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7th March 2019, Bristol, RI

SFS intec partners with TxV Aero Composites

Aircraft storage-bin bracket redesigned in high-performance PAEK thermoplastic composite. © TxV Aero Composites

Aircraft storage-bin bracket redesigned in high-performance PAEK thermoplastic composite. © TxV Aero Composites

To achieve valuable weight and cost savings within the quality and price-sensitive air transportation industry, SFS intec is partnering with TxV Aero Composites in the re-design of an aircraft storage-bin bracket. Originally made from aluminium, the new bracket will be made of Victrex AE 250 composites overmoulded with Victrex PEEK (polyetheretherketone) polymer. SFS is qualifying TxV’s hybrid overmoulded composite part for use in a commercial aircraft.

The weight, size, complex geometry and high load-bearing specifications of the overhead storage-bin bracket made the SFS part a suitable candidate for the hybrid overmoulding technique at TxV. Another consideration was the 60-70% scrap produced through several milling steps required for the original aerospace-grade aluminium bracket.

“Our decision to work with TxV is a strategic one. We are convinced that thermoplastic composite components will play an increasingly larger role in the manufacture of aircraft. It may well be that several different technologies will each have a role in the future of aircraft production. TxV’s hybrid overmoulding process, is a good option for components that must withstand high levels of mechanical stress and geometries that require multiple processing steps where conventional machining is used,” said Sascha Costabel, Head of Innovation at SFS Intec, Aircraft Components.

The processing and performance advantages of PAEK (polyaryletherketone) thermoplastic composites, combined with state-of-the-art automated manufacturing, positions TxV to meet the industry’s cost and weight challenges, the company explains. Finished composite parts, complete hybrid overmoulded components and assemblies are produced using continuous manufacturing processes with cycle times measured in minutes rather than the hours required by thermoset alternatives. These innovative products can deliver weight savings of up to 60% over conventional metallic solutions.

“This project represents an exciting commercial application of our overmolded hybrid part technology,” commented Jonathan Sourkes, Senior Account Manager at TxV. “SFS intec recognises the benefits of our approach to part manufacturing in terms of processing efficiencies and overall system cost savings. Scrap reduction, decreased weight, elimination of secondary processing and lower part count are all benefits of moving from metal to a hybrid overmoulded composite solution.”

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