NetComposites develops natural fiber LFT for lightweighting

The pellets, made using pultrusion technology and commingled yarns, are an alternative to glass LFT and continuous fiber composites. The natural fibers offer a stiffness comparable to glass resulting in pellets which are low weight, capable of complex moulding geometries, offer good impact and creep resistance and improved performance over alternative short-fiber materials.

 The pellets are suitable for light-weighting applications such as automotive interiors. NetComposites is currently working with an automotive trim supplier to develop an interior panel using Flax/PP pellets.  The materials have a specific modulus comparable with that of glass fibers, but ~40% lighter.   

Other LFT variants in development are polymer reinforced polymer (PRP) pellets with a PET reinforcement and PP matrix. These offer another lightweight and highly impact-resistant alternative to glass/PP products.