Aerospace Applications of Thermoplastic and Thermoset Composites

TenCate has extensive experience in supplying out-of-autoclave/vacuum-bag-only epoxy prepregs. TenCate has leading positions with OOA/VBO epoxy prepregs in general aviation fuselages and flight control surfaces. TenCate’s precision film impregnation processes allows efficient and effective utilization of vacuum bag processing for improved part throughput and productivity.

Aerospace applications for advanced composites includes:

  • General aviation and helicopters
  • Commercial and military aircraft
  • Space, satellite and launch vehicles

TenCate has leading positions on current and next generation composite aircraft.

Materials Selection Guide – Aircraft

Materials selection guide for aircraft is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Material selection guide for aircraft

Product Name Resin Type Tg Cure Temp/ Cure Time Description Key Resin Characteristics
Prepregs
BT250E-1 Epoxy 257 °F/125 °C
  • 60 minutes at 250 °F/121 °C
  • BT250E-1 is a good moderate service temperature prepreg
  • Self adhesive to core
  • Good toughness
  • MIL-R-9300 qualified
30 days work life at 77 °F/25 °C
Out of autoclave processible
BT250E-6 NEW Epoxy 268 °F/131 °C
  • 120 minutes at 260 °F/127 °C
  • High modulus resin system for rotor blade usage
  • Out-of-autoclave processible
  • FAA conformed database
30 days work life at 77 °F/25 °C
EX-1522 Epoxy 356 °F/180 °C
  • 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C
  • Low moisture absorption, toughened
  • Excellent mechanical properties
14 days tack life at 77 °F/25 °C
RS-8HT BMI 545 °F/285 °C
  • 120 minutes at 400 °F/204 °C, post cure of 360 minutes at 482 °F/250 °C
  • RS-8HT provides excellent elevated temperature properties with good toughness and moisture resistance
  • Also available as an RTM resin
Fracture Toughness G1c 1.2 in - lb/in2
RS-51 AFRPE-4 Polyimide 734 °C/390 °C Contact TenCate for details.
  • Extremely high service temperature
10 days out life at 77 °F/25 °C
TC250 Epoxy 285 °F/140 °C or 356 °F/180 °C
with post cure
  • 60 minutes at 190 °F/88 °C, followed by 120 minutes at 265 °F/130 °C.
    Optional post cure of 60 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C for higher Tg
  • TC250 is a 250 °F/121 °C service prepreg. It is designed for vacuum bag cure or autoclave
  • Good surfacing qualities
  • Good toughness
  • Self adhesive to core capability
  • Postcurable
45 days tack life Hot/wet Tg 257 °F/125 °C
TC275-1 NEW Epoxy 327 °F/164 °C or 362 °F/183 °C with 350 °F/177 °C post cure
  • 360 minutes at 275 °F/135 °C Optional post cure of 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C
  • Designed for very low voids <0.5% in thick parts with out-of-autoclave vacuum cures
  • May be cured at 275 °F/135 °C or 350 °F/177 °C
Very low moisture uptake
High hot/wet Tg retention
Longer tack life & outtime for larger parts
TC350-1 NEW Epoxy 376 °F/191 °C
  • 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C
  • TC350-1 is TenCate's latest 350 °F/177 °C service out-of-autoclave prepreg. It is a toughened high temperature prepreg system
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Good hot/wet performance
21 days tack life,
45 days tool life
Hot/wet Tg 320 °F/160 °C
TC420 Cyanate Ester 350 °F/177 °C or 658 °F/348 °C with post cure
  • 3 hours at 350 °F/177 °C
    Optional post cure of 500 °F/260 °C for higher Tg
  • TenCate's highest temperature cyanate ester
  • Processes like an epoxy, yet yields a Tg and performance of a BMI
  • Excellent thermal stability for use on heat shields and ablatives
14 days tack life 75 °F/24 °C
Thermoplastic Fabrics & Unitapes*
TenCate Cetex® TC925 FST NEW Polycarbonate (PC) 307 °F/153 °C
  • Process temp - 437 °F/225 °C
  • Value oriented solution
  • Good FST performance (OSU < 25/25)
  • Translucent laminate with good chemical resistance
  • Ideal for flooring, seating, and small parts
See data sheet for details.
TenCate Cetex® TC1000 Premium Polyetherimide (PEI) 419 °F/215 °C
  • Process temp - 600 °F/315 °C
  • Qualified and certified to OEM specifications
  • Excellent FST performance (OSU < 15/15)
  • Industry leading mechanical performance
  • Good solvent resistance
  • Ideal for interior applications ranging from floor panels, to seat plynths to luggage bins
See data sheet for details.
TenCate Cetex® TC1000 Design Polyetherimide (PEI) 419 °F/215 °C
  • Process temp - 600 °F/315 °C
  • RTL for customer design programs
  • Excellent FST performance (OSU < 15/15)
  • Range of colours and textures available
  • Significant weight reduction in metal replacement programs
See data sheet for details.
TenCate Cetex® TC1100 Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) 194 °F/90 °C
  • Process temp - 625 °F/330 °C
  • Offered on either glass or carbon
  • Moderate temperature capability and features:
    • High impact resistance
    • Low flammability
    • Low moisture absorption of 0.02%
  • Ideal for leading edges, structural aircraft parts including interior beams and floor panels
See data sheet for details.
TenCate Cetex® TC1200 Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) 290 °F/143 °C
  • Process temp - 725 °F/385 °C
  • Thermoplastic unitapes and fabrics
  • Outstanding solvent resistance
  • Low flammability
See data sheet for details.
TenCate Cetex® TC1220 NEW Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) 290 °F/143 °C
  • Process temp - 725 °F/385 °C
  • 50 ksi CAI thermoplastic PEEK unitapes
See data sheet for details.
TenCate Cetex® TC1320 NEW Polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) 320 °F/160 °C
  • Process temp - 700 °F/371 °C
  • Outstanding chemical resistance
  • Designed for structural applications
  • Slightly lower processing temperature compared to PEEK
See data sheet for details.
Film Adhesives
TC235SF-1 Epoxy Surfacing Film 246 °F/119 °C
  • 60 minutes at 250 °F/121 °C
  • Vacuum cure epoxy composite surfacing film
  • Available with lightning strike foils
Excellent surfacing under low cure pressure
TC263 NEW Epoxy 230 °F/110 °C
  • 120 minutes at 250 °F/121 °C
  • Toughened film adhesive
21 days tack life
TC310 NEW Epoxy 315 °F/157 °C
  • 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C
  • Toughened composite bonding film adhesive
21 days tack life
TC4015 Cyanate Ester 350 °F/177 °C or 610 °F/321 °C with post cure
  • 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C
  • Ablative structure
  • High temp structure
  • Space structure
14 days tack life
Syntactics
EM-3 Epoxy N/A
  • 60 minutes at 250 °F/121 °C
  • High expansion 250 °F/121 °C curing syntactic film
  • Expansion of up to 8-10x
40 pcf (0.64 g/cc) unexpanded density
TenCate Amspand ES72A-2 Epoxy 237 °F/114 °C (DSC)
  • 60 minutes at 257 °F/125 °C
  • Expanding syntactic core
  • Ideal for core splicing or core fill and edge close out applications
  • Density of 6-25 pcf (0.1-0.4 g/cc)
30 days out life at 68 °F/20 °C
SF-4 BMI 563 °F/295 °C
  • 120 minutes at 400 °F/204 °C and 360 minutes at 452 °F/250 °C
  • Compatible with RS-8HT and other BMI systems
Low density syntactic film 39 pcf (0.62 g/cc)
TCF4001 Cyanate Ester 350 °F/177 °C
  • 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C Optional post cure of 60-90 minutes at 450 °F/232 °C
  • Cyanate ester syntactic paste
  • Density of 24 pcf (0.38 g/cc)
14 days out life at 77 °F/25 °C
TCF4035 Epoxy 284 °F/140 °C
  • 180 minutes at 265 °F/130 °C
  • Good high temperature properties
  • Low density, low dielectric core fill
  • Density of 40 pcf (0.64 g/cc)
  • May be post cured for higher Tg
30 days out life at 77 °F/25 °C
TCF4045 NEW Epoxy 356 °F/180 °C
  • 180 minutes at 355 °F/179 °C
  • Excellent low dielectric syntactic film
35.5 pcf density (0.56 g/cc)
TCF4050 Cyanate Ester 350 °F/177 °C
  • 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C
    Optional post cure of 60-90 minutes at 450 °F/232 °C
  • Density of 17-35 pcf (0.28-0.55g/cc)
  • Expanding syntactic film (core splice)
  • High temperature capability
  • Compatible with TC420 prepreg systems
7 days out life at 77 °F/25 °C
RTM Resins
EX-1510 Cyanate Ester 380 °F/193 °C or
447 °F/230 °C with post cure
  • 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C
    Optional post cure of 120 minutes at 480 °F/249 °C
  • Toughened resin system, low 150 cps viscosity at 77 °F/25 °C
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Good mechanical properties, good high temp performance
4 hours pot life at 77 °F/25 °C
RS-50 Epoxy 397 °F/203 °C
  • 120 minutes at 350 °F/177 °C
  • Toughened epoxy resin for structural applications
30 minutes set time at 350 °F/177 °C

Figure 1. Applications of thermoplastic and thermoset composites

About TenCate Advanced Composites

TenCate is a multinational company that combines textile technology with related chemical processes.

Tencate develop and produce specialist materials with specific properties. Protective materials for fire-fighting clothing, and strong, lightweight materials in aircraft are good examples of these, as are materials that block UV radiation for applications like tentcloth and awnings.

For additional technical information, please contact TenCate by email at [email protected].

TenCate Advanced Composites

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by TenCate Advanced Composites.

For more information on this source, please visit TenCate Advanced Composites.

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