NO. 9: Lomold of Capetown, South Africa, and the Chuan Li Fa Machinery Works Co. of Taiwan introduced “3-D LFT”, a long-(glass) fiber thermoplastic (LFT) injection-molding process using polypropylene composite.
Lomold says its patented technology combines the design capabilities of injection molding with the mechanical properties of glass fibers previously only available in direct molding processes such as low pressure (and slow) compression molding. Glass loading in a new pallet concept shown by Lomold at the Chuan Li Fa booth at K2010 is 36% by weight. The glass fibers in the finished component are up to 50 mm in length versus 5 mm available in existing injection molding processes. Lomold says that is true even in complex shapes.
The big difference between Lomold’s machines (manufactured by Chuan Li Fa Machinery Works ) and traditional injection molding machines is the manner in which molten material is injected into a closed mold. A series of pistons replace a hot runner system to move material from barrels to mold cavities. The face of the last in the piston series becomes the final boundary face of the mold cavity. As a result, the gate size can be increased up to 100 mm. The result: long glass fibers that provide tremendous mechanical strength.