- Hybrid composite bridges the gap between glass fiber and carbon fiber performance
- 20-50% less expensive, hardly any performance hit
- Applications: consumer, sporting, transportation, automotive
PlastiComp, Inc. has developed a new set of hybrid thermoplastic composites that combine long glass fiber and long carbon fiber reinforcement together in a single, ready-to-mold composite pellet. The new products expand the performance range of long fiber material options while offering a cost effective alternative to adopt the high performance capabilities of carbon fiber. With this hybrid composite, the company can offer a material in the middle of the glass fiber to carbon fiber gap that can be 20-50% less expensive with hardly any performance hit.
A nylon 6/6 hybrid 40% long glass+carbon fiber reinforced composite with 20% carbon fiber and 20% glass fiber has a tensile strength of 41,200 psi (284 MPa), which is 96% that of an equivalently loaded long carbon fiber material and 24% higher than a similar long glass fiber material. It possesses a flexural modulus of 2,600 ksi (17,931 MPa), which is 87% that of carbon and 86% higher than glass. The inclusion of long glass fiber allows the material to retain 78% of the un-notched impact capability of glass at 18.8 ft-lb/in (1,004 J/m), which is a 25% improvement over carbon alone.
“There is an interesting synergy taking place in these hybrid long glass+carbon fiber composites,” said Eric Wollan, business development manager at PlastiComp, “we can cut the amount of carbon fiber used in half and still keep 85-95% of the strength and stiffness, plus the addition of glass fiber is bumping up the durability by up to 25%. That performance combination really makes these products attractive, because they land right where a lot of people need to be to use LFT composites as substitutes for metals.”
PlastiComp manufactures its LFT composite pellets using an optimized pultrusion process that maximizes resin and fiber bonding to obtain the highest possible mechanical properties. Hybrid long glass+carbon and other LFT composites from PlastiComp are made-to-order in polymers from polypropylene to PEEK. The percentage combinations of glass and carbon fiber in these hybrid LFT materials can be customized. Typical applications include parts for the consumer, sporting, transportation and automotive industry. The materials are also very suitable for under-the-hood components that require elevated temperature and load bearing capabilities.