PlastiComp expands production of long carbon fiber-reinforced composites

This additional, higher volume carbon fiber pultrusion line will triple PlastiComp’s capacity for producing long carbon fiber products.

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PlastiComp Inc. (Winona, Minn.) has completed the installation of an additional pultrusion line dedicated to manufacturing long carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite pellets at its Winona location. The firm brought its initial production line dedicated to producing long carbon fiber composite pellets online in 2014 and operates four other pultrusion lines to manufacture its long glass fiber products.

“In recent years, we have experienced continuous growth in demand for our long carbon fiber-reinforced composite materials,” says Eric Wollan, vice president and COO at PlastiComp. “This additional, higher volume carbon fiber pultrusion line will triple PlastiComp’s capacity for producing long carbon fiber products to ensure an uninterruptable supply chain for our partners.”

To provide a safe operating environment and minimize downtime, PlastiComp manufactures its carbon fiber composites on pultrusion lines located in self-contained areas equipped with isolated electrical and air handling systems.

“From a pultrusion perspective, carbon fiber’s small filament diameter and conductivity makes it a little more challenging to manufacture composite pellets than other types of fiber,” says Wollan. “Using our specialized equipment, PlastiComp is able to completely melt impregnate continuous tows of carbon fiber with 12,000 to 50,000 filaments. This capability allows us to offer a broad range of composite material solutions which we tailor to meet customer specific design and performance requirements.”

PlastiComp manufactures composite pellets under its Complēt trade name with 15 to 50 weight-percent long carbon fiber reinforcement combined into a broad range of thermoplastic matrices ranging from polypropylene to PEEK. The firm also has a long fiber composites product line that combine glass fiber and carbon fiber together into a single pellet solution.