Victrex and Tri-Mack Form PAEK JV

21.02.2017 -

UK high-performance polymer producer Victrex has formed a joint venture with its long-standing US-based engineering partner Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing. The aim of the new company, TvX Aero Composites, is to accelerate the commercial adoption of polyketone (PAEK) composite applications in the aerospace industry.

Commercial aircraft use thousands of brackets and system attachments, which together can add a significant cost and weight, particularly if they are made from metal or thermoset layups. Victrex said PAEK composites can deliver weight savings of up to 60% compared to metal alternatives as well as equivalent or better mechanical properties. The continuous manufacturing processes and cycle times are also much shorter, taking minutes rather than the hours needed for thermoset alternatives.

“Our Aerospace Loaded Brackets program is a great example of how we can offer new forms and components, alongside supplying materials, and build a new supply chain to address the unmet needs of the aerospace industry,” said Victrex CEO, David Hummel.

Tri-Mack’s president, Will Kain, added that the aerospace industry is turning to thermoplastic composites as a cost-effective solution to support the launch of an estimated 35,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years.

TvX Aero Composites is investing “multi-millions” of dollars in a new manufacturing facility and centre of excellence at an undisclosed location in the US, with completion due sometime this year.

Financial details and equity stakes in the joint venture were not disclosed.