PPS Tape Rolls into Rail, Rises to Aerospace Challenges

Image: Teijin Carbon Europe Teijin Tenax TPUD with PPS matrix
Carbon fiber thermoplastic unidirectional pre-impregnated tape (TPUD) based on PPS couples cost effectiveness with rapid processing cycle times.

A new carbon fiber thermoplastic unidirectional pre-impregnated tape (TPUD) based on polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) has debuted at Teijin Carbon Europe. The Tenax TPUD with PPS matrix allows entry into new cost-sensitive markets while offering typical TPUD benefits such as resistance to chemicals and solvents, low flammability, storage or shipping at room temperature, and recyclability.

Due to its flame-retardant properties and low smoke emission, the tape can be used in interior applications of aircraft or rail cars. It is also suitable for demanding applications in the aerospace, oil and gas, sporting goods, or industrial sectors while remaining cost-effective.

The maximum continuous operating temperature is up to 220°C. Very low water absorption, creep resistance even at elevated temperatures, and high dimensional stability round out the property portfolio of this new TPUD. These properties make the product suitable for highly automated processing such as automated tape laying (ATL) or automated fiber placement (AFP) in combination with injection overmolding for complex geometries.

For almost 10 years, unidirectional tapes have been manufactured from carbon fibers and thermoplastics in Heinsberg, Germany. The semi-finished products so far been have offered with PEEK or PAEK; PPS has now been added to the list of available matrixes. PPS allows a lower process temperature compared with PEEK or PAEK. For the industrial market, in particular, increasing the production rate to make processes more cost efficient is a milestone.

In order to meet demand for a range of application areas, Teijin’s carbon fiber business offers various types of Tenax TPUD. These differ not only in the matrix, but also in the Tenax Carbon Fibers used, with varying tensile strengths and moduli. This makes it possible to find the optimal product even for high technical requirements.

Depending on the Tenax TPUD type, carbon fibers are available in basis weights between 100 and 190 g/m² on roll lengths up to 2000 meters long and in widths up to 24 inches. Rapid processing cycle times of several minutes can be realized in most applications.

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