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Polystrand is now able to produce laminated structural panels incorporating their ThermoPro continuous advanced fibre and thermoplastic reinforcement.
Combined in a process requiring no adhesive, the reinforcement adds lightweight strength, stiffness and impact resistance to traditional core materials such as polypropylene honeycomb, foam, wood and other advanced core materials. Potential applications include cargo containers, load-bearing floors and side panels of recreational vehicles, and walls for rail cars and trucks.
Samples of the new laminated panels will be shown next week in Paris at JEC Composites 2006, where Polystrand is exhibiting for the first time.
“We look forward to having the market see this new laminated product,” said Ed Pilpel, president of Polystrand. “Customers who worked with us in developing the panels are excited about the ability to add strength and impact resistance with a lightweight reinforcement that requires no adhesive for lamination. Thermoplastic resin in the reinforcement is able to bond the materials together.”
Pilpel said structural laminates will be made with Polystrand X-ply tape, a reinforcement material made in a proprietary process that impregnates continuous fibre with a polypropylene thermoplastic resin. Tapes used for structural laminates are generally 60 to 70 percent continuous advanced fibers, including E or S glass fibre, and 30 to 40 percent polypropylene thermoplastic. The fibres are arranged in a 0°/90° orientation.
Laminated panels can be made with several types of wood including balsa, fibreboard, luan, oriented strand board and particle board.
“The new panels give manufacturers a great way to add impact resistance and stiffness to their products without adding a lot of weight,” said Pilpel.
Also at JEC, Polystrand will show ThermoBallistic-H armor panel, a hybrid thermoplastic material made with both “E” and “S” glass fibre. Announced in February this year, the new hybrid material combines layers of ThermoBallistic-E and ThermoBallistic-S reinforcing tape in a 0°/90° orientation. Previously, Polystrand reinforcing materials were made with only E Glass or S Glass.
“We have received a lot of inquiries since announcing the availability of the new hybrid material in February,” said Pilpel. “Interest has gone beyond ballistics to include a variety of other applications. The ability to produce lighter weight parts, for example, is especially attractive to aircraft, automotive, construction and infrastructure applications, and faster moulding and reduced waste have been attractive to everyone.
“Lower material cost is just the beginning,” concluded Pilpel. “Eliminating emissions, reducing mold time and eliminating waste are also benefits that impact the bottom line.”
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