The Development of Thermoplastic Fibre based Reinforcements for the Rotational Moulding Process

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Rotational moulding is a method used to produce hollow plastic parts through the heating, melting and cooling of polymer powder within a metal mould. A wide range of products are made using this process, such as fluid containment tanks, boats, light weight vehicle bodies and marine buoys. Rotomoulded composites using thermoplastic fibres are of increasing interest to the industry, as they have the potential to significantly improve impact strength, whilst reducing part weight, resulting in a structure that is 100% recyclable compared to a traditional composite. A series of self-reinforced thermoplastic weaves can be used to produce a number of composite structures using the rotational moulding process. This work outlines the improvements obtained from the range of rotomoulded composites structures, as well as preforms that could be used in future rotational moulding work. Characteristics of self-reinforced materials were exploited with the aim of increasing the mechanical properties, preserving the weaves and increasing the nature of the material adhesion. Addition of the fabrics in the cooling stage was shown to be of great interest as this avoided exposure of the material to the peak temperature, which may affect the integrity of the fabric. Placing the weave during cooling was useful as the material could receive the maximum amount of tensile force during the impact test. A total of nine diverse types of compounds were manufactured and tested, with seven of the impact tests showing an increase in strength greater than 50%
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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