Imperial College London

£6 million to develop a new generation of composites

Joachim Steinke and Milo Shaffer form part of the team from the University of Bristol’s Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science and The Composites Centre at IC awarded £6M over 6 yrs by EPSRC

 

Existing fibre-reinforced polymer composites are known for their high strength and stiffness, which are used in applications from sporting goods to aircraft, but if the material fails it can be catastrophic and happen with little warning.

A collaborative research team have been awarded a grant to develop a new generation of high performance, fibre reinforced polymer composites to overcome this key limitation.

The team from the University of Bristol’s Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science and The Composites Centre at Imperial College London have been awarded a £6 million six-year programme grant by EPSRC.  The aim of the project is to create a new generation of high performance, ductile fibre reinforced polymer composites capable of sustaining large deformations without breaking. 

Ensuring materials are ductile will overcome reticence for their use in safety critical or damage vulnerable applications, thereby significantly increasing their attractiveness for mass-market applications.  Also, the widespread use of high performance ductile composites could achieve a very significant reduction of up to 15 per cent in the overall greenhouse gas contribution of transport.

To achieve such an ambitious outcome will require a concerted effort by the team to develop new constituents and exploit novel architectures, in order to obtain fracture toughness and ductility comparable to that of metals, and with considerably superior strength, stiffness and density.  This programme grant will scope, prioritise, develop, and combine these approaches, to achieve High Performance Ductile Composite Technology (HiPerDuCT).

The research programme team are the University of Bristol: Professor Michael Wisnom, Professor Ian Bond, Professor Kevin Potter and Professor Paul Weaver and Imperial College London: Professor Alexander Bismarck, Professor Milo Shaffer, Dr Paul Robinson and Dr Joachim Steinke. Details can be found here: Composite award

 


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