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ITHEC 2018:

ITHEC 2018:

News 25.10.2018

Aerospace industry expected to benefit from continued work on innovative VICTREX Poly Aromatic Ether Ketone (PAEK) polymers that can be processed at lower temperatures.

How PAEK thermoplastic composites and related hybrid over-molding processes can open a broader range of manufacturing options for aerospace parts will be one of the central topics at the “ITHEC 2018 - 4th International Conference & Exhibition on Thermoplastic Composites”, October 30th-31st in Bremen, Germany. Several companies, including Victrex, will present 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 functionalisation by hybrid over-molding.

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


VICTREX AE 250 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. “With a melting temperature of 305 °C, our newest polymer processes at between 340 °C-360 °C, 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 over-molding”, explains Dr Stuart Green, Market Technology Manager at Victrex, in the run up to the conference. Dr Green will present his research work in a poster illustrating how VICTREX AE 250 unidirectional prepreg tape is compatible with a range of lay-up and consolidation techniques, including automated fibre placement (AFP), oven and press consolidation.

Conference participants can expect an insight into the highly dynamic evolution of composites technology and the wide span of the associated field of research. Other presentations include, for instance, injection forming of gears on high-performance CF-PAEK drive shafts (Herone GmbH, Germany), the assessment of interface strength in over-molded structures (Fibre Institute, Germany), and the developments and future challenges of processing thermoplastic composites (TenCate Advanced Composites, The Netherlands).

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