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Investigating artificially intelligent computer systems for applying resin transfer moulding technology


Resin transfer moulding (RTM) and its derivatives offer SMEs a relatively low cost entry into a flexible process for the production of quality polymer composite parts in medium to high production runs. Increased legislation on styrene emission makes RTM one of the few viable options for moulders using conventional open mould processes. SMEs need technical support in applying the RTM process, from part design, material selection to tool optimisation. Powerful computing technology is now accessible to the smallest company, with the potential to capture and simulate the intuition and expertise of RTM experts. It is proposed to develop a flexible, intelligent computer system for the application of RTM technology. It would be difficult to codify complex information received from the moulder into explicit rules in conventional expert systems. Combining neural networks and expert systems has the potential for producing a system with the ability to solve problems based on progressive learning. Rapra Technology Ltd., TNO and Napier University are the RTD performers responsible for developing the user friendly, trainable framework. A consortium of EU SME proposers will train the framework into a system capable of solving RTM problems. Following the 2 year research period, will be further development to produce a commercial software tool for the totally integrated application of polymer composites using RTM.

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Delaware Road Unit 1
PL18 9AR Gunnislake

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