Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

FP7

WAVECOM Informe resumido

Project ID: 323470
Financiado con arreglo a: FP7-JTI
País: Spain

Final Report Summary - WAVECOM (Microwave assisted curing for carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites)


Executive Summary:

Suitable for carbon fiber reinforced composites manufacturing based on microwave curing of its raw materials, which has included the selection of the proper additives (dipole organic molecules or nanostructured magnetic materials) and the set up of the system at pilot plant level. A better understanding of potential distortions and residual stress effects of microwave has been obtained by using Fibre Bragg Grating technology. Tooling materials and their geometrical limitations have been obtained as well. Homogeneous temperature profile across the composite cross section and precise temperature control and no deformation have been the key issues for the development.

Further optimisation and development of process in terms of costs, flexibility and sustainability have been evaluated.

Finally, an assessment on the final properties of the composites and the benefits of this technology in economic and ecological terms has been also carried out. These developments have been carried out with a view to up scaling existing technology and developing new technology for industrial implementation.

Project Context and Objectives:

WAVECOM has addressed the following topics:

• Selection of suitable susceptors to enhance the absorption of microwave radiation. Therefore, heating time of the resin will be reduced.
• Assessment about the residual stresses and distortion of carbon reinforced epoxy composites by employing Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) technology during microwave curing.
• Implementation of the microwave curing system on a robot within an isolated cell.
• Development of moulds and determination of its geometrical limitation depending on the type of antenna finally installed.
• Economic and environmental appraisal of microwave curing of carbon reinforced epoxy composites.

The main objectives of WAVECOM project are detailed as follows:

• Investigation of the influence of additives in the resin for microwave absorption and curing.
• Investigation of the influence of microwave itself on sample properties, including shrinkage and deformation of manufactured part.
• Determination of limitation of geometry and shape of a part for example maximum radius of curvature, maximum length of bar and maximum depth of holes for microwave curing purposes.
• Design of the mould and selection of mould materials for minimum deformation and abrasion wear for microwave assisted curing for the future step of the demonstration parts.
• Economical and ecological assessment in comparison to conventional cured parts.

Project Results:

WP1: MATERIAL AND SAMPLE INVESTIGATION

OBJECTIVE

The main objective of this work package is the microwave absorption enhancement of the matrix employed to produce carbon reinforced epoxy composites.

The assessment of carbon reinforced epoxy composites by microwave curing was also evaluated and samples were manufactured.

WORK DONE

• Consolidation of the State of the Art
• Selection of microwave susceptors
• Compounding of microwave susceptors in the epoxy matrix
• Assessment about the suitability of different microwave susceptors
• Carbon reinforced epoxy composites microwave curing assessment

FINAL RESULTS

• Additives to be added in the resin for microwave absorption and curing.
• Modified carbon-epoxy prepeg cured by microwave with suitable values of Tg.

WP2: INVESTIGATION OF THE MICROWAVE CURED SAMPLES

OBJECTIVE

Assessment about the consequences of the heated profile over the properties of the carbon fiber epoxy reinforced composite due to the microwave heating.

WORK DONE

• Trials to obtain the best strategy for microwave heating
• Assessment about strain and residual stresses of microwave and conventional curing.
• Fiber Bragg Grating technology has been implemented.

FINAL RESULTS

• Methodology to evaluate influence of microwave itself on sample properties, including shrinkage and deformation of manufactured part.

WP3: DETERMINATION OF GEOMETRICAL LIMITATION OF THE MICROWAVE CURING (3D)

OBJECTIVE

Determination of the limitations in the geometry of a composite part due to the existence of unreachable zones for the microwave antenna.

WORK DONE

• Several microwave antennas have been tested during this WP in order to reduce such limitation
• Carbon prepregs with epoxy resin were evaluated in AIMPLAS´ microwave facilities.
• In order to check properties of the carbon prepeg cured by microwave, an assessment about the correlation of the position along part and properties were carried out.
• The 6 axis robot was programmed to cure conveniently different points in adefined mapped.
• Experiments to relate power, distance to sample and processing parameters by microwave curing processes of carbon reinforced composite parts were carried out.

FINAL RESULTS

• Determination of limitation of geometry and shape of a part for example maximum radius of curvature
• A model to relate irradiation time with distance to the sample, morphology of the antenna and curing degree will be obtained.

WP4: DESIGN OF THE MOULD

OBJECTIVE

Design and development of moulds suitable for microwave curing of carbon reinforced epoxy composites by means of a vacuum assisted infusion process.

WORK DONE

• Mould material selection
• Mould manufacturing

FINAL RESULTS

• Design of the mould and selection of mould materials for minimum deformation and abrasion wear for microwave assisted curing for the future step of the demonstration parts.
• Moulds fabrication is completed according to requirements of infusion process and microwave curing
• Trials have confirmed the suitability of prepared mould to microwave curing process.

WP5: ECONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

OBJECTIVE

• Sustainability Appraisal of the New Process
• Economic Analysis
• Industrial Scale-up Assessment

WORK DONE

• Most important topics related to environmental and safety issues in the manufacturing process of composites with microwave heating were evaluated.
• Related legislation and the most important requirements were also identified.
• Definition of Best Practice Codes related to environmental issues and safety for new process
• An economic study is performed by evaluating the data gathered throughout the project´s life, in order to assess the viability of the developed process.
• Scale up of materials, moulds and equipment were defined.

FINAL RESULTS

• A Best Practice Guideline about environmental and safety issues was prepared in order to a company has information to work with microwave curing and can evaluate its suitability to the process.
• Scale-up materials, moulds and equipment have been assessed
• Economical and ecological assessment in comparison to conventional cured parts.

WP6: DISSEMINATION OF THE PROJECT RESULTS AND IPR

OBJECTIVE

Dissemination of knowledge generated in the project.

Dissemination of RTD results

WORK DONE

• Definition of the plans for using the project results (Foreground) either through further development and commercial exploitation or through further research
• Results obtained in the project were presented in different forums
• To support the dissemination activities several communication tools were developed such as press releases, newsletters, report of the trainings, articles, industry letters, etc.
• Dissemination of the WAVECOM concept and results through suitable events & conferences (Composites Europe (Germany) (Sept 13), JEC Composites show (France) (March 13), ICCST-9 Conference (Italy) (April 13), MATCOMP´13 (Spain) (July 13)).
• The web pages of the Topic Manager and the Coordinator were updated regularly with news about the progress of the WAVECOM project.
• Dissemination in technical journals (JEC Magazine, MundoPlast, Plásticos y Caucho), general public awareness campaigns, e.g. through press releases have been used as dissemination tool (Levante newspaper, Europapress, etc)
• Links with external organizations in order to promote exploitation and licensing opportunities (AESICOM, LINKEDIN, etc)

FINAL RESULTS

• Highlight the new system developed in the project
• Promote the use of this new technology in various market segments
• Explain the manufacturing process (technology and processing) to facilitate market penetration.

See pictures in attached document: WAVECOM FINAL REPORT.pdf

Potential Impact:

Dissemination Activities

It is essential to highlight that a considerable number of dissemination activities have been completed during the development of the WAVECOM project (i.e. 14 dissemination activities at different levels). The project information has been disseminated via three channels:

a) Press releases.
b) Trade fairs, conferences.
c) Internet, specialized magazines, etc.

The use of various channels (internal & external) and methods (mainly written & online) assured an optimal contribution of coverage, visibility and most important setting up the scene for better market acceptance in the near future.

The activities in the Dissemination Plan covers different audiences and channels depending on the type of information to be disseminated, in order to assure the success of the project from a strategic, environmental, technologic and economic direction based on WAVECOM approach.

Dissemination tools and activities could be divided in two main groups, taking into account that each activity has been approved by the topic Manager:

a) Industrial level: The primary objectives have been to obtain results that will increase their competitiveness and market opportunities and to show these results to any potential client, in order to have a wider commercial activity and increase the company benefits. Activities such as participation in fairs, seminars, press releases are aiming these results.
b) Non-commercial level, mainly scientific level: More focussed in non-commercial promotion and scientific aspects of the work. Only non-confidential project results are susceptible of publication or dissemination in journals, web-sites, congresses, workshops, fairs and seminars.

Therefore, it is clear that the dissemination actions for WAVECOM project has continued after the end of the project, (see Dissemination activities table in SECTION A of this Report) focused on the commercial and scientific audience, aiming the successful exploitation of the project results. Different Dissemination tools have been prepared, such as:

• AIMPLAS and Topic Manager’s website have been updated with news about the progress of WAVECOM.
• WAVECOM Logo.
• Postcard for dissemination purposes.
• Press releases. Dissemination in technical journals (JEC Magazine, MundoPlast, Plásticos y Caucho), general public awareness campaigns, e.g. through press releases have been used as dissemination tool (Levante newspaper, Europapress, etc)
• Scientific communications. Dissemination of the WAVECOM concept and results through suitable events & conferences (Composites Europe (Germany) (Sept 13), JEC Composites show (France) (March 13), ICCST-9 Conference (Italy) (April 13), MATCOMP´13 (Spain) (July 13)) or contributing in the conferences held by the Topic Manager.
• Links with external organizations in order to promote exploitation and licensing opportunities (AESICOM, LINKEDIN, etc)

Potential Impact and Exploitation

The potential impacts of the project are detailed as follows:

• Degree of polymerisation of the cured samples increased. Complete curing. Reduction of manufacturing costs.
• Samples with good properties and non-distorted. Substitution of traditional manufacturing methods for low cost ones.
• Samples completely cured by means of an electromagnetic field with a special microwave antenna system despite its geometrical limitation. Wide range of composite parts available by this curing methodology.
• Non-metal mould ideal for microwave assisted curing is successfully manufactured.
• Microwave accelerated curing is better than the conventional one by autoclave in terms of reduction of time and economic issues.

o Equipment of microwave curing can be considered cost-effective if it is compared with costs of autoclave curing, nowadays used in aerospace industry. Microwave equipment is twice lower than cheaper autoclave equipment which can find in the market
o Curing process time by microwave can be decreased around 30 % compare with autoclave process.
Therefore, the protection plan of the project results has been initiated after the final meeting with the Topic Manager. For 1 result, a Model of Utility is being studied. As a general basis, the scheme in accordance with the Grant Agreement (art. II 33 & II.34) and the WAVECOM Implementation Agreement (Section 8) will be applied.

List of Websites:

AIMPLAS and Topic Manager’s website have been updated with news about the progress of WAVECOM as shown in Deliverables 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3.

The AIMPLAS web site for International Projects is:

http://oficinaproyectos.aimplas.es/

Contact details:

AIMPLAS (Coordinator)
Tlf. +34 96 136 60 40
Fax +34 96 136 60 41
proyectos@aimplas.es


Información relacionada

Contacto

Enrique Diaz, (Head of Composites)
Tel.: +34961366040
Síganos en: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Gestionado por la Oficina de Publicaciones de la UE Arriba