developed the KyronMAX series of structural thermoplastic compounds, an injection mouldable metal replacement technology.
“Our customers wanted the strongest mouldable polymers available without all the process and design limitations associated with LFT polymers,” explains David Wilkinson, Polymer Technology Manager at Piper Plastics. “KyronMAX materials consistently outperform LFT polymers, especially when measuring the performance of the moulded part, which is the true test. They overcome all the limitations associated with LFT compounds while yielding stronger moulded parts that are also lighter in weight.”
KyronMAX is based on short fibre technology, so the polymer behaves more like the isotropic nature of metal which is said to eliminate the processing and fibre breakage concerns associated with LFT compounds. The technology enables complex parts to be moulded with unrivalled mechanical performance and consistency, according to Piper Plastics. Very complex parts can be moulded with wall thicknesses down to 0.015” (0.038 cm).
Competitive structural compounds use high fibre loadings and long fibre lengths to achieve the desired mechanical performance, but the performance of these materials often do not translate into the moulded parts, due to weld line strength loss and fibre length reduction during processing, the company reports. In contrast, KyronMAX technology outperforms other thermoplastic compounds using short fibre technology and much lower filler loadings.
“The lower filler content results in a tough, structural plastic that can be utilised in extremely aggressive applications, yet is still processing friendly and does not require specialized melding equipment,” says Wilkinson. “We are consistently replacing LFT polymers with KyronMAX polymers that are 20% lighter and 20-50% stronger.”
Exhibiting tensile strengths above 51,000 psi (352 MPa) and flexural modulus above 6,500,000 psi (44,816 MPa), the KyronMAX technology is currently formulated in various thermoplastics including PA, PPA, PPSA, PEI, PEEK, with more in current development.
Image provided by Piper Plastics
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