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NTPT plays key role in thin ply research for aerospace applications

News International-French

14 Apr 2015

North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), together with academic and industrial partners, officially started a new research project on Toughened Thin Ply Composites for Aerospace Applications (TPCA) at the end of March.

This two-year study is partially funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) of the Swiss Confederation.

NTPT joins forces with prestigious partners Huntsman, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), RUAG Aerostructures, and Decision SA. After the success of the previous CTI R&D study (2013/2014), which showed that thinner ply laminates exhibit significantly higher strengths than laminates utilizing conventional plies, the goal of this research is to improve the toughness of thin ply composites in order to meet or exceed aerospace requirements.

‘We are all aligned on the goals of the project and highly motivated to succeed’, NTPT’s Technical Director Wayne Smith stated after the kick-off meeting. ‘NTPT has high expectations about this research, especially after the significant achievements and resulting recognition of our previous project. I am looking forward to getting underway and to discovering how much we can improve laminate performance in this project.’

Aerospace is by far the most strategic market for composites today, because it has a large value and it is growing rapidly. Thin Ply Technology has proven to dramatically improve key properties of composite laminates such as onset of damage, ultimate strength and fatigue resistance. However, some other key properties still need to be optimized in order for the materials to be specified by commercial aircraft manufacturers. The scope of this project, which runs from March 2015 until March 2017, is to develop a new toughened thin ply composite material suitable for the requirements of future aerospace projects.