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NIAR and Victrex begin NCAMP qualification of automated fibre placed VICTREX AE 250 thermoplastic material system
Wednesday, 2 February 2022

After several months of joint effort, Victrex and the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University have developed material and process specifications for Automated Fibre Placement systems (AFP) according to NCAMP protocol.

NCAMP, the National Centre for Advanced Materials Performance, works with the FAA and industry partners to qualify material systems and populate a shared materials database that can be viewed publicly.

NIAR's Advanced Technologies Laboratory for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS) has begun manufacturing test panels using VICTREX AE250 PAEK (polyaryletherketone), a thermoplastic material system reinforced with IM7 carbon fibres. This is a part of the Modeling for Affordable Sustainable Composites (MASC) program, sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory. MASC focuses on developing a certification framework for enabling novel materials and advanced structural concepts used for automated manufacturing technologies.

This is the first time a program has conducted an in-depth investigation into the variability of multiple AFP machines on the composite allowables generated using industry-standard statistical procedures outlined in Composite Materials Handbook 17.

The project includes qualification of several thermoset, thermoplastic and dry-fibre AFP material systems from Hexcel, Solvay, Toray, and Victrex. All of the data and associated documents will be included in the NCAMP shared material database.

In order to mitigate risks due to machine variability, a series of pre-qualification manufacturing trials were conducted to develop machine programming protocols to manufacture equivalent panels across various AFP machines. These machine agnostic allowables can then be used by a wide variety of certification programs regardless of the type of AFP machines used for production. The AFP panel manufacturing kick-off was witnessed by NCAMP airworthiness representatives and personnel from the Air Force Research Laboratory and Victrex.

Contact details from our directory:
NIAR Werx at Wichita State University Engineering Design Services, Testing Services, Lightning Testing, Laboratory Testing Services, Environmental Testing Services, Electromagnetic Test Services, Flight Testing
Victrex Plc Powder Coatings, Prepreg, Polymer Composites, Thermoplastics, Plastic Tubing, Plastic Films, Plastic Resins
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