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As CW continues to celebrate the composites industry this week for National Composites Week, we are thinking about recent trends and developments across the industry. There are many, but high on our list are thermoplastic composites, composites recycling and developments in tooling technology.

Thermoplastic composites

Fibrflex thermoplastic prepreg

Source | Precept One LLC

Factors driving the growing use of thermoplastics in the composites industry include anticipated demand for high-volume manufacturing capabilities for lightweight primary aerostructures, as well as increased recyclability and moldability for more complex parts.

Recent advancements include Cecence’s recyclable, FST-compliant thermoplastic epoxy for aircraft and rail components, first flight of a helicopter component manufactured from recycled thermoplastic composites and developments in a flexible thermoplastic prepreg designed to enable wider tapes and easier weaving/braiding for void-free laminates.

To see more of our coverage about thermoplastic composites, download our Thermoplastic Composites content collection or visit compositesworld.com/zones/thermoplastics.

Recycling

carbon fiber recycling

Source | Cetim Grand Est

Increased focus on sustainability alongside rising demands for carbon fiber have fed efforts to recycle and re-use carbon fiber scrap as well as finished parts at the end of their lifecycle. 

Some of CW’s most recent coverage on recycling includes the latest on a closed-loop recycling project for end-of-life composite aircraft, a demonstrator industrial production line for recycling thermoplastic polymers and composites into organosheets, a new commercial-scale carbon fiber recycling facility under development in Tennessee, U.S. and more.

To see more of our coverage about composites recycling, download our Recycled Composites content collection or visit compositesworld.com/zones/recycling.

Tooling

composite molding additive manufacturing

Source | AES

Molds and tooling are essential in the manufacture of composite parts. Recent updates from CW include developments in reconfigurable tooling designs, large-format additively manufactured composite molds, new composite materials and additives used to enhance composite tooling and more.

To see more of our coverage about developments in tooling, download our Tooling content collection or visit compositesworld.com/zones/molds-tools.

To find out more about National Composites Week and learn how to participate, visit www.nationalcompositesweek.com, and follow along with CompositesWorld this week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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