Rheological and mechanical behavior of long-polymer-fiber reinforced thermoplastic pellets



Polymer–polymer materials consist of a thermoplastic matrix and a thermoplastic reinforcement. Recent research activities concentrate on the manufacturing of semi-finished polymer–polymer materials in other shapes than the commercially available tapes and sheets. In particular, a pellet-like form provides the possibility of processing the polymer–polymer material by injection and compression molding. Nevertheless, the thermoplastic reinforcement is vulnerable to excessive heat and the processing usually needs special attention. The current study investigates the processing of long-polymer-fiber reinforced thermoplastic pellets, namely polypropylene-polyethylene terephthalate and a single-polymer polyethylene terephthalate, by extrusion for subsequent compression molding applications. The flow characteristics of the material as well as the preservation of the polymer reinforcement can be handled by accurate temperature control. The tensile and impact properties decrease with increasing process temperature though. Moreover, the results prove that the use of a common long-fiber reinforced thermoplastic process chain is applicable to the newly developed polymer–polymer material. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39716.