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26th February 2018, Paris

Innovations for Arches Box TP on display in Paris

The Arches Box TP research project developed by Stelia Aerospace and Porcher Industries will be a key focus at JEC World 2018 next week, with both companies presenting their technical innovations and displaying components at the show.

Porcher Industries, a leader in technical textiles and thermoplastic composite solutions, will present thermoplastic strengthening frame components that were developed for the Arches demonstrator on the Porcher booth, whilst Stelia Aerospace, headquartered in Toulouse, France, will also display the full-scale thermoplastic fuselage demonstrator within the Planets section at the show.


Having been nominated together as a JEC Innovation Award Finalist (along with partners Sintex NP, Compose Tool, CETIM, Aviacomp and Institut de Soudure), Porcher Industries and Stelia Aerospace will co-present a paper titled Design to Cost Concept for Thermoplastic Laminates on 7 March at JEC World 2018.

Porcher Industries will present thermoplastic strengthening frame components. © Porcher Industries

Presented by Pierre-Yves Gandon, Aerospace Technical Support, Porcher Industries and Loic Le Lay, Composite Manufacturing, Stelia Aerospace, the paper will highlight two key innovations that were used for the strengthening frames of the Arches Box aircraft fuselage.

The presentation will detail how two new thermoplastic semi-finished products were successfully developed: a woven 3k carbon/PEKK laminate and woven 12k carbon/PEKK laminate. Through extensive R&D by both companies, several parameters including fibres, weaving patterns, surface modifications and processes, were explored to optimise the impregnation, consolidation and processability of these organosheets.

New surface modification

“Porcher Industries is proud to have developed a new surface modification for the carbon fibre itself as well as a specific low crimp weaving technology for the heavier 12k tow. The combination of these two innovative processing methods resulted in the more cost effective 12K carbon/PEKK laminates exhibiting the same mechanical performance level as the standard 3K carbon/PEKK laminates,” the company explains.

The influence of these innovations and parameters on the mechanical, thermal and ageing properties of laminates will also be presented, with particular focus on these thermoplastic semi-finished products’ excellent performance/weight ratio and performance/cost ratio for structural parts – both key factors within Aerospace manufacturing.


Stelia has invested several million Euros in the Arches Box TP research and technology project within the CORAC (French Strategic Advisory Board for Civil Aviation Research) platform and manufactured the demonstrator skin with an automatic fibre placement (AFP) process using thermoplastic slit carbon tapes and out of autoclave (OOA) consolidation, before completing the final structure assembly at its in-house R&T centre in Méaulte, France.

Stelia selected leading French suppliers of thermoplastic composites to provide complementary technology packages such as the dynamic robotic induction welding of TP stringers, fast stamping of stringers and frames and hybrid TP structures by over‐moulding short and long fibres.

For the project, Porcher’s technical team developed an organosheet from the Pipreg range of thermoplastic solutions as the optimal material for the frames, based on the initial Stelia Aerospace specification.

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