Westlake Plastics, Environmental Composites launches thermoformable carbon fiber composites
Source | Environmental Composites Inc.
Westlake Plastics Co. (Lenni, Pennsylvania, USA) and Environmental Composites Inc. (Utica, New York, USA) have jointly launched Aerolite Carbon, a carbon fiber textile designed to be compatible with standard thermoforming equipment such as vacuum forming or compression molding.
Aerolite Carbon was jointly developed by thermoplastic extrusion specialist Westlake Plastics and progressive textile specialist Environmental Composites. The product is an advanced carbon fiber textile impregnated with a proprietary thermoplastic alloy resin. According to the companies, the chemistry and construction of the material allows it to stretch evenly when heated to create deep tensile forces and sharp angles with simple one-sided tools.
According to the companies, the product supports high volume applications with a standard 4 ‘× 8’ sheet size that can be processed in less than 2 minutes. Aerolite Carbon is designed to provide better economics and throughput than existing composites while leveraging an existing global supply chain for parts conversion. Aerolite Carbon is aimed at both consumer and industrial applications looking for lightweight performance products at minimal cost.
Complex geometries and shaped cosmetic surfaces should be achievable through a one-step forming process and a proprietary carbon fiber-reinforced sheet metal design. The material is also designed to allow color adjustments, sculpted textures, Class A finishes, and custom graphics.
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