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1st September 2017, West Conshohocken, PA

Victrex joins TPRC as tier-1 member

Victrex, a leader in high-performance polymer solutions, which recently introduced the new Victrex AE250 composite family based on polyaryletherketone (PAEK) polymer, has joined the ThermoPlastic Composites Research Center (TPRC), Enschede, The Netherlands, as a tier-1 member.

Planned joint activities will concentrate on the acceleration and proliferation of new technologies with the aim of addressing industry needs regarding costs, speed of manufacturing, and assembly of aircraft components.

Aerospace grid stiffened demonstration panel - thermoplastic composite using Victrex PAEK-based solutions. © Victrex

TPRC has an extensive thermoplastic (TP) processing knowledge, 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.

Collaborative project

With the design and manufacture of an advanced demonstration part, the TPRC earlier this year presented the results of a collaborative project of its members on the overmoulding of thermoplastic composites.

The part features a typical grid stiffened panel that can be found in large numbers in aerostructure applications, made of Victrex PAEK material solutions and is currently among the finalists for the prestigious CAMX Combined Strength Award 2017. The winners will be announced during the CAMX, the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, which takes place in Orlando, FL, from 11-14 September.

Future development

“I am convinced that our membership will contribute by bringing decades of PAEK polymer science to enhance the collaboration with the other TPRC members,” said 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 AE250 composites

Victrex AE250 composites, in combination with a new hybrid moulding process, have been developed by Victrex and identified as 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 and to this end, 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. In addition, it represents an appropriate step towards our integrated approach to component design, from raw material, through design & manufacturing and on to mass production. For that reason, we are excited to have Victrex on-board the TPRC as a new tier-1 member,” said Harald Heerink, General Manager at TPRC.

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