Liquid thermoplastic processes like thermoset

Arkema is launching at JEC Europe 2014 (March 11-13) its first range of liquid thermoplastic resins under the brand Elium, which is transformed using the same processes as composite thermosets.

Related Topics:

Related Suppliers

Arkema (King of Prussia, Pa., USA) reported on March 3 that it is launching at JEC Europe 2014 (March 11-13) a new range of liquid acrylic thermoplastic resins under the brand Elium, which is transformed using the same processes as composite thermosets, but results in parts with thermoplastic polymer chains. Elium resins are said to polymerize quickly and can be used to design structural parts as well as aesthetic elements in automotive, transportation, wind power, sports and building and construction applications.

Arkema told CW that Elium acrylic resins are engineered for reactive closed-mold processes, including resin transfer molding (RTM), infusion and Flex-Molding. Further, they require activation with peroxide; Arkema recommends its Luperox Initiators, but pecific recommendations are provided based on manufacturing process chosen. Although traditional thermoplastic manufacturing processes like injection molding and extrusion are not designed to use Elium in its virgin liquid form, Arkema says these process methods will be used in the the reprocessing of recycled and reclaimed material. 

Elium resins are available in a range of viscosities. The range of Brookfield viscosity is between 100 and 500 cps at 25°C/77°F and 50 rpm. Reactivity varies as well, depending on the grade chosen. Some grades have been optimized for elevated temperature curing in a matter of minutes, while others cure at room temperature with part cycle times ranging from 20 minutes to a few hours depending on part size and process.

Because of its thermoplastic properties, Elium can be used to manufacture composite parts that are easily thermoformed and recyclable with comparable mechanical performance to epoxy parts. Parts made from Elium reportedly can be assembled by welding and/or gluing, especially with adhesives from Arkema's subsidiary, AEC Polymers.