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Design and production of thin-walled large lightweight composite structures

The aim of the current project is to promote industrial research into the design and production of thin-walled large lightweight structures (e.G. Car bodies, frames, etc.) Using composite materials of increased strength and at a reduced cost.

The project aims to promote industrial research in the design and production of thin-walled large 'lightweight' composite structures (e.g. car bodies, frames, vehicle components, tanks and large vessels, etc.) using composite materials of increased strength and at a reduced cost. With this purpose, the following institutions have established a network: - 'FREDERICK INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY' (FIT), (Host Organisation HO) - 'G.A. GEORGIOU FIBERGLASS LTD' (GF), (End User 1 EU1) - 'N.K. KIOLEIDES S.A.' (NKK), (Partner 1 PA1). The proposed project concentrates primarily on the introduction of new methods in manufacturing and production of 'lightweight' structures with special configurations in order to achieve sufficient strength and stiffness. Specifically the research will concentrate on: * Resin infusion processes 'RIP' (FIT, GF, N.K.K.), and * Vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding processes 'VARTM' with the use of various resins, various woven glass fibre reinforcements and locally carbon fibre reinforcements (FIT, GF, N.K.K.), * Fast and low cost production of the corresponding moulds 'Rapid Tooling' (FIT), * Production of hybrid structures in closed mould (FIT, GF, N.K.K.), * Production of sandwich structures in closed mould (FIT, GF, N.K.K.). Considering the results of the previous research phase, production methods will be selected and a new mould will be manufactured (GF, N.K.K.) for the production of a pilot thin-walled large 'lightweight structure' (GF, N.K.K.). The following will then take place: - Experimental investigation of the static and dynamic behaviour of the pilot structure (FIT). - Data regarding the mechanical properties, the physical properties and the production costs will be recorded (FIT). - Accuracy and reliability of various numerical models using the finite element method will be examined (FΙΤ). The development of new design and production techniques for large 'lightweight' composite structures is expected to increase competition (reduction of weight and cost) in the semi-industrial production of the above structures. The combination of moulding under pressure will be key for the unified (one step) production of 'lightweight' frames with far fewer attachments and weldings. Keywords: semi-industrial, composite, thin walled.
Acronym: 
DEPTHWALALICOSU
Project ID: 
3 798
Start date: 
01-08-2006
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
130 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Composite materials
Market Area: 
Motor Vehicles, Transportation Equipment and Parts

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.