Over the last decade the center has become been a key player in the wider use of lightweight and strong thermoplastic materials in the auto and aviation industries.
Over the last decade the center has become been a key player in the wider use of lightweight and strong thermoplastic materials in the auto and aviation industries.

The ThermoPlastic Composites Research Center (TPRC), based in the University of Twente, the Netherlands, has reportedly celebrated its tenth anniversary.

According to the university, over the last decade the center has become been a key player in the wider use of lightweight and strong thermoplastic materials in the auto and aviation industries. Companies such as Boeing, Toray Advanced Composites and GKN Fokker have been partners from the start.

Thermoplastic composites are lightweight, strong, stiff materials that are also sustainable and recyclable, according to Harald Heerink, general manager of TPRC since 2011. Products constructed of these materials can be up to 40% lighter than those generally used in cars and aircraft, he said. Nevertheless, some manufacturers still do not have a ‘feel’ for the material. ‘So, the manufacturers come to us,’ said Heerink. ‘We’ve now grown into an international consortium of 22 members who we help with research, training, testing and production.

‘Expanding the consortium will remain important for the industrial application of thermoplastic composites, he added. ‘The aviation industry can sometimes be rather hesitant about adopting innovations. What’s happening now is remarkable, but we need to expand further. The focus is also increasingly being placed on recycling, we have already implemented a number of successful projects.’

This story uses material from TPRC, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.