The Composites Innovation Cluster (CiC), which is supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), reported that it has funded two additional projects in its third year. The funding body allowed the consortium to reallocate these funds as part of a competition aimed at delivering additional value from the original grant, generating additional jobs and growth during the life of the program.
The first of these projects, ThermoCARB, sees Formaplex, Hampshire, UK, prove a UK capability in the production of over-molding thermoplastic composite components for the automotive sector. The company will establish a production process and cell to manufacture a thermoplastic composite rear bulkhead component.
Geneos forms the second new project which will see Haydale Composite Solutions, Kingston, UK, working with BAE Systems, London, use advanced thermal modeling to model the feasibility of using graphene to enhance the thermal properties of aerospace grade composite tooling materials. This will enable the manufacture of prototype graphene-enhanced tooling materials which will subsequently be tested and compared against the model predictions.
“The thermal efficiency of tooling materials is becoming a major issue for composite component manufacturers and through this project we will use advanced thermal modeling to show that graphene enhanced materials can improve the efficiency of composite tooling,” said Matthew Thornton, senior manager at Haydale Composite Solutions.
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The teams are still working on the design but the aircraft is expected to have a wingspan of about 3 feet and will be made of double ply, carbon fiber.