Victrex JV in US will make PAEK components for aerospace

Photo by Victrex plc Victrex CEO David Hummel.

Specialty resins maker Victrex has formed a joint venture with Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corp in the US to accelerate commercial adoption of polyketone (PAEK) composite applications in the aerospace industry.

The JV will operate as TxV Aero Composites and will include a new US-based manufacturing site, making parts based on PAEK composites, officials said in a 8 February news release. Those parts will include PAEK inserts, parts and assemblies for large-scale commercial aerospace applications.

The JV was described as “a multi-million dollar investment.” It’s expected to be operational in late 2017.

The new company will be a total solutions provider for polyketone composites, from concept development through commercialization, officials said.

The location of the new plant was not included in the release. Tri-Mack is based in Bristol, Rhode Island. Victrex is headquartered in Thornton Cleveleys, UK.

“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,” Victrex CEO David Hummel said in the release.

Officials added that the intent of the JV is to offer a range of PAEK composites, from custom laminates to pre-formed composite inserts for hybrid moulding processes. It also will offer finished composite parts and complete over-moulded hybrid composite components and assemblies.

Those products can deliver weight savings of up to 60% versus conventional metallic solutions, they said, and offer continuous manufacturing processes and cycle times measured in minutes versus hours for thermoset alternatives.

“With an estimated 35,000 new aircraft to be launched in the next 20 years, the aerospace industry is embracing thermoplastic composites as a cost-effective solution to support this growth,” Tri-Mack president Will Kain said in the release.