Investigation of thermoforming processes of aerostructures: Simulation and microstructural analysis

Creative Commons License

Çobanoğlu M., Ece R. E., Ünlü B., Öz Y., Toros S., ÖZTÜRK F.

International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00170-024-13629-1
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Compendex, INSPEC, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Aerospace applications, Crystallization, PEKK, Rapid manufacturing, Thermoforming, Thermoplastic
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


A series of experimental and numerical studies were carried out on the mechanical and geometric performance of an aerostructural part produced by a material out-of-autoclave stamp forming process using unidirectional (UD) carbon fiber (CF) reinforced polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), which provides advantages like reshaping, recycling, welding, and low serial manufacturing costs. As a novelty, initial part geometry, different types of springs, and their attachment type were examined experimentally and compared with simulations. Compression tests were performed to determine mechanical strengths which reach levels up to 550 MPa. In addition, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were conducted to determine the crystallinity which occurs depending on the cooling regimes of the material. The crystallinity has been observed to vary regionally ranging from 16 to 21%. However, the crystallinity of the part towards the cold mold region decreased from 20 to 17%. In addition, simulations were performed to observe and control the occurrence of wrinkles and other defects.