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Resin Selection for Thermoplastic Composites

Review factors that influence thermoplastic resin selection in composites. A wide range of thermoplastics is available and making an appropriate selection is complicated by the fact that in general, the choices do not excel in every category. This guide will apprise you with the various thermoplastics offered and how to select the correct thermoplastic resin considering different criteria.

Thermoplastic Composites Overview

Thermoplastic Resin Selection

The market share for thermoplastic resins is expanding within a growing composites market. For example, the automotive market is seeking new solutions for lighter vehicles and high volume production. Some applications of thermoplastic composites in the automotive industry include seat frames, battery trays, bumper beams, load floors, front ends, valve covers, rocker panels and under engine covers. In many cases, thermoset resins, such as epoxies, are not satisfactory for these applications and, thus, there is an increased interest in the use of thermoplastic materials.

Advantages of Thermoplastics over Thermosets in Composites

Compared to thermoset resins, there are two major advantages of thermoplastics in composites. The first is that many thermoplastic resins have an increased impact resistance compared to comparable thermoset materials. In some instances, the difference is as high as 10 times the impact resistance.

The other major advantage of thermoplastic composites is the ability to reform. When heat and pressure impregnate a reinforcing fiber with a thermoplastic resin, a physical rather than a chemical change occurs. This allows the thermoplastic composites to be reformed and reshaped. Thus, the thermoplastic composite can be recycled at the end of its life.

Thermoplastics Resins Used in Composites 

Criteria to Select Polymers for Thermoplastics Composites


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