A New Level of Performance is Reached with Fabric Reinforced Glass Mat Thermoplastics 2001-01-0101
This paper concentrates on the current potential and new developments of Glass fiber Mat reinforced Thermoplastics (GMT). It is illustrated through examples of applications where an improved performance to cost balance of the system has been obtained through the use of new GMT materials.
The latest material developments have resulted in higher material properties and more possibilities in the design of parts. Combinations between local fabric reinforcements and a higher glass fiber content in GMT has enabled the use of the material in structurally very demanding parts. In this area, great savings of both cost and weight can be achieved through the use of GMT in the place of aluminum or steel.
Special versions of the material have been developed which have resulted in an improved surface quality, colored products, temperature resistant and flame retardant grades. The use of natural fibers instead of glass result in “green materials” and have advantages to GMT in terms of a lower density and better sound absorbing properties.
Common for all these new types of materials is that they can be processed on traditional GMT (and SMC) equipment. The flow molding process allows complex shaped parts to be produced in short cycle times, this combination often results in an advantageous system cost.