Consortium targets solutions for carbon fiber thermoplastic composite structures
A joint collaborative project led by Hexcel (Stamford, Conn., U.S.) and Arkema (King of Prussia, Pa., U.S.) aims to optimize unidirectional (UD) tape design and manufacture for use in high-rate, cost-competitive composite part production. The Highly Automatized Integrated Composites for Performing Adaptable Structures (HAICoPAS) project is part of the partnership Hexcel and Arkema announced last year for the development of high-performance PEKK/carbon fiber UD tapes for primary aerostructures.
The HAICoPAS project also targets the development of a highly productive UD tape placement technology and a new system providing the ability to assemble final parts by welding with inline quality control.
HAICoPAS recently received approval from financial support from Bpifrance and France’s Investissements d’Avenir program, with a total funding amount at 13.5 million euros.Industrial and academic partners on the project include Ingecal (Chassieu, France), Coriolis Composites (Queven, France), Pinette Emidecau Industries (PEI; Chalon Sur Saone, France) and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS; Paris, France, including the PIMM and LTEN laboratories).
The main market objective is lightweighting at competitive costs for applications like primary aerospace structures, high-volume automotive structural parts, and oil and gas pipes. The recyclability and environmental benefits of the thermoplastic materials and technologies developed within the project will also be fully demonstrated and quantified.
The HAICoPAS project aims to generate a complete supply chain combining the supply of carbon fiber/thermoplastic UD tapes produced by Hexcel or Arkema with associated composite part manufacturing and assembling lines from the project’s partners.
A look at the process by which precursor becomes carbon fiber through a careful (and mostly proprietary) manipulation of temperature and tension.
The matrix binds the fiber reinforcement, gives the composite component its shape and determines its surface quality. A composite matrix may be a polymer, ceramic, metal or carbon. Here’s a guide to selection.
Fast-reacting resins and speedier processes are making economical volume manufacturing possible.