JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 44

semi-product

interview

TIM HERR,
AEROSPACE DIRECTOR
VICTREX

JEC Composites Magazine: Can you introduce your position and tasks at Victrex?

Tim Herr: I joined Victrex in 2001.

For the past two years I've been tasked
with the creation and implementation
of the company's strategy for growth in
the commercial aerospace market.

JCM: What is the potential of the Victrex
AETM 250 Composites material in the
Aerospace industry?

T.H.: I'm totally convinced that the
new composite has the potential to "revolutionise" the future of aviation: With
cost reductions being a high priority
of the industry, you can imagine how
this material and processing technology
enables new levels of part consolidation
through hybrid moulding, the use of
existing manufacturing infrastructure
and reduces energy requirements and
processing time which all lead to system
cost savings.
manufacturing PEEK since it filed a patent for the polymer in 1978. By 2003 the
company, headquartered in North West
England, extended its plant to produce
2,800 tonnes a year. Today, Victrex employs more than 700 people worldwide,
is listed on the London stock exchange
(FTSE 250) with a market capitalisation
of around GBP1.5 bn and has a manufacturing capacity of 7,000 tonnes with
annual sales of GBP263.5 m in 2015.
The company also has a number of
"downstream" manufacturing plants
including for film, composite tape,
pipe and medical components. In 2016

JCM: What are the most important
growth drivers for thermoplastics?

T.H. : There is a need for performance
and cost improvements in several areas
of the aircraft ranging from seating and
interiors to engines and fuel systems.
There are significant opportunities
within the commercial aerospace market due to the combination of benefits
that thermoplastics can provide. As
we have seen with the A350 and the
Boeing B787, there is a continued push
for lightweight plastics and composites
within the industry.

is 40% lighter, achieved a 40% cost
reduction and performed better in
moisture than the incumbent aluminium material. Beyond offering viable
metal replacement solutions, we have
expertise in the areas of stress analysis,
part and tool design, processing, design
allowables data, and material and part
testing to help our customers achieve
their weight and cost savings goals.
JCM: What is your growth strategy?

T.H. : Airbus Helicopters selected
the 90HMF40 material for a structural bracket in the A350 aircraft door.
Overall, the thermoplastic component

T.H. : Victrex monitors the trends of
the industry and has ongoing discussions with market leaders to understand what is happening now and in the
future. Several years ago, a decision was
made to invest in the third polymer production plant that would push our capacity to over 7,000 tonnes per annum.
We understood then what challenges
the aerospace industry would be facing
today and invested in capacity ahead
of the anticipated increase in demand.
Beyond our polymer production, we are
also investing in production capacity
'downstream', so for more 'semi-finished' products such as composite tape
and polymer film that has a lot of knowhow locked up in them. That wasn't the
only reason for the expansion though as
we have several 'mega-programs' in our
pipeline spread across the aerospace,
automotive, energy, electronics and
medical industries as well.
Security of supply and exemplary
customer service continue to be a
high-priority for Victrex. n

Victrex pledged further investment in
more downstream manufacturing to
support its "mega-programmes". As the
market for composites, according to
some analysts, is predicted to double by
2020 [4], these investments confirm the
company's will to capture this growing
market. Victrex´s investments includes a
new PEEK composite tape facility, with
UD tape being used in the Magma Oil
& Gas mega-programme, in medical and
also in aerospace. Those efforts are also
supported by the opening in April 2015
of a new state of the art plant as a third
polymer production facility.
Last year saw Victrex make several in-

roads in the aerospace sector, with Denroy Plastics Ltd, the UK-based precision
plastics injection moulding specialist,
developing optimized brackets in close
collaboration with Bombardier and
Victrex.
Made of an electrostatically dissipative
Victrex PEEK grade, Victrex® PEEKESD™ polymer, that has been used in
harsh environments including aggressive
aerospace fluids, this Victrex solution is
for the first time specified in commercial
aircraft, such as Bombardier's CSeries,
Global and Learjet aircraft.
Denroy's target was to replace small to
medium-sized machined aluminium and

JCM: What are the strengths of Victrex
composites in the aircrafts lightweighting
race?

T.H. : First and foremost, thermoplastics are inherently lighter in weight
than traditional metals. The design of
the component allows for significant
improvements. For example, the Victrex
PEEK 90HMF40 polymer allows for
a 70% weight reduction compared to
steel, a 55% weight reduction compared
to titanium and a 40% weight reduction
compared to aluminium while achieving
equivalent stiffness.[6] The polymer
part will need a nominal increase in
thickness, but these benefits make it a
viable metal replacement material.
JCM: Do you have any specific examples?

44 jec composites magazine / No106 July 2016



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016

Cover
Edito
Point of view: Europe
Contents
COMPANY & BUSINESS
Development
Agenda of Events
APPLICATIONS
Thermoplastics
Automotive
MARKET
Aircraft engine
FEATURE AERONAUTICS
Aerostructures
Characterisation
Thermoplastics
Aero-engines
Process
CFRP
Semi-product
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Review
Core material
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATIONS
NDT
Marine
Index
In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Ad1
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Point of view: Europe
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - COMPANY & BUSINESS
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Development
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 11
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Agenda of Events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - AdHEC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - AdCro
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Thermoplastics
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 16
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Automotive
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Aircraft engine
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Aerostructures
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Characterisation
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Thermoplastics
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Aero-engines
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Process
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - CFRP
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Semi-product
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 44
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Review
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Core material
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - NDT
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 54
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Marine
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - Index
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #106 - July 2016 - 59
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