Tri-Mack's PEEK composite brackets offer approximately 70% weight savings over stainless steel brackets.
Tri-Mack's PEEK composite brackets offer approximately 70% weight savings over stainless steel brackets.

According to Victrex, the manufacturer of high performance polyaryletherketones such as VICTREX® PEEK polymer, based on current fuel prices and studies, the removal of 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of weight from a short-range aircraft can save airlines up to $100 in annual fuel costs.

“Assuming that the composite brackets can remove 100 kg (220.5 lbs) of weight, an airline with 500 short-range aircraft could save up to $5 million per year in fuel costs by making the switch from metal,” explains Ralf Weidig, Composites Business Leader for Victrex.

Besides up to 70% weight savings compared to metals such as stainless steel, aluminium and titanium, the composite manufacturing process used by Tri-Mack, located in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA, provides several benefits leading to faster part manufacturing cycle times compared to thermosets

“Thermoset composite parts typically take several hours to complete,” reports Tom Kneath, Director of Sales and Marketing at Tri-Mack.

“The VICTREX PEEK composite brackets have manufacturing cycle times measured in minutes. That speed, paired with the ability to recycle the material for other applications, takes us to a whole new level of processing efficiency that isn’t achievable with thermosets.”

Thermoplastic composites made from VICTREX PEEK also provide chemical and corrosion resistance to jet fuel, hydraulic fluid, de-icing solution, salt, steam, water and other commonly used service fluids that would typically undermine the longevity of metals.

“VICTREX PEEK composites can offer between four and five times higher fatigue strength, specific stiffness, and specific strength when compared to traditional metals such as aluminium,” says Weidig.

“These mechanical properties along with vibration and noise dampening improvements make VICTREX PEEK composites an attractive and viable solution for engineers looking to replace heavy metals and thermosets.”