Supporting UK Composites

EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub Announces Two New Core Projects

CIMComp, the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub, is pleased to announce the addition of two new Core Projects, which will commence in May 2020 with a duration of 36 months each.

The first project, “Design Simulation Tools and Process Improvements for NCF Preforming,” (PI: Professor Michael Sutcliffe, University of Cambridge, CO-I’s: Dr Lee Harper, University of Nottingham, Professor Richard Butler, University of Bath) will be completed in collaboration with Hexcel Reinforcements UK, Gordon Murray Design, GKN Aerospace and Dassault Systèmes.

Focusing on dry non-crimp fabrics (NCF) and double diaphragm forming (DDF), the project will deliver advancements in forming simulation and material characterisation to ensure accurate and effective design and manufacture of high-performance preforms suitable for liquid moulding. Many of the research challenges that the project aims to address were identified in the Hub's recent Roadmapping exercise. CIMComp is also pleased to welcome the University of Bath as a new Spoke member.

The second project, “Layer by Layer Curing (LbL),” (PI: Dr Alex Skordos, Cranfield University, CO-I: Dr James Kratz, University of Bristol) will be completed in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, the National Composites Centre, Heraeus Noblelight and Airbus with additional support from the University of Nantes.

A previous feasibility study has shown that in relatively simple planar geometries, the challenge of insufficient adherence between layers/sublaminates seen during high-speed consolidation can be mitigated through enhanced control of the level of pre-cure. This project will advance this concept through development of the scientific tools required to deliver these benefits at scale and greater levels of complexity, enabling the process to deliver its high rate benefits in an industrial context.

Both proposals were reviewed by a panel of scientific experts, who followed the EPSRC standard peer review panel guidelines on confidentiality and conflicts of interest.

Hub Manager, Lee Harper, said: “It is great to see these projects announced following successful feasibility studies. Once again, the research is aligned to the needs of industry and it is great to have the support of so many partners. We will endeavour to provide regular project updates through the CIMComp website"




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