Research overview

New composite applications may ask for research on new thermoplastic composite material systems. Our value chain approach creates an inspiring and effective environment for new material development. The ability to recognize potential issues down the value chain in an early stage greatly increases the innovation speed, while reducing innovation costs. Also, potential applications are more easily identified in case the full value chain is actively involved.

Raw materials
Raw materials
Pre-Preg
Pre-preg
Laminate
Laminate
Assembly
Assembly
Components
Components

New thermoplastic composite materials

The application of new thermoplastic composite materials is partly restricted by the lack of reliable material property data measured by an independent scientific authority. To address this issue, we characterize new thermoplastic materials, as developed by our members and as appearing on the global market, in terms of performance and manufacturability. Read more

Resin Systems

New composite applications may ask for new thermoplastic composite material systems. Our value chain approach creates an inspiring and effective environment for new material development. The ability to recognize potential issues down the value chain in an early stage greatly increases the innovation speed, while reducing innovation costs. Read more.

Author: Wouter Grouve

TPRC
Senior Research Associate – Operations Leader

Consolidation

The production of fiber reinforced thermoplastic structures generally involves multiple (and often different) processing steps. As an example, the manufacturing process of a stiffened panel might involve a pre-consolidation step for flat blanks followed by a press-forming step to manufacture the stiffeners. Read more.

Author: Wouter Grouve

TPRC
Senior Research Associate – Operations Leader

Molding compounds

Discontinuous reinforcements come in various forms like chopped fibers and unidirectional tapes. A planar form of reinforcement with a woven structure is studied in this project. One of the goals is to capitalize the potential in the process scrap by recycling since a considerable amount of process/cutting scrap is generated in the production of thermoplastic composites. Read more

Fiber placement

The laser-assisted automated fiber placement (AFP) process is a promising manufacturing technology for fiber reinforced thermoplastics. It enables highly tailored lay-ups in near-netshaped parts, while reducing the amount of manual labor. Read more

Overmolding

Stamp forming can be used for high volume production of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic parts with excellent mechanical properties. The process is, however, currently limited to relatively simple shell-like structures. The overmolding technology potentially overcomes this limitation by combining two processes. Read more.

Author: Sebastiaan Wijskamp

TPRC
Senior Research Associate – Business Development

Tailored Blanks

The application of stamp forming currently mainly concerns secondary parts of limited complexity. Typically, the parts have simple geometries, with uniform thickness and uniform fiber orientation. Further optimized designs are required to extend the application of thermoplastic composite materials to structurally loaded primary parts, to increase weight savings and to reduce costs. Read more

Press Forming

The stamp forming process for thermoplastic composites is well suited for automated high volume production. It is for example applied to manufacture large series of clips and brackets used in aeronautical structures. Application of the technology is, however, not straightforward as it largely relies on specific (and often inaccessible) knowhow and requires relatively large investment costs. Read more.

Author: Wouter Grouve

TPRC
Senior Research Associate – Operations Leader

Welding technologies

Of all assembly technologies for thermoplastic composites, welding - or fusion bonding - seems the most obvious. Welding does not require the tedious surface preparation needed for adhesive bonding nor does it suffer from the stress concentrations seen in (drilled and) fastened composite materials. Several welding technologies are available, mainly differing in the way heat is supplied to the weld interface. Read more.

Metal composite joints

Apart from monolithic composite - composite joints, multi material joints are commonplace in modern light-weight structures. As an example, metal inserts can be used in thermoplastic composite structures for load transfer purposes to other parts of the structure. A predictable and robust insert behavior requires a proper understanding of the factors that affect its performance. Read more.

Author: Wouter Grouve

TPRC
Senior Research Associate – Operations Leader

Recycling

One of the advantages of thermoplastic composites is their inherent recyclability. We propose a feasible solution by using production and end-of-life reclaimed material. This waste is chopped into flakes with size order of centimeters and converted to new parts in a compression molding process. The challenge is to strike the right balance between structural properties and processing costs while maintaining a low variability of properties. Read more.

Author: Wouter Grouve

TPRC
Senior Research Associate – Operations Leader

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