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The thermoplastic composite materials used at DTC, consist of fibres embedded in a thermoplastic matrix. Both fibres and matrix are available in many different sorts, types and forms, and can be used in various combinations, providing a large range of semi-finished products suitable for many different applications. The common characteristic of all thermoplastic composite materials is that the matrix melts under increased temperature, allowing for fast thermoforming processes, such as press forming, and welding.
DTC has experience with various sorts, types and forms of fibres. Currently most of our products are based on carbon fibres, which allow for light weight design, but we also work with glass and aramid, or combinations (hybrids). Thermoplastic composites are available with both fabric and unidirectional fibre reinforcement, as well as with short or chopped fibres.
Press forming of laminates manufactured from unidirectionally reinforced tapes is being investigated in the research projects TAPAS and DEfcodoor. These materials often are available at a lower price per kilogram and allow for product tailoring (e.g. varying thickness).
Based on the matrix of a thermoplastic composite, a distinction is made between high-performance aerospace thermoplastic composites and non-aerospace thermoplastic composites. The high-performance materials typically display a significantly higher operating temperature, high toughness, excellent chemical resistance and excellent fire, smoke, toxicity characteristics. The aerospace grade materials can also useful for demanding industrial purposes.
The high-performance materials we mostly work with are: PEEK, PEKK, PPS and PEI. These materials have aerospace service temperatures around 100 – 120 ºC and non-aerospace service temperatures around 200 – 260 ºC. PEEK, PEKK and PPS show excellent chemical resistance due to their semi-crystalline nature; amorphous PEI is not recommended for use in hot hydraulic fluids.
For various industrial applications DTC works with low cost thermoplastic composites based on PA, ABS, PC, PET, TPU and PP. DTC also has extensive experience in moulding of parts from self-reinforced polypropylene and polyethylene (PURE®, Dyneema®).
The development of new materials is continuously on going, which means new thermoplastic composite materials regularly become available. Please contact us to learn more about available materials and our capabilities. For detailed material data sheets, please click here.