Product Details Supplier Info More products

Leatherman Tool Group has chosen to use a long glass fibre composite from custom compounder RTP Company to create the handles for a new range of folding knives.

The knives needed to be lightweight and dent resistant; have the ability to stand up to an array of chemicals from oils to insect repellent; and look and feel sharp.

By using the long glass fibre composite for the handle, Leatherman was able to meet its customer criteria for light weight, ruggedness and strength.

Michael Duncan, Leatherman’s sourcing engineer, said: ‘Handles [or scales] made of metal couldn’t meet the varied criteria.

‘We considered using a carbon fibre material, but found that the cost, including the frequent need for machining after moulding, would have made the knives too expensive to produce,’ he added.

Leatherman discussed the challenge with moulding partner Kaso Plastics, which recommended using an RTP 200 Series very long glass fibre-reinforced nylon 6/6 composite.

According to Dean Christensen, vice-president of sales at Kaso Plastics, the RTP material was about a quarter of the cost of carbon fibre and allowed the company to bring two knife lines – Crater and Expanse – to market.

The Expanse line features a hybrid metal/plastic handle.

‘An important aspect of the RTP Company material was that it mechanically bonded well with the metal component in the mould after a simple pre-surfacing treatment,’ said Duncan.

The RTP 200 Series very long fibre composite was straightforward to process and worked well for both knife lines.

The key to obtaining the best performance from a very long fibre material is good tooling that is designed and built to align the fibres correctly during processing.

RTP Company

Your Global Compounder of Customer Engineered Thermoplastics

RTP Company’s private ownership allows our expert polymer engineers to be independent and unbiased as they select from 60+ engineering resins and 100’s of modifying additives to tailor a thermoplastic compound designed to meet your specific end-user requirements.

  • Conductive Static Dissipation
  • Structural Reinforcement
  • Lubricated Wear Resistance
  • High Continuous Use Temperatures
  • UL Recognized Flammability
  • Soft-touch Overmoldable Elastometers
  • Special Color and Appearance Effects
Our speciality compounds provide multi-property solutions in a single material, reducing manufacturing costs and speeding time to market while providing the freedom necessary for product designers and engineers to realize their vision for applications spanning every major market segment.
If your in the process of application development, let RTP Company solve your material challenge by formulating a custom thermoplastic compound optimized to make your product a success – don’t compromise with another suppliers off-the-shelf ordering.

View full profile