Introduction to fiber reinforced plastics and thermoplastic composites

29 October 2021
Hotel Scandic Sydhavnen
Sydhavns Plads 15
2450 Copenhagen

Since the early days of plastics engineering, fibers have been considered for the reinforcement of plastic materials. Thermoplastic composites are the most recent addition to the toolbox of fiber reinforced plastics available for component engineering across industries. When combining a thermoplastic polymer matrix with a continuous fiber reinforcement, thermoplastic composites can offer the highest level of performance of any plastic-based material. This allows them to compete with incumbents such as metals, and their combination with other types of reinforced plastics results in lighter, better performing and more durable parts. Their use is therefore expected to grow significantly over the coming years in applications from automotive over consumer goods and electronics to oil and gas and aviation.

Yet, thermoplastic composites are highly anisotropic materials that come in a wide variety of product forms and with an even higher range of associated processing methods. Furthermore, they can be combined with many other types of fiber reinforced plastics. This versatility leaves the engineer with a vast spectrum of materials and design options; it is the purpose of this seminar to reduce that inherent complexity by providing participants with both the theoretical background and highly practical guidelines as to how thermoplastic composites as well as many other reinforced plastics behave and should be used.

Seminar’s scope
This seminar will focus on the different types of fiber reinforced plastics – from nano composites over short and long fiber compounds to continuous fiber composites – and will highlight the key role of fiber type, length, interfacial adhesion and architecture on the material’s performance and processing behavior.

Seminar content
The seminar will start by providing an overview of the different types of fiber reinforced plastics, the associated processing solutions, their applications, and their typical markets.

Participants will be taught the specific mechanisms that govern material performance, part design principles and applicative benefits.

After attending the seminar, participants will have a good understanding of:

  • Typical applications and specific benefits of fiber reinforced plastics with a particular focus on continuous fiber thermoplastics composites.
  • Available product forms for fiber reinforced plastics (pellets, tapes, prepregs, laminates) and their general strengths and weaknesses
  • Why fibers reinforce plastics; what are the reinforcing mechanisms? How critical is the interfacial strength between matrix and filler? What is the optimum fiber length?
  • When does an application require a short, long or continuous fiber reinforced plastic material?
  • What are factors driving material selection (e.g. polymer type: crystalline/amorphous, high/low-Tg; fiber type: glass/carbon, nanometric/short/long/continuous; fiber architecture: chopped/unidirectional/woven and effects of fiber orientation)
  • How are properties dependent on temperature, load orientation, long-term and repeated loads
  • How can the different product forms be processed; what influence can this have on productivity, cycle time and performance
  • How can different materials (e.g. thermoplastic composite, short/long fiber compound) and processing methods (e.g. filament winding, stamping, injection molding) be combined
  • How can continuous fiber thermoplastic composites be used for local part reinforcement; what are the available processing methods
  • General design principles when developing components based on fiber reinforced plastics

Target audience
This course is intended for a wide audience of technicians, engineers, scientists and managers eager to discover the thriving field of Thermoplastic Composites within the broader context of fiber-reinforced plastics. Participants will discover the specific technical attributes of this relatively new class of materials and their associated processes and application areas.

Vito Leo is a physicist by training (PhD from Brussels University), and has been working for more than 37 years in the field of polymer processing and mechanical performance of thermoplastics. He has been very active in the field of Injection Molding of Thermoplastics and the use of Finite Element Numerical Simulation of this process, initiating and managing a CAE Team in a large company. He worked for the largest chemical company in Belgium in a number of research projects in the field of Rheology, Injection Molding, Mechanical performance of polymers and 3D Printing.

For nearly 20 years he was Professor at Université Libre de Bruxelles, where he taught an introductory course in Polymer Processing to students of the Engineering Faculty nearly identical in content to his well-known seminar BIMS-1.

He is now full-time on the BIMS SEMINARS activities, expanding the training portfolio and starting consulting work in addition.

Hans Miltner has a degree in chemical engineering and obtained a doctorate in the field of polymer science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He started his career in academia, conducting applied research in the area of polymer nano composites. He then moved to industry where he led developments in functional coatings, specialty polymer compounds and thermoplastic composites. After moving on in more commercial and business management roles, overseeing a number of global market segments such as automotive and oil & gas, he founded an independent technology consultancy and business development firm.

Today he supports material suppliers, technology providers and end-users across the global plastics and composites industry, facilitating the market introduction and accelerating the adoption of plastics innovations. He brings along 17 years of combined academic and industrial technical experience in the plastics sector.

Seminar hours

29 October: 10.00-17.30

Registration fee

DKK 6,095 Members of ATV-SEMAPP
DKK 6,495 Non-members

Includes sessions, educational materials & catering. Excl. hotel booking. Participants will receive a certificate after completing the course.

All prices are excluded of Danish VAT 25%.

Save 400 DKK when registering before 1 August 2021.

Rooms can be booked directly at Scandic Sydhavnen

Registration is binding, however substitutions are accepted at any time.

Introduction to fiber reinforced plastics and thermoplastic composites

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