Glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic (GFRT) composites are becoming more common and, as such, a wide array of fabrication techniques is currently available. While the most widespread process is the injection molding of granulated long fiber thermoplastic pellets (GLFT), the placement and overmolding of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic tape (CFRT) is increasing because the stiffness and strength of CFRT is 200-300% higher than GLFT. Unfortunately, this higher-performing material incurs more manufacturing complexity. An easily processable material with mechanical performance between that of GLFT and CFRT would therefore have value.
In the present work, thermoplastic bulk molding compound (BMC) is investigated to determine if it could fill the identified performance gap. This is achieved by using injection and compression molding to fabricate thermoplastic composite parts with GLFT, CFRT, and BMC. BMC was shown to exhibit improvements in flexure and impact performance of 100% and 20%, respectively, thereby filling the gap between GLFT and CFRT.