PlastiComp Creates Long Fibre Composite to Replace Magnesium

Long fibre reinforced composites have successfully been used to replace metals, such as aluminium because of the weight savings and easier fabrication methods which provide considerable cost reductions. Where composites have fallen short in the past is meeting the combination of both structural and electrical characteristics of metals.

PlastiComp’s new LFT composites match the mechanical performance of pressure die-cast magnesium and aluminium with tensile modulus values up to 42,000 MPa. On the electrical side, they offer surface resistivity values down to 0.2 ohm/sq and EMI shielding capabilities in the 60–80 dB range depending on wall section thickness.

Raj Mathur, Ph.D., Vice President Technology at PlastiComp said;

Even though our new materials contain both long fibre reinforcement and nano fillers to achieve magnesium substitution properties they mould extremely well, PlastiComp has already successfully demonstrated commercial applications, with cross sections in the 0.7 to 1 mm range, which were injection moulded without any difficulty using these LFT composites. Micro-structural characterisation showed a conductive network of intertwined carbon fibres and uniform dispersion of the nano fillers throughout the parts.

The combination of mechanical and electrical properties provided in these new LFT composites are achievable in a wide range of polymers from commodity to engineering resins based on performance requirements and price sensitivity of applications.

In addition to mobile hand-held devices and peripherals in the consumer electronics industry, the new magnesium substitution LFT composites can also replace metal profile extruded frames within the automotive industry.