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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P021573/1
Title: 2-D Forming of Low Cost Steered Fibre Laminates
Principal Investigator: Harrison, Dr P
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Dassault Group ESI INEGI
National Composites Centre University of Nottingham
Department: College of Science and Engineering
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 August 2017 Ends: 31 July 2020 Value (£): 383,551
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design & Testing Technology Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
EP/P021328/1 EP/P021379/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Mar 2017 EPSRC Manufacturing Prioritisation Panel March 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
By 2020, the advanced composite market is predicted to be worth around £17 billion, with automotive the second largest growth sector (after wind energy) but still falling far short of its enormous growth potential; the high cost of production for advanced composite products is still a major obstacle to their wider exploitation. Government legislation on the reduction of emissions is an important driver across the transport sector and one way to achieve prescribed targets is through the substitution of relatively heavy metallic components with highly optimised light-weight advanced polymer composite parts. Consequently, there is an urgent need to address the economic viability of manufacturing with advanced polymer composites and realise their full weight and fuel saving potential. The proposed project aims to contribute to this overarching goal by introducing an ambitious low-cost route to manufacturing highly optimised advanced composite structures.

The ability to produce 'steered-fibre laminates' containing non-linear fibre paths, creates a step change in the design space for advanced composite structures. The designer is able to reposition stress concentrations away from holes and inserts, improve a laminate's resistance to buckling and failure, and to enhance a laminate's dynamic response to vibrations. Ultimately this can lead to lighter, more optimised structures for use in the aerospace and automotive sectors, enhancing fuel efficiency and contributing to the broader goals of reduced cost and lower emissions across the transport sector. The aim of the proposed project is to implement and demonstrate a novel and disruptive manufacture process that can produce low-cost high-quality steered-fibre laminates, without use of expensive, capital intensive automated fibre placement machines (the current solution). The new process is best described as 2-D forming; in order to support this novel manufacture process, a custom-designed suite of computer aided design an manufacture software will be developed. Computational tools for digital manufacturing are essential if 2-D forming is to be successfully achieved without inducing severe wrinkling and buckling of the deforming biaxial sheet. Reducing cost will effectively bring fibre-steering technology to a broader range of applications, increasing its economic impact and bringing new manufacturing capabilities to a wider industrial base, with the UK leading the way in this important area of manufacturing.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk