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Development and Innovation for Advanced Manufacturing of Thermoplastics (DINAMIT)

Final Report Summary - DINAMIT (Development and innovation for advanced manufacturing of thermoplastics )

Nowadays the high-performance thermoplastic composite parts are mainly used in aeronautical structures. Compared with thermoset resin systems, they have many advantages like impact behaviour, fire resistance, low moisture absorption as well as welding capabilities.

Nevertheless, the material costs and the global production costs remain generally high compared with the corresponding costs of thermoset composite technologies. Furthermore, they are generally restricted to simple geometry parts and limited dimensions due to the current technological limitations.

The aim of the DINAMIT programme was to foster the widespread use of high-performance thermoplastic composites on aircraft or helicopter structures. In order to reach that aim, the project focused on the following objectives:
- reduction of prohibitive material costs;
- reduction of the associated forming-consolidation costs;
- development of rapid, flexible, low cost processes for structure assembly;
- reduction of scraps.

The main innovations which resulted from that 36-month project would be related to the above mentioned objectives, namely:

- The development of low cost high-performance thermoplastic composites applicable to aeronautical structural components based on:
a) a blend of thermoplastic structural matrix;
b) a newly developed structural resin or polyetherketoneketone (PEKK);
c) multi-axial thermoplastic fabrics.
- The development of new forming-consolidation processes based on:
a) assessment of a high-speed automated lay-up process used to the manufacturing of thermoplastic double curvature structure parts into oven;
b) improvement of the in-situ consolidation process for double curvature structural parts;
c) assessment of a new vacuum diaphragm forming technique dedicated to the elaboration of large dimension structures with double curvature;
d) assessment of a new low-pressure injection process for elaboration of high-performance thermoplastic composite parts for substructures;
e) improvement of thermoplastics continuous forming and roll-forming technologies for substructure applications.

The development of new welding processes based on:
a) assessment of an in-situ welding process associated with an in-situ consolidation process;
b) feasibility study of laser welding for assembly of high-performance thermoplastic composite components.

- The development of a cost optimisation tool which assesses the development of innovative Thermoplastic polymer (TP) materials and processes.

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