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Easy Recylability Spurs Interest in All-PP Composites

SpecialChem / Sep 7, 2005

Because of their excellent price-performance ratio, polypropylene (PP) composites are growing rapidly in the automotive industry and other high-volume outlets. But the glass fillers used to reinforce most PP composites today hamper recycling, an increasingly important requirement for automotive materials. Recycling is greatly eased if both the resin matrix and reinforcing fibers of a composite are made of the same material. As a result, there is great interest in all-polypropylene composites. Several manufacturers have developed technologies for preparing all-PP composites, which consist of PP polymers filled with PP fibers. Some of these products have already been commercially introduced. Because such composites are relatively new, they have not had a chance to make a big impact on the market. They also cost more than older glass-based composites, which could be an initial barrier for these materials. However, manufacturers of all-PP composites say that they offer enhanced performance over conventional PP composites, which makes the price differential less of an issue.

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