Advanced Engineering 2019

NETZSCH and USQ Join in Research Partnership to Advance Automated Composite Manufacturing

18 January 2019

NETZSCH and USQ Join in Research Partnership to Advance Automated Composite Manufacturing

Accepting challenges and creating solutions - these are the goals of NETZSCH Research Partnerships.

A new research partnership between NETZSCH Analysing and Testing and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) will focus on advancing the automated production of composite materials using dielectric sensor technology.

Research institutes and NETZSCH cooperate intensively and in close exchange with one another, in order to advance new and emerging technologies.

Dr Alexander Chaloupka, Business Field Manager Process Analytics, NETZSCH Analysing and Testing, said a newly developed sensor from NETZSCH makes the characterisation possible of the critical material properties during the manufacturing of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), allowing for reduced cycle times and lower manufacturing costs.

“The new sensor is the first of its kind that is able to deal with carbon fibres, without the necessity to shield the sensor against the fibres”, Dr Chaloupka said.

USQ’s Centre for Future Materials (CFM), led by Professor Peter Schubel, is nationally and internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in advanced materials and manufacturing.

CFM has a world-class research team, with key competence in novel composite processes, automated manufacturing, composite repair, civil composite structures, ballistic impact, nanomaterial, morphing material, thermal electrical material, geopolymer and high-performance concrete.

The centre also has strong industrial links with local, national and international SME’s and large companies.

“USQ’s strategic partnership with NETZSCH will support the delivery of smarter composite manufacturing processes for our industry partners,” Professor Schubel said.

As part of the research programme, NETZSCH and USQ will implement dielectric sensor technology in the following industry lead projects:

  • Pultrusion of construction materials (Wagners Composite Fibre Technologies)
  • Out-of-autoclave composite repair (Defence Science and Technology Group)
  • Development of composite railway sleepers (Austrak)
  • Filament winding of composite pressure tanks (Gilmour Space Technologies)

Photo provided by University of Southern Queensland

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