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VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer used in Suprem prepreg tape designed for automated high speed production

Victrex Polymer Solutions, a division of Victrex plc announced that Suprem SA, a Swiss based prepreg manufacturer, has reported a more than 50% annual growth in its business, which was generated from prepregs made with VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer. Suprem´s unique and proprietary impregnation method allows for the rapid and flexible production of an extensive variety of prepreg tapes optimized for automated processing equipment, a key requirement for the cost effective mass production of composite parts for the aerospace and industrial sectors.

Using VICTREX PEEK polymer which meets the high standards and mandatory performance requirements of automated high speed production equipment, Suprem SA was able to respond to the needs of the leading providers of manufacturing equipment and develop a high quality prepreg, manufactured to tight tolerances, and suitably packaged to facilitate high speed automated processing. In addition, they developed several options in fiber distribution across the section of a tape and adapted the surface qualities for the maximum energy absorbance offering higher design freedom for lighter weight and lower cost parts.

"The excellent thermal stability and consistency of VICTREX PEEK polymer enables Suprem to work with tight process controls in the impregnation process for uni-directional (UD) tapes to achieve the required processability and long-term performance," explained Mr. Hansjürg Gysin, CEO at Suprem SA.

Since the 1990s VICTREX PEEK polymer powders and granules have been used as a matrix material in the manufacture of advanced thermoplastic composite prepregs made of carbon, glass or aramid continuous fibers. VICTREX PEEK polymers are engineered to provide optimum impregnation of the reinforcing fibers and fiber-matrix interface. They are recyclable and are cost-effective to process using out-of-autoclave and thermoforming techniques; they facilitate significant weight reduction when compared with metals, further enhanced by the ability to consolidate parts; they offer enhanced design freedom by providing the ability to produce complex shapes; they have 'unlimited' shelf life; they satisfy stringent performance requirements and are safety and environmentally compliant.

Suprem maintains an inventory of the most common fibers and polymers to manufacture a large variety of composite products which are manufactured to customer order and delivered within a few weeks. Customers can order small quantities to facilitate product development and modify specification of the prepreg based on their experience and findings to optimize the fiber content and the choice of fibers. In combination with VICTREX PEEK polymer the fiber volume content may vary between 40% and 62%. Unsized carbon fibers are approved in high tenacity grades and intermediate modulus grades.

"Recent developments in automated processing combined with new product innovations and application designs are increasing demand for our prepregs," explained Gysin. "For the third year we reported more than 50% annual growth and the majority of this growth is the result of applications in oilfield, power generating equipment, plant engineering and the medical industries. In August 2010 Suprem SA received an IPS (Individual Product Specification) from Airbus for its 55% IM7/PEEK-150 products."

To keep pace with the high demand and growth Suprem is looking to develop applications in the future that leverage Victrex's expertise in polyaryletherketones and advancements in its portfolio. VICTREX® HT™ polymer allows increased service temperatures required by applications in the electronics industry. The reduced viscosity of the patented VICTREX® PEEK™ 90 grade allows higher percentages of fiber content for increased mechanical performance resulting in lighter, more durable components. Further, the lower viscosity also enables faster fiber placement and filament winding processes for increased productivity and lower part cost.

VICTREX PEEK polymer-based composites and traditional compounds with increased content (> 60% wt) of long fibers are superior in strength, stiffness, dimensional stability and impact resistance than most polymer materials, resulting in stronger, more durable parts increasing lifetime and reducing maintenance cost.

Press release issued by Victrex Plc on March 29, 2011


 Contact details from our directory:
Victrex Plc Powder Coatings, Prepreg, Polymer Composites, Thermoplastics, Plastic Tubing, Plastic Films, Plastic Resins


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