How do I choose the correct thermoplastic composite to meet the application?

We continue our multi-part series on plastic compounding with a number of posts about choosing the correct thermoplastic composite. So we don't have to recreate the wheel, RTP Company was nice enough to send over a white paper they put together that breaks the process down into five steps. Over the next 5 posts we'll be publishing excerpts from their white paper. The full paper can be found here.

They advise choosing the correct composite using the following basic fundamentals:

1) Resin Morphology
2) Cost Comparison
3) Temperature Resistance
4) Property Enhancement Using Aspect Ratio
5) Ultimate Performing Long Fiber

Resin Morphology
There exists over 60 thermoplastic base resins that
can be used to produce your composite, so it is
very important to start breaking these choices
down to get to the correct one. Something helpful
in doing this is to understand a little about
thermoplastic chemistry and, in particular,
understanding morphology.

Although morphology sounds like a complicated
term, it can simply be viewed as the orientation
that the molecules of the polymer (plastic) take
when they go from the melt state to the solid state
during processing, such as injection molding. A
thermoplastic resin will fall into one of only two
categories of morphology: either an amorphous
morphology, having a random molecular
orientation, or a semi-crystalline morphology,
having ordered or crystalline regions of molecules
dispersed within the random amorphous

By knowing the most important requirements for
your application (dimensional stability, tight
tolerances, moldability into thin wall sections,
chemical resistance, transparency, wear resistance,
etc.), you can identify which resin morphology is
best suited and, by doing this, roughly cut your
resin choices in half.


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