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Receiving the spotlight as a metal substitute ? LFT

Receiving the spotlight as a metal substitute ? LFT

What is LFT?

LFT stands for long fiber reinforced thermoplastics and is also referred to as LFP (long fiber reinforced thermoplastics pellet).

LFT is produced through the pultrusion process, a continuous process in which a tape of fibers is impregnated with thermoplastic resins. It is produced in pellet form which can be used in various molding processes including injection molding. With LFT, the fiber inside a molded product is longer compared to short fiber reinforced composite materials and provides superior mechanical properties. LFT enables the manufacture of products reinforced with high fiber content and is being highlighted as a metal substitute.

Fiber distribution / Product photo Pellet

Structure of LFT

GS Caltex produces high-quality LFT products using twisted LFT production technology. We use unique production facilities featuring a specially designed impregnation die head and pullers with twist mechanism to obtain the distinguished twisted structure of our products, which stand apart from LFT made by other companies. The twisted LFT production technology maximizes polymer impregnation in filaments, resulting in products with outstanding thermal and mechanical properties. Moreover, almost all kinds of fibers can be utilized for LFT production based on this technology, which enables the generation of diverse products for customers.

Features of LFT production technology of Kobe Steel

The twisted LFT production technology from Kobe Steel allows the manufacture of products with a high fiber loading level and superior mechanical properties.

Conventional LFT / GS Caltex LFT

Conventional LFT : Overcoming limitations(Low degree of polymer impregnation,Low fiber loading level,Limited fiber utilization,Disordered filaments in LFT pellets) -> Twisted LFT : Maximized polymer integration(Superior thermal properties,Superior mechanical properties)/High fiber loading level(High content master batch,Simple adjustment of various fiber loading levels)/Filament bundles due to the twisted characteristic(Application of various polymer fibers into hybrid type to ensure the multiplicity of physical properties)/Loosen & twist system(Application of spinned yarn type fibers (eg, natural fibers))

Impregnation comparison of LFT

LFT cross section

LFT cross section

The use of the unique twisted technology enables GS Caltex to produce LFT with superior impregnation characteristics and high fiber content (85wt% based on glass fiber).

Comparison of impregnation: GS Caltex LFT vs. Conventional LFT

Assessment of ink penetration - According to a test to assess ink penetration and the level of air void, GS Caltex’s LFT products show a low amount of ink penetration caused by the capillary phenomenon relative to conventional LFT. This implies a relatively low level of air void and good resin penetration in glass fiber.

The use of twisted technology maximizes impregnation and results in superior thermal and mechanical properties of GS Caltex LTF. (The figure above shows the cross section of LFT. GS Caltex LFT products show outstanding impregnation due to a low air void content.

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