NCell Natural Fibre reinforced Thermoplastics
- story by MaterialDistrict
NCell consists of a polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE) matrix reinforced with up to 40% natural cellulosic microfibres. The material compounds have mechanical properties that are able to replace glass-reinforced thermoplastics. It also offers increased performance from other commercially available biocomposites, such as those made from hemp, flax, wheat straw, and wood.
Custom compounded grades are available using base resins including homopolymers, impact copolymers, and common additives (Colourants, Stabilizers, Lubricants, etc.). NCell can be used as a concentrate, blended and diluted with other polymers as letdown at the molding machine to produce parts with varying fibre content.
NCell fibres come from a renewable source, and allow the materials to be processed at a lower molding temperature and retain strength after regrinding. The natural fibre composites have the potential to reduce tool wear, cycle times, cost and weight compared to other reinforced plastic materials.
NCell materials work with standard manufacturing techniques such as: Injection Compression, Gas-Assist, Back-Injection, Co-injection, IMD/IML, Extrusion, Profile Extrusion support
injection moulded materials produce a smooth surface with evidence of the natural fibres.
The surface properties can be adjusted by changing fibre content, adding other natural compounds (talc) and changing the mold temperature. NCell can also be used with co-injection to obtain specific surface qualities. It has some acoustic dampening properties, and can be coloured.