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Industry News
Advanced composites research center opens in U.K.

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and The Boeing Co. have opened the ₤4.5 million AMRC Composite Centre in the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Yorkshire, U.K.

Posted on: 11/10/2008
Source: CompositesWorld
The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash.) on Nov. 6 officially opened the ₤4.5 million AMRC Composite Centre in the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Yorkshire, U.K. The new center, a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Boeing, is dedicated to enabling U.K. manufacturers to create better products, faster, cheaper, easier and greener using composite materials.

Bart Moenster, chairman of the board of the AMRC with Boeing and director of Manufacturing Technology at Boeing Phantom Works, invited deputy chair of Yorkshire Forward, Linda Pollard, to launch the region's first composite materials research center.

"Advanced composites are revolutionizing the aerospace industry and are here to stay," Moenster said. "The technologies developed by the AMRC Composites Centre will enable the Yorkshire and Humber region to take advantage of this growth via new companies with new capabilities, while helping the University of Sheffield prepare engineers with the knowledge to use these capabilities."

The center is equipped with specialized equipment for composites manufacture, including two autoclaves, a cleanroom, and an automated composite placement system giving engineers the capability to undertake manufacturing research for next-generation civil aircraft, automotive and offshore energy. AMRC says that although aviation is a large and important market for composites, the large aerospace companies involved such as Rolls-Royce, Messier-Dowty and BAE Systems won't be the only companies that are capable of benefiting from the center's research.  

"The Composite Centre is an excellent resource for increasing technology transfer to companies of all sizes and types," says research director of the AMRC, Professor Keith Ridgway.  "Our experience of collaborating with over 40 industrial leaders, means that our technical support; technology development; and supply chain guidance is extremely relevant for anyone looking to enter this expanding market." 

It will be working with local small and medium sized companies, with consideration to the Regional Economic Strategy of concentrating on the Advanced Materials and Engineering and Materials initiative. Regionally it will be key to developing the Advanced Materials and Metals cluster strategy.   

Educationally, the Composite Centre will create opportunities for aspiring young men and women engineers to learn about this rapidly expanding field. Geof Tomlinson, pro vice-chancellor for Research at the University of Sheffield, said, "I'm delighted that the University of Sheffield's AMRC is going to expand into the dynamic, growing area of composite materials research with the establishment of the Composite Centre. Our existing partnership with Boeing at the AMRC is a great example of the way universities can work with world-class organisations to bridge the gap between emerging research and industrial application, and we hope to continue to build on these strengths."

Information: Visit www.amrc.co.uk or e-mail t.scherer@amrc.co.uk.

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