Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Collaborative efforts to turn promising composite materials for transport into marketable products

Despite significant developments achieved by the EU transport industry in composites, more needs to be done to strengthen its competitiveness globally. A European network on composites for transport applications can go a long way towards achieving this.
Collaborative efforts to turn promising composite materials for transport into marketable products
It is necessary to reinforce the bridge between research, industry and users to avoid commercial rewards of EU research being reaped elsewhere. Fragmentation particularly among SMEs in most steps of the value chain is frequently a barrier to developing innovative and high value added products. This impedes the transfer of research and development results to market at national, European and international levels.

To facilitate the development of innovative products and processes and introduce them to the European market, the EU-funded MADMAX (Advanced material textile for reinforced structures for complex lightweight applications) project worked to establish an EU-wide network of key industrial and research actors for composite materials for the transportation sector.

Work began by identifying the industrial needs and technological limits of composites. This was done through interviews with employees in the automotive, aeronautic, railway and marine transport industries. As a result, the MADMAX team was able to determine the major obstacles to composite development for each transport sector.

Findings were fed into a vision document in the form of a freely accessible handbook that targets students and composite designers, manufacturers and researchers. It addresses various stages of composite development, including material characterisation, composite manufacture, numerical modelling and structural health monitoring. The handbook proposes a research roadmap to realise future composite technologies.

Project partners laid the foundation for an association dedicated to composite materials for transportation. The statutes have been prepared and the pan-European cluster is slated to become operational within a year following project completion.

MADMAX outcomes should ensure the development of highly innovative textile processes and high-performing flexible materials with significant improvements in mechanical behaviours and integrated functions. The speedy transfer of research and development results to industry will ultimately lead to the introduction of new advanced textile materials into the European market.

Related information


Composite materials, MADMAX, material textile, reinforced structures, lightweight applications
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