JEC World 2018 preview: Tri-Mack Plastics
Tri-Mack Plastics Mfg Corp. is sharing the results of a recently completed test that demonstrates the bond strength of Tri-Mack’s overmolded thermoplastic composite hybrid parts.
Tri-Mack Plastics Mfg Corp. (Hall 6, P50) is sharing the results of a recently completed test that demonstrates the bond strength of Tri-Mack’s overmolded thermoplastic composite hybrid parts. The comparative test (similar to the ASTM 4501 Block Shear Test) was conducted by the company with test coupons manufactured in-house. The data help validate the performance of hybrid composites, which are of particular interest in aerospace and other industries where the goals of lighter weight and lower cost are driving material innovation. Tri-Mack is supporting this trend with hybrid processes that combine injection overmolding for design flexibility with unidirectional thermoplastic composites for strength and stiffness.
Tri-Mack’s hybrid panel is fabricated in a robotic injection molding cell that forms the composite geometry and produces a multi-piece assembly (including hardware) right from the mold. Tri-Mack tested the strength of hybrid overmolded coupons, all-laminate coupons (to establish a baseline), and laminate coupons bonded together with industry-standard thermoset film adhesive. Results revealed that the bond between the unidirectional thermoplastic composite and the injection molded thermoplastic was 85% the strength of the base laminate and twice as strong as the industry-standard adhesive. View a video of the test below.
The company’s hybrid parts address a key customer demand by allowing engineers to bypass costly and slow-to-produce thermosets and heavier machined metal components. Tri-Mack says this means lighter, stronger parts and assemblies get to market faster and help alleviate the delivery delays experienced by major carriers, transport and defense companies.
“Aircraft manufacturers face huge backlogs and some of this is attributed to supply chain capacity and coordination,” says Tom Kneath, director of sales and marketing at Tri-Mack. “But innovation in part design and commitment to technology can help to solve these problems. Our hybrid parts are an example of meeting expanded functionality requirements and customer business goals in one stroke.”
The structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from the fiber reinforcement. Fiber types, their manufacture, their uses and the end-market applications in which they find most use are described.
All signs point to increasing demand from many market sectors. Will capacity keep pace?
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.