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A new three year EPSRC (CIM Comp) project, led by Nick Warrior, University of Nottingham, aims to improve the mechanical properties of the compression moulded components by incorporating preforms of continuous fibres in selected regions.
The project will develop a linked process and structural model of a compression moulding process. High-rate compression moulding (stamping) offers the fastest production route for composites but mechanical properties are currently limited by the low fibre volume fractions achievable, the discontinuous form of the fibres and the process-induced fibre orientation.
The project, building on knowledge gained in previous CIM Comp projects of “Embedded Inserts and Innovative Preforms and Complex Geometry” will utilise equipment funded by the Centre. All four of the CIM Comp institutes, University of Bristol, Cranfield, Manchester and Nottingham will be involved in the project.
Letters of support for the project have been received from Festo GB, Herzog, Cygnet Tex-Web, Sigmatex, Luxfer Gas, Bentley, FormTech and Coriolis. The project will deliver a technology and a supporting process model for shell and enclosed structures using placed unidirectional fibres and textile or brnaded preforms, Demonstator parts are expected during the second half of the project.
More information about this project, as well as others currently run by CIM Comp is available at http://www.epsrc-cimc.ac.uk/
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