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Injection forming of gears on CF-PAEK drive shafts

News International-French

20 Feb 2019

Injection forming of CF-PAEK composite profiles with CF-PEEK – a smart progression of the overmoulding technology to reach the next-level of connection strength for integral composite profiles.

Injection forming of gears on CF-PAEK drive shafts

15-minute cycle times, with increased performance by combining cohesive bonding and form locking

The all-thermoplastic geared CF-PAEK drive shaft system (e.g. for door closing mechanisms in an aeroplane) is the proof of concept for functionalizing CF-PAEK hollow profiles with CF-PEEK using the injection forming technology invented by Herone. In the first process step, thermoplastic UD tapes are braided to load adapted tape preforms, called organoTubes. By using fully-consolidated thermoplastic UD tapes, the challenging and time-consuming fibre impregnation step is already completed prior to preforming.

This significantly increases the process efficiency and guarantees the highest quality for the shaft body. Furthermore, braiding enables high deposition rates and thus makes the process suitable for large-scale industrial production. The CF-PAEK organoTubes are then moulded to consolidated drive shaft bodies using Herone’s unique moulding technology. In the second step, the gears are injection formed onto the consolidated drive shaft body. Utilizing the heat and pressure of the injection compound, the drive shaft is thermoformed to create a form-locking connection between the composite shaft body and the injection-moulded gear.

Injection forming of gears on CF-PAEK drive shafts

Key Benefits:
> Highest part quality due to textile preforming of UD tapes (porosity < 0.5%)
> Herone’s consolidation technology enables 15-minute cycle times
> Injection forming enables integral part design for an all-thermoplastic solution
> Integral design for reduced number of parts and assembly costs
> Increased performance by combining cohesive bonding and form locking

Thereby, the cohesive bond between the composite body and the gear is strengthened by additional form locking. The drive shaft is made from Victrex UD slit tape based on the new PAEK polymer, VICTREX AE™ 250, with a melting temperature around 40 K lower than conventional PEEK. The gear is made from Victrex’s short carbon fibre-reinforced PEEK 90HMF40. Selecting a material with a 40 K difference in the melting temperatures obliterates the need to pre-heat the shaft above its melting temperature prior to injection forming.

This improves resource efficiency, process reliability and interface strength tremendously.

This innovation has been selected as a finalist for the JEC Innovation Awards 2019 in the Aerospace category.

The JEC Innovation Awards - organized by the JEC Group - are recognized as the industry’s most prestigious awards that identify, promote and reward the most innovative composite projects worldwide. The award winners will be announced during JEC World 2019 on 13 March at 4.30pm. 

Herone will showcase their innovation at JEC World 2019 at Booth C70, Pavilion 5.Their associated partner is TU Dresden (Germany) and Victrex Europa GmbH (Germany).