A world-class thermoplastic research cell has been created by British machinery manufacturer Cygnet Texkimp to develop the next generation of high tech materials including carbon fibre and composites for the international aerospace, automotive and oil and gas industries.
The production-scale testing line, which is housed in a secure facility at Cygnet Texkimp’s UK headquarters in Cheshire, is one of only a handful in the world that can manufacture PEEK (Poly-ether-ether-ketone) and PEK (Poly-ether-ketone) – high tech materials typically used to make engine parts for the aerospace and automotive markets because of their stability and resistance to temperatures up to 450°c.
“There are very few places in the world that offer this sort of dedicated facility,” explains Cygnet Texkimp’s technical director, Luke Vardy.
“The trial line enables component manufacturers to develop new materials and processing techniques offline in an IP-secure area, using production-scale machines without first needing to make large investments in technology.”
The line is capable of running thermoplastic and thermoset resin systems up to 450°c in a combination of wrap and nip modes with optional consolidation belts. It has multiple unwinds and rewinds that that can be configured to feed films and foils onto a primary membrane, web or fabric.
It also incorporates a press which can be used to manufacture small parts and shallow components.