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North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), together with academic and industrial partners, have started a new two-year research project on Toughened Thin Ply Composites for Aerospace Applications (TPCA).
According to NTPT, this two-year study is partially funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) of the Swiss Confederation. NTPT joins forces with partners Huntsman, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), RUAG Aerostructures, and Decision SA. After the success of the previous CTI R&D study, which showed that thinner ply laminates exhibit significantly higher strengths than laminates utilising conventional plies, NTPT explains that the goal of this research is to improve the toughness of thin ply composites in order to meet or exceed aerospace requirements.
“We are all aligned on the goals of the project and highly motivated to succeed,” NTPT’s Technical Director Wayne Smith stated after the kick-off meeting. “NTPT has high expectations about this research, especially after the significant achievements and resulting recognition of our previous project. I am looking forward to getting underway and to discovering how much we can improve laminate performance in this project.”
NTPT commented that aerospace is by far the most strategic market for composites today, because it has a large value and it is growing rapidly. Thin Ply Technology claims to have dramatically improved key properties of composite laminates such as onset of damage, ultimate strength and fatigue resistance. However, some other key properties still need to be optimised in order for the materials to be specified by commercial aircraft manufacturers. The scope of this project, which runs from March 2015 until March 2017, is to develop a new toughened thin ply composite material suitable for the requirements of future aerospace projects.
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