CFRTP composites outperform metal
The best of both worlds
Five letters stand for one of the most exciting developments in the field of composite materials in recent years: CFRTP. It is the abbreviation of “Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastics”. An admittedly somewhat cumbersome term, but it represents no less than an elegant revolution in the world of high-tech materials. For the first time, CFRTP combines the aesthetics and power of metal with the flexibility and design freedom of plastic.
CFRTP is made of ultra-thin tapes that are laminated to each other at certain angles to form sheets. Polycarbonate or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), for example, are used as thermoplastic – i.e., freely moldable using heat – base materials, which are then reinforced by strands of carbon or glass fibers. The resulting sheets are extremely light, thin, rigid and firm. They also look, feel and sound like metal. As plastic, however, they are more flexible than metal and can be processed and refined very efficiently using a variety of processes.
A high-quality appearance, lightness, robustness and versatile processing options: The combination of these advantages makes CFRTP an innovation that should soon push the boundaries of the possible in a whole range of applications.
A new hotspot for composite innovations
The demand for robust yet lightweight materials is growing ever faster worldwide. The end products made from these are not only more practical and attractive for consumers – thanks to a longer product life and lower energy consumption during transportation, they also conserve our natural resources and the climate.
No question about it: CFRTP composites are the perfect answer to this trend. This is why Covestro has now significantly expanded its production capacities and set up a new location in the Franconian Markt Bibart, which bundles activities in the field of lightweight composite innovations. Incidentally, the plant benefits from a highly innovative neighborhood: There are several well-known universities in its vicinity that are conducting intensive research into the further development of composite materials.
The stuff designer dreams are made of
CFRTP has a lot to offer, not only because of its excellent physical properties, but also from an aesthetic point of view. This makes the material particularly interesting for product designers who want to give their creations fresh, exciting looks and new functionalities at the same time.