Overmolding Expands PEEK's Range in Composites

Overmolding Expands PEEK's Range in Composites

In the composites industry, use of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) has recently experienced an uptick in thermostamped aircraft fuselage clips and brackets made from pre-consolidated blanks with woven and/or unidirectional reinforcements. But those who use and those who make the blanks recognize their limitations.

Drawing on the high temperature-capable, high-performance resins’ 25-year history in the aircraft industry in both filled and uniflled injection molded plastic parts, such as mounts and spacers, tubing, housings and electrical connectors, Victrex and aerospace parts manufacturer Tri-Mack (Bristol, RI, US) began to explore the concept of injection overmolding as a means of overcoming the limitations inherent in thermostamping of pre-consolidated blanks.

The two have now demonstrated a new hybrid molding process for PEEK that uses a lower temperature continuously-reinforced Victrex polyaryletherketone (PAEK) composite as a substrate, overmolded with short fiber-reinforced PEEK, to produce a high-performance loaded bracket that is as much as 60% lighter than comparable metal components.

Courtesy of Composites World, Vol. 1, Issue 7,  July, 2015