Research Topic

Advanced Thermoplastic Composites and Manufacturing Processes

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About this Research Topic

Growing concerns about the environment and energy have driven the widespread adoption of new lightweight materials in many industrial sectors, with crucial issues revolving around performance, cost-efficiency, and multifunctionality. Among them, thermosetting matrix composites offer not only many advantages such as high specific stiffness and strength, but also technical issues such as long cycle times, high manufacturing costs, existence of chemical reactions during parts-fabrication, and difficulty of end-of-life treatment.

On the other hand, thermoplastic matrix composites, whose demand is continuously increasing, offer many advantages such as higher toughness and longer storage time, though also manufacturing issues such as high processing temperature and high viscosity. Thermoplastic matrix composites can play a key role in the twenty first-century industry as new materials are emerging day-by-day, and as manufacturing processes are evolving to meet the stringent industrial requirements of performance, production, and multifunctionality. However, great efforts are still needed to address the technical issues related to both their manufacturing and their performance assessment.

This Research Topic welcomes papers (original research articles, state-of-the art reviews, perspectives) on the latest advances and developments in fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, preferably referring to continuous fiber-reinforced composites, as well as in related novel manufacturing techniques. Suggested contributions may include, but are not limited to:

Manufacturing issues:
 • High production rate manufacturing techniques for mass production applications
 • Out-of-Autoclave manufacturing processes
 • Automated tape laying or automated fiber placement
 • Chopped- and continuous fiber-based additive manufacturing and 3D printing processes
 • Joining by welding

Constitutive material(s) issues:
 • Emerging high performance engineering thermoplastic matrices
 • Semipreg of fiber/thermoplastic matrix composites
 • Self-reinforced composites
 • Bio-based and biodegradable composites
 • Multifunctional materials (e.g. self-healing, energy harvesting, sensing/actuating, adaptive response/morphing, data transmission, thermal and electrical conductivity, etc.)
 • Fiber-matrix adhesion and fiber sizing

Performance issues:
 • Mechanical performance of thermoplastic composites (static, creep, fatigue, impact, etc.), damage tolerance and fracture mechanics
 • Environmental resistance (solvents, humidity, temperature, etc.) and durability.
 • Structural health monitoring

and also:
 • Numerical modeling and simulation (and related microstructural, rheological, thermo-mechanical and physico-chemical characterizations)
 • Repairing
 • Recycling and reuse


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Growing concerns about the environment and energy have driven the widespread adoption of new lightweight materials in many industrial sectors, with crucial issues revolving around performance, cost-efficiency, and multifunctionality. Among them, thermosetting matrix composites offer not only many advantages such as high specific stiffness and strength, but also technical issues such as long cycle times, high manufacturing costs, existence of chemical reactions during parts-fabrication, and difficulty of end-of-life treatment.

On the other hand, thermoplastic matrix composites, whose demand is continuously increasing, offer many advantages such as higher toughness and longer storage time, though also manufacturing issues such as high processing temperature and high viscosity. Thermoplastic matrix composites can play a key role in the twenty first-century industry as new materials are emerging day-by-day, and as manufacturing processes are evolving to meet the stringent industrial requirements of performance, production, and multifunctionality. However, great efforts are still needed to address the technical issues related to both their manufacturing and their performance assessment.

This Research Topic welcomes papers (original research articles, state-of-the art reviews, perspectives) on the latest advances and developments in fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, preferably referring to continuous fiber-reinforced composites, as well as in related novel manufacturing techniques. Suggested contributions may include, but are not limited to:

Manufacturing issues:
 • High production rate manufacturing techniques for mass production applications
 • Out-of-Autoclave manufacturing processes
 • Automated tape laying or automated fiber placement
 • Chopped- and continuous fiber-based additive manufacturing and 3D printing processes
 • Joining by welding

Constitutive material(s) issues:
 • Emerging high performance engineering thermoplastic matrices
 • Semipreg of fiber/thermoplastic matrix composites
 • Self-reinforced composites
 • Bio-based and biodegradable composites
 • Multifunctional materials (e.g. self-healing, energy harvesting, sensing/actuating, adaptive response/morphing, data transmission, thermal and electrical conductivity, etc.)
 • Fiber-matrix adhesion and fiber sizing

Performance issues:
 • Mechanical performance of thermoplastic composites (static, creep, fatigue, impact, etc.), damage tolerance and fracture mechanics
 • Environmental resistance (solvents, humidity, temperature, etc.) and durability.
 • Structural health monitoring

and also:
 • Numerical modeling and simulation (and related microstructural, rheological, thermo-mechanical and physico-chemical characterizations)
 • Repairing
 • Recycling and reuse


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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