Thermoplastics

In contrast to crosslinking thermosets, whose cure reaction cannot be reversed, thermoplastics harden when cooled but retain their plasticity; that is, they will remelt and can be reshaped by reheating them above their processing temperature. Less-expensive thermoplastic matrices offer lower processing temperatures but also have limited use temperatures. They draw from the menu of both engineered and commodity plastics, such as polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyamide (PA or nylon) and polypropylene (PP). High-volume commercial products, such as athletic footwear, orthotics and medical prostheses, benefit from the toughness and moisture resistance of these resins, as do automotive air intake manifolds and other underhood parts.
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The markets: Pressure vessels (2019)

High-pressure gas storage vessels represent one of the biggest and fastest-growing markets for advanced composites.

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The markets: Automotive (2019)

As the global auto industry hurtles toward its confrontation with US fuel economy and European Union (EU) emissions standards in 2017, the pressure built to find more radical solutions to lightweighting.

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JEC World 2019 preview: Fraunhofer IPT

Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology (IPT, Aachen, Germany, 5/D17) is emphasizing work it did with Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT, Aachen) on the EU research project ComMUnion, in collaboration with 14 partners from industry, to develop industrial processes and solutions for hybrid lightweight design by combining metal and polymer-matrix composites for automotive and aerospace applications.