What are the typical properties and benefits of long fiber composites?

PyrolysisThe benefits of long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) composites can be easily understood by examining the entangled long fiber matrix formed in a finished part. Exposing a molded part to pyrolysis conditions, commonly referred to as burn-off, removes the polymer and leaves behind the glass reinforcing fibers allowing visual examination. The fiber network that is formed by an LFT material retains the shape of the molded part and resembles a fiber preform with well and evenly distributed fibers.

The extensive fiber network in an LFT part serves to improve most all performance characteristics and also inhibit crack propagation. Often referred to as “stiff and tough,” LFT composites exhibit a wide range of performance advantages:

  • Better impact resistance and rigidity at elevated and sub-zero temperature ranges (up to 5 times that achieved with short fiber thermoplastics)
  • Modulus retention at elevated temperatures
  • Creep resistance under constant load in severe environments
  • Dimensional stability and resistance to warpage resulting from reduced shrinkage — which occurs as thermoplastic materials solidify during molding

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