This technical information has been contributed by
Piper Plastics

Will Strong Thermoplastic Composites Change the Way Design Engineers Think of Plastics?

Purported to offer strength and mechanical properties that meet and sometimes exceed metals, the new Kyron® MAX series from Piper Plastics combines proprietary high-pressure thermoplastic molding technology with state-of-the-art material technology.
Photo courtesy of Piper Plastics.

CHANDLER, Ariz.—The new Kyron® MAX series from Piper Plastics is said to bridge the performance gap between components produced via standard injection molding compounds and pre-preg lay-up composite materials. Kyron MAX materials allow parts to be injection molded at high volumes with strengths that reportedly approach lay-up composites and metals.

According to representatives of Piper Plastics, the Kyron MAX series significantly changes the way design engineers think of plastic materials. The unique combination of a proprietary high pressure molding technology, coupled with a state-of-the-art material technology, is used to produce what company representatives say are the highest strength structural components made from thermoplastics today. These new materials offer mechanical properties that are said to meet, and in some cases exceed, those of metals.

Often, even the strongest moldable plastics cannot match the strength of metals so the metal part geometry must be altered and re-engineered when utilizing plastic materials. This often involves adding much more material volume of the plastic, which can compromise the weight savings and cost reduction advantages of the conversion to plastics. Kyron MAX polymers offer mechanical properties that sometimes meet or exceed those of metals, according to Piper Plastics. The resulting component design can more easily replicate the original metal design, minimizing the mass of plastics required while realizing all of the engineering benefits of the plastic materials.

"The Kyron MAX technology is a game changer," said Dave Wilkinson, materials engineering manager at Piper Plastics, in a statement. "Piper's expertise in fabricating components from both metals and plastics, combined with our proprietary polymer processing techniques, gives our customers an uncommon advantage. We understand factors critical to component design, the influence of reinforcements and additives, and the effects of processing and tool design. Knowing the complexities of plastics is essential to reliable replacement of metals."

Piper Plastics (, with facilities in Arizona, Illinois, and Ravong, Thailand, serves the engineering and finished component needs of a high-tech and diversified customer base by blending advanced manufacturing technologies with state-of-the-art polymer science. The company is a global source for high performance polymer materials and for precision machined and injection molded components.

The Kyron MAX series thermoplastic materials offer a number of features that allow high volume injection molding of parts with strengths that approach those of lay-up composite polymers. Here's a summary of product features:
  • Tensile strength: Higher than steel (greater than 100,000 psi)
  • Weight: Nearly 75% lighter than steel and approximately 60% lighter than titanium
  • Lower component cost: The ability to mold components in a high volume tightly controlled process significantly reduces the manufacturing costs associated with pre-preg lay-up materials.
  • Product flexibility: The product will be available in three performance levels allowing designers to select a cost vs. performance option to match their needs.
  • Better "practical toughness" due to lower filler loadings: The revolutionary filler generates high mechanical performance with lower fiber content increasing the material's strain, which allows the part to yield and not fracture.

This technical information has been contributed by
Piper Plastics

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