Published Date : Feb 19, 2016
High performance thermoplastics (HPTPs), as the name suggests, are plastics that satisfy higher performance requisites than standard plastics. These are highly specialized polymers and due to their high costs are utilized for demanding applications. High performance thermoplastics are characteristic of providing higher thermal resistance than standard thermoplastics such as polycarbonates and nylons, but with significantly higher prices.
HPTPs also display superior long-term and short-term thermal stability, chemical and radiation resistance, improved mechanical properties, and resistance to burning than most thermoplastics, including larger-volume engineering polymers. For long-term service temperatures, HPTPs can withstand temperatures that are at least 150°C and for short-term temperatures that are greater than 250°C.
HPTPs are primarily used in electrical/electronics, aircraft/aerospace, medical, automotive, and industrial sectors. Due to the higher performance requisites of HPTPs, it is mostly large multinational companies that are involved in the business of these materials that have extensive experience in manufacture and processing of polymers. Nevertheless, small companies that have a limited portfolio can also contribute towards development of the high performance thermoplastics industry.
From a regional perspective, in Japan, both domestic and large international corporations are involved in the HPTP business. Whilst the former cater to local demand for the product, the latter have substantial international interests. In the recent years, China is emerging to be more of a factor in a few HPTP markets. The country recently surpassed Japan, which stood as the third-largest consuming region of HPTP in the world. China’s depends heavily on imports for raw material, the country has a low production capacity for HPTP and an even lower utilization rate for these plastics.
Presently, the industry is focused on carrying out modification for existing polymers of thermoplastics in ways of compounding, blending, or alloying techniques, in order to develop improved processing features and also to obtain more favorable performance characteristics. Other than improving the physical properties of HPTPs, compounding facilitates a low-cost manner to enhance the performance/price characteristics of HPTP resins, thus enabling suppliers to cater to a wider range of customer requirements.
In the bid for enhancement of HPTPs, Mikrosam, leader in the development of thermoplastics has developed a devices, which allows the continuous production of prepeg of thermoplastic fabric.