The Thermoplastic Composites Research Center (TPRC, Enschede, The Netherlands) reported on Oct. 14 that Alcoa Fastening Systems (AFS, New York, N.Y., USA), a leading supplier to aerospace and industrial markets have entered into a long-term partnership to share and collaborate in the development of thermoplastic composite technologies.
“The growing role of composite structures in modern aircraft requires adapted fasteners and in certain cases fasteners that have different functions,” says Massimo Cella, director development programs at AFS. “AFS believes in R&D to evolve products in harmony with new requirements. In this perspective AFS has joined TPRC and is looking forward to projects and activities to support concepts and design of future solutions.”
Winand Kok, manager engineering of TenCate Advanced Composites, comments that TenCate Advanced Composites is very enthusiastic about AFS joining TPRC, explaining that “Thermoplastic composites are materials for volume production of single parts. The next step is efficiently combining these parts into more complex assemblies. The unique properties of thermoplastics open a whole new array of fastening solutions for product designers to take into account. With its broad know-how of fasteners and fastener installation in metals and traditional thermoset composites, AFS is a key enabler in developing new cost effective and weight efficient fastening solutions for automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. We are looking forward to teaming up with AFS and our other TPRC partners to take thermoplastic composite product design and associated processes to the next level.”
The University of Twente is also very pleased with the collaboration between Alcoa Fastening Systems and TPRC. Victor van der Chijs, president of the University of Twente, comments that, “In Twente, we realize that the gap between scientific innovation and commercial exploitation still needs to be bridged. The TPRC is a perfect example of a successful venture to liaise our scientific work to the business community. With this new partnership, the TPRC can further grow and develop to be the obvious and indispensable partner for companies in various value chains that want to use thermoplastic composites.”
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.