The market for long fibre thermoplastic (LFTP) technology amounted to around 140,000 tonnes of material in 2013 and is currently growing at an annual rate of 11%.
By 2017, the value of this market is on course to hit US$1bn and amount to around 310,000 tonnes of product, according to Geoff Foulds of NetComposites, Chesterfield, UK.
Speaking at the Composites Engineering show held in Birmingham, UK in November, he said glass is the dominant fibre employed in LFTP and cited an example of a successful application as the dashboard of the current BMW 7 Series car.
Within its current Peltec project, however, NetComposites is working to make flax and jute fibres suitable for the LFTP process, in addition to commingled polypropylene and polyester, with the support of funding body Innovate UK and the aim of an eventual commercial launch through its sister company Composites Evolution.
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