CAMX 2017 preview: TenCate Advanced Composites
TenCate Advanced Composites (Morgan Hill, California) is highlighting new thermoplastic and thermoset prepreg technologies. Also on display are several aerospace and high-end industrial applications. The first application is an HP Spectre Ultra book case manufactured with TenCate’s Cetex TC920 polycarbonate/ABS carbon fiber laminate. TenCate says this high-volume application demonstrates the versatility of thermoplastic composites in cost-competitive applications like laptops, tablets and handheld consumer devices. The final details of this lower case are injection overmolded for manufacturing efficiency. TenCate’s Cetex polycarbonate/ABS carbon fiber laminates provide UL-94 fire safety without the use of secondary fillers. Also in the TenCate’s booth is a Thermoplastic Composites Research Center (TPRC, Enschede, The Netherlands) part developed with the assistance of GKN/Fokker. This TPRC part uses scraps of TenCate’s Cetex TC1100 PPS thermoplastic prepreg to manufacture an aerospace-grade aircraft access panel.
New from TenCate is TC380, a toughened, out-of-autoclave-capable, high-compression-after-impact (CAI) epoxy prepreg for aerospace applications. TenCate notes that with older generation toughened epoxies, the toughening mechanisms essential for CAI performance often degrade the critical properties of service temperature, open-hole compression strength and moisture resistance. TC380 uses a proprietary toughening mechanism that does not degrade the modulus of the epoxy, maintaining service temperature and open-hole compressive strength, while providing good CAI.
On the thermoplastics side, TenCate recently is launching Cetex MC1322, a PEKK-based, chopped fiber bulk molding compound (BMC) aimed at compression-molded commercial aircraft applications. TenCate is also highlighting Cetex TC1225, a PAEK-based thermoplastic prepreg with a lower processing temperature, which is said to enable cost-effective overmolding with higher temperature PEEK resins for finer details and integrated structures like rib stiffeners. TenCate is showing a TPRC-produced ortho grid-stiffened panel where the carbon-reinforced ribs were injection overmolded on the TC1225 PAEK-based laminate. Booth N2.
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Yes, advanced forms are in development, but has the technology progressed enough to make the business case?