Image Source: MaruHachi
New focus on high-temperature thermoplastic tapes and laminates for aerospace, automotive and other high-end applications
With its recently installed high-temperature unidirectional tape line, Japan-based composites manufacturer MaruHachi enables new opportunities for high-end applications in demanding market segments like aerospace, automotive or others outperforming traditional materials based on PP and PA which are already widely available.
The material is based on high-performance fibers like carbon, aramid, glass or natural fibers and the matrix can be high-performance polymers like PPS, PEEK or other higher temperature polymers, which are much tougher than epoxies and easy to recycle. With a width of 500 millimeters, and a specific weight ranging from 60-350 grams per square meter, depending on the chosen material, the lines can operate under temperatures up to 420ºC. This results in better material properties, increased resistance and integrated high-performance functionalities (e.g. by overmoulding).
Since 2017, MaruHachi Group is active in the European market in cooperation with Dr. Michael Effing, the CEO of AMAC GmbH, who advises and supports the company strategically. The established, family-owned MaruHachi Group has a strong history in automotive and medical textiles and has been active in the innovative composites market for more than 15 years.
Toshi Sugahara, CEO of MaruHachi, said: “For many years, we have already been cooperating with domestic and international partners on high-demand applications and therefore, MaruHachi decided now to invest over 1 million EUR in this new line in phase 1, including a funding participation from the Japanese government NEDO. New developments in phase 2 will be be undertaken by end of 2021 on the downstream technologies like the automated preforming and consolidation. With our new products, we want to contribute to significant weight reductions of the final products, thus improve energy efficiency while offering a cost-efficient and high-quality solution.”
Dr. Effing, CEO of AMAC GmbH confirms, “The focus on the niche if high-temperature products based on PPS and PEEK allows MaruHachi on very demanding high-end applications such as structural frames on spaces and aircrafts, aircraft seats or engine components etc. The tapes are fully recyclable and can be processed e.g with high-speed with laser-based tape placement machines and robots.”
Insights from Stratview Research’s report on UD tapes market:
Thermoset UD tapes are widely used for making primary aerostructures, such as fuselage and wings of the next-generation aircraft programs, as they offer maximum strength and stiffness in one direction which is the desired property for large structures. In recent years, thermoplastic UD tapes are gaining traction in a wide array of applications as they offer higher toughness, high chemical resistance, easier & quicker in consolidation, quick cycle time, recyclability, and unlimited shelf life. The UD tape market is expected to move parallelly with the aerospace industry’s trajectory as the industry holds the lion’s share of the market. Our estimates suggest that the market is likely to take a nose-dive in 2020, followed by a steady path towards recovery in the next five years to reach an estimated value of US$ 3.1 billion in 2026.
News Source: http://www.amac-international.com/