An advantage of thermoplastic composites is that they can be recycled; an increasingly important factor in the choice of material solutions in an environmentally conscious chain. Together with partners GKN-business unit Fokker and TenCate Advanced Composites, TPRC developed an advanced carbon/PPS (C / PPS) entrance door-panel for an aircraft, in which recycled thermoplastic composites are used. The entrance door-panel is made of TenCate Cetex® TC1100 (C / PPS) woven thermoplastic composites, won out of the production of an elevator, that is then chopped up, pressed and subsequently taken up in the overall rudder construction. The panel is very light and has a high degree of function-integration. The project was therefore awarded the prestigious JEC 2016 Innovation Award in the category Aeronautics.
Within TPRC experts from the industry work closely together with researchers from different universities to develop specific knowledge in the field of, o.a. compression templates, overmolding, connection technology, laser tape placement and the simulation of these processes. TPRC-researcher Iqbal Rasheed about the entrance door-panel: “It is the fruitful result of the excellent cooperation between TPRC and her members. The broad expertise of the partners involved has led to this innovation.” Nick Tiffin, Director Sales & Marketing at TenCate Advanced Composites EMEA states: “We are delighted to be able to support this project and welcome the results and recognition from it, because it shows the end-of-life possibilities as well as the optimalisation of “buy to fly” recycling options for thermoplastic composite materials”.
TPRC also offers their expertise and laboratory to parties that are not a member of the consortium and offers advice and small-scale, application-oriented research.
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