ATC Manufacturing, a leading airplane components OEM, shares its perspective on the changing market for Thermoplastic composites (TPC) in an article for CompositesWorld magazine. David Leach, director of business development at ATC, notes that while the per-unit cost of TPC might be higher than thermosets, he argues that the cost of TPC materials will fall.
Recent mergers and acquisitions and new developments in equipment are causing waves in the industry. Fabricators are taking advantage of the manufacturing benefits (like faster production rates than thermosets) and fast processing times of thermoplastics and are starting to make larger structures. The article highlights the wave of activity in commercial aircraft development, including increases in production and new welding processes in thermoplastics that are creating opportunities for each airplane components OEM.
According to Leach, efficiencies in processing “offer an opportunity to reduce costs today.” The composites industry consensus is that out-of-autoclave (OOA) thermoplastic processes, in comparison to thermosets, offer a cost savings in excess of 30%. Poised for a larger usage role in commercial aircraft, there are several additional benefits to using TPCs that make them appealing for use throughout the aerospace industry.
ABOUT ATC MANUFACTURING: Founded in 2004 by Dan Jorgenson, ATC Manufacturing is an airplane components OEM that has become a leader in the development and production of high-performance, light-weight aerospace composite parts. ATC develops products that are lighter, stronger and more cost effective. The collaboration between Advanced Thermoplastic Composites and Lakeside enabled ATC’s expansion in 2015 into a 67,000-square-foot facility, expanding production to more than one million parts per year.
ABOUT COMPOSITES WORLD: CompositesWorld is the source for reliable news and information on what’s happening in fiber-reinforced composites manufacturing. Through their monthly magazine, e-newsletters, digital content, market research and events, they connect manufacturing leaders to reliable, accessible information about processes and trends across the global composites manufacturing industry. Their coverage digs into what’s new and trending in composites design, tooling, materials and fabrication, and they share the stories of how these materials and processes come together in real-world applications for end markets like aerospace, automotive, marine and wind energy.