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Victrex Peek Now Available As Release Film for Aerospace Composite Part Production

03 April 2012

Victrex Polymer Solutions recently formed a strategic marketing partnership with Umeco to market release films made from its APTIV film based on high performance Victrex PEEK.

The APTIV film-based release films will be marketed by Umeco under the VAC-PAK brand name. Victrex say APTIV film is ideal for higher temperature composite processing due to its inherent release properties, excellent strength and toughness, purity and high temperature performance. As a result of Umeco Process materials market leadership, knowledge and experience in composite processing, Victrex say APTIV film will now be the first high performance PEEK film currently available as a release film.

“The ready availability of APTIV film for composite release films combined with our commitment to supply the aerospace industry is a game-changer for the industry,” said Tim Herr, APTIV Global Business Leader at Victrex. “APTIV film provides a balance of properties that make it the highest performing, most versatile thermoplastic film available. It is exciting to offer this innovative material in the form of release films and increase the diversity of our applications even further.”

Used in aerospace, military, marine and industrial composite processing applications, Victrex explain that release films are utilised during composites manufacture, and placed between the lamination and a breather fabric. They function as a slip-sheet so the finished laminate can be easily removed from the fabric. “Traditional release materials include Tedlar PVF film and various fluoropolymers,” said Adam Black, Global Business Development Manager, Umeco Process materials. “When compared to these materials, APTIV film is stronger at elevated temperatures allowing for faster processing and more efficient manufacture of complex parts.” 

According to Black, “The release film is available in 0.018 cm (0.0071 in) and 0.025 cm (0.001 in) thicknesses and has a high use temperature up to 315°C (600°F) which is compatible with typical aerospace composite requirements. It has a tensile strength of 125 MPa (18,000 psi), elongation > 120% and a yield of 23-33 g/m2 (0.7 to 1.1 oz/yd2). In addition, the APTIV based release film has excellent chemical resistance and low moisture absorption; the film does not degrade when exposed to the extreme conditions of the composite manufacturing process, and has excellent drapability to facilitate design freedom and ease of processing for parts with complex geometries.”

As a marketing partner, Umeco will be a reliable source for Victrex PEEK polymer-based films for release, processing, and bagging films for composite part production while providing expertise in value-added processing including slitting, perforation and technical service. “Umeco is a global partner with a large footprint as a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier to both small and large airframe manufacturers,” said Herr. “Partnering with Umeco further supports the growth of composites in the global aerospace market by enabling the use of APTIV film in new applications with higher temperature requirements. It also demonstrates our long-term commitment to the aerospace industry by providing a replacement for the increasingly unavailable release materials such as Tedlar PVF film,” concluded Herr.





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