Aerospace services supplier Triumph Group and Embraer have entered a cooperative agreement to demonstrate advancements in thermoplastic structures.

The partners will jointly work on a thermoplastic elevator structure being developed by Triumph Aerospace Structures.

Triumph Aerospace Structures’ Interiors designs and manufactures thermo-acoustic insulation, reinforced thermoplastic and other composite components for aerospace original equipment manufacturers.

Thermoplastic composites are widely used as a replacement to aluminium and other metals in aircraft.

The elevator structure has been assembled using induction welding and features unidirectional carbon-reinforced thermoplastic material.

Triumph Aerospace Structures Engineering vice-president Dave Dennison said: “Triumph has made great progress in the innovation of thermoplastic structure joining.

“We are excited to demonstrate the major leap in the technical maturity we have developed in large thermoplastic primary structures and induction welding.”

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As part of the collaboration, Embraer will be responsible for incorporating the thermoplastic elevator structure in an aircraft platform. The company will also conduct in-flight tests.

Embraer Chief Engineering Office composites specialist Richard S. Oliveira said: “Working with Triumph to achieve a certifiable component has been a rewarding experience. Thermoplastics manufacturing and integration can certainly add value to our products.”

The in-flight testing will show the technology readiness and airworthiness of the structure, as well as allow it to progress from the lab into manufacturing.

In September, Triumph Group supported the final assembly and ground testing of the XB-1 demonstrator aircraft by delivering engine throttle control system components for the aircraft.