Karl Mayer’s Thermoplastic Prepregs Made from Non-Woven Polymer and Multiaxial Non Crimp Fabrics

Sepotember 21 2020

Given the great application potential of thermoplastic fiber composite materials, their manufacturing process is constantly being developed further. KARL MAYER Technische Textilien GmbH, based in Chemnitz, is leading the way with innovations in this field.

KARL MAYER Technische Textilien has developed the new SIM.PLY machine, which was launched at the ITMA in Barcelona in 2019. The innovative machine produces thermoplastic fiber-reinforced tapes and uses plastic in the form of films. As part of an inline process, the fibers are spread and impregnated with the plastic film by applying pressure and increasing the temperature. Processing using SIM.PLY is only designed for unidirectional fiber orientation at the moment, i.e. all fibers in the manufactured semi-finished materials lie in the direction of production, producing unidirectional fiber-reinforced (UD) tapes. However, fiber composite structures with multiaxial fiber orientations are in demand for many lightweight construction applications. KARL MAYER Technische Textilien also wants to meet this demand. The company therefore put a project in place offering its customers manufacturing technologies for thermoplastic prepregs made from multiaxial materials and alternative raw materials for the thermoplastic matrix.

Another innovation was the polymer combination material for the composite solution, using a non-woven fabric rather than a polymer film, in contrast to SIM.PLY. In cooperation with a non-woven manufacturer, it was necessary to investigate the suitability of these products as a raw material for the plastic component in thermoplastic fiber composites. The non-woven polymer consisted of a polypropylene (PP) hot-melt non-woven, produced using the melt-blown procedure. The melt-blown technology proved to be favorable for this application because it results in very fine filament diameters and low area weights.

For identifying growth opportunities for non-woven textiles in the global composites market, please visit https://www.lucintel.com/composites-non-woven-textile-market.aspx

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