Manna Continuous Fiber Thermoplastics
The Future of Lightweight Manufacturing
Manna Green Momentum is an industry leader in the manufacturing of continuous fiber thermoplastics. Continuous fiber thermoplastics, or CFTs, are a composite plastic material suitable for a range of uses that require high strength and stiffness combined with low weight. Continuous fiber thermoplastics are especially significant in the automotive industry because of their potential to replace metal and steel in the production of lightweight automotive parts. Manna’s Formtex™ (patent pending) organo sheets are a revolutionary continuous fiber thermoplastic, created using advanced engineering methods that allow for fast production at high yield rates.
Key Advantages of Continuous Fiber Thermoplastics
- Weight reduction
- Short cycle time
- Highly flexible manufacturing process
- High-impact resistance
- Corrosion resistance
- Low cost/fast processing
- Function integration
- Adaptable shape and finish
- No VOC emission during processing
- Unlimited shelf life
With the onset of ever-tightening regulations on fuel economy and carbon emissions, theautomotive industry is confronting new manufacturing challenges. Continuous fiber thermoplastic materials that combine high strength and stiffness with low weight have emerged as one of the most practical solutions. Because continuous fiber thermoplastics are up to 50% lighter than metal or steel, vehicles made with CFT parts are lighter and therefore burn less fuel and have lower CO2 emissions than cars made with more traditional materials.
Short Cycle Time and Flexible Processing
Continuous fiber thermoplastic processing times can be as little as one minute and below, allowing for higher-volume production than ever before. The production process uses manufacturing cells that take advantage of state-of-the-art injection molding machines or presses. This allows the same equipment to be used for a variety of parts, further increasing production efficiency.
High Impact Resistance
Continuous fiber thermoplastics are an ideal production material for applications that demand extreme impact resistance. The thermoplastic resin’s high ductility offers unrivaled damage tolerance as well as superior durability and toughness.
Until now, metal and steel were the staple materials for parts or products that required high impact resistance. However, metal-based materials are at high risk of losing structural integrity over time due to corrosion. Continuous fiber thermoplastics are the perfect alternative because they do not corrode or rust and they retain their durability in a way that other materials simply cannot.
Hybrid Manufacturing and Weldability
Hybrid thermoplastic composite parts enable high functional integration, using either welding or injection or compression molding of fiber reinforced compounds. This method offers outstanding potential for cost-effective production. It presents an attractive alternative to the conventional mechanical fastening and adhesive bonding that are often used to join thermoset composite (TSC) parts.
Processing with No VOC Emissions
Although thermoplastic processing generates occasional trace VOCs as the polymers are heated, the process doesn’t release any solvents or use cure mechanisms that release VOCs. Compared with thermoset processing, the VOCs released in thermoplastic processing are practically nonexistent.
Unlimited Shelf Life
Most thermoset materials need to be stored at a very particular temperature and, even then, only last for about six months. Meanwhile, the production process limits the amount of material that can be used at once, often resulting in wasted material and high costs. However, continuous fiber thermoplastics don’t require refrigeration and have an unlimited shelf life. This means lower equipment costs and space needs, as well as reduced energy usage, and better control over the production process.
Fast, Low-Cost Processing
For years, continuous fiber thermoplastics came with a high price point. However, after years of research and development, Manna has perfected an innovative manufacturing process that dramatically reduces the price of production. Manna’s signature Formtex™ continuous fiber thermoplastic organo sheets have all the benefits of traditionally high priced CFTs at a fraction of the cost.
The advancement of functional integration is another reason why continuous fiber thermoplastic is the material of the future. Formtex™ can now integrate electronic components, electromagnetic shielding, and “connected car” technology.
Adaptable Shape & Finishing Opportunities
Continuous fiber thermoplastics can be formed into complicated shapes as per industry requirements. They can be tailor-made for higher levels of impact stability, material flexibility, or location-specific increase in thickness. The finish on parts made with continuous fiber thermoplastics can be customized to meet the unique needs of each customer. Finishing options include matte, glossy, or textured surfaces, as well as color customization.
Parts made with continuous fiber thermoplastics are fully recyclable. Continuous fiber thermoplastics can be melted and reprocessed, reshaped, or welded together with other continuous fiber thermoplastic parts. This means 100% of the thermoplastic raw material is repurposed to produce completely new parts or parts with brand new functions — all with minimal environmental impact.