Over the last five years TWI has invested and participated in more than three-quarters-of-a-billion pounds’ worth of research and development projects, leading to breakthroughs across multiple industry sectors.
Much of this work received financial support from UK and EU public funding bodies, often taking place in partnership with other companies and academic institutions from around Europe.
One of the latest of these collaborative projects is SimCoDeQ, a research initiative from the aerospace sector which was launched at TWI’s Great Abington headquarters earlier this year.
Financed through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, SimCoDeQ is part of the Clean Sky 2 joint technology initiative to deliver quieter and more environmentally friendly aircraft. The project is being led by Airbus, working with TWI, Cranfield University and the University of Stuttgart.
SimCoDeQ stands for ‘Simulation tool development for a Composite manufacturing process Default prediction integrated into a Quality control system’ for resin transfer moulding. Resin transfer moulding (RTM) involves moderate-pressure resin injection of a dry preform, placed in sealed rigid tooling.
Finite element simulation is regularly used to design RTM processes and establish cure parameters. However, purely predictive simulation suffers from issues related to uncertainty and variability in material state and numerous process variables – factors whose impact can be mitigated by using online monitoring of resin flow in tests and stochastic simulations to understand the effects of material and model variability.
SimCoDeQ will integrate three approaches (predictive modelling, variability propagation and process monitoring) to provide a unified integrated simulation tool. Input will incorporate material data and models alongside physical sensor results, from which process outcomes will be determinable, depending on material and process variables. The proposed work develops this concept for the three stages of RTM processing: preforming, injection and cure. The overall concept will be implemented on a pilot RTM line, and then transferred to the Airbus manufacturing site, where it will be used for trials.
The project will be concluded in December 2018. For more information contact Project Leader Jasmin Stein via our Contact us page or by calling +44 (0)1223 899000.