The MuCell® physical foaming process, Trexel’s lightweight technology for thermoplastic injection molded parts, has a long history of applications in the automotive, business equipment, and “white goods” industries.
The process will now be further developed for the aerospace industry for heavily loaded structural components. Due to increasing passenger volumes and associated higher production rates, lightweight design requirements, coupled with efficient manufacturing technologies, are becoming increasingly important in future generations of aircraft. Here, thermoplastic fiber-plastic composites can offer decisive advantages in terms of short cycle times, load-adapted fiber orientations and increased geometric variability by injection molding.
A promising approach is the overmolding of continuous fiber reinforced laminates. The high structural integrity of a continuous fiber reinforced laminate, coupled with the excellent geometrical variability of injection molding, allows completely new ways of component design. Here, the MuCell process offers some special process advantages. Trexel's collaboration on the Hyframe project began at K2016 with the goal of developing a thermoplastic-based primary structural component in an overmolding process.