'Self-Reinforced' PP Composites Are Making Waves

“Self-reinforced” all-polypropylene composites are making news on several fronts.

“Self-reinforced” all-polypropylene composites are making news on several fronts. Tegris composites (formerly called MFT) from the Performance Products Div. of Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, S.C., consists of oriented, high-tensile PP tapes that are woven into fabric and then pressed into solid formable sheets that retain the orientation of the original fibers. Tegris has had its main success in military vehicle and body armor, but its commercial potential is evident in the new Ultimate Kayak from Legacy Paddlesports of Greensboro, N.C. It’s the first commercial Tegris use in a large 3D part. Other possible applications are skis, snowboards, and surfboards. The kayak is made of diamondweave fabric using Milliken’s silver tape with extra uv resistance. For additional abrasion resistance and decorative coloration, Milliken helped develop interior and exterior films that are co-molded with the kayak. Milliken built the mold of machined aluminum as well as the silicone rubber plug. The kayak was formed on a compression press using 1000 tons of pressure. Meanwhile, Milliken’s Automotive Textile Group developed a new product called Halo—layers of nonwoven PP and kenaf natural fibers (50/50) in a heat-formable sheet. The kenaf is treated to prevent mildew and remove fatty acids that produce odors. The product is formed in a hot press like low-density glass-mat/thermoplastic (GMT) materials and in similar cycle times. Halo also lofts in the tool, somewhat like LD-GMT. The two materials are priced competitively. Halo reportedly has good acoustic properties and air permeability. It is approved for headliners and is specified for a future North American vehicle program. Halo could also be combined with Tegris skin layers for impact-resistant applications. A second-generation product, called Halo Plus, is said to absorb nearly all of the VOCs emitted by other auto-interior materials. (864) 503-1765 • www.tegris.milliken.com

Milliken & Co.
PO Box 1926, M/S 153 Spartanburg, SC 29302
Phone (864) 503-2756 Fax (864) 503-2207