Welded thermoplastics take flight, make history

April 15, 2010

It’s the first of its kind in the aircraft industry—induction-welded thermoplastic composite primary structures (rudder and elevator) for aircraft. The companies involved in this break-through collaborative project include Fokker Aerostructures (NL), Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. (US), KVE Composites Group (NL), TenCate Aerospace Composites (NL) and Ticona GmbH (GER). The companies were presented with the JEC innovation award in the Aeronautics category.

The induction-welded thermoplastic composite rudder and elevator were installed on the new Gulfstream G650 tail section. The award was officially presented to Fokker Aerostructures and partners during the opening ceremony of the JEC Composite Show in Paris on April 13.

Fokker Aerostructures designed and developed the G650 tail section and industrialized a new induction welding method for the rudder and the elevator. With the welding technology developed by KVE Composites Group, components are joined into an inseparable unit, eliminating costly drilling and riveting work. The thermoplastic material is Fortron PPS, a high-performance engineering polymer from Ticona. [email protected]

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