WEB EXCLUSIVE: PlastiComp, Inc., Winona, Minn., has entered into a partnership with DSM Engineering Plastics (U.S. office in Birmingham, Mich.), to develop biobased, long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) composite materials for automotive and other performance-driven markets. Central to the partnership is DSM’s sustainability commitment, in this case with its EcoPaxx nylon 410, which is 70% derived from renewable plant-based castor oil, and PlastiComp’s expertise in LFT composites design and manufacturing. Initial compounding, molding and testing of carbon-fiber reinforced EcoPaxx was successful in establishing benchmark composites for high-temperature (up to 392 F) and structural applications. The partners will also collaborate with potential customers to design injection-molded composite parts. They will employ CAE tools to optimize glass and carbon fiber architecture to meet stringent requirements for dimensional tolerances, surface finish, and high-temperature properties.
Although the partnership’s key focus is on automotive applications, DSM and PlastiComp are also aiming at other metal-replacement applications, such as EMI shielding for electronics and x-ray transparency for medical applications.