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Advanced Engineering 2018

Victrex Joins Thermoplastics Centre to Further Aerospace Research

05 September 2017

Victrex Joins Thermoplastics Centre to Further Aerospace Research

Victrex has joined the ThermoPlastic Composites Research Centre (TPRC), Enschede, The Netherlands, as a Tier 1 member with the aim of addressing industry needs regarding costs, speed of manufacturing and assembly of aircraft components.

Victrex recently introduced the new VICTREX AE 250 composite family based on polyaryletherketone (PAEK) polymer.

TPRC has an extensive thermoplastic processing knowledge, while Victrex has in-depth expertise in PAEK materials and applications in combination with a new hybrid moulding 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.

With the design and manufacture of an advanced demonstration part, the TPRC earlier this year presented the results of a collaborative project on the over-moulding of thermoplastic composites. The part features a typical grid stiffened panel found in large numbers in aerostructure applications, made of Victrex PAEK and one of the finalists for the CAMX Combined Strength Award 2017.

“I am convinced that our membership will contribute by bringing decades of PAEK polymer science to enhance the collaboration with the other TPRC members,” says Tim Herr, Aerospace Director at Victrex. “Additionally, we will be able to further develop the hybrid moulding 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.”

VICTREX AE 250 composites in combination with a new hybrid moulding process developed by Victrex are 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. A key focus of the TPRC project will be determining the characteristics of the hybrid moulded interface, including the mechanical performance.

“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,” states Harald Heerink, General Manager at TPRC. “In addition, it represents an appropriate step towards our integrated approach to component design, from raw material, through design and manufacturing and on to mass production.”


Photo provided by Victrex





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