Carbon/aluminium composite wire can give unique multifunctional properties:
high strength, low weight, high conductivity, and low thermal expansion. It has many potential applications, including greatly improved overhead conductors, but extreme processing difficulties prevent its exploitation. A group of academic and industrial experts in composites and electricity distribution aims for the breakthrough of devising the first continuous process for this wire, and to exploit its advanced properties in a new conductor design which will allow Europe to meet growing electricity demand with reduced environmental impact.
Overcome the interfacial problems between carbon and molten aluminium, which prevent production of the wire
Facilitate its continuous production. Research its use in a conductor of: high opacity;
Devise advanced conductor-winding techniques
Facilitate expansion of the overhead electricity network with reduced environmental impact through fewer new lines (~500km less per year) and lower towers. Promote exploitation of the composite in a wide range of applications (e.g. robotics, aerospace). Work Description
Research flux chemistry, plasma treatment and wire shaping to allow infiltration of carbon fibre by molten aluminium for optimum composite properties. Develop liquid metal control to combine these technologies in a pilot continuous route. Design an advanced conductor
Develop special winding techniques to cope with the highly stiff wire and produce test lengths. Compile a technical-economic assessment including exploitation prospects in wider applications. RelevanceRealisation of this multi-functional composite is only possible through specialist knowledge, in accordance with Activity NMP-2. The ambitious research involves the favoured topics of chemistry and surface science. Application areas are in energy, and longer term.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologymaterials engineeringcoating and films
- engineering and technologymaterials engineeringcomposites
- natural scienceschemical sciencesinorganic chemistrymetals
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectrical engineeringpower engineeringelectric power distribution
- natural scienceschemical sciencesinorganic chemistryinorganic compounds
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project