Since thermoplastic matrices can replace thermoset matrices in aircraft structural applications, the next step was to get eco-friendly thermoplastic materials able to be manufactured with less energy than PEEK.
It was therefore necessary to develop an innovative compound with similar mechanical and physic-chemical properties than PEEK but with lower melting point in order to reduce the energy for its processing and minimize the environment impact.
The development of this blend was focused on the investigation of new generation additives developed in the last years such as thermal stabilizer, halogen free flame retardant, nano-additives (CNT, nanoclays and nanoparticles).
In the course of the project, different formulations were tested in the extrusion-compounding process. These formulations considered different proportions and types of advanced thermoplastics and additives.
Twin-screw extrusion machine was used in the development of the blend in order to guarantee the best method to mix additives and polymers and therefore get a homogenous blend with the desirable characteristic to be used in aeronautic applications.
The project started on the 1st of April 2011. This date had been reached a consensus with the TM who wants to start the project as soon as possible.