Application Guide: Thermoplastic Polymers and Compounding BACKGROUND Thermoplastic polymers are characterized primarily by their molecular structure. They soften when heated and re-harden on cooling. Plastic resins are typically customized to meet specific customer applications by adding reinforcements, flame retardants, processing aids, and colorants. Reinforcements are used to enhance mechanical properties, such as flexural modulus, tensile strength and thermal properties such as heat deflection temperature. Note: Loading is primarily dictated by resin selection. For best shrinkage and warpage results, try a blend of mica with either milled glass fiber or wollastonite. Other mechanical properties may also be improved by blending reinforcements. EXPECTED OBSERVATIONS Overall increase in mechanical properties. Median particle size can significantly affect tensile strength and flexural modulus. Particle size can be a determining factor in deciding importance of elongation versus tensile strength. Platy minerals, such as mica, are very useful in providing uniform shrinkage. The aspect ratio of platy products can play a significant role in increasing flexural modulus. Mixing methods and speeds influence flexural modulus and flexural strength. COMMENTARY Applications and resins can vary. It is crucial to match reinforcements, reinforcement blends, and concentrations to optimize properties. Contact Fibertec for discussions on specific product grades and surface treatments to achieve desired end results.
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