Long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) materials and technologies leader PlastiComp (Winona, MN) and Italian short-carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics specialist Xenia (Mussolente) announced at JEC Europe 2015 that they have entered into a strategic partnership. As part of the partnership, Xenia will develop innovative solutions based on PlastiComp's ComplÄt LFT-reinforced thermoplastic composites and Xenia's XECARB short-carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites for the European market.
"This combines the carbon-fiber expertise of two esteemed firms: Xenia is renowned for its work with short-carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics and PlastiComp for our long and continuous fiber variants," said Steve Bowen, President and CEO of PlastiComp.
As a result of the partnership, Xenia now has a full line of carbon-fiber composites that will allow the company to develop more applications benefitting from the material's reduced weight and high-performance properties. "We are delighted to expand our capabilities with carbon-fiber technology through our partnership with PlastiComp," said Xenia President Fabio Azzolin.
Xenia engineers and manufactures reinforced thermoplastic composites for structural applications, combining reinforcing fibers, such as carbon or aramid, with functional additives, such as PTFE, to improve the mechanical and tribological properties of thermoplastic polymers. The company's products are highly recommended for the replacement of metals in applications ranging from industrial, transportation, oil and gas and agriculture to technical sports.
Injection moldable ComplÄt long-fiber composite pellets from PlastiComp are available with 15 to 50% carbon fiber in thermoplastic polymers from polypropylene to PEEK. Composite formulations can be custom engineered to include wear reduction, electrical conductivity and flame retardant properties in addition to long-fiber structural reinforcement. Continuous-fiber-reinforced tapes are available in 0.5 to 7.5 cm widths in the same polymer range as pellet products.
PlastiComp recently developed a line of hybrid long glass+carbon fiber composites that combine long glass and carbon fiber together into a single ready-to-mold pellet. Hybrid products are available with variable combinations of the fiber types to bridge the performance gap between using either of these two fibers alone. They also lower the entry cost for adopting carbon-fiber technology by reducing the quantity of carbon fiber needed to obtain high-performance properties.