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Optimize the production of thermoplastic prepregs to realize the industrial application of CFRTP in aerospace structures The completed projects aim to optimize and reduce the cost and energy involved

Views: 5     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-01-17      Origin: Site

METEOR Project Alliance

After three years of research and testing, the scientific team of the Institut de Toulouse (France) and members of the METEOR project have completed a study to optimize the production of high-performance thermoplastic prepregs, with promising results.

The METEOR project started with the vision of aerospace group GIFAS to optimize the quality and cost of production of high-performance composites from competitive thermoplastic semi-finished products that are 100% sourced from the French supply chain and that can be produced via non-autoclave (OOA) process for integration.

From this, METEOR's mission is to identify, develop and optimize all steps of the value chain, thereby reducing the cost and energy of prepreg manufacturing, leading to the application of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) in industrial-scale aerospace structures, which are said to be It is a space to be developed. Various stages of the project include synthesis and micronization of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), impregnation of various fiber reinforcements, drape and consolidation OOA, etc.

According to METEOR, the transition to an industrial scale will soon be possible, according to good prospects. From now on, IRT Saint Exupéry will continue to contribute its expertise in the second phase, which will require new tests to further refine the understanding and control of producing CFRTP prepregs.

The work carried out is based on specifications provided by Airbus and exchanges between all project members. For example, Arkema was able to remove several technical hurdles and optimize the PEKK resin synthesis process, allowing the scientific team to highlight the promise of industrial-scale technological development. SDTech has identified and mastered the micronization of raw materials to provide optimized powders for the impregnation process.

Likewise, collaborative exchanges between several companies have furthered the understanding of the problems encountered during fiber impregnation and consolidation, and therefore, optimization of the prepreg morphology required to realize composites. Hutchinson also accompanies all testing activities by characterizing the composites produced to provide the elements needed to understand and optimize them.

Finally, two papers were conducted by the ICA and the CNRT Matériaux (Caen, France) Institute. The purpose of these papers is to deepen the understanding of certain stages of prepreg manufacturing:

"Study on the impregnation of wicks by aqueous thermoplastic polymer suspensions. Application in the development of prepreg tapes" (CNRT Matériaux).

"Modelling of the melting/dipping stage. Application on a pilot-scale dipping line" (ICA).

Reportedly, by integrating the curing oven and presenting a performance level that meets technical requirements in the aerospace sector, the METEOR project largely addresses the challenges posed by GIFAS. (Article source: CompositesWorld, compilation: Saio Carbon Fiber)

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