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Victrex Polymer Solutions reinforces its focus on composites

News International-French

6 Apr 2011

Victrex Polymer Solutions has strengthened its composites business focus and has established a worldwide task force to offer an array of technical resources to assist engineers both at the processor and end-user level in order to address specific requirements within the composite area.


“The pressure to reduce weight, enhance reliability and durability, reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs, and increase efficiency in wind energy, aerospace and industrial applications is the driving force behind the development of advanced high performance structural materials such as composites. We see an increasing opportunity for thermoplastic composites to replace metals and traditional thermoset composites in the next couple of years due to their unique benefits,” said Ralf Weidig, Victrex Global Composites Business Team Leader.


“Victrex® PEEK™ polymer-based thermoplastic carbon fiber and glass fiber composites will definitely play an important role in industrial, energy and aerospace applications. With over 30 years of experience in polyaryletherketones, a fully integrated supply chain with an annual capacity of 9.4 million pounds offering enhanced security of supply to customers and end-users, and a global technical, sales and marketing team, Victrex supports processors, OEMs and end users to deliver new technologies and solutions to meet the industries’ needs,” said Tim Cooper, Managing Director of Victrex Polymer Solutions.


Victrex PEEK polymer, a semi-crystalline, easy to process, high temperature thermoplastic with excellent mechanical properties and great chemical resistance, is widely regarded as providing the highest combination of performance properties in harsh environments.


Thermoplastic composites are increasingly being selected as the materials of choice due to the unique combination of properties and physical forms offered that can help engineers and designers achieve multiple benefits including part weight reduction, enhanced energy efficiency, increased application lifetime, enhanced performance in more challenging conditions and operating environments, compliance with environmental and safety standards as well as lower manufacturing and maintenance costs. In addition, composites can be directly formed into more complex shapes than their metallic counterparts allowing manufacturers to reduce the number of component parts which can help to facilitate achieving overall system cost reduction.


Thermoplastic composites made with Victrex PEEK polymer can withstand continuous operating temperatures of up to 260°C (500°F) and offer improved fatigue performance and toughness when compared with thermosets. Key features also include excellent thermal stability and low coefficient of thermal expansion, abrasion resistance, low smoke and toxic gas emission, as well as excellent hydrolysis, chemical and radiation resistance. A high specific strength when compared with metals makes composite parts, utilizing Victrex Polymers as the matrix material, ideal for innovative designs requiring the combination and integration of non-metallic and metallic materials. In addition the ease of processing and recyclability of Victrex PEEK polymer offers the supply chain the ability to reduce manufacturing costs of the finished composite part.


 Source: Victrex - March 29, 2011.