As part of the Dutch Thermoplastic Affordable Primary Aircraft Structures 2 (TAPAS 2) innovation program, NLR developed a technique to manufacture large and thick thermoplastic composite parts using Advanced Fiber Placement (AFP).
NLR utilized its advanced fiber placement machine to create the part, laying elongated thermoplastic tracks alongside each other and fusing them to form a pylon upper spar in
GKN/Fokker’s autoclave. A benefit of AFP includes the material's high “buy-to-fly” ratio, allowing local build-ups to be made without scrap edges.
Manufactured from TenCate Cetex® TC1320 C/PEKK uni-directional tape, the final part measures 6-meters long and 28-millimeters thick.
By using a composite pylon upper spar instead of steel, aircraft manufacturers reduce production costs and weight, while saving on aircraft fuel consumption.
The TenCate Advanced Composites’ Research and Development team has created a recycled “flow layer,” using recyclate derived from thermoplastic composite component production.
Surplus material resulting from thermoplastic component production.
Thermoplastic trimmings are ground to produce recyclate.
This construction enables composite component designers to add more complex
features while benefiting from the optimized material performance of continuous fiber
3. Flow layer and TenCate Cetex® laminate
The recycled flow layer is a high fiber volume fraction recyclate, which processes as a bulk molding compound (BMC) and can be positioned on a conventional reinforced thermoplastic laminate (RTL) or added locally prior to processing.
4. Finished part
The stamp molding process itself is conventional, meaning the laminate can be stamp formed or press molded to shape in short ~5-minute thermoforming cycles.
Part design, material, and processing configurations are optimized by virtually simulating advanced thermoplastic laminate forming, saving time and money by eliminating errors.
Simulation experiments reveal the predictability of several effects:
> Overall shape, such as distortion and spring back
> Defects, including wrinkles, fiber breakage, and resin squeeze out
> Material design change (fiber directions/shearing)
This simulation and corresponding parts in the video above represent actual results predicted by the AniForm software.
The project is a development of the current composite Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) mandrels. Used by GKN Aerospace in the production of the Airbus A350 XWB rear wing spars, the mandrels significantly reduce tooling and manufacturing costs. Read more here.
> Made using TenCate AmberTool® HX42.
> Nominal 36-ply laminate, using a combination of both
uni-directional and woven tooling prepregs.
> Foam core construction: eliminates the need for a pattern and provides vibration dampening during final tool machining to ensure higher accuracy.
> A 3.5-meter-long section of a cure capable AFP mandrel tool was successfully manufactured.
> Composite components manufactured from the development AFP mandrel exhibited excellent dimensional accuracy compared to parts made from an Invar mold of identical geometry.
Darlington presented "Compound Benefits of Hybrid Composites - Maximizing Thermosets and Thermoplastics" on the inclusion a tie layer preferably during laminate construction.
> Thermoplastics improve life-cycle durability
> Thermosets deliver heritage performance
> Amalgamated construction optimizes design
TenCate displayed a 90-ply spar at JEC World 2018, vacuum bag processed, with less than 1% voids and constructed from TenCate TC380. It delivers a unique combination of impact resistance and open-hole compressive strength, allowing for the design of highly efficient aircraft structures.
> High Compression After Impact (CAI) of 42 ksi (289 MPa) on IM7 UD tape
> Excellent open-hole compressive strength of 45 ksi (310 MPa) and fracture toughness
> Superior hot/wet strength retention, very low moisture absorption
> Ideal for aerostructure applications on helicopters, UAVs, and military aircraft
> Robust processing and less than 1% void content under vacuum-only cure pressure
> 28-day out life
> Full Tg of 170°C (338°F) achieved in 4 minutes at 160°C (320°F)
> Hot-in-hot-out press mold processing
> Good surface finish and aesthetics
> Controlled resin flow for ease of processing
> Short cure cycles between 120°C (248°F) to 160°C (320°F)
> Low tack for easy lay-up
TenCate’s XTS is a continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRT®) composite laminate, blending the benefits of a thermoplastic polymer with uni-directional glass fibers for enhanced performance. The XTS style laminate is available in multilayer constructions and orientations. It is ultra-thin, lightweight, and resilient for improved energy return and impact resistance.
OrthoGolfer Elite® is the first over-the-counter golf “orthotic" specifically designed to correct players stance and perfect golf swings - allowing golfers to swing smoother, drive further, and reduce slices.
TenCate CFRT® XTS materials were selected by OrthoGolfer to achieve a lightweight, ultra-thin profile while delivering improved energy return and impact resistance to the golfer.
Images are copyrighted © 2017 OrthoGolfer.com and all rights reserved.
Weighing in at only 1.1 kg (2.45 lbs) and measuring 10.4 mm (0.4 inches) overall thickness, the HP Spectre is the world’s thinnest laptop.
The HP Spectre uses TenCate Cetex® TC920 PC/ABS carbon woven laminate, allowing the laptop to achieve a lightweight, thin profile that dissipates heat - an added benefit when in operation on a user’s lap.
> Inherently fire retardant, meeting UL-94 V0 standards without secondary fire retardant fillers
> Impact resistant
Images courtesy of Hewlett Packard
AMRC, Rotherham, UK