New grades of Celstran®+ PP long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFRT) have been unveiled by Ticona Engineering Polymers. These grades are designed to outperform SMA resins and PC/ABS blends that are commonly used by North American OEMs to mold automotive instrument panels, air duct panels and reinforcement components.
They offer excellent processing properties that ensure uniform glass fiber distribution and a good surface finish. It is designed to compete with styrenemaleic anhydride (SMA) resins and polycarbonate (PC)/ acrylonitrilebutadiene styrene (ABS) blends. Unlike conventional methods for producing long fiber reinforced thermoplastics, Ticona uses a pultrusion process to achieve very even fiber coating with the base polymer and uniform fiber distributor in the matrix. This not only gives the engineering thermoplastic better stability, but also increases production reliability and reduces the cost of cleaning the production units, since less abrasion occurs and less dust is generated. The plastic matrix in Celstran LFRT can be formulated with different polymer feedstocks, from polypropylene and nylon to polyurethane. The combination of mechanical properties, impact and creep resistance, and low warpage imparted by these LFRT products makes them ideal candidates for automotive components, such as instrument panels, door modules, interior trim, center consoles, front end modules or other applications that require large, strong, light weight components or assemblies.
These grades offer automotive OEMs several advantages:
Weight and cost savings -- less weight at equal wall thickness
Optimal mechanical properties -- best crash characteristics in -35 degrees Celsius
Improved creep resistance -- resists compression and deformation from skin/cover shrinkage
Improved impact performance -- reduces breakage during shipping, handling and assembly
Improved notched impact strength -- better load transfer and predictable performance in cold temperature air bag deployment
Superior tensile strength -- higher tensile strength and elongation resulting in ductile behavior
Greater load bearing capacity -- ability to integrate more metal brackets and reinforcements into substrate or eliminate entirely
Increased sound dampening properties -- improved comfort in auto interiors due to removal of sound
Low carbon emission -- customized formulation to meet auto interior standards