A new industrial academic chair launched by Hexcel (Stamford, CT, US) and the Mines St Etienne School of Engineering (Saint-Étienne, France) will carry out research into the digital modeling and simulation of resin vacuum infusion process in primary structures for the aerospace industry. Specifically, it will include modeling on multi-scale (from microns to meters) and the multi-physical (solid, fluid and porous media mechanics, physical chemistry of polymers, thermal physics).
Hexcel decided to involve Mines St Etienne in its research program in order to enhance theoretical knowledge of the vacuum infusion process and help users to understand the process, so as to make appropriate evaluations for the manufacture of its structural components.
The chair is sponsored by Hexcel customers, Paulin Fideu, R&D technologies manager at Airbus and Patrick Henrat, director of technologies at Safran Composites.
Professor Sylvain Drapier will head the chair and will supervise five theses prepared by experts in aerospace engineering, mechanics, digital methods and applied mathematics.
The chair was launched in the presence of:
· Luc Rousseau, vice-chairman of the Department for Economy, Industry, Energy and Technologies at the French Ministry of Economy
· Philippe Jamet, CEO of Institut Mines Telecom
· Yvon Raak, chairman of the board at MINES Saint-Etienne
· Pascal Ray, director of MINES Saint-Etienne
· Dominique Badel, president of the I3M.SE foundation, honorary president of ESSO SAF
· Thierry Merlot, Hexcel vice president and general manager Europe/Asia-Pacific
· Paul Mackenzie, Hexcel vice president R&T