Recyclable High-Performance Thermoplastic
Tegris polypropylene thermoplastic composite. Photo: Milliken.
The pursuit of stronger, lighter, and more durable composite materials has led to the development of products such as Tegris, a carbon-fiber lookalike material made of polypropylene tape yarn. South Carolina-based manufacturer Milliken invented Tegris, which was originally designated Moldable Fabric Technology (MFT), as an improvement over less safe or recyclable glass-based composite materials. Although Tegris relies on fossil fuel-derived feedstocks, the thermoplastic composite is completely recyclable as 100 percent polypropylene.
The material’s extreme lightness (0.02 lbs/ft²) and high impact resistance have made it an attractive candidate for the baggage industry, and it features prominently in a new line of luggage designed by Tumi. Other target applications include truck bed liners, ballistic panels, sporting equipment, and architectural composite panels.