2020 №04 (04) DOI of Article
2020 №04 (06)

The Paton Welding Journal 2020 #04
The Paton Welding Journal, 2020, #4, 30-35 pages

Welding of thermoplastic polymer composites in the aircraft industry (Review)

M.V. Iurzhenko1, M.V. Korab1, R.V. Kolisnyk1, O.P. Masiuchok1, A.S. Andreev2 and V.S. Petropolsky2

1E.O. Paton Electric Welding Institute of the NAS of Ukraine 11 Kazymyr Malevych Str., 03150, Kyiv, Ukraine. E-mail:
2Antonov Company 1 Akademika Tupoleva Str., 03062, Kyiv, Ukraine, E-mail:

The volume of polymer composite structures in the aircraft industry is steadily increasing. Polymer composites based on thermosetting matrices are traditional in this field, but it is important to use new thermoplastic composites (TPCs), which have several advantages over thermosetting ones. The use of thermoplastic composite materials makes it possible to actively use welding processes in the production of structures, which significantly increases the productivity of work and reduces their cost. In the aircraft industry 3 types of heat-resistant polymers of the class of polyarylene are mostly used: polyetheretherketones (PEEK and PEKK), polyetherimide (PEI) and polyphenylene sulfide (PPS). Aeronautical structures are characterized by a large variety and complexity of forms, that’s why almost all known methods of plastic welding are involved for joining. The resistance welding of polymer materials applying embedded elements made of metal mesh or carbon fabric is actively used. Induction welding technology is suitable for joining structures made of conductive carbon composites. Ultrasonic welding, laser welding, and indirect-heated tool welding are also used in aircraft engineering. Nowadays, welding processes are usually digitally controlled with permanent data storage, but currently the agenda is to move to linear process control using temperature monitoring. This paper, based on the materials of European publications, presents examples of the application of different welding methods in the manufacture of structures made of modern polymer thermoplastic composites in the aircraft industry. 16 Ref., 9 Figures.
Keywords: polymer composites, thermoplastics, welded joints, resistance welding, induction welding, ultrasonic welding

Received 13.02.2020


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