Victrex has developed a new PAEK-based polymer and an innovative hybrid molding technology. This allows engineers to overmould a PAEK-based composite with fiber-reinforced PEEK injection molding materials. The polymeric advancement allows engineers to design stronger, lower cost components that are up to 60% lighter than typical metal and thermoset systems. By working together, Victrex and Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation have engineered an aerospace bracket using this new polymer and technique with the demanding performance requirements of loaded applications in mind. Victrex will be exhibiting its latest aerospace solutions at the Aircraft Interiors Expo on October 14-16, 2014 in Seattle, Washington, at the Fakuma show on October 14-18 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, as well as delivering a paper on hybrid molding at ITHEC which is held on October 27-28, 2014 in Bremen, Germany.
The development of technologies for the Aerospace industry is making significant progress not only from a material perspective, but from a processing standpoint as well. Engineers are requiring lightweight, complex parts at lower costs, higher processing efficiencies, and improved mechanical properties. This can be delivered by using the hybrid molding process.
Victrex, an innovative world leader in PAEK (polyaryletherketone) polymer solutions, has collaborated with Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corp., a distinguished moulder of high temperature thermoplastic resins and composites for the aerospace sector, to deliver unique structural aircraft solutions.
Commercial aircraft use thousands of brackets from the cockpit to the tail of the plane. The total amount of brackets on an aircraft can add a significant amount of weight especially if they are made from metal. The hybrid-molded VICTREX™ PAEK-based composite bracket is able to deliver up to 60% weight savings compared to stainless steel and titanium while offering equivalent or better mechanical properties such as strength, stiffness, and fatigue. “These technologies are enabling engineers to design lighter, stronger and more cost-effective solutions like the new bracket,” stated Tim Herr, Aerospace Strategic Business Unit Director for Victrex. Herr says, “This game-changing advantage over metals and thermoset composites is a result of our dedication to the future of flight.”
Tri-Mack has a long-standing relationship with Victrex in the development of high-performance aerospace components using PAEK polymers. “Given our expertise in the industry, we were excited to use a new polymer and process to develop an innovative product,” said Tom Kneath, Director of Sales and Marketing for Tri-Mack. Kneath added, “The design flexibility of the materials, along with the technical support from Victrex, enabled us to engineer and manufacture a PAEK bracket that can be produced in minutes compared to the hours it would take for a metal or thermoset equivalent.” This improvement in manufacturing efficiency translates into less processing time, lower energy requirements, and reduced waste for Tri-Mack. Those benefits, paired with eliminating steps such as edge sealing and X-ray inspections, help to reduce overall part costs.
The benefits are not only limited to aerospace designs. The overall mechanical properties, weight savings, and processing efficiencies offer a step-change for the Automotive, Energy, and Consumer Electronics industries as well.
Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation is an innovative engineering and manufacturing company specializing in high temperature thermoplastics and thermoplastic composites. For 40 years, customers have relied on Tri-Mack to identify the best material, part design, and manufacturing process for their critical applications. Engineering expertise, cutting-edge technology and a commitment to quality enable Tri-Mack to support projects from initial concept to commercial production. Tri-Mack’s manufacturing capabilities include automated composite processing, injection molding, tool making, multi-axis machining, bonding and assembly. ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100 certified, Tri-Mack serves the aerospace, industrial equipment, chemical processing and medical industries. For more information, visit www.trimack.com.