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10-08-2013

DSM Partners with PlastiComp to Develop Biobased LFT Composites

Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, has signed a partnership agreement with PlastiComp, Inc., based in Winona, Minnesota, USA, to develop new innovative bio-based Long Fiber Thermoplastic (LFT) composite materials for the automotive and other performance-driven markets.

Central to this partnership is DSM’s commitment to sustainability – in this case with its EcoPaXX polyamide 410, 70% derived from renewable resources – and PlastiComp’s expertise in LFT composites design and manufacturing. Initial compounding, molding and testing of carbon-fiber reinforced EcoPaXX was successful in establishing benchmark composites for high-temperature (up to 200°C) and structural applications.

The two partner companies will also collaborate with potential customers to design injection-molded composite parts. They will employ computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools to ensure optimized fiber architecture to meet stringent requirements for dimensional tolerances, surface finish and high-temperature properties. While the principal focus of the partnership is on automotive applications, composites that DSM and PlastiComp are developing are also attractive in other metal-replacement applications. Grades can, for example, leverage material characteristics such as electro-magnetic interference (EMI) shielding for electronics, and radiolucency in X-Ray applications, thereby enhancing the value of light-weight, high performance, metal substitutions.

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