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Long Fibre vs. Metal

Long fibre thermoplastics polymers are often at the top of the list of metal replacement options due to the inherent performance capabilities and cost effectiveness.

A key element that makes Polystruct LFT compounds suitable to replace metal is their exceptional strength to weight ratio. By way of example the chart below can give you some indication of the weight savings on offer.

The specific gravity of a material defines the weight per cubic centimetre (or Millilitre) in grams at ambient temperature.

Long Fibre vs. Metal

Using this information it is easy to see that for a given part with a volume of 10 cm3 (or 10 ml), when made from Aluminium will weigh 26grams while selection of Nylon 6 with 40% long glass fibre will weigh just 13.1g – that’s a 50% reduction.

Specific Gravity Comparison Polystruct LFT compounds are ideally suited to replace metals in many industries including:

  • Automotive
  • Mining
  • Consumer durables
  • Aeronautical
  • Sports and recreation

Polystruct LFT utilises pultrusion technology which results in completely impregnated fibres, offering improved surface appearance and increased resistance to scratching and marring, perfect for aesthetic parts.

The range of choice for polymer and reinforcing fibre provide an almost endless scope to satisfy the performance requirements of your product. Furthermore, Polystruct LFT offers the ability to enhance functionality for UV protection, long term heat stability, colour and impact modification.

LFT compounds have already proven their worth in demanding automotive applications, currently accounting for approximately 80% of global volumes. This is no accident as superior performance at elevated temperatures (80°C), the ability to reduce weight & assembly costs, integration of multiple functions into a single part, combined with broader design scope all spell success in achieving the ever more demanding requirements of today’s competitive market. For example a typical metal front end module can weigh 6 to 8kg and have 25 separate components while a LFT front end module weighs around 3kg with as few as 3 components.

This has resulted in the latest cars having numerous LFT parts replacing traditional metal ones.