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Polystrand have started up of a new production line for their fibre-reinforced thermoplastic tape products.
Incorporating all of the technical refinements the company has developed since it began consolidating continuous fibres and thermoplastic materials two years ago, the new line is twice the width of the company’s first two production lines – 25 inches instead of 12-1/2 inches – and is capable of making 15 to 20 million pounds of material annually, depending on fibre type.
“Adding a 25-inch production line with speeds in excess of 100 feet per minute moves this breakthrough material to a proven, world class, large-volume production process,” said Ed Pilpel, president of Polystrand. “Depending on the specifications of the material we are producing, this new line effectively doubles our manufacturing capacity.”
Pilpel also said tapes from all of the company’s production lines can be combined to provide continuous rolls of material up to 62-1/2 inches wide. A 50-inch width is standard. Rolls of Polystrand material, either unidirectional or cross-ply tapes, typically contain 1,500 feet of material and weigh about 1,000 pounds.
Pilpel says Polystrand continues to expand capacity ahead of demand to assure engineers and designers that material will be available when their project reaches production. “We will add more lines in 15 million-pound increments as the demand grows,” said Pilpel. “We built the Polystrand facility with an eye to the future and can add three more lines to the present plant before we need another facility.”
Polystrand tapes are made in a process that impregnates continuous fibre with a polypropylene, polyethylene or copolymer thermoplastic resin. Tapes are generally 60 to 80 percent continuous advanced fibres, including E glass, S glass and aramid fibres, and 20 to 40 percent thermoplastic. The fibres are arranged in a unidirectional or 0°/90° bi-directional orientation.
Material from the new line was in the Polystrand booth at Composites & Polycon 2006 in St. Louis.
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