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Suprem, a Swiss-based prepreg manufacturer, has reported a more than 50 per cent annual growth in its business, which was generated from prepregs made with Victrex Peek polymer.

Suprem’s proprietary impregnation method allows for the rapid and flexible production of a variety of prepreg tapes optimised for automated processing equipment – a key requirement for the cost-effective mass production of composite parts for the aerospace and industrial markets.

Using Victrex Peek polymer, which meets the standards and mandatory performance requirements of automated high-speed production equipment, Suprem was able to respond to the needs of the providers of manufacturing equipment and develop quality prepregs manufactured to tight tolerances, and suitably packaged to facilitate high-speed automated processing.

In addition, Suprem developed several options in fibre distribution across the section of a tape and adapted the surface qualities for the maximum energy absorbance, offering higher design freedom for lighter-weight and lower-cost parts.

Since the 1990s, Victrex Peek polymer powders and pellets have been used as a matrix material in the manufacture of advanced thermoplastic composite prepregs made of carbon, glass or aramid continuous fibres.

Victrex polymers are engineered to provide optimum impregnation of the reinforcing fibres and fibre-matrix interface.

They are recyclable and are cost effective to process using out-of-autoclave and thermoforming techniques.

They facilitate significant weight reduction when compared with metals, further enhanced by the ability to consolidate parts.

They offer enhanced design freedom by providing the ability to produce complex shapes.

They have unlimited shelf life, satisfy stringent performance requirements and are safety and environmentally compliant.

Customers can order small quantities to facilitate product development and modify specification of the prepreg based on their experience and findings to optimise the fibre content and the choice of fibres.

In combination with Victrex Peek polymer, the fibre volume content may vary between 40 and 62 per cent.

Suprem is looking to develop applications in the future that leverage Victrex’s expertise in polyaryletherketones and advancements in its portfolio.

Victrex HT polymer allows increased service temperatures required by applications in the electronics industry.

The reduced viscosity of the Victrex Peek 90 grade allows higher percentages of fibre content for increased mechanical performance, resulting in lighter, more durable components.

The lower viscosity also enables faster fibre placement and filament winding processes for increased productivity and lower part cost.

Victrex Peek polymer-based composites and traditional compounds with increased content of long fibres are said to be superior in strength, stiffness, dimensional stability and impact resistance to most polymer materials, resulting in stronger, more durable parts, increasing lifetime and reducing maintenance cost.

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