Boeing, Ten Cate, Stork Fokker and Twente University establish research centre on thermoplastic composites

The Thermoplastic Composites Research Centre will be based at the University of Twente. It will focus on the development of thermoplastic composite technologies for a range of markets, including wind energy, oil and gas, aerospace, automotive, medical, machinery, infrastructure, sports and marine.

A key factor leading to the formation of the TPRC is the growing use of thermoplastics in the aerospace industry, where customers are increasingly demanding products that are lighter, more cost efficient and environmentally progressive.

“This collaboration will enable us to leverage our investment in advanced composites technology and increase our supplier base in the Netherlands in the area of thermoplastic composites,” says Jan Närlinge, president of Boeing Northern Europe. “The TPRC will provide our customers with access to an accelerated development and use of thermoplastic materials and processing technologies, world-class suppliers and aircraft components at reduced cost, cycle time and weight.”

TenCate Advanced Composites, part of the multinational Royal Ten Cate, develops and produces composites for space and aerospace and a broad range of industrial applications.

“TPRC is a great opportunity for TenCate to develop next generation thermoplastic composite applications," says Loek de Vries, CEO and President of Royal Ten Cate. "Cooperation with the entire value chain and knowledge institutes enables us to combine material development, processing technologies and design engineering concurrently. In short term, we foresee a further increase in the demand for thermoplastic composite materials. TPRC is a great platform to expand the scope of applications within the aerospace industry, but will also be of interest for many industrial markets.”

Stork Fokker, a unit of Stork Aerospace, specialises in lightweight aerostructures and the application of thermoplastic composites.

New members will be encouraged to join the TPRC consortium in the coming years.