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The Material Science Application Center in Brussels, Belgium

Advancing the Adoption of Thermoplastic Composites In Aerospace

picture 1_ Processing Hall

Solvay’s Material Science Application Center (MSAC) dedicates its research to strengthening thermoplastic composite capabilities. Our experts at MSAC have witnessed a rich history of innovation due to extensive collaborations with key industry leaders in aerospace, automotive, and industrial markets. 

In collaboration with our customers, we develop and advance thermoplastic composite processes with the purpose of demonstrating the potential of combining thermoplastic composites with over-molded resins. In our Brussels laboratories, customers can expect to find innovation, design, prototyping, and performance testing all under one roof. 

 

Key Innovation Capabilities - Virtual Engineering, TPC Processing, Part Testing

Virtual Engineering

  • Microscale
  • Meso-scale / Coupon-scale
  • Part-scale
  • Manufacturing simulation

Once we identify the needs of our customers, our engineers begin to work on the challenges ahead. We rely on the flexibility of virtual engineering to analyze the obstacles that may occur during part production. Then, they address concerns by choosing outstanding materials and determining mold dimensions and process parameters that will lead to a part that can be designed for the conditions it will be subject to.

picture 2_ Composite Overmoulding Line

TPC (Thermoplastic Composites) Processing

  • Automated Tape Cutting and manual layup.
  • High rate robotic Pick & Place stacking machine
  • Press consolidation for composite blanks
  • Stamp forming process for thermoplastic composite parts (up to TRL5)
  • 3D forming combined with injection overmolding (TRL3 and TRL4)
  • Laser assisted Tape winding cell (rings, pipes & small scale tank)

The concepts that successfully pass the gate of virtual engineering can be prototyped using our industry-defining technologies. The TPC processing phase validates the dependability of the design for high throughput production. Then, our laboratories can produce real parts ready for quality control and performance testing.

picture 1_ 6 Axes Multi-Axial testing

Part Testing

  • High-Speed mechanical Testing (simulate 20m/s)
  • Multi-axial mechanical testing platform
  • Digital radiography, X-ray + more

Before part testing commences, our scientists study produced parts at the atomic level to determine the quality of the parts’ fundamental properties. Such meticulous attention informs our experts and customers of the parts’ durability. Our long-term testing procedures may last for weeks in a row. Some of our testing procedures include impact simulations using high-speed cameras to record the motion at rates thousands of times faster than the human eye can perceive.

Watch Solvay's Materials Science Application Center, Brussels (BE) on YouTube.