Inspection flags teaser

Inspection flaps with composite overmolding

If the mechanical requirements are particularly high, continuous fiber-reinforced sandwich components based on resin or even metal components are generally used. Economical, functional, and lightweight components are especially in demand in the automotive and aerospace industries. At the same time, the pressure for sustainable, recyclable products is also increasing. 

In collaboration with Engel, Ensinger offers a complete solution that is lightweight, high-strength, versatile and environmentally friendly. TECATEC organic sheets used as a thermoplastic base are molded into high-strength structural components using the organomelt process developed by Engel. In the same process step, functional elements from the same material group as the matrix material are molded on. This opens innovative design concepts, fields of application, and contributes to sustainability due to the purely thermoplastic material approach.

Production of purely thermoplastic composite components with functional integration

With this technology, functionalised PEEK parts with complex structures such as inspection flaps can be produced efficiently and automatically in large quantities.

The Ensinger TECATEC composite of carbon fibres with an LM-PEAK matrix (LM meaning low melting) is heated and formed into a component using special thermoforming tools. This thermoformed composite can then be overmolded with fastening elements made from the higher-melting polymer PEEK in the same process step. This enables the production of fully functional, tool-ready components that would otherwise require complex manufacturing and joining processes necessary with thermoset composites.

TECATEC PEEK GF50 S296 semipreg V01 Teaser
TECATEC PAEK GF50 S296 CP/IP/OS V01 natural

Advantages at a glance

Shaping and functionalisation in one process step

Functional elements such as threaded sleeves or rivet feet can be integrated directly into the process. This functional implementation eliminates the need to design complex connections, and the assembly effort is reduced. The new design freedom also enables innovative, space-saving, and lightweight component designs with increased functionalisation.

All in one - economical, functional, versatile

High production volumes, design freedom and mechanical properties comparable to thermoset components - the result is products that combine the best of composite processing and injection molding. 

Sustainable recycling concept thanks to purely thermoplastic materials

Since both the matrix of the organosheet and the injection molding material come from the same polymer family, the component can be fully recycled and reused at the end of its service life in line with the objectives of a circular economy. 

Weight saving through thermoplastic composite lightweight components 

Continuous fiber-reinforced composites consist of carbon or glass fiber fabrics embedded in a thermoplastic matrix. Compared to metal components, they enable weight savings of up to 60 percent. By suitably combining different material structures in terms of fiber orientation and fabric type within the organosheet, load path-compatible designs can be the result. This allows the lightweight construction potential to be even better utilised.

Opportunities for the mobility of tomorrow  

High-strength, purely thermoplastic components have not only established themselves in the automotive industry, but the thermoplastic lightweight composite parts are also attracting interest in other sectors such as aerospace. They are increasingly replacing thermoset or metallic structural parts and components for passenger cabins as well. Sustainable polymer solutions are destined for numerous applications in passenger aircraft, drones, and UAVs.

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