Frequently asked questions

 

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Our team have gathered responses to frequently asked questions. Still can't find the answer you need?  Contact us

In general, TenCate materials are ordered from the manufacturing facilities where they are made. TenCate maintains customer service personnel at our facilities in Fairfield, California; Morgan Hill, California; Langley Mill, United Kingdom; Camarillo, California; and Nijverdal, Netherlands, to help fill orders.

Visit our locations page for direct facility contact details. 

Morgan Hill, California

  • Aerospace thermoset prepregs, film adhesives, and syntactics
  • Aerospace grade Cetex thermoplastic unitapes, fabrics, and laminates
  • TenCate AmberTool tooling prepregs

Fairfield, California

  • Aerospace thermoset prepregs, film adhesives, and syntactics
  • Compression molded parts and bulk molding compounds (thermoset and thermoplastic)

Langley Mill, United Kingdom

  • Industrial and aerospace thermoset systems
  • TenCate AmberTool tooling prepregs
  • Honeycomb core (global distribution)

Nijverdal, Netherlands

  • TenCate Cetex thermoplastic fabric prepregs
  • Fabric-based multi-ply laminates

Camarillo, California

  • Industrial grade thermoplastic composites (Nylon, PET, HDPE, PC/ABS, PP etc.)
  • All footwear and footwear orthotic thermoplastic laminates

TenCate takes pride in setting a high standard for responsiveness and lead times on deliveries.  Our lead times are generally six to eight weeks for standard products. If we have the required raw materials in stock, then our lead times are normally less than six  weeks, and can be expedited for faster delivery if needed.

As a result of numerous updates from federal and local regulatory agencies , it is more effective to provide customers with the most current version of SDS's,  rather than having them online.  Please send SDS inquiries from North America to info@tcac-usa.com. Inquiries from Europe and Asia, may be sent to tcacsales@tencate.com

As a result of numerous updates from federal and local regulatory agencies, we directly provide customers with the most current version of safety data sheets (SDS), rather than risk an outdated online version. Please send SDS inquiries from North America and Asia to info@tcac-usa.com. Inquiries from Europe may be sent to tcacsales@tencate.com.

TenCate makes several large compression molded parts.  The largest parts are approximately 60 inches long by 8 inches at the base by 12 inches high.  This part can be seen on our parts gallery and is the Boeing/Bell V-22 wing fence which is made on TenCate's 1000 ton press in Fairfield.  Compression molded parts require up to 2,000 pounds per square inch of molding force, hence the actual maximum size of the part is a function of our press size. 

Yes, TenCate has both technical papers and a process guide for chopped fiber compression molding. Please refer to our Resources section on our website. Some of our processing guides are available in hard copy only, so please furnish your full mailing address so we can send them to you. Plus TenCate has a team of subject matter experts to address any initial questions you may have. We also have experts on staff in tool design and part optimization methods. 

Complex shaped parts that would be difficult to make with continuous ply carbon fiber prepregs can be made quite easily with chopped fiber compression molding techniques.  Often the strength of a properly designed compression molded part would be similar in strength to a quasi-isotropic continuous fiber part in open hole compression, a key design value. 

Bulk molding compounds (BMC) are typically offered in a one inch and a half inch length, typically in 1/8 inch width.   Larger parts may utilize up to two inch fiber lengths. In general, the longer the fiber length the higher the tensile strength is of the final part.  However, a long fiber length can not be used with complex, thin walled parts as the bulk molding compound flakes are relatively stiff.  So a common length used is one inch. 

Yes, TenCate has a significant amount of data on various fibers and fabrics that were either generated internally or part of a screening/qualification program.  In addition to mechanical data, TenCate has a variety of specific data on our resin systems including CTE, outgassing, Tg, gel times and viscosities.   Data sheets carry representative data on a small selection of fiber and fabrics. Please contact your account representative or TenCate's technical service for more information. 

TenCate has a TenCate AmberTool Processing Guide available on our website in the Resources section, under Processing Guides. Plus we have tooling experts on staff to answer any questions you may have. 

Tooling prepregs are typically chosen by first considering the Tg of the tool to ensure it is capable of withstanding the typical cure temperature of the part. Ideally, one would like to see the Tg of the tool to be at least 10°C / 50°F higher than the cure of the part.

Second, a critical factor to consider is the processing temperature of the tooling board master.  Since foam masters are typically low Tg, it is critical that during the intial cure of the tooling prepreg master that it say dimensionally stable. If the tooling foam master has a Tg of 150°F, then one would not want to exceed this during the cure of the tooling prepreg.  Also remember that tooling prepregs must undergo a final free standing high temperature post cure to be able to withstand multiple part cure cycles and maintain long term durability. 

Lastly, outime is a final consideration depending upon the size of the tool and the time it will take to lay up the tool. 

Yes, tools as large as 130 foot long by 10 foot wide have been fabricated with TenCate's HX series of tooling materials.   Tools may be net molded or machine molded to final part dimensions. In net molding, a foam master is prepared to the exact part shape. From this master, the final tool is developed.  In higher temperature or very large tools, the final tool may represent an oversized part shape and it is then machined to the exact size. This is commonly done for high temperature tools where the final cure temperature may create CTE distortions or in very large tools where final dimensional accuracy is required.   Typically TenCate's HX series is net molded, while TenCate's AmberTool TC40 BMI is machine molded to its final shape. 

It may be possible to cure and consolidate TenCate's HX series of prepregs with only vacuum only pressures, but it is not recommended.  The reason is that the final tool will see multiple cycles during its operation, and if there is porosity in the tool, it will eventually leak. Once that occurs, the tool can not be fixed.  For that reason, we recommend using autoclave pressures to achieve good laminate consolidation.  The post cure may be freestanding and done in an oven to achieve the final Tg.  The final post cure temperature should be at least 50°F degrees higher than than the final part temperature. 

Typically a low temperature, low cost tooling board master is utilized. When this method is used, to maintain dimensional accuracy it is important to minimize thermal expansion. As such, TenCate AmberTool tooling prepregs are cured initially at a low temperature on the master, then they undergo a free standing postcure to reach their ultimate Tg.

TenCate maintains aerospace approved manufacturing locations in Fairfield and Morgan Hill, CA, Langley Mill, UK, and Nijverdal, Netherlands.   Industrial thermoplastic manufacturing locations are in Camarillo, CA and Burlington,Ontario, Canada. TenCate maintains a part production facility in Guangzhou, China for consumer electronics and footwear products. 

Contact us at info@tcac-usa.com for North American inquiries or in Europe at tcacsales@tencate.com.  Alternatively, please feel free to contact us by phone at the following phone numbers:

Morgan Hill, CA Customer Service - +1.408.776.0700

Fairfield, CA Customer Service - +1.707.359.3400

Langley Mill, UK Customer Service - +44 (0)1773.530899

Nijverdal, Netherlands Customer Service - +31 (0)548.633.933

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