Manufacturing for structural applications of multifunctional composites

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Manufacturing for structural applications of multifunctional composites

Host Institution: Imperial College London, The University of Bristol

Lead Investigator: Ivana Partridge, Paul Robinson

Aims

  • Develop manufacturing processes that integrate multifunctional mass/heat/charge transport capabilities within structural configurations, such as doubly-curved surfaces, sandwich panels, and plates with stiffeners and frames
  • Carry out a systems level review, including cost-benefit analysis, to identify the constraints involved in taking some of the multifunctional composites concepts through, from the current very low TRL space, towards industrial application

Methodology

  •  Study of electrical energy storage capability based on supercapacitors exploiting a hierarchical composite, incorporating carbon aerogel.
  •  Making microbraids of epoxy soluble thermoplastic threads with very thin metal wires to enable the delivery of a pre-determined balance of mechanical, thermal, electrical and self-sensing attributes to a final composite structure.

Pathways to Impact

  • Aerospace partners who require structures to perform multiple functions to reduce parasitic weight
  • Automotive and wind energy sectors may also become early adopters
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