Sean Johnson, Product Manager, provides some insight on the trends and opportunities of high temperature thermoset materials.
Abstract: Q1: What are the design motivations for using high temperature organic matrix composites (OMC) from TenCate Advanced Composites?
A1: There are many excellent reasons to use high
> Structural weight reduction: A carbon reinforced OMC is about one-half the density and weight of an aluminum component, or one-third of a titanium structure, and roughly one-fifth of a steel or Inconel part.
> Cost: Especially when replacing titanium or steel,
composite parts and assemblies may enable structural
integration, part count reduction, and reduced material
usage and waste.
> Enabling technology: Through weight reduction;
hybridization with other composites, metals, or ceramics;
or automated/additive manufacturing that reduces overall
> Dielectric structures (antennas/radomes/embedded
electronics): When matched with the right reinforcement can provide electromagnetic transparency with low losses at very high temperatures.
TC890 is a high-temperature, polyimide-based thermoset prepreg utilizing the P²SI® 900HT resin system and possessing a temperature capability of up to 538°C (1000°F).
TC890 was recently selected for the Aston Martin Valkyrie program due to its high temperature resistance. As part of this technology partnership, TenCate displayed an Aston Martin Valkyrie engine cover at Advanced Engineering 2018 and Composites Europe. Read more here...
TC890 is an excellent non-MDA replacement for high temperature PMR-15 applications. The 900HT resin system is an easily processable, thermally stable polymer exhibiting the highest glass transition temperature of commercially available structural matrices.
> Jet engines, ducts, and hot sections
> Leading edges on hypersonic vehicles
> Heat shields and heat protection systems
> Rocket engine nozzles, thrusters, and powerplants
> High temperature titanium replacement in aircraft and launch vehicles
> Automobile hot sections
> Military specific applications
> High temperature composite tooling
On Oct. 20, BepiColombo, a joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), successfully launched on a 7-year journey to Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.
The mission comprises two spacecraft: ESA’s Mercury Plant Orbiter (MPO) will be carrying JAXA’s Mercury Magnetosphere Orbiter. The spacecraft will separate and orbit Mercury independently on reaching their planned orbital slot.
Among the many challenges facing this ambitious mission is the journey to Mercury itself, complicated by the strong gravitational pull of the sun. BepiColombo will use several gravity assists from other planets to reach its orbital slot around the tiny planet. It will fly by Earth and Venus in 2020, Venus in 2021, and Mercury itself between 2021 and 2025. These flybys will slow the spacecraft to a low enough velocity to be captured and held by Mercury's gravity in December 2025.
The first images returned to Earth from BepiColombo were of its solar arrays, created with TenCate’s high temperature cyanate esters. TenCate’s materials were specifically chosen for their ability to withstand the extreme heat cycles in Mercury’s orbit, as well as provide continuous operation at over 310°C (590°F). For their extreme temperature properties, these cyanate esters will also be used on the planned ESA Solar Orbiter mission and in re-entry heat shields such as those of the NASA Orion Spacecraft.
TenCate wishes BepiColombo safe travels through the solar system and we look forward to what it will reveal for Christmas 2025!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO License.
The general rule for continuous use temperatures of thermoplastic composites in aerospace applications is to stay:
> Tg -50°C (122°F) for amorphous polymers (PEI).
However, for applications where loading is low and/or excursions above the Tg are brief, semi-crystalline polymers can be extended for use above the Tg, but still well below the melt temperature.
Thermoplastic composites are also suitable for continuous use in the cold temperature regions of jet engines on components such as brackets.
The TenCate Composites Product Selector App launched in late summer, offering customers instant product information on their iPhones, iPads, and android devices. The app is available from the App Store and Google Play.
The app includes a number of valuable capabilities, including:
Browse, filter, sort, select, and compare our products. These are downloadable for availability offline.
Search, find, and download all our literature and product guides.
> Cured Ply Thickness (CPT) Calculator
Calculate the cured ply thickness of various TenCate prepregs.
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CAMX 2018 in Dallas, Texas, achieved record visitor numbers, a welcome relief following the 2017 expo where attendance was affected by Hurricane Irma. Charles Kuehmann, VP Materials Engineering at SpaceX and Tesla Motors, delivered an insightful keynote speech illustrating how innovation is shared between the space and automotive divisions. His presentation highlighted the innovation achieved by mixed material solutions and stressed metal advancements that are complementing composite content growth.
The CAMX awards recognized cutting-edge innovations and innovators that shape the future of composites and advanced materials in the marketplace. TenCate was proud to support Premium Aerotec for their shortlisted entry - Thermoplastic CFRP Rear Pressure Bulkhead: World Premiere in the Aeronautics. The two categories were the "Combined Strength Award," won by Owens Corning for creating functional composite parts using a state-of-the-art material and process innovation: XSTRAND™, and the "Unsurpassed Innovation Award," won by Magna Exteriors for its lightweight, thermoplastic, recyclable liftgate module.
Additionally, Bell Helicopter offered exclusive tours of its two main composite manufacturing centers. Part one of the tour included a walkthrough of the Rotors Center at Bell’s headquarters, where Bell builds all of its helicopter and tiltrotor blades. Part two included a visit to Bell’s Advanced Composite Center, where it builds components such as wing skins, yokes, and grips for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.
Darlington presented at CAMX 2018 "Compound Benefits of Hybrid Composites - Maximizing Thermosets and Thermoplastics" on the inclusion of a tie layer preferably during laminate construction.
> Thermoplastics improve life-cycle durability
> Thermosets deliver heritage performance
> Amalgamated construction optimizes design
A little over a year ago, Stacy Biel returned to her military roots as TenCate’s Segment Manager – Military and Defense. She began her more than 30-year career in composite materials at Hercules Aerospace Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah (now Northrop Grumman), as a test engineer focusing on specialized material characterization, including part impact testing. She then moved into composite part manufacturing as a process engineer.
After presenting a technical paper at the 34th SAMPE International Symposium and Exhibition in Reno, Nevada, Stacy was invited to join the Hercules sales team as the Account Manager for The Boeing Company in Seattle. She has since spent more than 20 years in composite material sales (thermoset and thermoplastic prepreg, honeycomb, and carbon fiber) to aerospace companies across the United States and Canada. Fourteen of those years were at TenCate Advanced Composites, via formerly wholly-owned subsidiary Bryte Technologies.
A Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) graduate with a degree in materials engineering, and participation in the Corps of Cadets, Stacy has been married for 23 years and currently resides in Southern California. She enjoys hiking, playing the bass guitar, reading books, and competing in dog sporting events (agility and scent work) with her Border Collie, Kiah, and her Australian Shepherd, Rico.
The Boeing Company issues its annual performance excellence award to suppliers recognized for achieving superior performance.
Boeing recently recognized 415 of its more than 13,000 suppliers – the top 3% – with Boeing Performance Excellence Awards. TenCate was one of 329 Silver Award recipients.
“We are honored for this recognition as it is a testament to the dedication of all our employees and their focus every day on delivering excellence. In 2017, we embarked upon several operational improvement programs, including lean manufacturing and capacity additions to better serve our customers and improve our lead times and on-time delivery performance. This award validates our operational investments and dedication to meeting our customers’ needs,” said Chief Commercial Officer of TenCate Advanced Composites Steven Mead.
Seattle, WA, USA
February 27, 2019
Museum of Flight
March 11, 2019
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel Hotel
March 12-14, 2019
Sandy, UT, USA
March 27, 2019
Salt Lake Community College's Miller Campus