TPRC, its members and a number of further companies have established a research consortium for maturing the over-moulding process of thermoplastic composites.
The consortium covers the aerospace and automotive industry and has support from companies like Boeing, Fokker Aerostructures, TenCate and KraussMaffei along with the University of Twente, Saxion. The project team started on the 1st of February 2015, and the official kick off took place in August.
Thermoplastic composites feature excellent mechanical properties and low weight and have been successfully applied for a large number of applications. Currently, an increasing demand for large volume applications driven by the automotive industry has been noticed.
The over-moulding process, is a combination of press forming of thermoplastic composites and subsequent injection over-moulding, enables net-shape stiff and strong parts with a high level of function integration. Due to the nature of thermoplastics, the over-moulding process features very low cycle times and allows for automated processing.
The aim of the project is to mature the over-moulding process and provide processing and design guidelines for over-moulded products. The research focus is on interface weld strength and warpage, as well as developing the virtual process chain. These building blocks form the basis for large-scale introduction of over-moulding in the different value chains. Very promising first results of interface characteristics have already been obtained within the project.