A TWI industrial Member wished to assess the feasibility of fabricating aircraft interior constructions with long fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite material (APC-2, a carbon fibre composite with PEEK matrix resin). The perceived advantages were the ease of fabrication over thermoset composites, speed of joining in production and more lightweight than traditionally metallic sub-structures.
A prototype induction welding system was developed by TWI to produce sub-structures such as stiffeners for aircraft skins and interior doors/panels. The system required a PEI thermoplastic film to provide sufficient material at the joint interface and low pressure to create the welded components.
The equipment was transported and installed on-site for the client and training was provided by TWI.