Explaining Thermoplastic Reinforcements

Composites One supplies thermoplastic reinforcements and resins to help customers make the most of their composites manufacturing processes. This article focuses on thermoplastic reinforcements.

When a reinforcement fiber is added to a thermoplastic polymer resin, the result is a stronger, tougher reinforced thermoplastic that can perform in more demanding and complex applications and can also be remolded for multiple uses. Thermoplastic reinforcements are often used for applications in the transportation and defense/ballistic sectors.

Types of thermoplastic reinforcements

There are several types of reinforced thermoplastics – composite materials made of a polymer matrix and reinforced with fibers – that work well in composites manufacturing processes. Examples include both short fiber thermoplastic (SFTP) and long fiber thermoplastic (LFTP) used with injection molding, and carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) used with the process of winding, to name a few.

The properties of reinforced thermoplastics that are beneficial in demanding industry applications include:

  • Superior mechanical properties
  • Toughness
  • Impact resistance
  • Superior abrasion
  • Corrosion and solvent resistance
  • Very low moisture absorption
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Recyclable
  • Weight reduction

Applications for thermoplastic reinforcements

In composites manufacturing processing, reinforced thermoplastics offer additional value in the forms of reduced per-part cost, fast, no-cure processing times, less scrap, reduced or no shelf life, production automation, thick part processing, and welding or fusion bon.

While simple thermoplastic polymer resin is used to make everyday items, such as bottles, toys, and appliances, reinforced thermoplastics are ideal for large parts and applications, such as piping, trailers, shipping containers, wall construction, and RVs. There is growing adoption and use for thermoplastic reinforcements by manufacturers in the automotive, sports and leisure, and transportation sectors. Specifically, in the aerospace segment, reinforced thermoplastics meet manufacturers’ need for quick rate production and cost and weight reduction, resulting in the evolving use of reinforced thermoplastics for primary structures.

Composites One is your one source for thermoplastic reinforcements and other related products, including thermoplastic polymer resin, thermoplastic chopped strand, and thermoplastic prepreg. If you need fast cycle times in manufacturing processes, plus longer shelf life and reduced emissions, contact us to learn how we can help.