Victrex joins TPRC as Tier 1 member

The ThermoPlastic composites Research Center (TPRC, Enschede, The Netherlands) has a new tier-1 member, polymer manufacturer Victrex (Lancashire, UK and West Conshohocken, PA, US).

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The ThermoPlastic composites Research Center (TPRC, Enschede, The Netherlands) has a new tier-1 member, polymer manufacturer Victrex (Lancashire, UK and West Conshohocken, PA, US), who recently
introduced the new trademarked VICTREX AE250 composite family based on polyaryletherketone (PAEK) polymer. 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.

TPRC has an extensive thermoplastic (TP) processing knowledge, and Victrex has in-depth expertise in PAEK materials and applications in combination with a new hybrid molding 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.

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 overmolding 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 for 2017. The winners will be announced during the CAMX (Composites and Advanced Materials Expo) in Orlando, FL, US, from September 11-14, 2017.

TPRC and Victrex are united in their mission to push boundaries in the thermoplastic world: “I am convinced that our membership will contribute by bringing decades of PAEK polymer science to enhance the collaboration with the other TPRC members,” says Tim Herr, aerospace director at Victrex. “Additionally, we will be able to further develop the hybrid molding 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 in combination with a new hybrid molding process
have been developed by Victrex and identified as a promising option to potentially speed up manufacturing of aircraft components 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 molded 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 and manufacturing and on to mass production. For that reason, we are excited to have Victrex onboard the TPRC as a new tier-1 member,” says Harald Heerink, general manager at TPRC.