A new pilot line for the trial production of long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFRT) compounds is slated to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2012 in Germany. “This pilot line at our Kaiserslautern unit gives customers the unique opportunity to work with our engineering thermoplastic experts on the development of fiber reinforced materials that best suit their needs for innovative applications,” says Thorsten Neidhoefer, global LFRT development manager at Ticona (Sulzbach, Germany).
Ticona also reports that its LFRT business set new global production records in the third quarter 2012 that will enable it to support the increasing demand for this metal replacement material in automotive, industrial, electrical and electronic, and consumer applications.
“Ticona is well positioned to meet the continued global demand of LFRT products by our global customers thanks to the success of our manufacturing staff and their great production achievements,” says Bjorn Hofman, director – Europe, Middle East & Africa, Ticona.
“With LFRT manufacturing units in strategic locations in the United States (Winona, MN), Germany (Kaiserslautern) and China (Nanjing), Ticona is truly capable of supporting customers worldwide.” The long fiber reinforced thermoplastics product offering from Ticona includes Celstran LFRT and Factor LFRT, which offer a combination of stiffness and toughness unparalleled by conventional short fiber reinforced thermoplastics.
Both products provide customers with outstanding value in meeting the needs of demanding applications that require part consolidation, weight reduction, sound dampening and metal replacement:
- Automotive Industry – Structural, functional and appearance parts (instrument panels, door modules, battery trays, clutch pedals, gear shift levers, consoles, HVAC louvers, air intake pipes, fascia supports, front end modules)
- Industrial/Appliances – Housings, gears, pulleys, wheels, fan blades
- Electrical/Electronics – EMI/RFI shielded housings and conductive parts for static dissipation
- Sporting Goods and Recreational Equipment – Snow board bindings, ATV components, motor housings
Each is produced in a proprietary pultrusion process that achieves the necessary impregnation quality without damage to the fibers. Incorporated fibers can be glass, carbon, aramid or stainless steel. Nearly all types of polymers are suitable, including polypropylene and polyamide. Celstran LFRT and Factor LFRT can be tailored to provide application-specific combinations of mechanical properties:
- High dimensional stability and excellent mechanical properties
- Very high energy absorption, and therefore easily meets crash requirements
- Retention of properties such as impact resistance, rigidity and strength over a wide temperature range
- High heat distortion temperature
- Low creep, low warpage and shrinkage.