PlastiComp with New R&D Laboratory to continue advancement of Long Fiber Thermoplastic Technology
PlastiComp, Inc., a global leader in long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) materials and technologies, announced that it has recently completed a capital improvement project at its Winona, Minn., facility which moved its research and development functions into a dedicated laboratory space
Dubbed the Da Vinci R&D Lab by the company in honor of famed renaissance inventor and artist Leonardo da Vinci, the project provides an isolated environment for the firms’ smaller long fiber composite pellet pultrusion line for conducting evaluations of new raw material feedstocks and processing enhancements.
“PlastiComp is one of the few long fiber compounders actively engaged in advancing long fiber technology into new markets and applications instead of just producing commodity long glass fiber polypropylene products,” said Steve Bowen, President and CEO at PlastiComp. “Our new Da Vinci Lab provides the ideal environment for PlastiComp to evaluate different fiber and polymer combinations as well as try out new processing techniques to assess their effect on material performance.”
In addition to custom engineering the performance of LFT materials to meet customer specific application requirements, PlastiComp also performs contract research and development work for industry suppliers and partners.
“Our many industry partners really like the plant-within-a-plant concept the new lab offers because it provides a secure environment for our Technical Development Center activities in which we can conduct confidential trials separate from our primary production operations,” said Eric Wollan, Vice President of Technology and Business Development at PlastiComp.
PlastiComp’s portfolio of Compl t® composite pellet products incorporate long glass, carbon, and specialty fibers into thermoplastic polymers ranging from polypropylene to PEEK. PlastiComp’s expertise is tailored development and manufacturing of innovative LFT’s using engineering resins, often in tandem with long carbon fiber reinforcement.
LFT’s are desirable for their high strength and toughness properties – qualities that cannot be obtained together using other methods of reinforcing plastics. They provide a lightweight, easier to manufacture alternative to metals and are widely used in transportation, aerospace, defense, sporting goods, industrial equipment, and consumer goods market segment applications.