Spirit AeroSystems. has developed a system and method for fusing thermoplastic composite components using conductive fibers and a multi-layer composite pressure pad. The innovative process involves induction welding to join the components, ensuring a strong bond. GlobalData’s report on Spirit AeroSystems gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Spirit AeroSystems, Photovoltaic drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. Spirit AeroSystems's grant share as of January 2024 was 56%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Induction welding system for thermoplastic composite components

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc

A newly filed patent (Publication Number: US20230398748A1) describes a system and method for fusing thermoplastic composite components together using induction welding. The system includes a composite part with two thermoplastic composite components, each with faying surfaces, conductive fibers, and matrix materials. A multi-layer composite pressure pad, consisting of a first layer with non-conductive reinforcement and a second layer that remains rigid at high temperatures, is placed over the components. An inductor is activated to heat the faying surfaces for fusion via induction welding. Additionally, a separation layer may be used to protect non-faying surfaces during the process.

The method involves placing the thermoplastic composite components together, adding a separation layer, and placing the multi-layer composite pressure pad over them. The activated inductor then induction welds the faying surfaces together. The separation layer, typically a release film, has a higher melting point than the matrix materials of the components and the pressure pad. Conduction from the components melts the pressure pad's matrix material, creating a melted portion that remains contained within the pad. This innovative system and method offer a precise and efficient way to fuse thermoplastic composite components, ensuring a strong bond between the materials.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.