Lanxess reports that its Tepex continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites can now be integrated in the extrusion blow molding process. The company said that it has performed a feasibility study where components made of polyamide 6 were manufactured with blow molding technology while receiving local reinforcement with Tepex at points subject to heavy loads.

The process can be used to locally boost the mechanical performance of blow-molded components, for instance in areas that are subject to high mechanical stress due to impact loads or high pressure, Lanxess said.

‘In addition, it is suitable for the manufacture of blow-molded structural components, for example hollow sections for car body reinforcement,’ said Arthur Rieb, blow molding specialist at HPM. ‘Extensive use of Tepex can be a key factor in reducing weight and material use because the basic wall thickness of the component can be decreased.’

When making these hollow parts, a tubular parison is extruded first, Rieb explained. At the same time, a heated and plasticized composite insert is placed in the blow molding tool. The parison is then inflated in the tool, also forming the composite section. This results in a component with a defined shape and local Tepex reinforcement. Previously, manufacturing components of this kind involved the subsequent welding of a two or three-dimensional fiber reinforced thermoplastic insert onto the blow-molded hollow part.

Because the continuous fibers are pre-impregnated with plastic, the pressure during blow molding is enough to consolidate the material so that no air pockets are formed.

This story uses material from Lanxess, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.