Propex receives plastic composites product innovation
London— Propex Fabrics,
Inc. was presented with the 2004 Frost & Sullivan Product
Innovation Award for launching a broad line of emerging products
and technologies that provide significant value additions to customers’
Propex Fabrics has used its understanding
of end-user requirements in the plastics industry to launch revolutionary
technologies such as Curv® self-reinforced polypropylene.
Curv® self-reinforced plastics
(SRPs), based on the groundbreaking and patented hot compaction
technology, are an innovative line of single polymer composites
that effectively bridge the gap between normal plastics and the
glass fiber-reinforced plastics (GRP) product category. SRPs have
the toughness of regular plastics with levels of rigidity normally
associated with certain grades of GRP while at the same time being
up to 50 per cent lighter than the latter.
“SRPs have outstanding
impact resistance and can be easily recycled,” says Frost
& Sullivan industry analyst Dr. Brian Balmer. “Their
recyclability makes them particularly interesting to the automotive
industry, which must meet tough recycling targets in the EU.”
Curv® can service a wide
range of applications including the automotive industry, industrial
cladding, building and construction, cold temperature applications,
audio products, personal protective equipment and sports goods.
The product is also being tested for numerous other applications
such as under-body panels, roof lining and flooring for low volume
cars, anti-riot protection and luggage.
When combined with other materials,
Curv® can be used as an enabling material for new composites
There are two main applications,
foam and honeycomb laminates, that maintains as well as extends
the concept of a 100 per cent polypropylene (PP) composite product.
Tailored to a product range which
Propex Fabrics refer to as ‘tailored Curv®’.
The flexibility as well as the
tolerance controls in the continuous hot compaction process enables
the incorporation of other materials, offering specific performance
characteristics. By hot-compacting materials like aluminum, glass,
aramides, carbon fiber and even GRPs together with the Curv®
substrates, one can create a totally new range of thermoplastic
composites meeting a wide range of cost and performance targets.