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Alternatives Proposed By Germany For Non-reinforced Or Short-fiber Plastic Applications

May 27, 2020

For the application of non-reinforced or short-fiber-reinforced plastics with excessive mechanical requirements, the German Ensinger company has proposed continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic sheets as an excellent alternative.

Due to continuous fiber reinforcement, usually woven fabrics of glass or carbon fiber, they have mechanical properties, otherwise they can only be achieved by metallic materials. At the same time, they are much lighter than most metal-based alternatives.

Continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic

By using thermoplastic matrix materials, these panels still have the same advantages as unreinforced panels made of thermoplastic materials: high impact strength, constant characteristics over a wide temperature range, chemical resistance, and high elongation at break. By choosing a suitable matrix material, it can meet a wide range of customer needs.

Plates made of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic can be processed into finished parts of excellent quality with minimal tolerances. In addition to waterjet cutting, traditional processing methods are also suitable for assuming appropriate facilities and processing parameters.

3 new materials. Ensinger has expanded its composite board product portfolio to include three new materials:

Tecatec PPS CW50 black (PPS CFK-polyphenylene sulfide, carbon fiber reinforced).

High temperature resistance

Good chemical resistance

Good dimensional stability in a wide temperature and humidity range

Carbon fiber reinforcement increases stiffness and strength

Tecatec PEI GW50 natural (PEI GFK-polyetherimide, glass fiber reinforced)

High continuous use temperature (170 ° C)

Good electrical insulation

Fire, smoke and gas (FST)

Glass fiber reinforcement improves mechanical properties while reducing costs

Tecatec PC CW50 black (PC CFK-polycarbonate, carbon fiber reinforced)

Thanks to the transparent substrate, the appearance is excellent

High impact toughness

Carbon fiber reinforcement increases stiffness and strength

Light as plastic and hard as metal

The density of Ensinger's new composite board is between 1.5 and 1.8 g / cm ?, making its specific gravity similar to that of unreinforced or short fiber reinforced boards. However, the reinforcing fiber significantly improves its mechanical properties to a level similar to metals. Compared with unreinforced polymer sheets, continuous fiber-reinforced sheets have tensile strength and Young's modulus values that are 5 times higher.

Low linear thermal expansion

Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics exhibit a very low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) in the range of 5x10-6 K-1. This feature is critical for applications where parts withstand temperature fluctuations over a wide range and require high accuracy.

Outstanding mechanical properties

The thermoplastic matrix gives the board high impact toughness, which is significantly higher than that of a board with a thermosetting matrix (such as epoxy resin or phenolic resin). In addition, the high elongation at break of the thermoplastic ensures a tough, non-brittle fracture behavior. For some applications, the inherent vibration damping of the substrate may also be an important advantage.


Ensinger produces thermoplastic composite panels to meet customer specific requirements, with a maximum size of 525 x 625 mm. Manufacturers are also flexible in terms of sheet thickness: any thickness in the range of 0.5 to 95 mm.

Standard products are PEI with reinforced woven glass fiber and PC and PPS with woven carbon fiber. Other matrix and fiber combinations, fiber architecture or customer-specific fiber layups can be provided upon request.

Application field

Applications of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics include the aerospace industry, mechanical engineering, automotive industry, and sports equipment. Especially for prototypes and small batch production, stock shapes are an affordable option for small batch production.