When it comes to the cost-effective production of high-strength lightweight parts in large volumes, the length of the structural reinforcing fibers is of key importance. The rule of thumb here is: the longer the fibers incorporated in the plastics, the greater the resilience of the final products. The fiber length and content cannot be influenced in the case of ready-to-use fiber-filled granulate mixes. Things are different with innovative fiber direct compounding (FDC). Here, a side feeder can be used to incorporate fiber strands of variable length in the liquid plastic melt. This allows the mechanical properties of the parts to be improved. Moreover, it also offers significant cost advantages in comparison with fiber-reinforced standard granulate.
The use of fiber-filled plastics in lightweight construction is just one of several alternatives when optimum component properties are to be achieved and when every gram of weight counts. The focus here is on reducing weight without compromising on load-bearing capacity, rigidity or other design functions. Lightweight construction can relate both to the structure of an individual part and to a complete unit. Thus, for example, the use of honeycomb structures as they occur in nature has been a familiar feature in aircraft construction and in the automotive industry for many years. The trend toward electric mobility has caused this topic to gain considerable attention. Lighter batteries with greater efficiency and an increased range can only be achieved through consistent lightweight construction.