Lightweight carbon fiber enclosures

Thermoplastics specialist Tri-Mack Plastics has developed a new range of lightweight, strong carbon fiber enclosures.

The company said that the components are made from eight plies of unidirectional carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite (TPC) tape which are .040 inch thick.

“We see these new TPC covers meeting rising demand for strong, lightweight enclosures that can shield functional components in aircraft, drones and a variety of other industrial uses,” said Tom Kneath, vice president for sales and marketing. “It is less brittle than thermosets, delivers ten times the strength of injection-molded parts and, with our enclosure, provides a 30% weight reduction versus 6061 aluminum.”

Tri-Mack says that the enclosures can also be made with glass fiber and different base resins such as polyaryletherketone (PAEK), polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and polyethylenimine (PEI).

They can also be made with embedded EMI shielding or localized reinforcement through tailored layups, according to the company. “We can add electrically conductive layers into our process to enable EMI shielding performance at a fraction of the weight of metal,” said Max McCabe, sales engineer. “This also eliminates the plating and painting process steps of typical EMI solutions used on composite parts.”