COMPOUNDING: Process Produces Continuous Medium Glass Fiber Thermoplastic Compounds

Technology deemed most applicable where PP short-glass and nylon short-glass reinforced materials are used.

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Steer has developed a process to produce continuous medium glass fiber thermoplastics (CMGFT) on its Omega twin-screw compounding platform (50-mm twin is pictured), which features its patented Fractional Lobe screw geometry. The platform is now available commercially from the machine builder, whose U.S. operation is in Uniontown, Ohio.

The platform leverages the specialized functionalities of Steer’s specialized screw elements such as RFV (for intake); FKB (for melting of polypropylene); and OSE (for wetting of glass fiber

At its Application Development Center in India, Steer conducted several tests to achieve what it terms “dramatic results” in fiber length and orientation. The compounding of the CMGFT composite was achieved with a high-flight depth, high free volume, Omega co-rotating twin-screw extruder. Steer said scientific choices of screw elements, along with production process, and the control of process parameters, distinctly influenced the final fiber orientation and length.

The CMGFT is best for applications where PP short-glass and nylon short-glass reinforced materials are used. For example CMGFT PP with 30% glass is better than PP 40% short glass filled grade in terms of cost and lower weight. (Glass roving’s are cheaper than chopped glass). CMGFT nylon is a cost effective alternative that can be used for most of the under-the-hood automotive parts like radiator end caps, fans and shroud, and air-intake manifolds.