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KyronMAX structural thermoplastic materials from Piper Plastics target metal replacement; reportedly outperform the mechanical strength of long-fiber thermoplastic compounds.

Stephen Moore

January 24, 2018

2 Min Read
Short-fiber-reinforced compounds outperform long fiber in structural applications

Responding to customer demand for a short-fiber thermoplastic material that would outperform the mechanical strength of long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) materials, Piper Plastics, a leading provider of high performance polymer materials and precision machined plastic components and assemblies, has developed the KyronMAX series of structural thermoplastic compounds, the next generation in injection moldable metal replacement technology.

“Our customers wanted the strongest moldable polymers available without all the process and design limitations associated with LFT polymers,” explained David Wilkinson, Polymer Technology Manager at Piper Plastics. “KyronMAX materials consistently outperform LFT polymers, especially when measuring the performance of the molded part, which is the true test. They overcome all the limitations associated with LFT compounds while yielding stronger molded parts that are also lighter in weight.”  

Short-fiber compounds deliver high mechanical strength and processing flexibility.

What makes KyronMAX technology unique is that it is based on short fiber technology, so the polymer behaves more like the isotropic nature of metal and eliminates the processing and fiber breakage concerns associated with LFT compounds according to Piper Plastics. The technology reportedly enables very complex parts to be molded with unrivaled mechanical performance and consistency. One feature of the short fiber technology is that very complex parts can be molded with wall thicknesses down to 0.015” (0.038 cm)

Competitive structural compounds use high fiber loadings and long fiber lengths to achieve the desired mechanical performance, but the performance of these materials often do not translate into the molded parts, due to weld line strength loss and fiber length reduction during processing according to Piper Plastics. In contrast, KyronMAX technology outperforms all other thermoplastic compounds using short fiber technology and much lower filler loadings. “The lower filler content results in a tough, structural plastic that can be utilized in extremely aggressive applications, yet is still processing friendly and does not require specialized molding equipment,” said Wilkinson.

“We are consistently replacing LFT polymers with KyronMAX polymers that are 20% lighter and 20-50% stronger,” said Wilkinson. Exhibiting tensile strengths above 51,000 psi (352 MPa) and flexural modulus above 6.5 million psi (44,816 MPa), the KyronMAX technology platform is currently formulated in various thermoplastics including polyamide (PA), polyphthalamide (PPA), polyetherimide (PEI), and polyetheretherketone (PEEK), with more in current development.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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