Aerospace: lighter components, faster cycle times

Aircraft industry forecasts show that over 35,000 new aircraft will be required by the world’s airlines before 2040. Meeting this escalating demand requires new technologies and new approaches and thermoplastic composites (TPCs) are expected to play an increasingly important role. A TPC part can reduce manufacturing costs by 20 to 30 percent compared to metals or polymer materials. But TPCs also offer aircraft manufacturers other advantages including:

  • Shorter cycle times
  • Reduced part count through welding and over-molding
  • Excellent toughness
  • Infinite storage at room temperature
  • Unequaled fire, smoke, and toxicity performance

Solvay has one of the broadest portfolios of high-performance thermoplastic polymers for aviation applications including Ketaspire® PEEK, Novaspire® PEKK, Radel® PPSU, and Ryton® PPS. These polymers are already produced on an industrial scale, making them suitable for large volume composite aerospace applications. Solvay currently provides APC unitape prepregs to the aerospace sector with PEEK, PEKK, and PEI polymers.

The polymers can be impregnated using a variety of processes to provide a high quality prepreg suited to the OEM’s part manufacturing methodology. They can also be used in combination with other lightweight structural materials such as thermoset composites and PAEK polymers.

 

Solvay Thermoplastic Composite Materials Aerospace Market Adoption

 

Automotive: stronger parts with design freedom

Thermoplastic composites (TPCs) have the potential to contribute significantly to the lightweighting of automotive applications. However, their widespread adoption has been slowed by perceptions that they are costly, cause design issues, or are difficult to process and implement on a production line.

Solvay is strategically positioned to support the automotive industry and demonstrate that these perceptions are unfounded. Through virtual engineering and multi-mechanic demonstrations, Solvay can show the significant advantages TPCs offer. We believe that this will lead to their increased use in the automotive market over the mid- to long-term. As in the aerospace industry, the creation of new lightweight automotive parts will be based on a multi-material approach.

 

Evolite™ PPA & PPS: the light solutions for a more sustainable future

Both Evolite™ PPA & PPS have significantly higher stiffness and thermal stability than traditional engineering plastics. This offers automotive OEMs:

  • Weight reduction
  • Design freedom through functional integration
  • Outstanding crash capabilities
  • Recyclability
  • A compatible compound for over-molding
  • Consumable free manufacturing

 

Solvay Thermoplastic Composite Materials - Automotive Solvalite vs. Evolite

 

Oil & Gas: light and strong for lower cost

To meet rising demand for oil and gas at an affordable cost, producers are exploiting the reserves found in ultra deep-water fields. This requires light subsea production systems which can cope with the harsh conditions.

It’s now a necessity for the industry towards thermoplastic composites (TPCs) to decrease total installed costs and enable exploration at increased depths. Solvay offers a unique portfolio of specialty TPC polymers to address these needs. TPC materials provide lighter weight, excellent corrosion and chemical resistance, and increased resistance to fatigue.

 

Evolite™ F1050 - PVDF/CF: advanced TPC tapes for weight reduction and lower cost

Solvay’s Evolite™ F1050 is a high-performance thermoplastic composite (TPC) with continuous carbon fiber reinforcement. It is ideal for demanding oil and gas applications such as offshore hybrid flexible pipes and TPC pipes.

Evolite™ F1050 is a unidirectional tape combining the excellent chemical and temperature resistance of Solef® PVDF with the inherent high strength performance of carbon fiber. Evolite™ F1050 offers:

  • An exceptional combination of mechanical and chemical resistance
  • Stability in high temperature applications
  • Compatibility with automated tape laying (ATL) processes
  • Customized fiber/matrix translation for maximum performance

Solvay is already a leader in the oil and gas sector thanks to Solef® PVDF which has been successfully used for more than 20 years. We have developed innovative PVDF grades in close cooperation with our customers.

Weight & Sea: How composite materials are making underwater pipes lighter