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THERMOPLASTICS  VIDEO
Thermoplastics
Thermoplastics | AIM Aerospace
Chopped Fiber Compression Molding

QForge® is a proprietary thermoplastics molding process and custom manufacturing service developed and offered by SEKISUI Aerospace. SEKISUI Aerospace works with its customers to customize and optimize composite parts, which enables them to be 40% lighter than their aluminum counterparts with the same strength and stiffness. This is done by utilizing thermoplastic resins, which are reinforced by discontinuous long fibers in net-compression molding. These custom-designed parts can be painted, machined, drilled and even tapped.

Thermoplastics, Machined Aluminum Part | AIM Aerospace
Applications

40% weight reduction

over aluminum

 

Zero waste

(Use only what you need)

 

As strong and stiff as aluminum

(depending on starting material)

 

Part density of 1.59 g/cc
(about 2/3 that of aluminum)

 

Excellent solvent/
moisture resistance

 

Fire retardant
(depending on starting material)

 

Excellent impact and
fatigue performance

 

Exceeds injectionmolding performance

Superior Materials
  • Aircraft interiors

  • Aircraft structural (Brackets/Clips)

  • Bushings

  • High-wear components

  • Access doors

  • Metal replacement for weight reduction

  • Complex metal or composite parts needed for high volume

  • Converting assemblies into single parts

Thermopastics, Part converted to chopped fiber composites | AIM Aerospace

Part converted to chopped fiber composites

Machined aluminum part

Material Properties

Machined aluminum part

*Typical material properties for TenCate MC1100 & MC1200 BMC material

Density g/cc
Thermoplatics Density g/cc | AIM Aerospace
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SEKISUI Aerospace’s turnkey CCM line produces Thermoplastic pre-consolidated laminates (AKA blanks) from .02 to .40 inches thick and 24 inches wide. We produce from our line with custom ply orientations utilizing automated ply cutting and alignment, welding, and nondestructive inspection (NDI).

Continuous Compression Molding (CCM)
Details
  • CCM is an automated process to convert thermoplastic composite plies into a fully consolidated laminate or “blank.”

  • It has a continuous feed system which allows long panels to be created using virtually any number of plies and orientations.

  • The system eliminates the need for autoclave consolidation and has higher throughput than a conventional press, with unlimited length panels.

  • Automation and minimal touch labor significantly reduce cost.
    The blanks can be machined or formed to the final part geometry.

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SEKISUI Aerospace’s Automated Press Cell (APC) uses intelligent automation to stamp form Thermoplastic blanks, which produces continuous fiber structural profiles and forms shapes of varying complexities. The parts are produced at high rates with unparalleled economics.

Automated Press Forming
Thermoset

With in house compression molding capability, SEKISUI Aerospace can support your needs for complicated structural components fabricated from reinforced molding compounds with or without molded in inserts or continuous fiber reinforcements.  We have in house designed tooling to ensure fast cycle times and repeatable results.

 

This combination of heat and pressure produces composite parts with low void content and high fiber volume with near net shape finishes. This type of molding process also allows for the manufacturing of intricate components with features, such as holes, that would have otherwise been machined post-mold. The result is highly integrated composite structures, without knit lines and less fiber-length degradation.

Thermoset - Comprssion Molding | AIM Aerospace
Compression Molding
Details
  • 15 presses ranging from 1 cubic foot to 125 cubic foot capacity

  • Polyester, epoxy and phenolic resins

  • Glass, carbon fibers

  • Pressure and temperature cure profiles

  • In-House tooling design and fabrication

  • Secondary and Assembly operations

If your composite components require a class “A” finish on exterior surfaces, smooth interior surfaces, high repeatability and high fiber volumes, bladder molding would be an excellent process to implement. At SEKISUI Aerospace, we could apply our proprietary technology to your components with this process to achieve the level of finish your product requires.

Details
  • Hollow parts / Curved geometry

  • Quick cure and extended cure resin systems

  • Custom internal reinforcements

  • Control of internal and external surfaces

Thermoset - Bladder Molding | AIM Aerospace
Bladder Molding
Thermoset - Autoclave | AIM Aerospace
Autoclave

SEKISUI Aerospace has six certified autoclaves (7 total) with state-of-the-art computer control over all process variables including heat up rate, dwell time, variable pressurization, controlled cooling and operational limits: 450° and 150 psi.

Details

7 Autoclaves (6 certified)

  • 9’ x 16’

  • 7’ x 12’ (2)

  • 7’ x 26’

  • 3’x 20’

  • 6’ x 28’ (2)

Thermoset - Out of Autoclave | AIM Aerospace
Out of Autoclave

SEKISUI Aerospace utilizes “Out of Autoclave” manufacturing methods depending on the customer’s requirements. This method can be advantageous of curing components without the long autoclave cycle, which in turn lowers energy costs and tooling costs, as well as improving cycle times. The impact that can be realized with Out of Autocave process is that it creates the opportunity to produce larger volumes in a shorter lead time.

Details
  • Reduction in scrap

  • Reduces invalid data

  • Identification of equipment issues

  • Faster processing times

  • Quicker assessment of suspect parts

  • Reduction of repetitive movements

Automation

SEKISUI Aerospace has embraced Automation by adding robots and cobots to the manufacturing process plus developed supervisory control and data acquisition to talk to the equipment miles away. The process that has been created reduces manual data entries from operators and provides individual reports for each part containing process trends, lot info, operator ID, recipe used and start/top time. It also results in reduction of scrap and reduces invalid data due to manual entries. By having trends for each part, it helps identify equipment issues quicker and assist in suspect part investigations.

Automation | AIM Aerospace
Highlights
  • Thermoset Engine Chine / Strakes

  • Thermoplastic gear boxes and blocker doors

  • Long fiber thermoplastic brackets,clips and fittings

  • Thermoplastic and thermoset fan blade spacers, platforms, OGV’s, acoustic panels and trench fillers