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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/K037315/1
Title NDT for high-value manufacturing of composites
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Wind Energy) 5%;
Energy Efficiency(Transport) 5%;
Not Energy Related 90%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr R A Smith
No email address given
Mechanical Engineering
University of Bristol
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 24 April 2013
End Date 23 July 2018
Duration 63 months
Total Grant Value £1,348,886
Industrial Sectors Manufacturing
Region South West
Programme Manufacturing : Manufacturing
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr R A Smith , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , University of Nottingham (0.000%)
Project Contact , The Manufacturing Technology Centre: MTC (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Composites Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) (0.000%)
Project Contact , UK Research Centre in Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rolls-Royce PLC (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Non-destructive testing (NDT) underpins much of the UK's manufacturing industry, particularly the high-value and specialist composite-manufacturing industry in which the UK is aiming to significantly expand its market share. Academic composites experts, manufacturers and end-users of composite components all agree that a step change in NDT of composites is required to maximise the weight-saving benefits of high-performance composites and ensure the UK can compete aggressively in future composites manufacturing. The UK's high academic ranking and industrial base in the areas of composites and NDT offer a compelling opportunity for the establishment of a UK-based academic research group specialising in the NDT of composites and aimed at assurance of manufacturing quality and process optimisation. This Manufacturing Fellowship would establish such a group at the University of Bristol, which is ideally positioned both geographically - in the heart of the aerospace manufacturing region - and organisationally, being linked with the National Composites Centre (NCC) and the UK Research Centre for Non-destructive Evaluation (RCNDE). In collaboration with two academic groups at Bristol - Ultrasonics and NDT, and the Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS) - and the NCC with its industrial partners, the fellowship will demonstrate how focused, industrially relevant, academic research can meet this manufacturing need and bring rapid benefit to the UK composites manufacturing industry. After 29 years of experience in R&D related to the NDT of composites, I have been recognised as an international authority on the subject amongst academics and industrialists alike. World-class research status for this new group is therefore a realistic objective for a five-year fellowship, positioning the group well for expanding by attracting future funding from a range of sources. But the research challenges are significant in this field, due primarily to the way that the anisotropic, inhomogeneous, layered composite structures respond to, and modify, any interrogating field. For this reason the work programme includes underpinning tasks to develop models and novel inversion algorithms, as well as tasks to apply these to complex structures being produced by the UK composites manufacturers. Other particular features of the programme are the work packages on NDT for in-process and pre-process composites, and combining NDT information with materials models and structural integrity philosophies - a holistic approach to using advanced non-destructive 3D-characterisation methods to benefit the composites manufacturing industry. The result will be optimised lighter-weight structures, reduced scrap and fewer repairs at the manufacturing stage, and greater use of out-of-autoclave and lower-cost manufacturing methods

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Added to Database 16/08/13