Toho Tenax develops carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK compound based on recycled materials

Toho Tenax Europe GmbH (TTE) has developed a new compound, Tenax-E Compound rPEEK CF30, based on recycled thermoplastic carbon fiber material and PEEK (polyetheretherketone) thermoplastic. A serial aircraft wing access panel was manufactured as a demonstrator part.

The closed-loop-concept from production scrap via Tenax-E Compound to final part was the winner at JEC Asia 2016 in the “Recycling” category in Singapore in November 2016.

Tenax-E Compound rPEEK CF30 is a reinforced material combination of waste materials generated during processing of Tenax ThermoPlastics consolidated laminates and recycled semi crystalline PEEK polymer. The recycled material contains 30% of carbon fiber by weight and offers high performance in strength and stiffness for injection molding applications.

Award winning carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK compounds is based wholly on recycled materials.

This compound has an almost identical performance profile to virgin standard material in terms of tensile modulus and strength, which also includes elongation, viscosity, chemical resistance, abrasion and a very low moisture to absorption ratio,. The created value of this compound is linked to the combination of high performance materials as well as a low-cost price of 40-60% compared to virgin carbon fiber reinforced PEEK compounds according to TTE.

TTE and its partners, an OEM aircraft manufacturer and Sintex NP Group, demonstrated that a serial aircraft wing access panel can be manufactured from the recycled material and meet performance criteria.

Sintex NP Group was selected as the partner responsible for the part manufacturing process based on Tenax-E Compound rPEEK CF30 and the assessment of material processability compared to current virgin material standards within their production processes. Sintex found that it is possible to combine best performance with full manufacturing and design flexibility without any processing parameter adjustments in the production chain. In this manner, Tenax-E Compound rPEEK CF30 is able to reduce the part costs significantly.

TTE and group company Teijin Kasei Europe (TKE) will now work side-by-side to developed the European market for the recyclates-based compound. “By separating the market into aerospace, industry and automotive, both companies can use their strengths in the corresponding market segments”, said Falk Ansorge, Sales Manager Aerospace at TTE. TTE will concentrate on creating applications in the aerospace field. For its part, Teijin Kasei Europe already supplies PC, PC/ABS and PC alloy compounds to various industries mainly for automotive applications, and will expand its portfolio through addition of Tenax-E Compound rPEEK CF30.

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