Thermoplastic composite profiles, also called tubes, sticks, and shafts, are essential components for products across a wide range of industries, from aerospace and automotive to construction and sporting goods. Profiles made from thermoplastic composite materials offer an invaluable combination of strength, durability, and light weight that make them the ideal choice for an array of applications.

In this article, we’ll explore how to specify the right thermoplastic composite tube or profile, and what parts of your project’s requirements you’ll need to know before ordering. We’ll cover essential aspects of your order, including material selection, tube size, and type of finish.

  1. Define your project requirements

Before you can specify your composite profiles, be sure you have a clear understanding of your project’s specific needs. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • What will the composite profiles be used for? Will they serve a structural, functional, or aesthetic purpose? These questions will help determine the necessary load-bearing capacity and resistance to environmental factors and wear-and-tear.
  • Will the composite tubes be exposed to extreme temperatures, moisture, chemicals, or UV radiation (exposure)? If so, this will influence the appropriate material and finish.
  1. Select your material based upon the project requirements

The fibers and resins used in the production of your thermoplastic composite tubes are key factors in the performance of your thermoplastic tubes and profiles. 

  • Re:Build Oribi Composites offers a variety of fiber options, including carbon fiber, glass fiber, and kevlar. Each fiber type provides different performance and cost advantages.
  • Additionally, the type of thermoplastic polymer can lead to varying levels of profile performance. The chart below outlines the thermoplastic options from Re:Build Oribi Composites:

3. Determine the optimal tube dimensions and shape/profile

Once you’ve determined the material, you’ll need to specify the profile’s dimensions and shape:

  • Inside diameter and outside diameter: these dimensions are crucial for the profile’s structural integrity and its compatibility with other components. Re:Build Oribi Composites can manufacture tubes with a maximum diameter of 3 inches.
  • Length: make sure your profile’s length aligns with your project requirements, and that you account for any necessary allowances for cutting or fitting. Re:Build Oribi Composites can manufacture profiles up to 42 inches long.
  • Thickness: the thickness of your profile will help determine its durability and compatibility with other product parts. Re:Build Oribi Composites can manufacture profiles up to 0.25 inches thick.
  • Shape: not all profiles are round. Re:Build Oribi Composites manufactures round, square, oval, hexagonal, and octagonal composite profiles. Each shape has unique performance characteristics.

4. Consider production volume

Until recently, composite profiles were prohibitively costly to mass produce. But thanks to recent manufacturing automation innovations from Re:Build Oribi Composites, high volume composite profile production is now possible at a cost competitive with traditional materials. 

If you need a large number of composite profiles while prioritizing time and cost efficiency, select a manufacturing partner with deep experience and mass production capabilities.

Re:Build Oribi Composites can help you specify the right tubes to meet your needs

You do not need to be an expert in the nuances of composite fibers, profiles, and polymers to get the right tubes and profiles to meet your specifications. At Re:Build Oribi Composites, we have experts that can help you every step of the way.

Find more information about our composite profiles, or contact our expert team today.