With over 30 year’s supporting the Irish Plastics industry, AIT is considered the leader in thermoplastics processing research in Ireland. Thermoplastic composites are becoming the materials of choice for replacing traditional materials, such as steel, aluminium and thermoset polymer composites, in areas including construction, transport, automotive and wind energy production, all of which are vitally important sectors in the Irish and European economies. The total global composites market is now estimated to be worth in excess of €60 million.
APT key capabilities and on-going research
APT Ireland is currently developing an innovative range of thermoplastic composite technologies for use in a wide range of high-end manufacturing industries. The use of thermoplastic composites is phasing out thermoset composites in many applications. One of the major drawbacks of traditional thermoplastic composites is that they are generally difficult to melt process which has greatly limited the range of applications in which they can be used. Traditional thermoset composites are associated with slow processing times, high scrap rates, brittleness and high cost, and cannot be recycled. In contrast, our thermoplastic composite solutions are suitable for mass production, offer better environmental resistance and longevity (reduced maintenance and replacement costs), are lighter and are more eco-friendly (recyclable and solvent free manufacture), with the market for such materials growing exponentially. APT Ireland works very closely with the Irish plastics manufacturing industry and other key collaborators including the Irish Centre for Composites Research (IComp).