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An in-depth look at the in-situ consolidation in thermoplastic composites

What's covered

This article aims to provide

  • How thermoplastic AFP differentiates from the thermoset AFP

  • The promise of the thermoplastic materials

Specific details of how to improve thermoplastic placement quality

  • Learning principles and theories of in-situ consolidation

  • How to avoid thermal degradations while doing the thermoplastic placement


An overview of in-situ consolidation (ISC) is provided in this article. As the ISC manufacturing process evolves, it is additive in nature, limited by the orthotropic nature of composite materials, and thermoplastic matrix behavior. Key topics covered are as follows

  1. Introduction to ISC and recent innovations

  2. Adhesion mechanisms and their influence on the process

  3. Crystallinity is the most influential parameter in determining mechanical properties.

  4. Degradation refers to the potentially irreversible changes in the polymer structure caused by the high temperatures required for the process.

The article is intended to help readers understand the key process parameters and enable them to achieve high product quality with a high deposition rate. This is achieved through an industrial process that is competitive with the current thermoset composite manufacturing process.

Jump directly to the right information

  1. Why do thermoplastic composites cost more than thermoset composites?

  2. Why thermoplastic composites are preferred over thermoset composites?

  3. What makes thermoplastic AFPs superior to thermoset AFPs

  4. What is the in-situ consolidation of thermoplastic composites?

  5. The effects of different layup conditions on porosity, layer joining, and processing speed

  6. Tooling temperature

  7. Compaction force

  8. Number of layers

  9. Duration of heating

  10. Tape quality

  11. Pre-heating the incoming tape

  12. High-speed effect

  13. Heated tooling size

  14. Roller cooling

  15. History of innovations in the in-situ consolidation process

  16. Other Key mechanisms

  17. Adhesion

  18. Intimate Contact by improved surface finish of tape

  19. Self-Adherence of Polymeric Chain

  20. Degree of bonding

  21. Crystallization

  22. Thermal Degradation

  23. Article Summary and references

Why do thermoplastic composites cost more than thermoset composites?

The development of thermoplastic polymeric matrix materials has not yet reached the same level as thermosets. This may be because of high process temperatures and lower productivity with thermoplastics. As opposed to thermoset composite materials, thermoplastic composite materials have no tackiness at room temperature and are solid at room temperature. Despite the fact that the matrix has already been polymerized, the viscosity values remain very high, making the process more complex and expensive than thermosets.

Why thermoplastic composites are preferred over thermoset composites?