PlasticComp Extrudes LFT Pipes & Profiles

The system uses crosshead profile dies to coextrude fiber tows and unidirectional tapes as continuous axial reinforcement in the extruded profile.

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A patent-pending manufacturing line for extruding long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) pipes, beams, and other structural profiles has been installed and commissioned by PlastiComp, Inc., Winona, Minn. The system uses crosshead profile dies to coextrude fiber tows and unidirectional tapes as continuous axial reinforcement in the extruded profile. Polymer is delivered from a 3.5-in. extruder, providing profile outputs up to 800 lb/hr, depending on profile thickness and fiber content. In two initial development applications, 2-in.-wide rectangular beams and 6-in.-diam. tubes were coextruded with unidirectional glass tapes as the axial reinforcement. The matrix materials were long-glass PE and TPU compounds. PlastiComp says the system can use any melt-processable polymer.

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