Arkema says it has introduced a new acrylic thermoplastic that can be processed on thermoset equipment for resin transfer molding and infusion.
Altuglas Composite resin solutions can be reinforced with continuous glass, carbon or flax fibers to compete with thermosets such as unsaturated polyester, vinyl ester and epoxy resins. Cycle times and mechanical properties are similar to those for conventional thermosets. Key benefits of the thermoplastics are that structures are suited to thermoforming, welding and recycling. As well, adhesives can consolidate parts to boost mechanical strength.
Altuglas Composite resins are styrene-free and can be used with Arkema Luperox peroxide initiators for polymerization.
Arkema has helped develop the use of the thermoplastic to eliminate the need for a traditional gel-coat upper layer common for thermoset parts. In the new technology, a thermoplastic multilayer sheet such as ABS/acrylic sheet is thermoformed in the mold prior to the reinforcing fabric laying operation. The thermoplastic composite readily adheres to the ABS/acrylic surface layer, claims the Colombes, France, company.
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