TenCate installs aerospace thermoplastic prepreg line

Scott Unger, Group President of TenCate Advanced Composites USA, says: “Thermoplastic applications continue to grow within the aerospace market… Thermoplastic unitapes in particular allow customers to gain the benefits of automation from automated tape laying and in-situ out of autoclave consolidation processes for added productivity savings.“

The TenCate Cetex® Thermo-Lit®e brand of thermoplastic unitapes are offered with polyaryletheretherketone (PEEK), polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and polyetherimide (PEI) resins in up to 12 inch widths with carbon, glass or aramid fibres. Slit tapes down to 0.125 inches are also offered. The Cetex Thermo-Lite brand of unitapes is also said to offer “very low void content” of less than 1% as demonstrated by photomicrograph evaluations.

The prepreg line was installed at Morgan Hill, California, an ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100:2004 Rev B approved aerospace facility. This investment builds upon TenCate’s 2007 acquisition of Phoenixx TPC, a manufacturer of thermoplastic unitapes.

TenCate’s PEEK based Cetex Thermo-Lite unitape is currently being qualified on a primary structure within a rotary wing military aircraft for weight savings and durability improvement.