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Victrex PEEK added to Digimat-MX modelling database

News International-French

20 Jun 2014

Three high performance thermoplastics from Victrex have been added to Digimat-MX, a material and modeling database, to accelerate the application development process while helping to minimize component weight and costs.

The material modeling data stored on the database helps engineers investigate and predict the behavior of composite materials. The software suite from e-Xstream engineering, an MSC Software Company, now offers data on Victrex PEEK 150CA30, 90HMF40, and 150GL30.

Commercial aircraft manufacturers are particularly focused on finding solutions to replace metals to achieve weight reductions, greater assembly efficiencies, and lower operating and manufacturing costs. For these reasons, it is important that design engineers at these companies have quick access to pertinent information regarding a polymer’s performance at various strains, temperatures, and other environmental conditions. Digimat, the leading nonlinear multi-scale material and structure modeling platform for the micromechanical modeling of composite materials and structures, now contains information on three Victrex grades to expedite the structural analysis and application development processes. The system is regarded as the optimal modeling platform that addresses engineering and end-user composite modeling needs while minimizing component weight, cost, and time-to-market.

Carbon-fiber PEEK grades
The 150CA30 is typically used to replace metals such as aluminum, titanium and stainless steel. The 30% carbon fiber-filled material offers high stiffness and strength as well as very low flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) emission ratings. Because it is a high flow plastic, the polymer makes processing on an injection molding machine easier which can lead to overall cost savings. The material is qualified at Boeing, Airbus, and also meets military specifications.

When looking to extend the performance envelope beyond 150CA30 grade, aerospace engineers have qualified the 90HMF40 to deliver higher mechanical properties. The high modulus, injection-molding material provides the highest strength and stiffness of any Victrex short fiber-filled grade available. Along with exceptional FST and chemical resistance properties, the polymer has a very low viscosity making it easier to fill complex part geometries. The 90HMF40, recently qualified by Airbus, delivers up to 100x longer fatigue life and up to 20% higher specific strength and stiffness than aluminum 7075-T6. This can result in more reliable components that require less maintenance over the lifetime of the aircraft.

Glass-filled grade
The 150GL30 is a 30% glass fiber-filled polymer that offers a low viscosity to simplify the molding process. Besides the processing benefits, the polymer delivers a good balance between strength and ductility, is resistant to galvanic corrosion, and has excellent FST properties. The glass-filled material typically replaces polyamides, polyetherimides, and aluminum. It is qualified at Boeing and Airbus.

With weight reduction and assembly efficiency being top priorities, the 150GL30 was specified by Amphenol PCD for their clamping technologies that replace metal clamps aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Not only did a smarter design improve installation times by 30% per clamp, but a 20% weight reduction per clamp can help promote fuel efficiency gains.

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