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ITHEC 2018 Conf. Focused on PAEK Composite Innovations for Aerospace Industry

Published on 2018-11-05. Author : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Thermoplastic Composites     High Heat Materials   

VICTREX AE250 Bracket and Tape
VICTREX AE250 Bracket and Tape
How PAEK (poly aromatic ether ketone) thermoplastic composites and related hybrid overmolding processes can open a broader range of manufacturing options for aerospace parts was one of the central topics at the “ITHEC 2018 - 4th International Conference & Exhibition on Thermoplastic Composites,” October 30-31 in Bremen, Germany.

Several companies, including Victrex, presented their results on the potential of lower melting PAEK polymer solutions to address unmet challenges around the large-scale automation and production of PAEK thermoplastic composites, including functionalization by hybrid overmolding.

PAEK Thermoplastic Composite – Active Source of Innovation

The combination of an innovative VICTREX PAEK polymer and reinforcing carbon fibers offers mechanical properties that are consistent with the requirements for structural aerospace applications. The resulting VICTREX AE™ 250 based thermoplastic composite solutions took center stage in papers and poster presentations at the upcoming ITHEC conference and serve to demonstrate how PAEK thermoplastic polymers continue to be an active source of innovation. Forty years after the invention of PEEK (polyetheretherketone) the best is yet to come.

VICTREX AE250 PAEK Process Advantages

Composites based on traditional PAEK polymers, such as PEEK and related polymers; need to be processed at temperatures in the range of 360°C - 400°C (680°F - 752°F).

Dr Stuart Green, Market Technology Manager at Victrex, in the run up to the conference, explained:
“With a melting temperature of 305°C (581°F), our newest polymer processes at between 340°C -360°C (644°F -680°F), allowing composite parts to be manufactured faster and cheaper with added functionality using fast automated lay-up, out of autoclave processing, hot stamping, and injection overmolding.”

Dr Green presented his research work in a poster illustrating how VICTREX AE250 unidirectional prepreg tape is compatible with a range of lay-up and consolidation techniques, including automated fiber placement (AFP), oven and press consolidation.

Conference participants witnessed an insight into the highly dynamic evolution of composites technology and the wide span of the associated field of research. Other presentations included, for instance, injection forming of gears on high-performance CF-PAEK drive shafts, the assessment of interface strength in overmolded structures, and the developments and future challenges of processing thermoplastic composites.

Source: Victrex
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