Composites are used for a wide array of demanding applications. Planes made mostly of carbon-fibre reinforced polymer have, for example, existed for several years. An EU-funded training network is helping to hone the skills of 12 young researchers who are striving to take composite design another step ahead.
© prakasitlalao #191812355 , 2018. Source: fotolia.com
The full potential of composite structures has yet to be unlocked, according to the partners in the EU-funded project FULLCOMP and the bright minds attempting to do so will need to draw on insight from several disciplines, and on close cooperation between academia and industry.
The activity in FULLCOMP reflects this emphasis. In total, 12 early stage researchers are benefiting from this opportunity to advance their field and their careers through this training network, which was set up in June 2015.
One particular obstacle the partners have identified with regard to the improvement of composite structures is the lack of reliable and computationally cheap models to explore phenomena such as damage and fatigue.
The networks research focuses on the development of analytical tools to address this need. The full range of aspects relevant to the design of composite structures is considered, from modelling and manufacturing to testing and health monitoring, with regard to engineering needs in fields as varied as aeronautics, manufacturing and wind energy.
In total, nine entities seven universities, a research centre and a private sector partner are cooperating in the endeavour, which involves partners from six European countries in addition to Australia and the United States. EU funding for this four-year project is contributed by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions programme.