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PlastiComp has installed and commissioned a patent-pending manufacturing line for extruding Long Fibre Thermoplastic (LFT) pipes, beams, and other structural profiles.
The company says its crosshead profile-dies used are designed to co-extrude fibre tows or unidirectional tapes as continuous axial reinforcement in the extruding profile. Polymer is delivered from a 3.5 inch extruder, providing potential profile outputs up to 800 lbs per hour, depending upon profile thickness and reinforcing fibre content. In two initial development applications, two-inch wide rectangular beams and six-inch diameter tubes were co-extruded with unidirectional glass-fibre tapes as the axial reinforcement. The matrix materials of these beams and tubes were long glass-fibre polyethylene (PE) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) compounds, whose composition was specific to the in-use load profile and other material considerations. Possible matrices include any melt processable polymer.
Plasticomp claim the addition of extrusion manufacturing complements its goal of expanding manufacturing options and form-factors of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics for its customers. PlastiComp also acquired a 50,000 sqft facility to showcase and expand on such novel manufacturing technologies.
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