CURV™ – A New Lightweight, Recyclable Material for Automotive Applications 2002-01-2039
Polypropylene has long been highly favored by the automotive industry due to its relative low cost, light-weight and inert nature. However, to improve its limited mechanical performance polypropylene is often turned into a composite by reinforcing the plastic matrix with stiff fibres - normally of glass. The downside is that glass-reinforced plastics are often difficult to thermoform into component shapes, they can still be relatively heavy, their impact and abrasion resistance are no match for metals, particularly at low temperatures.
This paper describes a novel all-polypropylene material which takes a new direction by exploiting the outstanding mechanical properties of highly drawn polypropylene tapes to create a new class of self reinforced composite which forms a unique bridge between isotropic thermoplastics and glass reinforced composites but with some very unexpected benefits.