Fiber Sizing: A Significant Contributor to Increased Composite Performance | NewsLIGHT #15 | Michelman

Michelman, a family-owned advanced materials company, founded in 1949, is well known for its emulsification and polymer dispersion expertise. “We have a 70-year history as an innovator in water-based dispersion and emulsion technology,” says Industrial Manufacturing Group Marketing Director, Steve Bassetti.

“The company was the first to develop a water-based wax emulsion that coats cardboard paper for fruit and vegetable shipping. Since that application, we’ve expanded into a variety of markets, including fibers and composites. We formally launched our Fibers & Composites business in 2011 and have become the industry leader in fiber-polymer interface adhesion for glass, carbon, basalt, aramid, and other specialty fibers.”

The company’s formulation expertise and knowledge of end-use applications provide reinforcing fiber manufacturers a versatile line of fiber sizing, film formers, binders, lubricants, and surface modifiers that produce stronger, lighter, and more durable composites. Fiber sizing performs several tasks including protecting the fiber during manufacture, as well as contributing to the ultimate performance of the composite part. Michelman’s technology allows customers to tailor the surface chemistry of reinforcement fibers to the chemistry of the matrix resin, thereby optimizing the interfacial adhesion between the polymers and fibers. They have production facilities throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.

Michelman is actively partnering with institutes, consortiums, universities, and associations such as IACMI and AZL Aachen GmbH, along with investing several million dollars in their Composites Collaboration Center to build an ecosystem that better serves the industry. Michelman’s multi-year investment in state-of-the-art equipment and capabilities allows for the confluence of industry, academia, and government to better evaluate how composites can achieve increased performance, as well as accelerate the adoption of new and novel concepts. For example, their Textechno FIMATEST system helps measure optimized adhesion for any fiber-matrix combination. Along with its application testing capabilities, they have invested in test specimen manufacture equipment, including twin screw compounding and injection molding and a pilot-scale fiber sizing line.

To find out more about the performance impact that fiber sizing has on composites manufacturing, view Michelman’s recent Fundamentals of Fiber Sizing webinar sponsored by CompositesWorld magazine or visit