Aerospace: Victrex joins TPRC as tier-1 member

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Victrex is aligning its resources with the TPRC to benefit the entire Aerospace supply chain and is dedicated to driving development and adoption of new PAEK-based technologies; joint activities will meet industry standards, facilitating adoption by major aircraft manufacturers

Aerospace grid stiffened demonstration panel - thermoplastic composite using VICTREX™ PAEK-based solutions

Victrex joining the TPRC as a tier-1 member demonstrates the company´s dedication to driving the adoption of new technologies that will open additional opportunities for the aerospace industry.

The ThermoPlastic composites Research Center (TPRC), Enschede/The Netherlands, has a new tier-1 member: Victrex, an innovative world leader in high-performance polymer solutions, who recently introduced the new VICTREX AE™250 composite family based on polyaryletherketone* (PAEK) polymer. Planned joint activities will concentrate on the acceleration and proliferation of new technologies with the aim of addressing industry needs regarding costs, speed of manufacturing and assembly of aircraft components.

TPRC has an extensive thermoplastic (TP) processing knowledge, Victrex has in-depth expertise in PAEK materials and applications in combination with a new hybrid molding technology. As a tier-1 member, Victrex will work alongside other tier-1 and 2 members, such as Boeing, Daher, Dedienne Aerospace, TenCate and Vaupell | SB aero.

Pushing boundaries in the thermoplastic world
With the design and manufacture of an advanced demonstration part, the TPRC earlier this year presented the results of a collaborative project of its members and further renowned companies** on the overmolding of thermoplastic composites. The part features a typical grid stiffened panel that can be found in large numbers in aerostructure applications, made of VICTREX™ PAEK material solutions and currently among the finalists for the prestigious CAMX Combined Strength Award 2017. The winners will be announced during the CAMX, the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA (September 11-14, 2017).

TPRC and Victrex are united in their mission to push boundaries in the thermoplastic world. Tim Herr, Aerospace Director at Victrex, said: “I am convinced that our membership will contribute by bringing decades of PAEK polymer science to enhance the collaboration with the other TPRC members. Additionally, we will be able to further develop the hybrid molding materials and process technologies with the aim of providing engineers with the development tools required for the design and manufacturing of aircraft components. Refining this technology should help to enable this capability in aerospace supply chains.”

Speed up manufacturing and reduce costs
VICTREX AE™250 composites in combination with a new hybrid molding process have been developed by Victrex and identified as a promising option to potentially speed up manufacturing of aircraft component and aircraft assembly. However, in addition to building a supply chain to deliver commercial quantities, supplementary research and intensive testing is still needed and to this end, a key focus of the TPRC project will be determining the characteristics of the hybrid molded interface, including the mechanical performance.

Harald Heerink, General Manager at TPRC comments: “Victrex joining the TPRC as a tier-1 member demonstrates the company´s dedication to driving the adoption of new technologies that will open additional opportunities for the aerospace industry. In addition, it represents an appropriate step towards our integrated approach to component design, from raw material, through design & manufacturing and on to mass production. For that reason, we are excited to have Victrex on-board the TPRC as a new tier-1 member.”

Victrex at CAMX, Orlando/Florida, September 11-14, 2017:
Victrex Technical Paper presentation on “Overmolding of PEEK Components for Composite Aerospace Brackets” by Dr Stuart Green: Wednesday, Sep. 13, 3:00 PM (local time), room W208B

1    Polyaryletherketone (PAEK) is a family of high-performance thermoplastics, with Polyetheretherketones (PEEK) representing over 80% of materials in the PAEK family.
2    The part was realized as the result of a two year collaboration between TPRC, its members and companies contributing from different areas of expertise: Autodesk, Harper Engineering Co., KraussMaffei, Safran S.A., Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP) and Victrex PLC. (source: https://tprc.nl/tprc-successfully-finalizes-overmolding-project-aerospace-automotive-partners/)

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