Fiber and tape re-enforced composites
Composites are known for many years, both “thermoset” composites and “thermoplastic” composites. As the first category has some undesirable properties related to sustainability and difficulties in re-using the material, The Compo-group concentrated on thermoplastic composites, where to reenforce the relative weak base material different fibers or tapes can be used to strengthen the product.
A limited number of chemical companies concentrated on producing polyme-fibers often using Ultra High MolucelarWeight Polymers, which after formed into a fiber can be stretched under special conditions to become a super strong fiber from which sheets can be manufactured “gluing” the fibers on thin polymer layers.
Novameer BV was the first company in the world to use TAPES instead of fibers and make sheets out of those tapes NOT in gluing those on thin polymer layers, but by assembling them in a “brick laying” method (patent) … the materials made from those sheets have as brandname: “Timpfi”
Uni-directional and cross-ply sheets
Uni-directional sheets consist of (super)-strong fibers, glued to, or embedded in a polymer-matrix. It is a well known technology but up till recently production lines were/are relatively small. GlaCoPol was one of the first companies able to produce these sheets (on endless rolls) with a width up till 1200 mm. In most applications, sheets are “consolidated” in a cross-ply unit to form a multi-layer thicker layers / plates, a process often done manually whereas Compoform designed and realized automatic cross-ply machines.
Honeycomb structures are used in different shapes in hundreds of applications with dozens of base materials (varying from carton to polypropylene to aluminium) With relatively little material a thick plate (or core) is obtained, resulting in huge weight savings.
Plates (cores) from honeycomb from different polymers can be purchased and/or manufactured, where manufacturing becomes interesting the moment major quantities are purchased and/or transport-costs are/become important.
Often, certainly when optical appearance is important, instead of a light honeycomb core, a core made out of polymer-foam is preferable.
Foam also does have a better insulation effect , can be chosen fire-retardant and in a wide spectrum of densities and thicknesses.
Today Compoform boards with foam-cores (XPS , PET, PUR / PIR, PVC and even PP-foam) in thicknesses from 9 mm up till 90 mm
Mentioned earlier Compoform prefers to supply boards which are sustainable. It means the boards (and the board-rests after waterjet cutting or sawing) are shredded and can be mixed with additives to produce kernels from which in extrusion-molding operations a wide variety of products can be made. As the toplayers contain glass-fibers, the material represents a glass-re-enforced stronger final product.