A Review of Welding Technologies for Thermoplastic Composites in Aerospace Applications
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Reinforced thermoplastic structural detail parts and assemblies are being developed to be included in current aeronautic programs. Thermoplastic composite technology intends to achieve improved properties and low cost processes. Welding of detail parts permits to obtain assemblies with weight reduction and cost saving. Currently, joining composite materials is a matter of intense research because traditional joining technologies are not directly transferable to composite structures. Fusion bonding and the use of thermoplastic as hot melt adhesives offer an alternative to mechanical fastening and thermosetting adhesive bonding. Fusion bonding technology, which originated from the thermoplastic polymer industry, has gained a new interest with the introduction of thermoplastic matrix composites, which are currently regarded as candidate for primary aircraft structures. This paper reviewed the state of the art of the welding technologies devised to aerospace industry, including the fields that Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho and Universidade de São Paulo are deeply involved.