JEC World 2018 preview: TenCate Advanced Composites
TenCate Advanced Composites (Hall 5A, V40) is highlighting its latest developments in composite material technologies for aerospace and high-performance industrial markets. Key applications include a recycled “flow layer” concept that integrates recycled thermoplastic composite materials back into the supply chain. Combining the design freedom of bulk molding compounds (BMCs) with the mechanical properties of reinforced thermoplastic laminates, the flow layer concept uses excess material derived at both component point of manufacture and end of life, achieving a near 100% buy-to-fly ratio.
For aerospace applications, TenCate Cetex thermoplastic composites have been further optimized for automated fiber placement (AFP) processing methods. High-performance systems, such as TenCate Cetex TC1320 PEKK unidirectional tapes, have been used a thermoplastic upper spar for an aircraft engine pylon as part of the TAPAS 2 (Thermoplastic Affordable Primary Aircraft Structures) project. This demonstrates the progression of continuous fiber-reinforced material technologies and formats into new territories.
TenCate AmberTool HX series composite tooling prepregs are highlighted in a novel cure capable AFP mandrel technology demonstrator. Developed as part of a recent NATEP project, designed by Composites Tooling & Engineering Solutions and built by Retrac Composites, the technology demonstrator is made from AmberTool HX42 due to its low CTE properties and high degree of machinability to achieve a highly accurate tool. Co-curing the tool with the component also results in the efficient production of highly accurate, complex aerospace structures.
TenCate Advanced Composites’ global director product and market strategy, Dr. John Darlington, is presenting a white paper on the compound benefits of a hybrid composite, spanning thermoset and thermoplastic technologies for aerospace applications during the Aerospace Conference Programme on day two of JEC World. TenCate also has been nominated as a project partner for the JEC Innovation Awards for Modular Thermoplastic Stiffening Panels. Other partners include Fraunhofer ICT, Airbus Operations GmbH, Laser Zentrum Hannover, ElringKlinger AG, and KMS Automation GmbH.
Lightweight, hard and stable at high temperatures, CMCs are emerging from two decades of study and development into commercial applications.
Oven-cured, vacuum-bagged prepregs show promise in production primary structures.
Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) replacing coated steel in more reinforced-concrete applications.