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Network on the Future Use of Composites in Transport

15 July 2002

A new initiative to facilitate composite materials technology transfer between the transportation sectors is being co-ordinated by the Advanced Railway Research Centre (ARRC) at the University of Sheffield.

The COMPOSIT thematic network brings together researchers, designers, manufacturers and end-users of composite materials across the aerospace, automotive and rail industries. The mechanism for this “bringing together” is a series of ten workshops to be held throughout 2002-2003. Each workshop will address a specific theme or issue relating to the use of composites in transport by providing a forum for comparison, collaboration and cross-fertilisation between the different sectors. The intention is to encourage knowledge transfer and promote best practice in the use of composites within the transport system. As an output from each workshop, areas of common interest will be highlighted and future research needs identified and prioritised. Centres of excellence that could act as focal points to address these research needs will also be identified. The project is funded by the European Commission’s DG Research under the Fifth Framework program.

The COMPOSIT consortium is headed by four partners, each representing one of the industrial sectors with a vested interest in the project: ARRC for the rail industry, EADS Deutchsland for the aerospace industry, Centro Ricerche Fiat for the automotive industry and SICOMP for the composites processing industry. Six additional members provide further specialist technical input: D’Appolonia, IKV, INEGI and the Universities of Leuven, Newcastle and Zaragoza.

Two workshops have already taken place on the subjects of repairability and design. Upcoming workshops during 2002 include:
“The Crashworthiness of Composite Transportation Structures” to be held at TRL in Berkshire, UK on the 3rd October 2002.
“Composite Manufacturing for Transport Applications” to be held at IKV in Aachen, Germany on 5th November 2002.

A further six workshops throughout 2003 will cover the topics of lightweighting, joining, recycling, modelling, fire safety and new material concepts.

COMPOSIT is an open forum and anyone with an interest in the use of composites in transport is welcome to participate.





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