The use of carbon fiber material in the manufacturing process imparts several advantages for the components and applications for which they are developed. With high strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios, carbon fiber allows products to be produced stronger and stiffer at lighter weights. The degree to which this occurs depends on the base resin used and the amount of carbon fiber added to it. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer also offers high chemical and corrosion resistance due to carbon’s chemical inertness. An increase in continuous use temperature and heat deflection temperature can also be expected from carbon fiber composite. Americhem’s carbon fiber additives are created using proprietary formulas and combinations of materials to meet our customers’ most demanding requirements. Using mainly organic polymers and a small amount of rayon, we create customized engineered compounds that manufacturers transform into carbon fiber filament for use across several markets.
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We’re glad you asked! Along with the addition of carbon fiber, Americhem has the capability to include a wide variety of product additives. These include but are not limited to color, lubricants, flame retardants, specialty process aids, aramid fiber and other reinforcements like glass and minerals. We can even introduce metals such as stainless steel, iron, tungsten and barium sulfate. To ensure our products reach their maximum potential with their properties, we research and test carbon fiber to make sure it’s compatible with particular resin systems. Americhem can compound most resins with carbon fiber. These materials can range from ABS and PC to high-performance polymers like PEEK, PSU and PPA. We also strive to understand how different polymers process during extrusion. Using this knowledge, we can enhance our carbon fiber manufacturing to save our customers time, money and material.
Adding carbon fiber to a polymer will help you achieve three main levels of electrical conductivity: 1) antistatic 2) statically dissipative and 3) conductive. Antistatic materials prevent a charge from building up on the surface of your product, which can significantly reduce damage from electrical charges. Statically dissipative materials will control the release of a charge, allowing a certain level of charge to flow at a controlled rate. And conductive materials allow a free flow of a charge. Choosing the right level of conductivity for materials is very dependent on the end application. It’s important to consider how the conductivity will affect other components within the product, system or environment.
Consumer needs always drive industry growth, and carbon fibers are no different. At Americhem, we are continually adding new product lines with a focus on advancing solutions for specific markets. Together, our InElec™ electrically active crystalline and amorphous compounds, InLube™ internally lubricated compounds and alloys, and InStruc™ structurally reinforced compounds benefit the automotive, non-automotive vehicle (NAV), consumer product, packaging, electronics, building and construction, fluid handling, military and medical segments. With carbon fiber plastic additives being one of our specialties, we can keep pace with the most critical and rapidly expanding markets. Our polyetherimide (PEI) material and polycarbonate (PC) material offerings are proof of this, providing biocompatible filler and reinforcement options for today’s advanced medical products and devices.
With the surge in additive manufacturing over the past decade, procuring quality material for filament is imperative to producing a quality printed part. Americhem’s 3D-printed carbon fiber compounds are compatible with nylon, PEEK, PEI/PC blends and many other resin systems. The addition of carbon fiber allows manufacturers to achieve significantly higher strength and greater dimensional stability at lighter weights than they can accomplish using unfilled filament products. Like all Americhem compounds, we rigorously test our carbon fiber print materials to make certain their mechanical properties have been optimized. To fully disperse the carbon into the polymer, we use milled carbon fiber which is more powder-like in substance than traditional carbon fiber but can present tradeoffs in desired color effects. Our carbon fiber additive manufacturing team will work with you to prioritize your goals so we can customize the best possible product for your manufacturing needs.