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New Synthetic Mineral Fibres Enhance Polypropylene Performance

  • Friday, 19th November 2010
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The new Hyperform HPR family of reinforcing additives, based on synthetic mineral-based fibres, has been launched by Milliken to enable processors to make high performance polypropylene parts with low weight.

Hyperform HPR-803 is intended primarily for the automotive sector, and Milliken plans other future innovations aimed at applications in automotive, appliances and elsewhere.

We envisage HPR-803 being used mainly in automotive applications, but are not limiting our project scope, says Adam Watson, in charge of marketing for the Hyperform HPR range. It enables the production of polypropylene compounds that have mechanical performance similar to or better than mineral filled compounds, but at lower weight.

HPR-803 fibers have a high aspect ratio of around 40:1. We expect PP compounds containing HPR-803 to replace talc-filled types and possibly other non-PP-based materials too, says Watson. Tests have also demonstrated that HPR-803 works very well in combination with talc, giving processors and end users the opportunity to convert to the new technology in a step-by-step fashion.

Hyperform HPR-803 is added at levels typically one third of those required for talc. This means parts will be lighter, by up to 15%, and cars may use less fuel and have lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Several projects are underway to demonstrate Hyperform HPR-803. Watson cites development trials with an injection moulded bumper support. Milliken demonstrated that a compound containing nine percent of HPR-803 could deliver 10% weight savings over a 20% talc-filled compound, and still maintain dimensional, stiffness and impact requirements, he says.

Milliken say that HPR-803 also enabled the parts to be produced with a shorter cooling time and hence lower overall cycle time, and that test parts demonstrated excellent performance under thermal stability performance testing. According to Milliken, aesthetics are also improved and parts containing the new reinforcing additive exhibit better surface finish and weather resistance than glass fibre reinforced PP parts with similar mechanical properties.

Milliken is working with compounders around the world to develop compounds and masterbatches designed for various applications.


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