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Victrex, Tri-Mack Form JV to Speed Adoption of Polyketone Composite Components in Aerospace
THORNTON CLEVELEYS (UK)–Victrex and Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation have established a joint venture, TxV Aero Composites, to accelerate the commercial adoption of polyketone (PAEK*) composite applications within the aerospace industry through the manufacture of parts via new and innovative processes. The multi-million dollar investment includes the establishment of a new U.S.-based manufacturing facility, Victrex said in a press release.
The new company will provide comprehensive development, engineering, manufacturing, and materials technology expertise relating to polyketone composites, from concept development through commercialization.
"This is a hugely exciting opportunity to accelerate innovative and differentiated solutions for our customers in the aerospace industry," explained David Hummel, chief executive of Victrex, in the release. "Victrex has an unrivalled history of making markets where polyketones have a strong advantage, and this investment will enable growth opportunities for both our customers and for Victrex. Our Aerospace Loaded Brackets program is a great example of how we can offer new forms and components, alongside supplying materials, and build a new supply chain to address the unmet needs of the aerospace industry."
The intent of the joint venture is to offer a range of PAEK composites, from custom laminates to pre-formed composite inserts for hybrid molding processes, as well as finished composite parts and complete over-molded hybrid composite components and assemblies.
These innovative products can deliver weight savings of up to 60 percent over conventional metallic parts, and can offer continuous manufacturing processes and cycle times measured in minutes, versus hours for thermoset alternatives. One example is Victrex AETM 250 Composites, a new lower temperature processing PAEK-based composite product family that enables a unique hybrid molding process. This innovation combines the strength of continuously-reinforced thermoplastic composites with the design flexibility and proven performance of VictrexTM PEEK injection molding polymers.
TxV AeroComposites (www.Txvaero.com) will establish a purpose-built polyketone composite center of excellence in the USA, due to be completed in 2017.
"With an estimated 35,000 new aircraft to be launched in the next 20 years, the aerospace industry is embracing thermoplastic composites as a cost-effective solution to support this growth," said Will Kain, president of Tri-Mack, in the release. "The efficient processing and performance advantages of PAEK thermoplastic composites, combined with state-of-the-art automated manufacturing, will position TxV Aero Composites to meet the industry's cost and weight challenges."
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