Thermoplastic Matrix CFC / Metallic Joint Framework Structure Manufacture

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Thermoplastic Matrix CFC / Metallic Joint Framework Structure Manufacture

Host Institution: Cranfield University

Lead Investigator: Andrew Mills


  • The project’s manufacturing concept is to use thermoplastic CFC pre-manufactured tubular framework pieces, produced at low cost by using constant section. The ends of these sections are then formed over metallic joining pieces by heating and compression moulding.
  • Through the metallic pieces having surface detail providing mechanical interlocking, the robustness of the joints is not dependent on adhesion and is hence insensitive to surface preparation and hence safe for life critical structures, without extensive costly NDE.
  • The metallic joint pieces can be attached to other metallic components and structures through conventional low cost techniques such as bolting and welding, allowing rapid assembly.


  • Establish the feasibility and potential affordability of the conceptual process, in terms of; frame section and joining piece manufacture and frame and joint attachment technique.
  • Propose framework designs based on the proposed approach for two structural applications.


  • Framework design and section manufacturing  study
  • Section and joint attachment study
  • Joining piece manufacturing study
  • Joining process investigation
  • Manufacture and testing of structural elements
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