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Public Funded Projects List

Aerospace industry is going through a phase where there is an evolution towards lightweighting the aircrafts byusing light weight composite materials. This has huge financial and environmental implications for allstakeholders. There is an increasing need to develop techniques which can process these materials (joining,welding, etc.) at a similar rate to conventional metal components. A thorough feasibility study of ultrasonicwelding, the process variables involved and its suitability for commercialization will be done in this project. Theproject will also compare parts processed by ultrasonic welding to established manufacturing techniques.The key outcomes and understanding from this project will be fed into a larger industrialisation project whichwill assess the suitability, repeatability and mechanical properties of composite parts proceseed by usingultrasonic welding techniques.The UK aerospace industry and the entire supply chain can benefit fom the understanding of a clean, fast andreliable joining technique and this feasibility study is the first step towards achieving that goal.

SHeMS is a collaborative project aimed at developing a lightweight structural health monitoring system for aircraft. Through the development and application of energy harvesting, acoustic emission and acousto-ultrasonic techniques, the project will deliver a solution that is suitable for deployment onto aircraft and capable of determining the structural integrity of critical components.

Project Summary

A novel adapted tooling will be developed, which complies to wind turbine specificities and requirements in order to enable the in-situ performance of the three major composite repair steps: Non Destructive Inspection, Surface Preparation, Hot Bonding. According to the developments of this project, it is estimated that large-scale reductions could be achieved both in terms of system availability and cost by minimizing the cases that require disassembly of blades and transportation to repair shop

Project Summary

Develop a fully automated adaptive control system that will optimise, monitor and maintain electrode tip quality in high colume automotive production.

EU SMEs/mid-caps face clear barriers in the uptake of Additive Manufacturing (AM) related to lack of skilled human resources, and lack of access to know-how, equipment, infrastructure and markets. The principal objective of this project is to overcome those barriers and enable the uptake of AM technologies by SMEs/mid-caps leading to the development of innovative business and service models and new value-chain models in a fully digital environment – thus bringing their ideas and business cases to life and making their innovations Additively Manufacturable (AMable). To achieve this objective, partners with expertise right across the AM value chain have been brought together from the four corners of the EU to: - create an open-sourced-based, living and adapting AM eco-system which can offer required assistance to European SMEs/mid-caps and become self-sustainable after project execution; - provide all necessary assistance to SMEs/mid-caps allowing successful exploitation of AM, including 3 ‘competitive calls’ for experiments; - offer a comprehensive range of (at least 10) AM support services through an open source- and API-based digital marketplace structured as three Platforms (Technology, Business, and Skills and Education); - support and develop ‘best in class’ AM data handling tools and approaches, on an open-source basis.; - coordinate the development of synergies with the already existing I4MS framework, Competence Centres, Digital Innovation Hubs and other related research and innovation activities at the European level. Through these activities, the following direct impacts are anticipated: - >50 SME/mid-cap application experiments - >150 SME/mid-cap business case evaluations and/or Application Experiments - >500 people trained through AMable approved courses - >2,000 SMEs/mid-caps reached through training, roadshow and exhibition events - specific support for EU-13 countries, with >5 centres supported and coached.

"AMCOR will develop and demonstrate Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) industrial manufacturing systems for the deposition of functional graded coatings (FGM) and 3D features onto metallic components supplied by industry that are subjected to in-service wear and corrosion. This will be supported by the development, production and testing of mixed powder combinations for coatings suitability.

Background Friction stir processing involves the mechanical stirring of metals using a none consumable tool to join components and/or attain new material properties, including elevated strength. The most common process is friction stir welding (FSW). The development of lightweight structures is a key priority within the automotive sector in order to meet future CO2 emissions targets. FSW has been adopted by many original equipment manufacturers as a key enabler of lightweight structures. However, within the UK, the Automotive Council estimates that the combination of new lightweight materials and manufacturing processes such as FSW could be developed further to reduce the mass of a typical family sized car by up to 35 per cent, thereby improving its fuel consumption by 7 per cent for every 150kg reduction in weight. Objectives Ultra Lightweight Automotive will investigate new methods of FSW to join automotive body structures made of novel lightweight alloys. The aim is to demonstrate high strength joints by doping the weld with different grades and concentrations of additives, which may positively influence the structure of the material in the weld and improve strength. During manufacture, a colloid solution containing different grades and concentrations of additives, such as silica carbide and graphene, will be introduced around the tool interface to achieve additional control over the weld temperature, grain structure and ultimate strength. The project will address four different areas of processing: • FSW; the joining of both similar and dissimilar aluminium, high strength and magnesium alloys as a means of achieving further lightweighting • friction stir spot welding with the identified “ideal” welding applied to produce a high strength weld • the ability of high conductivity additives to aid nondestructive testing of the weld zones • the ability of friction stir additive processing to produce new functionally graded components. Benefits The project will demonstrate an enhanced FSW process capable of joining difficult and/or dissimilar lightweight materials, including aluminium, high strength steels and magnesium alloys, that will also give rise to more durable, stronger and/or lighter joints, for future automotive applications. Ultra Lightweight Automotive will support the development of novel manufacturing processes, based upon existing UK intellectual property, that will accelerate wider adoption of lightweight automotive structures to help meet future fleet emissions target.

This project will develop a new, potentially patentable and long-lasting solution to the problem of marine biofouling, offering specific advantages for static offshore structures such as wind turbine towers and ocean energy generators. In addition to this, the project will also develop and prove a corrosion and cavitation resistant coating suitable for tidal energy generators.

Current wind turbine condition monitoring methodologies can be time-consuming and a costly process and fail to achieve the reliability and operational efficiency required by the industry. For these reasons, existing vibration-based Condition Monitoring System (CMS) usually fail to detect defects until they become critical. This project will show the applicability of the CMS enabling the prompt detection of defects.

Project Summary

The project aims at the development and demonstration of a metallic solution combining innovative aluminium alloys of the Al-Cu-Li family and advanced assembling technologies such as Laser Beam Welding and hybrid welding.

Contribute to reducing the operating costs of relevant European aerospace products by 15%, through the cost effective full application of carbon fibre composites to aircraft primary structure, taking into account systems integration

Develop a medium range ultrasonic in-water testing technology using ultrasonic guided waves method to identify cracks and fatigue in a large closed circular/elliptical chain links in deep-water offshore facilities.

Project Summary

While cranes are used offshore they face heavy load operations up to 10,000t and environmental challenges (e.g. wind,vessel motion)that increase the risk of structural failures. A structural failure of a large crane unavoidably lead to serious damages or total collapses; such accidents are followed by high financial losses and serious injuries and / or fatalities. Examples like the collapse on a platform in the UK sector of the North Sea (2016) highlight the need for new solutions to implement a predictive maintenance of offshore cranes. Current inspections, performed once/twice a year are dangerous, time consuming and expensive. The CraneScan project will address 4 key needs: enhanced safety, downtime reduction, capital cost reduction and insurance cost reduction. CraneScan will demonstrate an innovative, reliable, cost-effective structural health monitoring system (SHM) that will continuously monitor the crane remotely and automatically detect structural integrity failures before they lead to failures. If deployed to all cranes CraneScan will save the global crane industry ~375 million annually and significantly reduce the failure of cranes by 25%.

Composite structures are increasingly utilised in aircraft for their stiffness, light weight and corrosion resistance. However, the structures are sensitive to in-service impact that can cause defects requiring repair. The inspection of composite repairs to assess their integrity is difficult and not yet sufficiently developed to meet quality requirements. Current phased array inspection is based upon linear scanning techniques at normal angles to the surface. This is because the anisotropic nature of the composite leads to acoustic velocities that vary with angle of incidence, rendering conventional focal law calculators inaccurate. This project will investigate the acoustic velocity changes and derive algorithms that account for velocity variation effects.

Project Summary

A-PATH aims at improving healthcare and quality of life by fostering research collaboration between experienced UK and Indian organisations to develop affordable wearable bio-sensing and human motion monitoring suits and passive and active exoskeletons to assist essential human motions. The new technologies are aimed at elderly persons and workers for medical and non-medical applications. The exploitable outputs comprises sensing suits to assess health and physical activity level. A-PATH will enable new commercial and competitive solutions addressing the key societal challenge of affordable healthcare technologies (for medical and non-medical applications) in India and UK, with the ultimate goals of contributing to its economic development and reduce its poverty, by bringing together experienced partners from India and UK to advance the exoskeleton technology viable products. The development of innovative affordable techniques focused on improving healthcare and quality of life issues will open up new societal focussed research, and commercialisation opportunities for both UK and Indian organisations to grow to be more competitive.

The strategic overall objective of this project is to produce the highly innovative product in the solar thermal market segment. It will be achieved by combining the latest cutting edge technology developments in solar thermal and glass industries and the comprehensive and focused research activities to be performed within this project backed with technological integration activities. The project will enable further development of the innovative types of solar collectors within this project what will ultimately stimulate implementation of enhanced and more efficient solar thermal applications for the heat production.

Currently, there is a lack of consistent coordination between the activities of the various ETPs, which has led to a diverse range of ideas as to what is important to European materials developments, and consequently a somewhat fragmented support for these developments.

The AlwaysClean project will establish laboratory scale verification & field evaluation that a durable easy clean coating for solar PV market can be achieved by the use of novel nanostructured additives. This coating will improve the operational PV performance by preventing dirt and grime accumulation on solar PV modules &reducing or eliminating the associated drop in power output (typically up to 10-20%, global reports data). This loss of energy has a direct impact on energy security & leading to a higher overall cost of solar energy per KWh. As durable highly repellent coatings are not commercially available today, current solutions involve periodic washing of the PV surface, using clean water which is an inefficient use of this precious resource. Cleaning also introduces damage into the surface reducing long-term performance. The coating developed under the EnergyCatalyst 2 project SOLplus reduces the accumulation of contaminants & will help to achieve a secure PV energy capability. The AlwaysClean project will enable the growth of a technology that increases the potential for reliable & robust, uninterrupted PV energy generation that can be brought to developing countries.

Background: AM-LINE 4.0 combines knowledge and known techniques in a new manner along a complete value chain for producing competitive metallic components. This includes development of the business model, optimized designs, quality certification, etc. at the lowest level, through collaboration with universities and industry towards development of a physical and digital production layer providing defect-free parts through I4.0 monitoring and control. At the higher level, inclusion of all process steps in the manufacturing process will demonstrate the use of AM in a full-scale industrial production setup by maturing all supporting processes and thereby accelerating the transfer to the industry and the SMEs Objectives: The main objectives are to • Develop and stepwise implement a full-scale AM production line that can serve as production capacity reaching TRL8, and subsequently, as knowledge-creation and tech-transfer demonstration centre. • Remove barriers preventing widespread implementation of metal AM through strategic collaboration be-tween specialized SMEs (Adamant, Scada Minds, NIRAS), international collaboration (TWI, Machine-Manu-facturer (partner to be onboarded Q1 2018) and close collaboration with research capacities (DTU). • Accelerated partner training of key employees responsible for business development, design, production, quality and safety. • Generate accessible and broadly qualified resources in the Danish labour market by awareness training to executives and in-depth training of engineers and operators supporting all levels of knowledge needed to accelerate the adoption of AM in the Danish manufacturing industry. Benefits: • Cost reduction by redesign of products towards AM and optimizing all the steps of the AM production. Costs are expected to be reduced by 40% during the project period reaching a reduction of 75% in 5-7 years (partly due to the Digital Twin, reduced consumables and high-volume AM equipment) • Keeping production in DK by enabling flexible production. The impact of AM-LINE 4.0 will influence a ma-jor part of all metal-based manufacturing companies in Denmark. In total, these exceeds 1000 companies and affect more than 10,000 jobs. • Faster implementation of AM in the industry. Adaption of AM tech. lowered to 1-3 years compared to pre-sent forecasts of 3-5 years. The consortium is working with additional companies interested (ECCO, FLS-midth, MAN Turbo & Diesel, Alfa Laval). These are currently defining their strategic research agendas on AM technologies, which will be assessed in 2017-2018. • Creation of an opportunity for the Danish industries to join the AM industry. By recently expired key pa-tents establishing leading AM parts to be expected to become 50% cheaper and up to 400% faster in the next five years. • Increased speed for bringing new products on the market obtained by fast and flexible production in com-pliance with product specifications and quality targets. • Establishment of a highly professional, national network (AM community) of skilled employees including key staff at all levels. • Showcase of the social implications and changed working conditions physically, digitally and mentally re-lated to implementing I4.0 technologies. • Safety issues handled. Including development of factory layouts that meet regulatory requirements and includes precautions towards the personnel working with AM and e.g. the handling of metal powder.

Background: AM-LINE 4.0 combines knowledge and known techniques in a new manner along a complete value chain for producing competitive metallic components. This includes development of the business model, optimized designs, quality certification, etc. at the lowest level, through collaboration with universities and industry towards development of a physical and digital production layer providing defect-free parts through I4.0 monitoring and control. At the higher level, inclusion of all process steps in the manufacturing process will demonstrate the use of AM in a full-scale industrial production setup by maturing all supporting processes and thereby accelerating the transfer to the industry and the SMEs Objectives: The main objectives are to • Develop and stepwise implement a full-scale AM production line that can serve as production capacity reaching TRL8, and subsequently, as knowledge-creation and tech-transfer demonstration centre. • Remove barriers preventing widespread implementation of metal AM through strategic collaboration be-tween specialized SMEs (Adamant, Scada Minds, NIRAS), international collaboration (TWI, Machine-Manu-facturer (partner to be onboarded Q1 2018) and close collaboration with research capacities (DTU). • Accelerated partner training of key employees responsible for business development, design, production, quality and safety. • Generate accessible and broadly qualified resources in the Danish labour market by awareness training to executives and in-depth training of engineers and operators supporting all levels of knowledge needed to accelerate the adoption of AM in the Danish manufacturing industry. Benefits: • Cost reduction by redesign of products towards AM and optimizing all the steps of the AM production. Costs are expected to be reduced by 40% during the project period reaching a reduction of 75% in 5-7 years (partly due to the Digital Twin, reduced consumables and high-volume AM equipment) • Keeping production in DK by enabling flexible production. The impact of AM-LINE 4.0 will influence a ma-jor part of all metal-based manufacturing companies in Denmark. In total, these exceeds 1000 companies and affect more than 10,000 jobs. • Faster implementation of AM in the industry. Adaption of AM tech. lowered to 1-3 years compared to pre-sent forecasts of 3-5 years. The consortium is working with additional companies interested (ECCO, FLS-midth, MAN Turbo & Diesel, Alfa Laval). These are currently defining their strategic research agendas on AM technologies, which will be assessed in 2017-2018. • Creation of an opportunity for the Danish industries to join the AM industry. By recently expired key pa-tents establishing leading AM parts to be expected to become 50% cheaper and up to 400% faster in the next five years. • Increased speed for bringing new products on the market obtained by fast and flexible production in com-pliance with product specifications and quality targets. • Establishment of a highly professional, national network (AM community) of skilled employees including key staff at all levels. • Showcase of the social implications and changed working conditions physically, digitally and mentally re-lated to implementing I4.0 technologies. • Safety issues handled. Including development of factory layouts that meet regulatory requirements and includes precautions towards the personnel working with AM and e.g. the handling of metal powder.

Develop a system wide approach that improves the performance and functionality of each of the three key elements in the MUT system: the procedure, the equipment, and the personnel in order to create a step-change in the reliability of MUT inspection.

Project Summary

Creep damage detection in pressurised steam line components is a major concern in the power generation industry. Currently, replica metallography is used to inspect these components. This method can only detect surface defects however and evidence indicates that creep damage develops first inside the pipe wall and does not appear at the wall surface until the pipe is almost ready to fail. This results in catastrophic component failures which cost the industry more than €500,000 in lost revenue per day out of operation.

This transnational consortium wish to develop an interactive web based software application to calculate and assess electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure in metal fabrication, particularly welding [EMFWELD] and non-destructive testing (NDT). EMFWELD will significantly lower SMEs’ cost of compliance to Directive 2004/40/EC by providing an innovative, economic and easily accessible accurate EMF exposure risk assessment tool.

Valves have a large range of applications, both domestically and within industry, eg mining. Over time, a layer of fouling can form inside pipelines. A common example of this fouling is lime scale, a chalky deposit associated with hard water. This fouling can build up to an extent that pipes and valves can stop working. This can stop production and increase the operational risk. At this point, the valve is rendered unserviceable and needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by a high serum glucose level and by disturbances of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Diabetics had a greater prevalence of skin manifestations in type 2 than type 1, and as the duration of the DM increased, the likelihood of developing skin manifestations also increased. Early referral to a dermatologist may help to detect complications of the skin in diabetes at an early stage and may prevent disability.

Project Summary

ARROWS proposes to adapt and develop autonomous underwater vehicle technologies to significantly reduce the cost of archaeological operations by covering the full extent of archaeological campaign. Benefiting from the significant investments already made for military security and offshore oil and gas applications, the project aims to demonstrate an illustrative portfolio of mapping, diagnosis and excavation tasks.

As crime and terrorism continue to threaten the vision of a peaceful world, advances in technology are bringing solutions to discourage and pre-empt menacing events. One positive development in this respect is the prospect of a universal gas sensor, or artificial sniff er, to detect a variety of substances from drugs to explosives. The EU-funded project ‘Artificial sniff er using linear ion trap technology’ (SNIFFLES) is working on such a promising device.

Although there are several inspection techniques and assessment methodologies available to be used in Integrity Management (IM) of typical upstream assets, there are several specific parts, particularly in the offshore oil and gas upstream assets that demand customised and innovative approach to their IM. The former is usually under constant inspection and maintenance plan but the latter could potentially be ignored for several years due to lack integrated technology and off the shelf inspection and assessment services until it gets to a potentially critical safety and business stage. Plant operators are usually aware of the challenges. However lack of confidence in existing services that involve multiple stages and contractors may lead to abandon the issue by the operator. Examples of this equipment could include: Well Conductors, Caissons, Storage tank bottom plates, etc. The approach toward the above challenges is proposed in a new form of Assessment Strategy for Plant Inspection and Repair (ASPIRE). This can be defined as ‘Multi-disciplinary approach for solving integrity problems for plant equipment by identification of cost-effective solutions using state-of-the-art engineering techniques through assembling an engineering team with appropriate expertise & equipment’. This will be achieved by the following: • To develop a customisable probabilistic based algorithm and software to use advanced reliability methods with built-in FEA capabilities to assess failure scenarios for several types of non-standard geometries, loading, environment and operations; • To link the software to different NDT technologies to analyse the results seamlessly through wifi communication; • To validate the algorithm through pilot implementations on project partners’ identified cases.

Hull fouling is the largest contributor to excess fuel consumption and carbon emissions by ships, which can be up to 50% over a year. In spite of a global expenditure of some £6bn pa on fouling prevention and cleaning amongst the global merchant fleet, fouling still costs £8bn pa in additional fuel costs and produces 70m tonnes of additional carbon dioxide. The project goal is to develop an in service automated system for permanent fouling prevention, detection and removal based on a distributed, sparse network of low frequency (~40kHz) active ultrasonic compressional wave sensors embedded in a ship hull. In normal operation, temporary but continuous quasi forced standing waves will be excited throughout the hull, with power sufficient for ultrasound leakage into water from surface antinodes to produce cavitation. Cavitation will remove thin biofilms (i.e. microfouling) and their adhesion surface as fast as they are formed, thus preventing fouling build-up i.e. macrofouling. The frequency will be swept and different parts of the network sequentially excited scan the antinodes through 100% of the hull. This programme will remove biofilm over 100% of the hull and propeller surface, with minimum ON/OFF time for the continuous waves i.e. minimum time averaged power. Periodically, pulsed waves will be excited to detect accidental macrofouling up caused by imperfect biofilm removal, which will then be removed by a temporary increase in the continuous ON/OFF time followed by a return to normal operation. There exists the possibility, to be researched that the intial formation of biofouling can be prevented by ultrasonic force fields at sub-cavitation levels, further reducing the average power consumption.

The powder metallurgy (PM) process, by its nature, is suited to high-volume production and is increasingly employing finer powders for refined microstructures (nanometre-to-very-few-micrometre scale). Therefore any flaws/defects in the parts can have a significant impact on the production output, such as loss of material and effi ciency, as well as potential failures in later use. A system (QualiNET) will be developed for automated quality control of PM components and components produced by other advanced net-shape techniques where similar defects occur. These include powder injection moulding (PIM) and additive manufacturing by laser sintering (also known as laser cladding and by various other names).

Develop a digital radiographic system for on-line inspection of powder metallurgy components in the sintered and green state.

Project Summary

Sintered parts obtained by the powder metallurgy (PM) process are used in several industry sectors, in particular the automotive. They are typically intricate, complex shaped parts produced in near net shape by compaction of powders into a geometry followed by sintering of the compacts for consolidation, where particles are bonded on heating. The PM process is suited to high volume production any flaws/defects in the parts can have a significant impact on the production output, as well as potential failures in later use. There is a need for automated inspection by non-destructive means, for determining and separating the good and bad batches during production.

The AUTOWINDSPEC idea is to deploy a NDT system that measures the mechanical integrity of WTB in a rapid and reliable manner. The core technique is Acoustoc-Ultrasonic inspection method, which is a mechanical integrity assessment technique, to enable accurate estimation of the mechanical properties of the blades.

Develop new techniques to non destructive assessment and monitoring of nozzles used in nuclear power plants and mainly in nuclear reactors.

Project Summary

The main aim of the project is to investigate the technical and financial requirements for the inspection of offshore wind turbine foundations using guided wave technology. The technical objective will be to maintain the performance of the turbines by monitoring structural degradation such as corrosion and fatigue defects.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a research and innovation organisation at the forefront of UK science and technology. Through collaboration with industry and long-term research and development, the STFC underpins sectors that contribute billions of pounds annually to the UK economy, including space, pharmaceuticals, digital communication, microelectronics and physics-based manufacturing.

The Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme supports UK industry to overcome challenging product, manufacturing or process performance issues. B4I offers businesses access to a suite of high-tech world-class scientific capabilities, facilities and knowledge. This comprises X-rays, neutrons, lasers, particle accelerators and high-performance computing, enabling analysis between the extremes of scale - from sub-atomic materials analysis to computational modelling.

B4I Regional Centre Wales (RCW) focusses on, but is not limited to, engaging Wales-based companies with STFC’s national-level facilities and expertise to boost productivity and performance. RCW achieves this by carrying out scientific funded proof-of-concept work using local expertise and state-of-the-art facilities at TWI Wales and Swansea University (NDT). This, along with the RCW’s dedicated guidance, will support the company’s B4I application, and where required, support the analysis of the results to ensure that they can be implemented.

The overall goal is to develop an Acoustic Emission (AE) sensor array for the monitoring of the Type 3 hydrogen tank integrity during refuelling. The array will consist of: i) sensors that will be attached on the tank and ii) signal processing unit to provide monitoring of tank integrity. The output from the sensors will be transmitted to the processing unit, which will contain an embedded software for data capture, process and storage. A signal processing software will be developed that will provide a prognosis regarding the health of the tank and if damage is severe notify the driver or shut down refuelling procedure.

Capacitive Transmission Cable (CTC) is a novel technology for transmission and distribution (T&D) of electrical power. It offers a number of important advantages over conventional cable that arise from the fundamental difference in the way that electrical energy propagates within the cable; because of the multi-layer structure, and in contrast to a conventional conductor, CTC supports a transverse electromagnetic (TEM) mode, which alters the capacitive coupling with ground, enabling lower-loss underground and subsea AC cables. The technology has been demonstrated at voltages up to 600V, showing that we can achieve power transmission via capacitive coupling with a power factor very close to unity. This project will carry out a systematic exploration of the design space in collaboration with Brunel University using state of the art simulation techniques, and will develop fabrication techniques in collaboration with Custom Designed Cables and TWI Industries. This will enable us to design, manufacture and test samples at a range of operating voltages, powers and link distances.

The COMPOCOAT project will develop a new surface protection system for the development of composite aero-engine aerofoil structures with metallic leading edge. The surface protection system will be based on TWI’s CompoSurfTM family of coating technologies and provide erosion protection for the metallic leading edge and thermal protection for the composite body.

Aeroengine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is a critical industry for Europe. The EU has a 47% stake in this market worth €13 billion globally now, and rising to €21 billion by 2020. As airlines now lease engines, manufacturers and their suppliers are responsible for the engine, not only during production, but throughout service.

The CORSAIR project is a wide investigation concerning the capabilities of cold spray technology for maintenance and repair of aeronautic frames and components. Today, deep and systematic investigation in cold spray is required to better understand the capabilities and fully validate the technology in aeronautics.

Continuous health monitoring and non-destructive assessment of composites and composite repairs on surface transport applications 

Project Summary

The C-JOINTS project will be based on the strong experience of TWI in the joining of dissimilar materials and in coating technologies for composites, the established expertise on Cobham in lightning strike testing for aerospace composites and the specialised background of Cranfield University in through-thickness reinforcements of composite structures.

Novel and potentially effective repair and/or reinforcement method for large steel structures.

The object of this project is to update the concept of aero-engine dressing to the most advanced concepts already used in commercial aircrafts. COMPipe will allow to design and manufacture an agreed set of non-metallic pipes and support systems to replace traditional metallic variants in engine dressings. It will also identify the manufacturing processes that could be used to scale up the production requirements to meet future delivery needs.

The objective of AeroPlan is to appropriately disseminate to all the levels of the aeronautical industry the foreground knowledge generated within EC funded research projects, focusing on real life applications. This will enable the processing and evolution of the foreground knowledge throughout the different Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), within time, instead of being constrained to scientific publications and conferences only.

Project Summary

We propose a project to look at the feasibility of producing highly miniaturised magnetic sensors which have the advantage of integrated ancillary electronics on a Compound Semiconductor (CS) millimetre scale chip solution. One concept will aim to converge advances in CS electronics with a novel Quantum Well Hall Effect (QWHE) magnetic sensor, combined monolithically on a GaAs based material platform. The resulting Magnetic Integrated Circuit (MAG IC) has the potential to have a large dynamic operating range, high sensitivity and ultra-compact footprint. Another concept we will investigate is the feasibility of a radically new GaN magnetic sensor which has the potential for ultra-high temperature operation, monolithic integration with GaN based electronics and scalability on Silicon and Silicon Carbide large wafer formats. The project will aim to verify whether these concepts can be manufactured in a commercially viable manner in order to challenge traditional, bulky magnetic sensing solutions such as Giant Magneto Resistance (GMR) sensors and low spec-low cost solutions such as Silicon Hall sensors. Target applications include: current sensing, embedded cable detection, high resolution metrology and magneto-imaging for medical & Non-Destructive Testing (NDT).

Tidal currents are being recognized as a resource to be exploited for the sustainable generation of electrical power. The high load factors resulting from the fact that water is 800 times denser than air and the predictable and reliable nature of tides compared with the wind makes tidal energy particularly attractive for electric power generation. “TidalSense Demo” project will suppose the demonstration of the results obtained in TIDALSENSE project, in order to clear the pace of these technologies towards commercial maturity. The original project, TidalSense, “Development of a condition monitoring system for tidal stream generator structures” was submitted in the call FP7-SME-2008-1 and received the grant agreement number 232518. Tidalsense is a two year project sponsored by the European Commission under FP7 Research for the benefit of the SMEs, that started in September 2009 and will finish in 2011. The project aims to deliver a condition monitoring system for tidal stream energy conversion equipment. The new project, TIDALSENSE DEMO will comprise the industrialization of the developed sensors for monitoring elements manufactured using modern composite materials, such as fibre metal laminates, honeycombs, glass or carbon fibre reinforced plastics, the study of their feasibility as condition monitoring equipment in several tidal energy converters (TEC), including different ones to those used as reference for their design, and the sea trials of the system.

Project Summary

There is an increasing trend in the wind power sector for Wind Farm Owners (WFOs) to in‐source their own Wind Turbine Conditioning Monitoring Systems (WTCMS). This choice comes with a number of issues with current Condition Monitoring (CM) solutions (e.g.: Vibrational Analysis and Acoustic Emission), primarily: a) the system sensors are intrusive, and thus present difficulties during the installation process; such tampering also revokes the initial OEM warranty of the drive‐train components, b) CM systems are often calibrated according to the manufacturer’s machinery, and hence are not specific enough to the WFO’s turbines; c) The European wind turbine standard EN 50308 is currently being updated3, in order to stress on the development and implementation of techniques/technologies which can ensure turbine reliability, both onshore and offshore and d) Current ISO standards for condition monitoring (such as ISO 17359:2011) are established for the diagnosis of machinery, and are not specific enough to wind turbine drive‐train components.

Project Summary

The objective of the ComPair project is to build a new and novel system for continuous health monitoring and non-destructive assessment of composites and composite repairs on surface transport applications including rail, bus, heavy good vehicles and cars.

Project Summary

H2 is the most promising replacement fuel for road transport due to its abundance, efficiency, low carbon footprint and the absence of other harmful emissions. The mass producers of hydrogen vehicles will need to convince customers of their safety in order for the mass markets of hydrogen power to take off. This project aims to address the need for safe hydrogen storage tanks by developing innovative technology which will be able to monitor the creation and growth of fatigue cracks and will provide the capability to intervene before major accidents occur.

Project Summary

The project will develop an advanced integrated structural health monitoring system to continuously monitor cranes in industrial, logistics, construction, and shipbuilding sites. New and novel Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques and sensor systems are used in order to inspect for structural damage or cracks in the main frame caused from fatigue, distortion, corrosion, etc., and to provide real time information about the condition of the structure.

Project Summary

Flexible medical instruments such as bone reamers are currently constructed from multiple parts in dissimilar materials with different properties. The current method of linking these parts together is by mechanical coupling. However, an effective decontamination of such instruments is challenging but is critical to avoid cross infection between patients. The geometry of the instrument assembly have crevices at the joints which are difficult and expensive to clean and fully sterilise.

Developing a cognitive computer vision based welding robot with automatic track calculation and quality control system that can reduce manufacturing time and costs, increase production flexibility and improve product quality and production efficiency.

Tidal currents are being recognized as a resource to be exploited for the sustainable generation of electrical power. The high load factors resulting from the fact that water is 800 times denser than air and the predictable and reliable nature of tides compared with the wind makes tidal energy particularly attractive for electric power generation. “TidalSense Demo” project will suppose the demonstration of the results obtained in TIDALSENSE project, in order to clear the pace of these technologies towards commercial maturity. The original project, TidalSense, “Development of a condition monitoring system for tidal stream generator structures” was submitted in the call FP7-SME-2008-1 and received the grant agreement number 232518. Tidalsense is a two year project sponsored by the European Commission under FP7 Research for the benefit of the SMEs, that started in September 2009 and will finish in 2011. The project aims to deliver a condition monitoring system for tidal stream energy conversion equipment. The new project, TIDALSENSE DEMO will comprise the industrialization of the developed sensors for monitoring elements manufactured using modern composite materials, such as fibre metal laminates, honeycombs, glass or carbon fibre reinforced plastics, the study of their feasibility as condition monitoring equipment in several tidal energy converters (TEC), including different ones to those used as reference for their design, and the sea trials of the system.

Developing a standard and modularised solution for flexible and adaptive integration of heat recovery and thermal storage capable to recover and manage medium to high grade waste heat supported by a knowledge-based approach.

Project Summary

Advanced composites materials are used in the aerospace industry to improve performance and functionality of aircraft components, reduce weight, fuel consumption and, as a consequence, greenhouse gas emissions. However, the curing process is very energy-consuming and its parameters difficult to monitor.

The proposed StirScan project will develop a NDT system in order to address the challenging problem of detecting kissing bonds in Friction Stir Welds (FSW). FSW is a relatively new joining technique for aluminium alloys which offers good joint performance and excellent reproducibility. However, kissing bonds are a concern with FSW as such features can reduce fatigue performance of joints and are currently very difficult to detect using existing NDT methods. This concern limits the adoption of FSW joining in aerospace, particularly for critical components. The StirScan project will develop a new NDT method to enable the detection of kissing bond defects below 0.3mm in length in aerospace components. A novel non-linear ultrasonic technique and an oblique incidence high frequency ultrasonic technique will be used for the assessment. The technique will lead to a more sensitive measurement of interfacial defects and will detect small kissing bond flaws. A scanner with an incorporated probe holder will be designed and manufactured that will enable rapid inspection of FSW. The developed NDT inspection system will allow assessment of high performance aluminium FSW joint components for aero structures.

Project Summary

The objective of this project is to develop new and novel ultrasonic phased array techniques, sensors and systems for finding defects and corrosion in safety critical areas of ships and tankers without taking the vessel out of the water. The Ship-Inspector technology will help operators, classification societies and regulatory agencies worldwide to manage risk more effectively.

Project Summary

In developed countries, more than 90 per cent of limb amputees achieve their mobility through the use of prostheses. The comfort of a prosthetic limb is a key consideration for both manufacturers and service providers, as they are keen to help the prosthetic limb user – who will have to wear the prosthetic indefinitely – regain a good quality of life. The project aims to integrate various micro sensors into a medical tool, which will help prosthetists achieve fast, customised design and manufacturing of prosthetic sockets for lower limb (trans-femoral and trans-tibial) amputees.

Eliminate catastrophic failures and minimise the need for corrective maintenance by developing and successfully implementing an integrated condition monitoring system for the continuous evaluation of wind turbines.

Project Summary

The HeatXchange consortium consists of European SME associations, SME end users and some of Europe’s leading research associations. Together, we are proposing to develop new platform technologies that are relevant to our industries and their markets across Europe. The HeatXchange project will provide European manufacturers with alternative designs and manufacturing routes that will assist them expand their product range and to effectively compete with non-European competition. This will be achieved through the development and demonstration of a novel heat exchanger technology and manufacturing process that will enable increased market penetration of European-made air source type heat pump systems. The new platform technology will improve the efficiency and reduce the size of the evaporator, whilst enabling the integration of secondary or even tertiary energy sources. Overall these advanced will enable significant increases in Seasonal Performance Factors (SPF) which will improve the return on investment for consumers and hence attractiveness of EU air based heat pump systems.

Develop phased array ultrasonic NDE procedures, techniques and equipment for the volumetric examination of welded joints in polyethylene (PE) and other plastics pipes of diameters up to 1m.

Project Summary

The PolyTank project will determine the potential failure mechanisms in plastic tanks and storage vessels, and develop ultrasonic NDE procedures, techniques and systems to detect these. An important aim will be to develop an inspection system that is site-rugged and simple to operate

Project Summary

Creep is the time-dependent, thermally assisted deformation of a component operating under stress. Metal pressure components such as boiler tubing, headers, and steam piping in fossil-fired power plants operate at thermal conditions (above ~1,000ºF [538ºC]) conducive to causing creep damage over the operating life of the component.

Project Summary

The aim of the project was to develop a prototype phased array ultrasonic NDT system that can be readily applied in the field to inspect and diagnose the condition/integrity of creep susceptible high temperature/pressure boiler and steam pipe welds used in electricity generating power stations, such that their safe and economic service can be continued or alternatively a planned repair and maintenance schedule can be applied with the least disruption to the continued operation of the plant.

Project Summary

Develop a digital image technique for long term measurement and monitoring of creep deformation of an engineering structure/component under harsh conditions (high temperature, irradiation etc.) where direct sensor attachment and human access are difficult or dangerous.

Project Summary

Purpose built FSW machines are very expensive, making it difficult for many product manufacturers to justify implementation of the technology. An alternative approach is to adapt milling machines. However, standard milling machines lack the process monitoring equipment required to ensure high quality welded joints. LOSTIR will develop a low cost FSW system that can be retro-fitted to milling machines to facilitate this.

The aim of RECOICE is to produce ice without use of additional power from fishing boats. RECOICE is based on a heat recovery system that will provide heat (fuel) necessary to drive a Stirling engine. Since heat will be captured from the exhaust pipe of the boat’s existing diesel engine, it will not negatively impact fuel consumption: recovering energy from the exhaust pipe by a heat exchanger, a Stirling-engine will generate the necessarypower to run the cooling unit of the system. Preliminary tests and calculations have proven that during 10 hours long fishing trip the RECOICE system should be able to produce 3 tonnes of liquid ice. This amount is sufficient to cover the ice demand of a small size vessel to conserve its daily catch. Based on the efficiency and power calculations an average vessel could save 11 600 litres of diesel oil a year using RECOICE rather than other commercial on-board ice machines.

Develop a new and novel NDT system to fully inspect titanium billets using combined phased array ultrasonic and eddy current technology.

Project Summary

The POLYGLASS project aims to develop novel concentrated solar cell assemblies with high operational efficiency which can be rapidly manufactured in a cost-effective manner. One critical aspect of the assembly is the Fresnel lens which is to be manufactured from a polymer, which can be rapidly cured using UV light, has minimum shrinkage to ensure dimensional accuracy and reproducibility and minimum colouration to reduce unwanted absorption of sunlight.

Develop and implement an integrated high speed inspection system based on a modular design, which will enable a faster and more reliable inspection of rail tracks at faster speeds compared to the available ones.

Project Summary

Asset owners require reliable & long-term monitoring and assessment of their asset performance and condition so that they can schedule maintenance and ensure the maximum utilisation and life of their assets. Key to this is the application of structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques providing increased accuracy over existing survey methods. A variety of in-situ sensing techniques are used to assess the health, such as accelerometers, strain gauges and displacement sensors. This project intends to develop the tools necessary to allow a satellite-SHM product and service to be offered. Using satellite remote sensing (principally InSAR measurements of displacement) to inform structural health will allow such assessments to be made for a multitude of assets since satellites can image many thousands of km2 in one pass, contributing to a lower cost per asset and application to assets otherwise not frequently assessed. TVUK will act as satellite data provider and lead, TWI as expert in SHM provision, ThinkLab as expert in asset 3D modelling and BIM and STLTech as SHM data provider. A new product utilising InSAR data with structural health modelling and 3D visualisation will be produced, with proof of concepts with Transport for London (also a partner) and EDF.

EU targets for the use of renewable energy and energy efficient devices (reduction of energy losses) are creating new business opportunities worth billions of Euros with significant implications in increasing the supply of advanced materials and technologies. At the same time, Europe’s competitiveness and security of supply require diversification of energy technologies. Complex thin films are a key enabler of a range of multiple multibillion Euro energy technologies - including energy efficient materials, energy generation and power electronics. Such different technologies share common metrology challenges related to quality, performance and reliability. Currently techniques are developed individually, failing to build on synergies to deliver robust metrology for complex systems. In parallel, there is a lack of metrology methods that allow prediction of aging, in particular for new energy products that have not been in the market. This project will address these two issues by: • Developing hybrid metrology approaches where datasets from multiple measurements are combined to deliver new or better results than the sum of the individual methods; • Developing in-situ metrology methods, improve measurement sensitivity and identify key parameters that can be used to monitor or predict aging of thin film energy materials and devices.

Poly-SOLVE aims to develop a modular, scalable process, centred on a environmentally-friendly solvent-based system, to recycle polystyrene and (separately) polycarbonate at the molecular level into a high purity product comparable to virgin material.

Develop a wireless network solution with autonomously powered and active long range acoustic nodes for total structural health monitoring of bridges.

Project Summary

Develop a novel non-contact NDT system that will be able to inspect the composite wind turbine blades (WTB) on-site without dismantling the blades

Project Summary

Reduce the environmental impact of air transport using Additive Manufacturing techniques in the manufacture of civile aero engines.

Project Summary

Develop a systme that performs real time, online, and 100% volumetric inspection by digital, real time radiography, leading to automatic and instant rejection of all defective products, and instant production process corrections with minimum wastage.

Project Summary

The SpotTrack project is creating the first automatic spot weld tracking device that can be applied non-destructively in the automotive repair industry. SpotTrack will allow the user to quickly and reliably tell whether a spot weld is acceptable by giving a simple pass or fail indication. The proposed system will test the weld made within a matter of seconds and without the need for interpretation. Most importantly it will ensure that the actual spot welds going into service are safe and repairers can provide quality control records of their work.

Project Summary

Develop an effective in-process quality assurance system for the inspection of friction stir welds (FSW) predominantly used in the manufacture of aluminum rolling stock and marine vessels.

Project Summary

An advanced ultrasonic technique, sensors and systems will be developed to perform the volumetric examination of present and future alumino-thermic rail welds. The RAILECT device will provide the only means of detecting significant defects, including lack of fusion, shrinkage, in the welded joints.

Project Summary

Diffusion Bonding is a solid state joining process and is achieved by the atomic diffusion at the joint interface without any significant deformation of the components. The result is a very clean homogenous joint. There is currently no NDT technique that can reliably detect defects of the required dimensions and size in diffusion bonded joints during manufacture or in-service. The BondTest project will develop a validated NDT technique and system that will meet appropriate detection criteria, which will be commercialised and made available to industry.

Project Summary

Composite materials currently used as fire resistant barriers are expensive and release toxic substances such as methane, phenol, carbon monoxide, xylenol, amongst others, when they catch fire. In addition, by reducing the weight of the composite structure and by using renewable resources, the newly developed composites add up to a more economical and environmentally friendly product when applied in public transport, automotive, oil and gas and aerospace for example. In order to resolve the current needs highlighted above, the use of basalt/furan multi-layered composites with optional cellulose based inter layers was proposed.

The Tank Integrity Monitoring (TIM) project is working to develop a low frequency ultrasonic technique for the non-invasive condition monitoring of tank floors to detect corrosion or cracking degradation.

Project Summary

The Geo-coat project has been specified as necessary by our geothermal power and equipment manufacturing members, who, in order to reliably provide energy, need to improve plant capability to withstand corrosion, erosion and scaling from geofluids, to maintain the equipment up-time and generation efficiency. Additionally they need to be able to produce better geothermal power plant equipment protection design concepts through virtual prototyping to meet the increasing requirements for life cycle costs, environmental impacts and end-of-life considerations. Geothermal sources are very aggressive natural environments. High temperature and pressure conditions, as well as corrosive salts, represent a major threat to the integrity of the various components of geothermal power plants including liners and well casings, well heads, turbines, pumps, valves, heat exchangers, pipes, separators and condensers. Current materials, transferred from oil and gas applications to these exceptionally harsh environments, (and the corresponding design models) are not capable of performing, leading to constant need to inspect and repair damage. The Geo-coat project will develop new resistant materials in the form of high performance coatings of novel targeted 'High Entropy Alloys" and Cermets, thermally applied to the key specified vulnerable process stages (components in turbine in response to the specific corrosion and erosion forces we find at each point. We will also capture the underlying principles of the material resistance, to proactively design the equipment for performance while minimising overall capex costs from these expensive materials. The Geo-coat consortium has user members from geothermal plant operations and equipment manufactures to ensure the project's focus on real-world issues, coupled with world-leading experience in the development of materials, protective coatings and their application to harsh environments. In addition to developing the new coating materials and techniques, we also aim to transfer our experiences from the development of Flow Assurance schemes for Oil&Gas and Chemical industries to provide a new overarching set of design paradigms and generate an underpinning Knowledge Based System.

Developing and successfully implementing novel wayside systems for the inspection of wheels and axles of moving trains.

Project Summary

Develop new inspection technology based on Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing (PAUT) and Electro-Magnetic (EM) techniques suitable for the inspection of both solid and hollow axles.

Project Summary

The project developed NDT techniques suitable for deployment from a small observation class ROV for the examination of critical welds and lengths of subsea pipelines.

Project Summary

Development of novel Non Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques and autonomous robots to be deployed by Remote Operating Vehicles for the sub-sea inspection of offshore structure welds - DEMOnstration

ChipCheck addresses the development of a counterfeit electronic component detection system that will automatically inspect components in their original packaging. A number of non-destructive testing methods will be investigated and developed to establish the best detection method that can be automated.

Project Summary

Austenitic stainless steel is often used in the construction of critical pipework in nuclear power plant and petrochemical plant due to its resistance to corrosion and its high fracture resistance. Pipelines are usually constructed by joining sections of pipe together, using welding. These welds can host many types of defects that may go undetected if not inspected and in-service and under stress these defects can grow and lead to mechanical failure. Currently inspecting austenitic welds using ultrasonic techniques is difficult due to the materials inhomogeneity and anisotropy that causes the beam to scatter at grain boundaries. Conventional film radiography is the current technique used for inspecting these materials as the grain structure does not significantly affect the radiographic results. Film radiography is limited due to its long exposure times and the information available from the inspection results because the output provides a 2D image of a 3D object. The TomoWELD project proposes to develop a robust mobile X-ray tomographic system for the accurate inspection of austenitic steel welds at the sensitivity levels required in the nuclear industry. The application of X-ray computed tomography will overcome the limitations of current inspection techniques by providing 3D information of the internal structure allowing detailed cross sectional analysis and dimensional measurements to be obtained. The design and manufacture of this system requires further development of existing X-ray tomography techniques and algorithms, hardware (mobile X-ray source and digital detector arrays) and robust field manipulators for easy onsite operation.

Project Summary

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) contains considerable quantities of valuable components used in high-tech applications that currently are not recycled. Europe needs to improve and develop recovery, recycling and reuse of critical materials in order to avoid the dependency on imports, high prices and risk of supply imposed by countries owning mineral reserves. RECYVAL-NANO project will develop an innovative recycling process for recovery and reuse of indium, yttrium and neodymium metals from Flat Panels Displays (FPD), one of the most growing waste sources. The project will be addressed not only to the recovery of these critical elements, but also the recycling process developed. It will result in the direct extraction of metallorganic precursors for direct reuse in the production of high added value nanoparticles that is ITO, Y2O3:Eu3+ and Nd-Fe-B. The project will develop an integral study of the recycling process, starting with logistic issues of the waste collection, optimising mechanical sorting technologies and developing innovative ones for the recovery and concentration of smaller fractions containing indium, yttrium and neodymium, developing simplified solvent extraction routes based on tailored chemical extraction agents able to extract a 95 % of the key metal in a metallorganic extracted solutions, and using these extracted solutions as precursors in the direct production of advanced nanoparticles. RECYVAL-NANO will validate the recycling process developed through the construction, optimisation and demonstration of full pilot lines for mechanical recycling of FPDs (500 kg/h) and hydrometallurgical metal recovery processes (500 g/h). Finally, the demonstration of the superior performance application of ITO, Y2O3:Eu3+ and Nd-Fe-B nanoparticles in electronic applications of transparent conductors, LEDs and permanent magnets respectively will complete the entire cycle of the project.

This project will develop a fabric to harvest and store electrical energy within its fibrous matrix, to fulfill a need for an easily deformable, storable and transportable power supply. This will be achieved through the development of PV fibres and energy storage fibres integrated with control electronics into a textile. This unique approach, moving on from the current state of the art using rigid cell or film based PV materials and batteries, will allow development of large-area deformable products, including agrotextiles, buildings (flexible roofing and cladding), sails, tents, airships, outdoor inflatable products, and applications requiring easily deployable remote energy such as in disaster relief.

ImplantDirect will create a cost-effective, faster manufacturing route for orthopaedic, maxillofacial or trauma implants, tailored to the individual needs of patients. The overall project aims are to improve the quality of the implants, reduce the recovery time, improve the quality of life for the patients and reduce the healthcare costs.

This project is a leap forward towards a risk-intelligent and economically viable, responsible “green” ship dismantling achieved through the integrated and innovative management of worker health and safety but also the environmental, technical and economic drivers that characterize end-of-life vessels.

The project will deliver a revolutionary new technique for the inspection of dissimilar joints, two advanced phased array probes (TRL and annular) and a model based approach to compensating for metallurgical hurdles, which previously degrade inspection quality.

Project Summary

EMC²-Factory will improve and develop new technologies and processes, combining existing tools and methods in an overall integrated framework, to achieve economic and ecologic factories.

Develop a highly effective non-destructive system to inspect green parts of powder metallurgy manufacturing process resulting in a higher-level quality assurance and savings in material, time as well as energy.

Project Summary

The demand for ‘thick section’ steel structures in power generation is strong and growing – primarily driven by the need for off-shore wind towers and foundations structures. Within the UK there is the demand for 1,000 structures or 1m tonnes of steel per annum. The fabrication of structures is currently limited by the welding time (and cost). To produce a typical 40m long monopile (nominally 60mm thick) takes approximately 6,000hrs. Electron beam (EB) welding system scan reduce this welding time to less than 200hrs, equivalent to a reduction in cost of over 85%.

Cold spray is a technology to restore in-service wear/corrosion damage on high-value aluminium, magnesium and titanium aerospace parts that are unrepairable by other means. Repair has technical, cost and environmental benefits, but the UK is lagging behind in adopting the technology. In the US and Australia over 200 military aircraft repairs have been developed and hundreds of individual commercial aviation repairs approved, saving taxpayers and the aviation industry at least $100m so far. Existing repairs are dimensional, but load-bearing repairs are now also being developed. This requires special heat treated metal powders, because in cold spray, powder impacts a surface at supersonic speeds and bonds to it via a mechanism similar to explosion welding. There is no melting, so the powder structure is transferred directly to the coating. Research into these powders has recently started in the USA and many technical challenges remain. The powders must be further developed and proven, and a reliable commercial supply established. In this project, the UK has the chance to establish a global lead in engineered powders for cold spray. With InnovateUK investment PSI Ltd. (an SME) will take advantage of its 30 years' experience in powders to position itself as a global supplier of advanced thermally treated powders. To this end, PSI is partnering with BAE Systems and TWI. TWI owns the only independent state-of-the-art cold spray research facility in Europe, and has been active in cold spray since 2006. BAE Systems estimate the project outcomes could save the UK taxpayer >£100m pa after 8 years. SME project partner Alphatek Hyperformance Coatings Ltd is considering investing in cold spray, with a view to adding to their existing business portfolio for existing and new clients.

The main objective of the FIBRESHIP project is to create a new EU-market to build complete large-length ships in FRP (Fibre-Reinforced Polymers) enabling its massive application. In order to achieve this objective, the project will develop, identify and qualify FRP materials for different applications in particular for long-term structural strength and fire resistance. In addition to this, its massive application also requires elaborating innovative design procedures and guidelines supported on new validated software analysis tools. Standardized efficient production methodologies will be implemented and demonstrated by delivering a proof of concept. Clear performance indicators will be designed and applied in the evaluation of three targeted vessels categories (container ship, ferry and fishing research vessel) to be developed within the project. The project will also analyze the life cycle cost benefits of incorporating FRP materials in large-length ships, developing a business plan for the different actors in the value chain. The business plan will cover the different phases of the life cycle from design, engineering, material production and shipbuilding to the final dismantling of the vessel. The use of FRP materials in large-length ships will imply a significant weight reduction (about 30%) and a relevant impact in fuel saving, ship stability, environmental impact (reducing greenhouse gas emissions and underwater noise), and increase of cargo capacity. On the other hand, FRP materials are immune to corrosion and have a better performance under fatigue type loads, what means better life performance and reduced maintenance costs. The mid-term impact is estimated in about 5% of the total shipbuilding market in Europe (turnover about €2.0Bn), and it is envisaged a long term impact of up to 54.000 new direct jobs. Furthermore, it is estimated that the European shipping companies could deduct up to €1Bn/year cost with the adoption of the proposed FRP shipbuilding te

The aim of the DIRA-GREEN project is to develop a highly effective non-destructive testing (NDT) system to inspect ‘green parts’ of the powder metallurgy (PM) manufacturing process, to result in a higher-level quality assurance alongside savings in material, time and energy. This will be achieved by developing a fast and reliable inspection tool based on digital radiography for the inspection of green parts. There is a clear need within the industry for a rapid, non-invasive instrument capable of determining the porosity of ferrous and nonferrous ‘green parts’. The DIRA-GREEN project will devleop an NDT technique using digital radiography to enable online quality assurance of ‘green parts’, by monitoring compacted material porosity and identifying microscopic cracks.

In the current market, the well-known brands of technical textiles are coated with Perfluorocarbon chemistry to possess highly durable oil and water repellent (OWR) finish. In early days, water repellent finish for fabrics was provided by simple paraffin or wax coatings which washed out eventually. Alternatively, PFOS and PFOA are the chemicals belonging to the family of perflourochemicals (PFCs) also known as C8 chemistry is used. Although PFC-C8 are used together with binders that act as glue to stick to the surface of fabrics, as it is not chemically bonded to the substrate it leaches out, causing ecological threat. Recent studies have found PFC-C8 present in the blood, tissues and foetal-cords of human and its bio-persistence and bioaccumulation in the environment has caused significant concerns. C8 Fluorocarbons are currently under high regulatory pressure (2006/122/EC) and it’s outlawed in favour of C6 chemistry which performs lower to meet the industries durability and repellence standards. There is a strong demand for replacing the C8 chemistry with an equally performing finishing chemical. TEX-SHIELD will develop a novel, multifunctional molecular structure with silica backbone that is chemically bondable to the fibre/filament to achieve a highly durable textile finish that is resistant against the oil/grease/powder stains by biological route. The reasonable silica content in it will replace the C8 chemistry while providing equal performance. A replica of film forming effect will be formulated. The project will evaluate the suitable deposition technique. TEX-SHIELD will provide the textile industry with a cost effective and environmentally safe OWR finish on textiles, revolutionising the current market place, whilst resolving the concerns of the current PFC-C8 based stain-resistant coatings.

FoF Impact CSA will provide tailor-made guidelines and tools (including a FoF-Impact helpdesk) that will service both individual 'Factories of the Future' projects as well as clusters of 'Factories of the Future' projects. The clustering of projects results will be supported both by the existing EFFRA Innovation Portal and through the organisation of specific events, oriented either to technologies, application sectors or specific challenges, and it will thus further stimulate cross-fertilisation and the identification of additional exploitation opportunities.

It is generally accepted that fibre-delivered lasers are capable of cutting plate material up to 15mm in thickness. Compared with CO2 laser cutting, speeds up to 3 times faster are achievable with fibre-delivered lasers, for material thicknesses up to 3mm. The FILCO project will develop, for the first time, a laser process head specifically for cutting fibre-delivered laser sources.

FlexiFab aims to create an automated robotic system to enable welding of aluminium components. The system will use friction stir welding technology (FSW). The welding method offers a number of benefits for aluminium joining/welding.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) has the potential to revolutionise the design, production and supply of parts, but exploitation has been limited. A major challenge for the industry is to understand the true capability of the new techniques - especially making comparisons between machine platforms. Objectives: the ANVIL project will design and manufacture benchmark parts which will be used to evaluate a range of state-of-the-art metal powder bed machines to create industry standards and develop an on-line resource of machine performance for end users.

In order to reduce the sensor number, one has to be based on signals carrying information about the “global” structure state. The structure’s vibrational behavior is definitely a global characteristic. The idea is thus the development of a vibration based, in flight, structural health monitoring (SHM) platform, which can be applied in aircraft structures in practice. The main practical problem for the application of vibration based SHM methods in real world aircraft parts, is the large number of “training experiments” that are normally required for a successful fault detection, identification and localization. In the present project the real world training experiments will be replaced by simulated experiments using a proper analytic model, which will be fine tuned (updated) based a limited number of real world experiments. Furthermore, the existing vibration based methods will be adapted in order to be efficiently coupled with the new “training” procedure.

ACARE SRIA’s agenda is to achieve a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre by 2050, reduce NOx emissions by 90% and perceived noise by 65%. These targets have led to the exploration of new material technologies and innovative advanced engine solutions. Among the engine solutions that are being considered, one of the most valuable technologies is the Contra Rotating Open Rotor (CROR) propulsion system.

Project Summary

The project will produce a solution for LED-based illumination systems for an extended range of applications. It is based on an original concept that combines the light from different LED sources to produce near-perfect colour rendition, variable colour temperatures at the same time with high energy efficiency. This will be achieved by improving the performance and functionality of each of the three key elements in the lighting system: Light Engine, Driving Circuitry and Luminaire Design.

Develop digital computed radiography technology for the volumetric examination of large scale safety critical pressure components for the detection of in-service defects, corrosion and malfunctions.

Project Summary

HILDA will deliver a cost effective, low distortion welding process for shipyards to allow them to maintain competitiveness and produce light, strong, more fuel efficient vessels. The solid state technique will enable the modular construction of dimensionally accurate, high strength, corrosion resistant fabrications across the entire range of steels, enabling the introduction of stronger, tougher, corrosion resistant steels into the industry.

High Performance Insulation based on Nanostructure encapsulation of air

To produce high performance/high value polymer powders from waste polymer stock using tuneable ionic liquids

Some high power line transmission cables are installed in remote areas where it is difficult to serve and operate in severe conditions. The cables are subject to many environmental and operation factors such as moisture, voltage stress, omitting jacking and structural imperfections. These factors are the main reasons for inducing defects within the cable structure. A common type of defect has been identified as water trees.

Project Summary

Enable to develop additive manufacturing equipment, beam deflection systems and beam-powder interaction modelling to achieve high production rates from electron beam melting equipment.

The main goal of PUL-AERO is the development of a material state based controlled pultrusion process for the manufacturing of curved and partially cured stringers that comply with the stringent specifications of the aerospace industry and offer significant savings in production costs. PUL-AERO will design and build a pultrusion line for the production of linear and curved composite stringers for the aerospace industry. The main disadvantages of the pultrusion process is the difficulty in producing curved parts and the difficulty in handling aerospace grade epoxy resins, mainly due to the relevant stringent requirements regarding exposure to elevated temperatures and their slow cure. PUL-AERO aims to resolve the technical problems of pultrusion when it comes to production of curved aerospace composites parts and take advantage of the benefits of the process.

The MicroStir project will develop small scale friction stir welding (FSW) for use in electronic connections and encapsulations seeing harsh service environments.

Developing future deep-water technologies based on floating systems which would enable very large wind power installations in much deeper waters than is possible today

Project Summary

The EU wrought aluminium industry is based on the use of primary aluminium. Primary aluminium production is both energy and carbon intensive and EU production is rapidly declining. Secondary aluminium (post-consumer scrap) is either downgraded into low quality cast products, or exported. This scrap could be transformed into a low cost, low carbon feedstock for wrought product and high quality castings by the adoption of High Shear Processing (HSP) technology. This innovative new technology is based on a novel physical melt conditioning process that can be applied both to batch and continuous metal processing. It is based on leading edge research into the heterogeneous nucleation and growth in aluminium alloys, and its promotion by dispersed oxides. Research has demonstrated that the physical processing of liquid metals transforms oxides in melts from defects to active nuclei. This results in refined cast microstructures with significantly improved mechanical properties. The physically conditioned liquid can be used in all casting processes, including shape casting and the casting of rolling blocks or extrusion billets. The project will bridge the gap to industrialization by designing and manufacturing a prototype small industrial-scale HSP unit and then make recommendations regarding improved equipment design and likely process costs. RecyCAL could have a major impact on the EU wrought and cast aluminium industry, leading to the consolidation of the primary and secondary industry sectors. The project could transform the EU aluminium metals cycle from one that is currently resource intensive to one that is sustainable.

The project aims to demonstrate the viability of producing aerospace grade aluminium parts using direct manufacture – specifically additive manufacturing process of selective laser melting. The project will demonstrate that components and parts can be manufactured with a significant weight reduction, to the required mechanical properties for aerospace applications.

According to aircraft engines manufacturers, moving the electronic control units into the engine core would be seen as a huge benefit for the engine design. This would lower the intricacy of the interconnection around the engine, reduce the engine weight, make the assembly and maintenance easier besides providing nacelle aerodynamic and bypass flow improvements.

HiResEBM has the aim of developing an electron beam melting (EBM) additive manufacturing process to enable the fabrication of high-resolution medical implants with optimised porous structures directly from metal powder. Currently the design of some medical implants with porous structures is limited by production technologies not being able to implement complex 3D structures with high enough resolution of the porous structure.

The MAGNETIDE project, develops improved magnetic generator by exploring the use of high performance rare earth magnets, as well as iron based PIM options for benchmarking and optimisation, in combination with an innovative generator design and power system connection to integrate with the tidal device and achieve a high energy conversion in terms of electrical power from the kinetic energy potential of tidal streams.

The overall aim of this project is to combine component design and materials research to improve the performance of the G-TT tidal stream device, a novel concept in generating energy from tidal streams. The project will create lighter and more reliable turbines and demonstrate their commercial viability via a prototype. G-TT's novel concept, innovated in the UK is distinct from existing run-of-river and tidal stream devices in that it causes the inflowing water to rotate, whereby the device's specially designed turbine then captures the rotational kinetic energy. TidalDesign project seeks to research and select from advanced lightweight materials (High strength steels, light alloys (Al, and Ti) and composites) for this novel design to stream tidal energy. The target is therefore to combine an innovative component design (vortical flow turbine) and materials selection for creating lighter but durable turbines to demonstrate as a prototype that can ultimately reach commercial scale. The operating conditions require that the turbines have adequate fatigue and impact resistance, and that they do not break. Driven by the need for high energy efficiency, lighter structures with adequate integrity hence present potential opportunities thus have been the subject of some research and applied in other industry sectors, notably wind power and marine. It is hence the aim of this project to select materials and develop turbine blades that are suitable for industrial application and which have been validated as a result of testing within this project. The project will build on the findings of the small scale tests by examining application of the blade materials developed in the programme to larger scale prototype components

Build a new and original concept of "simulation supported POD curves based on Non Destructive Testing (NDT) simulation in addition to existing experimental data base".

Project Summary

Strong interest in increasing off shore wind turbine life to 40 years, will require foundations that withstand splash and tidal corrosion without maintenance. Designers currently manage corrosion through additional material allowance and organic coatings, but these are inadequate for longer life due to prohibitive increases in structural mass and limited organic coating durability. 25 years of oil sector experience indicates that thermally-sprayed aluminium (TSA) based coatings off er 40-year protection switching to TSA-based coatings, gives a major opportunity to reduce signifi cantly coating application costs and to eliminate the fabrication bottleneck due to painting. Improved coating formulations based on TSA, modified-TSA compositions and novel sealants will be evaluated. Quantitative coating corrosion measurement techniques will be developed and a ruggedised coating performance monitoring unit will be validated at an off shore site. The data generated will provide confi dence that coatings can be applied with a 40-year life expectancy.

REFERTIL is an acronym for Reducing mineral fertilisers’ and chemicals use in agriculture by recycling treated organic waste as compost and bio-char products. The key purpose of REFERTIL is to contribute to the transformation of urban organic waste, food industry by-products and farm organic residues from a costly disposal process into an income generating activity.

Project Summary

This proposal will aim to develop the enabling technology that will enable existing pipe crawling robots (pigs) to provide internal inspection of pipe walls using long range ultrasound guided waves (LRUG) deployed in pipe segments of about fifty metre length. The aim is to perform total volume inspection far more rapidly, accurately and cheaply than is presently achieved with magnetic and ultrasonic pigs by developing a circumferential collar of LRUG sensors and novel time reversal focussing to produce a map of the circumferential and axial pipe corrosion and cracks. As LRUG sensors detect all significant corrosion in oil and gas pipelines within typically 50 metre of the sensors in a few milliseconds, long lengths of pipe can be scanned very rapidly with sample wave echo patterns obtained only every 50 metres thereby data storage requirements will be orders of magnitude less than present inspection methods.

Project Summary

The project will develop novel measurement technology to continuously monitor the structural integrity of offshore and onshore wind tower structures, using embedded inductive displacement sensors (IDS) and long range ultrasonic (LRU) and acoustic emission technique (AE) in combination (LRU/AE). Wireless communications will be used to control the monitoring system and transmit the measurement data to an onshore base.

Project Summary

WinTur Demonstration project will demonstrate the structural health monitoring (SHM) system that was developed successfully in the WinTur Research for the Benefit of SMEs project, in order to show that such a system is viable for blade monitoring and can help the wind sector to achieve the kind of energy delivery to business and communities that is desired by reducing operational and maintenance costs.

Develop an advanced integrated system for real-time SHEM and impending failure detection for on and offshore wind turbine blades, enabling a fundamental realignment of inspection/maintenance strategies.

Project Summary

The INFINITY project, “Indium-free transparent conductive coating oxides for glass and plastic substrates”, is focused on the development of novel inks for transparent conductive thin coatings that are used in a variety of optoelectronic devices including flat panel displays, photovoltaic cells, etc. Nowadays, indium tin oxide (ITO) is the most commonly used material for these applications, however indium is a scarce and expensive element. Therefore the main objective of INFINITY project is to develop alternative indium-free oxide coatings with similar electrical conductivity and high transmission as ITO coatings, to deposit these coatings and patterns by a direct, cost-effective printing process. Concretely, the INFINITY project will develop inks with nanoparticles of two novel chemical compositions: doped zinc oxide and doped titanium dioxide. The nanoparticles will be synthesised by an innovative sol-gel method, employing specifically formulated precursors. Then, the developed inks will be modified and adapted to novel printing techniques as gravure and ink-jet printing to enable direct writing of multi-layers and patterns, avoiding the waste associated with existing etch patterning processes. A novel laser-based approach will be used for low-temperature sintering of the printed conductive coatings, thereby allowing for not only glass but also plastic substrates to be used. This will allow for a wider variety of end-user applications, ranging from displays to solar panels to organic photovoltaics and energy harvesting by smart windows. The INFINITY project is a 3 year research project that brings together European experts from all aspects of the fabrication supply chain. For more information please see the project website: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 641927.

FoFAM project takes up the challenge of clustering the technological developments related to AM under the PPP “Factories of the Future” to develop a strategy to market. Moreover, it will be aligned with the regional smart specialisation research and innovation strategies for manufacturing.

Project Summary

The project aims to develop three non-destructive testing techniques for inspection of parts and components manufactured by Additive Manufacturing Processes, in particular Laser Metal Deposition (LMD).

Project Summary

Rising material costs and the growing use of difficult-to-machine materials are spurring on designers to explore alternative, cheaper production methods. Near net shape forming technologies, which build parts instead of machining them from solid billets, potentially offer a range of benefits. The TiFab project aims to show how linear friction welding can be used to boost productivity of aerospace quality near net shape components for the airframe sector.

Developing an intelligent knowledge-based (KB) flexible manufacturing technology for titanium shaping that will lead to drastically reduce current aircraft development costs incurred by the fabrication of complex titanium sheet aeronautical components with a minimal environmental impact.

Project Summary

Currently, composite moulds are mainly used in open-mould manufacturing processes and in Light RTM (Resine Transfer Molding), a low-pressure variation of RTM. The project aims to extend the applicability of composite moulds into the more demanding regime of RTM production, as well as to extend the application of the open mould and light RTM techniques in the field of advanced resin systems, where an elevated temperature is required.

The aim is to undertake systems analysis of a new integrated heat recovery concept for future hybrid and electric range extender passenger cars. The proposed work is multidisciplinary in nature, including fundamental R&D of novel thermal coatings, quantification of ICE performance effects, exhaust heat recovery analysis and electric motor & battery performance analysis. The approach involves the use of new thermal barrier coatings that can reduce ICE wall heat losses by 30%. The premise is based upon minimising the heat lost to the engine coolant/oil and elevating the gas temperatures in the exhaust, where the energy can be more easily recovered. The method is particularly well suited to future hybrid and electric range extender applications, where knocking combustion can be more easily avoided and rapid catalyst light-off achieved. The work involves study of innovative technology in three areas. 1. Materials and manufacturing R&D of novel thermal surface coating technologies. 2. Evaluation of the effects of the coatings on ICE performance, fuel economy and emissions. 3. Analysis of the performance of the coatings when combined with exhaust heat recovery, hybrid and electric range extender powertrain technologies.

Project Summary

The FibreChain project aims at the development of worldwide first automated turnkey manufacturing systems for fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites (FRTC) addressing public and private transportation, mechanical, chemical and civil engineering as well as consumer goods.

Demonstrating significant advantage over conventional manufacture and ensuring further uptake of LAMP processes for the manufacture of medical implants, aero-engine components and other small-size applications.

Project Summary

CLAMPIT project aims to develop a high-end decision supporting system that helps metalworking SMEs increasing efficiency of welding jobs by automatizing clamping design calculations. The CLAMPIT software will be able to give an optimum process sequence, optimal clamping points and forces and it will advise the users on the application of LSND (Low-Stress No Distortion) technology.

Investigating the potential to formulate stable coating materials containing graphene

LASHARE will develop a robust assessment framework for innovative laser equipment paving the way for new manufacturing applications. It will carry out a large number of assessment experiments for a variety of laser equipment targeting strategic manufacturing areas for Europe. Laser Equipment Assessment (LEA) will define requirements and metrics for development / improvement and perform validation in a production like environment.

Develop and produce novel solutions of ultrasonic testing and surface inspection techniques for the shipping industry.

Project Summary

The LightBlank project will push the limits of sheet panel lightweighting technology. A combination of high quality friction stir welding and HFQ, an advanced aluminium forming based on scientific understanding of material behaviour, will help realise the ultimate lightweight aluminium panels with innovative design for automotive, rolling stock and aerospace industries. The proposed technology combination will enable UK made vehicles to be cheaper and lighter. That will reinforce competitiveness of the wider UK vehicle manufacturing industry and benefit the whole nation.

Develop a cost effective long range ultrasonic inspection and also a wireless condition monitoring system in order to improve and better maintain railway systems for better efficiency and safety.

Project Summary

There are kilometres of wiring in modern aircrafts (~600km in an Airbus 380), carrying a range of services from power, vital avionics and communication systems through to in-flight entertainment. They are extremely difficult to inspect during routine maintenance because they are bundled into complex harnesses and pass behind structural components/bulkheads. As the wiring ages, the wires and their insulation are subject to a variety of degradation. Failure of either can have disastrous consequences, in particular the loss of vital controls or communications or fire caused by arcing. A study of international aviation incidents from 1972 to 2000 found 400 to be wiring related.

Develop a long range ultrasonic system with high temperature capability for continuous in service inspection and structural health monitoring of steam pipes in power generation plants.

The MobiWeld project will develop a prototype, mobile Friction Stir Welding (FSW) system, which will be designed and constructed for use in final fabrication/assembly in a shipyard environment.

Apply new technologies to extend the life of ederly infrastructure, Improve degradation and structural models to develop more realistic life cycle cost and safety models, Investigate new construction methods for the replacement of obsolete infrastructure, Investigate monitoring techniques to complement or replace existing examination techniques, Develop management tools to assess whole life environmental and economic impact.

Project Summary

ManSYS aims to develop and demonstrate a set of e-supply chain tools to enable the mass adoption of Additive Manufacturing (AM). This will allow businesses to identify and determine the suitability of AM for metal products, and subsequently manage the associated supply-chain issues and ‘facilitating’ open product evolution.

The proposal aims to investigate two novel ideas concerning ship structures. First the introduction of High Strength Low Alloyed Steels (HSLA) in specific structural details in order to deal with the major issue of crack initiation and propagation in critical areas of ships and second the replacement of specific structural parts of the ship with composite materials.

Sprinkler systems, by design, can be either wet or dry and both systems are subject to corrosion and blockage compromising their integrity. These effects may lead to water leakage from the piping system, increased repair hidden in the building envelope as opposed to being visible. In addition, inspections of sprinkler systems are often overlooked and the current non-destructive testing (NDT) methods such as visual, ultrasonic testing and long range ultrasonic testing technologies are invasive, expensive and time consuming. Existing techniques are also unable to be used for the inspection of certain defects such as isolated corrosion pits and blockages.

The MEMLAB project aims at developing a new lightweight technology within two years to (increase the market share of the electric vehicle market) assist with the introduction of lead-acid battery technology into the electric vehicle market.

The project will evaluate the feasibility of step-changing the productivity and the competitiveness of making functional thick-film heater coatings by supplementing the current thermal spray application process, using pre-oxidised transition metals, with a low-pressure cold-spray application process using admixtures of ductile metal particles with brittle metal oxide particles. 2DHeat Ltd will partner with TWI Ltd to establish a viable production technique suitable for setting-up an export supply chain for the production and sale of novel far IR radiant heater panels in Slovenia. TWI will provide expertise of powder behaviours, performances and selection under cold-spray conditions as well as surface characterisation and relevant measurement techniques. They will also provide access to high temperature/ high pressure cold-spray equipment, as required. Dycomet UK Ltd will specifically provide expertise on the selection, access and running of low-pressure/ low temperature application equipment as well as practical guidance on run-condition optimisation. Once established, the project work is expected to have relevance in other high volume outlets, including automotives, white goods and plastic injection moulding.

Magnetic Barkhausen Noise (BHN) measurements are used in non-destructive inspection of stress/strain and microstructures in a range of materials. BHN occurs when an AC magnetic field is applied to a ferromagnetic material, and is due to the sudden irreversible motion of magnetic domain walls as they are released from microstructural obstacles such as dislocations and grain boundaries. BHN can provide high resolution microstructure related information, but classical detection techniques used do not have the resolution (both spatial and magnetic), to extract the wealth of data available. Most BHN systems rely on coil-based detection of magnetic signals, and thus suffer from inherent limitations such as relatively large sensor sizes, frequency dependent operation and a dependence on total magnetic flux sampled (rather than flux density). We aim to address these issues by using advanced Quantum Well Hall Effect (QWHE) sensors as a novel solution. These sensors have several advantages such as: miniaturised size, responsivity to both AC+DC, sensitivities independent of frequency and a very wide dynamic range. We propose to implement this novel Quantum enabled sensor to enable a new paradigm in high resolution microstructural analysis of materials.

Improve the welding process by using a range of state-of-the-art computer modelling techniques and knowledge gained from industrial experiments.

Project Summary

Produce a state-of-the-art copper nano-structured coating that provides antibacterial functionality and prevents leaching.

This project developed three novel NDT techniques and delivery systems designed to increase confidence in the integrity of the wiring in an aircraft by detecting flaws in the wiring or insulation.

Project Summary

Near Infra-Red photoinitiated curing of industrial wood coatings and varnishes

Develop an integrated system to monitor continuously the condition of aircraft components, using a novel integrated transducers for improved long range ultrasonic technique (LRUT) optimised to maximise UT wave-defect interaction in order to boost sensitivity.

Project Summary

The overall aim of the SOIMON project is to develop a more advanced in-situ investigation method for identifying and characterising pollution in contaminated soil. This will be achieved by integrating sophisticated sensors into a solid probe intended to drive down through the soil matrix to perform continuous or semi-continuous measurements. The sensor measurements provide improved and more precise data input through the chemometric analysis as basis for better decision making. Furthermore, the investigation method will be easier and quicker to use, and hence also less costly than current investigation methods. The project will develop an in-situ soil sensing system that is deployed in a sonic drill machine. The complete system/ bore pipes are going to be equipped with condition monitoring sensors in order to enhance the time, cost and reliability of the soil monitoring process.

Project Summary

To use microwaves and novel ceramic tooling incorporating a microwave absorber layer for the rapid heating of composites for the processing of large polymer matrix composite (PMC) structures. The basic principle relies on a microwave absorbent layer on the tool, which will absorb microwaves and turn this into heat. The heat will then transfer in conduction/convection to the composite part, saving the need to heat (and cool) the chamber and tool. The process will lead to reduced manufacturing time and cost (by approximately half), and reduced process energy consumption (at least a third).

Offshore Wind Turbine Towers – A Quicker, Cheaper Flange Supply Route

The project aim is the early detection of creep cracking, fatigue cracking and erosion thinning in superheated steamlines in nuclear plants through the use of a continuous structural health monitoring system permanently installed on line pipe work and providing 100% pipe coverage at all times. This system (ULTRASTEAMLINE) will work through the innovative use of long range guided ultrasound with dry acoustic coupling to piezoelectric transducers with long life operation at 350C. Existing inspection practice at outages leaves many large defects undetected because 100% coverage is only reached over 10 years. The system performance target is to detect and track the growth of all defects > 0.25% of pipe wall cross sectional area and ideally > 0.05% , greatly reducing the need for inspection at outages, repairs and incidence of pipe failure , to save ~ 3.5 days per reactor pa of planned and forced outage time. Estimated potential global savings in outage costs are £1.2bnpa and the UK/EEA ROI ~ 54:1. pa.Major innovations to achieve are dry acoustic coupling and transducers able to perform at high temperstures

Tidal stream power is a very environmentally friendly renewable energy source whose exploitation is being retarded by operation and maintenance problems which cause very low availability times, as poor as 25%. So the REMO project goal is to provide an enabling technology for tidal stream energy, by reducing the projected life cycle maintenance costs of tidal stream energy by 50% and the generator downtime to a level comparable with wind turbines i.e. to achieve availability times of about 96%. This strategy will reduce present projected costs of tidal stream energy production down to levels comparable with life cycle wind turbine electricity costs thus ensuring the economic viability of tidal generators. Energy providers will then be attracted to investing in tidal stream energy, so that its full economic potential and environmental advantages are realised. The REMO system will remotely and permanently monitor the entire frequency spectrum of structural vibrations generated by all the rotating components of a tidal stream turbine, by combining a suite of accelerometer and acoustic emission sensors for the low and high frequency regime respectively. The system will determine the vibrational signature of a healthy turbine and the evolution of that signature during the turbine life cycle. It will then discover any significant change in that signature that could be a symptom a structural health problem at any point in the life cycle, including the build up of marine fouling, and then issue an automatic warning. The system will be validated by installing it on an in-service tidal stream generator.

Project Summary

During an aircraft engine’s life, various factors such as fatigue, stress, wear; extreme temperature changes and cycles can affect the integrity of different parts. Rotating welded components are most affected. Moreover, the geometry complexity of aircraft engines has increased drastically. Future engine architectures such as open-rotor engines make the inspection access to certain parts difficult or even impossible using existing inspection methods. In order to safeguard the engine life and flight safety, regular inspection of engine welded parts is crucial to detect weld defects.

The fuel rail is a pressure reservoir which feeds fuel injectors with fuel from a high pressure fuel pump, it works in a very demanding environment experiencing high cycle fatigue due to high frequency pressure fluctuation. The Optipress project will innovate fuel rails design by connecting design tools for FEA, distortion prediction and fatigue design to maximise the potential for autonomous design optimization. Further, the process innovation will be based around modelling and software to predict and control heat distortion of parts due to joining process. This will offer significant benefits, reduced process steps, improved part quality, reduced material and reduce waste (scrap). It will create and integrate a new technology that can be used across multiple sectors, such as: Aerospace, Oil & Gas, Automotive, Food and Drink and Power Generation. The partners that will develop Optipress project are Unipart Powertrain Applications (leading provider of fuel systems and engine components to the Automotive Sector), Coventry University and TWI. Prediction of residual stresses/distortion, and optimisation of joining processes to reduce residual stress/distortion is a common requirement for TWI's clients. Metrology, joining and simulation are areas in which Coventry are developing cross sector expertise.

OXIGEN will combine leading-edge European expertise in the manufacture of specialist powder alloys (Mechanical Alloying), knowledge of niche high-temperature materials and capabilities in additive manufacturing. This will produce an integrated, world-leading capability to directly manufacture from powder to part custom-designed, best-in-class high temperature alloys for power generation component applications. OXIGEN will develop different Oxide Dispersion Strengthened (ODS) alloys individually designed to address specific high temperature materials performance challenges currently limiting power generation component capabilities. This will lead to the prospect of higher efficiency power generation turbine systems. It is expected that project results can contribute significantly towards achieving sustained high temperature turbine operation (>620 Degrees C) leading towards power plant efficiency gains greater than 30%.

Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology has developed rapidly in the last decade and has demonstrated significant potential to reduce the costs and improve the quality and efficiency of aerospace components. This can be realised through improved design freedom and light-weighting via topology optimisation, improved buy-to-fly ratios, and a reduction of tooling cost – all of which have a demonstrable impact on the carbon footprint and waste in manufacture. The “Holy Grail” of metal additive manufacturing is to manufacture reliable, high-performance metal parts with no or minimal need of post-processing. The key to unlocking this is achieving geometry-specific process parameters that enable a near-uniform thermal history and hence minimise post-processing requirements. As the European AM industry and design optimisation applications are growing, lead time and financial costs associated with optimising process parameters to ensure high-quality AlSi10Mg parts with complex geometry is a significant barrier to widespread adoption. PASSPORT seeks to remove this barrier and advance the state-of-the-art through the delivery of an ambitious experimental, analytical and software development programme. PASSPORT will: (1) Undertake a detailed characterisation of AlSi10Mg SLM parts with a unique laboratory setup. (2) Employ advanced process simulations to understand and quantify the relationship between different scan strategies and part attributes. (3) Develop state-of-the-art, optimised process parameters that vary with local part topology and geometry characteristics to ensure homogeneous mechanical properties, high density and a smooth build surface. (4) Produce a bespoke, stand-alone process parameter selection software solution for AlSi10Mg SLM parts that can communicate with multiple vendors’ SLM machines. (5) Improve the time-to-market for SLM parts by removing significant cost and time-intensive burdens associated with optimising SLM builds

The life span and safe operation of a nuclear power plant depends on the durability of the transition joints. Cases of premature failure of dissimilar joints have lead Somers Forge and TWI to the development of an improved manufacturing method. In today’s nuclear power plants, transition joints are used in in the primary steam circuits, pump and valve bodies, auxiliary systems and other safety critical components. With more than 50 nuclear power plants on order worldwide for delivery by 2016, and a further 100 expected in the following 10 years there is a significant opportunity to supply components into these power stations.

Ensure further use of and increased confidence in employing the latest laser technologies for welding of thin-gauge aluminium and copper as used in electric car battery interconnections and in thin-film PV assemblies.

Radiation mapping and laser size reduction

Limited access and high thickness components typically limit non-destructive inspection in the nuclear industry to Ultrasonic testing (UT) techniques. Radiation endurance of commercially available UT sensors is limited to cumulative doses of 1 to 2 MGy even for models branded as radiation resistant. Severe operational difficulties can occur due to unexpected sensor failure and recurrent sensor replacement is both time consuming and expensive. The RRUS project will explore the constructed and testing of novel, radiation resilience, probes manufactured from exotic materials and a variety of assembly techniques. This goal will be to provide the nuclear industry with a reliable UT solution for prolonged inspection and monitoring. Two scenarios are envisaged: a) high radiation - inspection close to fission nuclear reactors and b) low radiation - inspection in nuclear waste disposal sites. Our main objective is to manufacture and test a series of prototype probes tailored to determine the design most suited to each condition.

As the number of European rail passenger journeys increases, the demand on the availability of supporting assets increases. Infrastructure maintenance is underpinned by various non-destructive evaluation mechanisms and the increase in demand subsequently increases the need for efficient and effective routine inspection. The majority of inspection is currently delivered manually through either ultrasound or eddy current techniques, which are time consuming. Where inspection is undertaken by mobile automated ultrasound there are challenges due to loss of coupling and wear of the coupling mechanism. Therefore, there are opportunities to improve the speed and effectiveness of rail inspection by meeting the inspection challenge.

Project Summary

With increased competition from low cost manufacturing countries across the globe, Yorkshire manufacturing faces the challenge of delivering cost competitive, new customized products more quickly than before to meet customer demands. Delayed development or delivery can result in business failure. Several technologies known as rapid manufacturing have been developed to shorten the design and production cycle, and promise to revolutionise many traditional manufacturing procedures. Before production of a new part begins, a prototype is often required to allow demonstration, evaluation, or testing of the proposed product. The fast creation of a prototype is known as rapid prototyping and is generally carried out before specialised moulds, tools, or fixtures are designed. RAMP will aim to establish an internationally-leading and sustainable rapid manufacturing technology programme to enhance the region's capabilities and competencies.

Pipeline infrastructure is aging far beyond its engineered lifetime, with pipe corrosion presenting itself as a major issue to firms wishing to extend the lifetimes of their assets. So far, industry has failed to comprehensively manage pipeline integrity, and it is now experiencing the cost. The high level of maintenance required to preserve assets and run them at full capacities has created immense demand for inspection services. To minimise inspection costs, companies look at non-invasive methods of inspection. Breakthrough Gridsense technology will advance the effectiveness of non invasive inspection by providing a system that can monitor pipelines 24/7. This will keep industry informed and allow it to respond to corrosion threats early. Not only will this save industry money, but also help reduce the risk of leakage and spillage, which can have grave consequences on both the environment and society.

Objective: Develop a laser welding control system capable of integrating process sensor data obtained before, during and after welding, to adjust the laser welding parameters accordingly and deliver welded joints targeting zero defects. Benefit: Information and experience on novel process monitoring and control solutions will be made exploited by industrial end-users in the project, and disseminated to the wider research and industrial communities, helping to strengthen the EU’s position in both laser welding and high value manufacturing.

The highly demanding in-service conditions of torpedo ladle axles in steel production and high speed locomotion axles result in high levels of abrasive wear (often during wheel removal) and corrosion, which raise concerns over fatigue performance. Applying a suitable Laser Engineered Coating (LEC) onto axles can potentially generate large savings on replacement costs, as well as eliminating the CO2 burden of manufacturing new components. LEC technology is a recent development that has been successfully implemented in a variety of applications where resistance to wear is the foremost consideration and fatigue performance is not so important. However, up to now there has been little development of metallurgical powders for enhanced fatigue performance. This research gap has limited the growth of LEC into broader applications, including axles, where behaviour under cyclic stress is a key safety concern. This project will undertake a comprehensive programme of powder and LEC development to produce new coatings optimised for combined high fatigue, wear, adhesion and corrosion performance, which will be validated through both destructive and non-destructive evaluation.

The proposed system for Remote Condition Monitoring using Vibration Analysis (VA-RCM) for train door control systems will automatically detect wear in door rollers, the linear shaft assembly, ball bearings and misalignments in the shaft and door panels in the very early stages before breakdown of the door mechanisms occur.

Project Summary

Nuclear sites require regular maintenance to replace and/or repair corroded/deteriorated pipes. A result of the challenging environment, confined space and limited external access is that external orbital cutting and welding processes are not viable for many applications, and, consequently, in-bore remote processing has generated significant interest in recent years. The LaserPipe project aims to address the limited external access problem faced during regular maintenance to replace pipelines in the nuclear plant. The feasibility study will develop an in-bore laser welding head and investigate the procedures for laser welding in all directions.

Residual Stress (RS) is attracting considerable attention in engineering because of its impact on part distortion, service performance and the costs associated with failures resulting from it. Currently RS assessment can be expensive, time consuming, destructive and may provide only single point data. In this project a new means of evaluating RS is proposed based on material and system models combined with data from a full-field, non-contact, non-destructive measurement technique. This approach will be particularly suited to large or expensive components, where material removal is undesirable and where contact is impossible.

Project Summary

Develop a risk-based expert system for through-life structural inspection, maintenance and new-build ship structural design. The main objective of the project is to provide to the shipping companies (owners, managers) a useful tool to aid the structural integrity management of ships. This is with a view to optimising the overall management of shipping operations and trades. The project is addressed to two particular types of ship: Bulk carriers and Tankers.

Project Summary

Failure of mooring systems for offshore structures, primarily used by the oil and gas industry, represents a critical threat to the assets themselves, human life and the environment. Considerable effort is made to ensure that the integrity of the chains is kept to high standards, and a key part of this is a drive to increase the precision and reliability of inspection methods. TWI has recently been involved in the inspection of a critical chain link on an FPSO, developing a specific inspection tool for implementation by divers. This tool was able to detect critical fatigue cracking which had developed during service. The RIMCAW project takes this further by aiming to (1) size and map accurately fatigue cracks within the body of the chain, (2) replace the diver with robotic systems to meet evolving health and safety regulations and (3) address all links on a mooring chain system both subsea, at the splash zone and in the air. • Develop a mechanised scanning trajectory and technique for critical areas of a mooring chain; • Develop the ultrasonic transducers and instruments in a suitably marinised condition; • Design, develop and demonstrate a robotic system to travel on a mooring chain and inspect critical areas of each link for fatigue cracking. The RIMCAW project will deliver a robotic system for mooring chains that will operate in an autonomous fashion from the top side of a vessel to subsea. This will aid in systematic inspection schemes for critical mooring systems, with the ability to rapidly deploy the inspection system on demand and, importantly, maintain traceability on the condition of a mooring system for lifetime monitoring for the emergence of critical fatigue cracking.

Project Summary

Safer, low-cost nuclear material storage through cold spray-formed boron carbide coated components (SafeStore)Transport and/or storage of spent nuclear fuel can require neutron shielding materials. Two such materials currently used are composite plate materials consisting of aluminium (or aluminium alloys) containing varying proportions of boron carbide particulates, which have a high neutron absorbing capability. Whilst these metal matrix composite (MMC) materials are suitable for specific niche applications, the current manufacturing route is unable to produce them in anything other than flat solid plates. This limits the design options for containers/canisters.In the SafeStore project, cold spray coating technology was used to develop a material that is similar to the MMC but can be applied to sheet metal fabrications in any desired thickness up to tens of millimetres. Cold spray technology facilitates the co-deposition of thermally sensitive and/or easily oxidised materials such as Al and B4C without thermal degradation. The coatings were developed and applied to steel samples and plates and the deposition parameters were then further improved to obtain higher levels of B4C in the coatings.The use of a coating results in better design flexibility and hence better and more cost-effective dry cask storage options. The project was led by Graham Engineering, a UK-based company with a strong track record in the supply of nuclear waste fuel containers. TWI conducted the coatings development work whilst Graham Engineering helped define the market needs and facilitated the characterisation and evaluation of the radiological performance of the coatings.

The aerospace sector wastes 90% of material when manufacturing a part. A solution to this is the use of additive manufacturing via laser metal deposition, an exciting new manufacturing technique, which significantly reduces material waste, and enables direct manufacture of complex components in an expanded range of metallic alloys. Objective - to reduce material waste for production and repair applications in the aerospace sector using AM techniques. SCAMPER aims to improve LMD technology in terms of suitable materials, production rate and size of components for manufacture and repair applications.

Engineering sub-surface geo-energy operations is essential for our society. Such operations, however, carry intrinsic environmental risks. Science4CleanEnergy, S4CE, is a multi-disciplinary consortium established to understand the underlying mechanisms underpinning sub-surface geo-energy operations and to measure, control and mitigate their environmental risks. S4CE will develop across Europe, where it will have access to 4 complementary field sites. The operations (carbon sequestration, enhanced geothermal energy, enhanced oil recovery using CO2, and gas/water production from fractured limestone) share environmental risks due to induced seismicity, fugitive emissions, fluid transport in the sub-surface, durability of the concrete structures, and leaks to water table. S4CE believes that a comprehensive analysis of environmental impact, risks and potential benefits is necessary to assess the sustainability of sub-surface geo-energy operation. Towards achieving this goal, S4CE will develop instruments to cost-effectively measure and sample. S4CE will develop and implement a toolbox to interpret seismic data, identify fluid pathways, and quantify the environmental impact of each operation via both Life Cycle Assessment and Multi-Risk analysis. Best practice and best procedures will be identified and reported to policymakers and disseminated to all stakeholders, including industry and NGOs. Training the next generation of scientists, disseminating the results widely, collaborating with North American colleagues and exploiting technological innovations will underpin our success.

Corrosion of metals is one of the major issues in a number of metal industries with significant impacts and costs associated with it. Steel, especially carbon steel, is used widely in number of industry sectors, like the oil and gas, chemical, construction and marine industries. The protection of carbon steel against corrosion is critical not only in-use but also during transportation and storage at the steel yard. Zinc-based primers are the most commonly used method for corrosion protection of the steel, protecting the steel via sacrificial galvanic protection mechanisms. However, maintaining a balance between corrosion protection and weldability can be a challenge. Typically coatings thicker than 25-50 microns are necessary to achieve good protection against corrosion but this can lead to difficulties in the welding process due to the inability to strike a weld through the thick primer. Additionally, the incorporation of any organic materials from the coating in the weld or entrapment of zinc fumes and gas can make the weld porous and have a significant negative impact on weld quality. Thus, removal of the primer is often undertaken before welding, leading to an additional step and hence additional costs. In addition, by-products like zinc fumes from zinc-rich primers have a significant health hazard associated with them and can potentially lead to zinc fever for the welders. Overall, the use of traditional zinc-rich primers can lead to increased post-weld cleaning costs, reduced quality, greater rework, and an overall reduction in productivity. The WeldaPrime project aims to develop a primer which is zinc-free, has low organic content, and can be applied at a low enough thickness which can provide weld-through capability without affecting weld quality and yet provide adequate corrosion protection. For more information please see the project website:

The aviation industry has recognized the need for more sophisticated IVHM systems and more innovative ways to deploy them in situations where complex structural geometries create accessibility limitations that may impede efforts to locate and identify deeply hidden flaws. The intended outcome of SENTIENT is a state of the art wireless monitoring system capable of automatically measuring and detecting flaws in various geometric structures in the aircraft wing. The developments will cater for new and conventional materials and will address the continued improvement in inspection capability as well as target the reduction of false reports from hard landings, a major concern for the aviation industry.

Project Summary

Develop new technology based on Ultrasonic Guided Waves to inspect the concrete structure and steel reinforcements for dangerous levels of age-related degradation that can be caused by water ingress into surface cracks resulting in corrosion of internal steel re-bars and reinforcement.

Project Summary

The SmartBridge project aims to revolutionise the monitoring and maintenance of bridge infrastructure by developing an innovative knowledge-based digital platform that will enable the visualisation of bridges' condition and degradation. These virtual models or twins will combine the multiscale 3D numerical models with sensor data collected and processed from real bridge infrastructure, incorporating operating environmental conditions and inspection history. Condition monitoring sensors including wireless accelerometers, displacement transducers, temperature sensors, strain gauges, barometers, hygrometers etc. will be placed on bridges and data will be collected, processed and transferred to the digital twin, continuously resulting in a close to real digital twin of the bridge showing real-time conditions. Such a platform will allow bridge operators to predict failure and plan maintenance before incidents occur. It will reduce maintenance costs by 20% and downtime by 60%. The application of SmartBridge will include (1) Continuous remote condition monitoring of bridges infrastructures (2) Risk-based inspection approach to perform intelligent maintenance operations, (3) A better understanding of lifecycle and degradation behaviour of bridges in different operating conditions.

The SOLplus project will explore the feasibility of using novel nanostructured coatings to improve theoperational performance of solar PV by preventing dirt and grime accumulation on solar PV modules andreducing or eliminating the associated drop in power output (typically up to 10-20%). The project will establishthe proof of principle that these durable, transparent, and superhydrophobic coatings can be put on both glassand flexible substrates to prevent the build-up of dirt on solar panels. Such coatings will be a significantadvance in the field of repellent surfaces, with the potential to be self-cleaning . By maintaining the designperformance of the solar PV system, such a coating would allow for significant cost and emissions savings sincethe lowered power losses would directly translate to a higher LCOE for solar power and contribute to significantreductions in carbon emissions. The project will provide the UK an opportunity to exploit an emergingadvanced materials technology and be better equipped to meet its renewable energy targets by extracting themaximum performance output from the investment made into solar PV reducing the LCOE for solar PV.

There is a growing range of applications that would benefit from the use of nanostructured coatings. The functional performance of a surface is intimately linked with its structure. The ability to characterise nanostructured coatings is therefore an essential part of their future uptake. However, the ability to examine and characterise at the nano-scale is currently limited to sophisticated, time-consuming laboratory based equipment. The standards body (ISO TC229) recognises that there are no current procedures that relate the functional performance of a surface or coating to its nanostructure, however, it is recognised that loss of the nanostructure frequently leads to a loss of performance. The NATURAL project will develop methods that allow rapid evaluation of surfaces at the nanoscale and correlate the measured surface structure with functional performance. This step change in measurement methodology will enable new lifetime determination methods and enhance the knowledge base for providers of nanostructured coatings and surfaces to tailor their products and technologies towards the end-user needs. NATURAL will focus on the development of surface profilometry methods to allow the rapid resolution of surfaces at the nanoscale. These methods will be correlated with the physical and physico-chemical characteristics of surfaces to allow their rapid, reliable and accurate assessment. The change of the surface nano-morphology and the functional performance will be related to allow the estimation of durability and to enable the development of new methods for lifetime determination and, ultimately, prediction of in-service performance throughout the lifetime of the surface structure.

Process industries are currently facing the challenge of an increase in the energy and raw materials cost, a few of them facing a relative scarcity. Raw materials resources are blended, mixed and transformed into finished products by means of different manufacturing processes. Material losses and variable yields in the different processes can mean a considerable increase in the total cost breakdown. Improving the utilisation of raw materials resources (fluids, solids or gases) is essential to increase yields throughout the supply chain. The reduction in losses will also ensure a decrease of the environmental footprint and therefore contribute to a more sustainable industry. The overall objective of SUPREME is to optimize ferrous and non-ferrous metal PM processes, currently individually available at TRL7 and beyond, by cross-sectorial improvements in material and energy efficiency throughout the supply chain, from raw materials (fluids, solids or gases, including minerals and water) to finished products in a range of different end-applications (automotive, cutting tools, aeronautics, medical and tooling). The goal is then to demonstrate a new integrated and optimized approach of a set of PM production routes in real industrial settings, from TRL5 to TRL7, i.e. ready for adoption on the PM market. This will enable a significant reduction in the total cost breakdown as well as in the environmental footprint towards a more sustainable Industry, and therefore to reinforce PM Industry competitiveness in Europe to maintain and develop jobs.

The increase of the wind turbines and their size, in combination with remote locations where off-shore farms are built, means that these maintenance costs will see an unprecedented increase in the future. The use of Conditional Monitoring allows maintenance to be scheduled, or other actions to be taken to avoid the consequences of failure, before the failure occurs. The project focusses on developing an innovative vibration and Acoustic Emission (AE) monitoring system that will allow assessment of reliability and performance of the tower and blade structures in wind turbines as well as in wind turbine rotating machinery.

Project Summary

Laser beam welding is a high-performance joining process that is rapidly growing. It has primarily been driven by recent developments in solid-state laser technology leading to the commercial availability of fibre-delivered Yb-fibre, Yb:YAG disc and direct diode laser sources, which have resulted in improved capital cost and reduced operating costs. However, despite these cost reductions and potential benefits, the uptake of laser welding technology is still limited, especially amongst SMEs, for three related reasons: complexity, lack of flexibility, and difficulties in using lasers for ‘non-standard’ welds. Most existing laser systems are fitted with either a standard process head or a 2D galvanometer scanner – both of which deliver a ‘standard’ Gaussian or ‘top-hat’ energy distribution to the work piece. However, this relatively simplistic energy distribution is not directly suitable for many applications and significant laser welding expertise is required in order to develop acceptable process parameters. Laser beam welding with a tailored energy distribution produced by a galvanometer beam scanner is possible, but this technology is not economically attractive. Diffractive optical elements are a robust, simple tool and are capable of producing (virtually) unlimited tailored energy distributions. The aim of the TAILOR:WELD project is to develop and demonstrate an innovative laser welding system, that uses simple and robust diffractive optical elements, which will increase the flexibility and simplify the application of laser welding; removing the key barrier to entry for a large number of SME fabricators.

The main aim of this project is to develop a prototype Non-Linear, high frequency ultrasonic NDT system for the in-process inspection of Friction Stir Welds in aluminium, titanium and nickel alloys and steel structural components for the detection of manufacturing defects including ‘kissing bond’ defects and then to provide feedback software to the FSW process control to eliminate the further introduction of the detected manufacturing defect(s).

Project Summary

THERMAC developed a system demonstrator for the effective storage and delivery of heat from domestic and small commercial combined-heat-and-power (CHP) installations. The concept was based on the use of thermal-conductivity-enhanced phase change materials (PCMs) as the storage media, delivering heat on demand for domestic hot water and space heating.

Emissions from all transport methods account for a quarter of total CO2 emissions in the UK and one-eighth worldwide. Engines generate mechanical power; however, one third of the potential energy is wasted through the exhaust system. If this thermal energy could be harvested, fuel consumption and thus CO2 emission could be reduced. The industrial focus here is the marine area, due to the large engines used, the availability of space and the ideal temperature difference provided by seawater. Thermoacoustics (TA) is a relatively new technology that allows a direct conversion of heat to internal sound. TITAN plans to apply this TA theory to generate electricity indirectly from waste exhaust heat using a TA generator (TAG). Stirling engines use the principle of a travelling-wave loop topology; TITAN intends to apply a modification of this design to marine engines.

The technologies behind our innovations are electron beam melting (EB melting) and electron beam brazing (EB brazing). The EB melting process has the potential to fabricate a turbocharger wheel from successive layers of powder allowing a hollow, lightweight, low-inertia rotor wheel to be formed. The TiAl wheel will be joined to the steel shaft using the EB brazing process, the challenge being to create a joint between dissimilar materials that is robust enough to withstand vibrations, high temperatures and rotational speeds present in a turbocharger unit. This fabrication method provides the possibility to manufacture turbocharger wheels from TiAl, which (if of the required quality) retains its strength at high temperatures, expanding the usage of turbochargers to a broad range of engine types.

The TiAlCharger project aims to create a cost-effective, mass producible, low inertia titanium aluminide turbocharger assembly. The technologies behind this innovation are Electron Beam Melting (EBM) and Electron Beam Welding (EBW). The EBM process has the potential to fabricate a turbine wheel from successive layers of powder allowing a hollow, lightweight, low-inertia rotor-wheel to be formed. The TiAl wheel will be joined to the steel shaft using the EBW process, the challenge being to create a weld between dissimilar materials that is robust enough to withstand the vibrations, high temperatures and rotational speeds present in a turbocharger. This fabrication method provides the possibility to manufacture turbocharger wheels from TiAl, which (if of the required quality) retains its strength at high temperatures, expanding the usage of turbochargers to a broad range of engine types.

The transportation industry has for a long time been engaged in the application of new lightweight materials for primary structural design in an effort to develop more energy efficient structures to meet low emissions targets without compromising public safety. This is also true for the rail industry, but the implementation of new lightweight materials has been slow mainly due to the lack of suitable certification procedures addressing the specific operational requirements of a railway vehicle. Such procedures are necessary so that rail vehicle manufacturers and operators can be confident that rolling stock made of a new material will perform as intended and will be at least as safe as a vehicle made out of the material it replaces. The REFRESCO project aims to achieve this goal by creating the regulatory framework for the use of new structural materials in rail car bodies. The existing certification procedures will be analysed, gaps identified and test and assessment methodologies for both isotropic and orthotropic materials will be developed. It is expected that the output from REFRESCO will accelerate the implementation of new materials in transport applications improve the competitiveness of transport industries, ensure sustainable, efficient and affordable transport services will be available.

TrakSys aims to produce high-value, low-cost railway innovations '“enhancing large scale, vehicle mounted railway track inspection with localised automated inspection. The innovation lies in creating an autonomous vehicle with state of the art inspection capability to generate more information. Combining this information with position data to form a map of scanned areas, and also linking measurements to locations within those areas will support enhanced value from inspection. This will provide a much richer and more accurate depiction of the condition of track sections. The system makes provision for integration with other information systems within stakeholder organisations to close the loop between inspection and decision making. The approach supports better defect and damage management across the organisation, leading to improved safety for travellers and employees and more efficient, productive rail networks.

Twenty-first century industries continually adopt new materials and design methods to face challenging technological and sociological targets. This ensures improved in-service performance, increased sustainability and greater safety. The Application of Non Destructive Testing (NDT) and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) techniques are necessary to prevent failures that could cause economic losses and, above all, hazards for people.

Project Summary

Valves have a large range of applications, both domestically and within industry, e.g. mining. Over time, a layer of fouling can form inside pipelines. A common example of this fouling is lime scale, a chalky deposit associated with hard water. This fouling can build up to an extent that pipes and valves can stop working. This can stop production and increase the operational risk. At this point, the valve is rendered unserviceable and needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Cast high-manganese steel railway crossings are employed at safety-critical locations throughout the UK and European railway infrastructure due to their work hardening material properties. Repetitive high-velocity collisions from rolling stock act as a catalyst for fatigue cracking which can compromise the structural integrity of such components. Due to the fully austenitic coarse grained structure of cast manganese steel crossings, examination of the material sub-surface is ineffective using current industry standard ultrasonic techniques.

Micro-organisms form a biofilm almost immediately upon submersion of the component. Macro-organisms attracted to this new food source, and then successively larger organisms build up layers on the component. Marine growth attaches to propellers and turbines, attaching to the surface almost immediately. This can cause efficiency losses of more than 40 per cent. Tidal generators will be more successful if their turbines are more efficient; for this they must be free from biofouling.

The European rail infrastructure employs high manganese, high strength steel components at safety critical locations such as crossings. Restricted access to these assets limits the range of NDT techniques available for in-service inspection to those capable of inspection from the top surface. The SAFTInspector proposal will enable efficient in-service inspection of manganese rail assets by applying Phased Array UT full matrix capture in combination with a novel post processing technique called Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique (SAFT). This will dramatically reduce the time required at the asset and effectively remove the need for additional interpretation by highly skilled operators.

Project Summary

Micro-organisms form a biofilm almost immediately upon submersion of the component. Macro-organisms attracted to this new food source, and then successively larger organisms build up layers on the component. Marine growth attaches to propellers and turbines, attaching to the surface almost immediately. This can cause efficiency losses of more than 40 per cent. Tidal generators will be more successful if their turbines are more efficient; for this they must be free from biofouling.

Develop a tool that enables steel structures welding companies to price, plan and manage welding projects in a fast, cost-effective, flexible and sophisticated way by providing them with hardly accessible expertise regarding welding.

Develop and produce novel NDT solutions for the assessment of railway axles, as well as reliability software for high cycle variable amplitude fatigue of railway axles.

Project Summary

"The DeICE-UT project will overcome the current limitations of existing wind turbine blade de-icing systems by developing an innovative dual de-icing system. It combines both high power ultrasonic guided waves and low frequency vibrations. Previous work on helicopter blades has shown that low frequency vibrations are highly effective at de-icing across the blades except at the leading edges, whilst the application of ultrasound shows very good de-icing where the US power is high.

Project Summary

Wind energy is a fast growing sector which see an average growth since 2001 over 10% pa. Global investment in 2016 is €268bn (EU: €43bn), with new installed capacity at 54GW (EU: 12.5GW). There are over 300,000 wind turbines spinning around the world now. In order to maximise the revenue arising from the wind energy assets, the WTBs need regular inspection and maintenance. However, most existing NDT techniques are not suitable for WTB inspection on-site. For example, ultrasonic technique needs proper coupling and works only for homogeneous materials. Shearography has been widely used industry for composite materials inspections, but these application are restricted to on-the-ground where the objects to be inspected are under stable conditions. The SheaRIOS project aims to provide a solution for WTB inspection on wind towers by integrating shearography with robotics. A deployment platform will ascend along the wind turbine tower, meanwhile it will deploy a compact climbing robot carrying a shearography kit to roam across the WTB surface to conduct inspection. The deployment platform will also act as the power and data link, while whole the system will be safely controlled by the ground (for on-shore wind farm) or on a vessel (for off-shore wind farm).

The aim of WiRailCom is to provide a major advancement in the inspection and monitoring of railway vehicles. This will be achieved through the development of a novel, self-contained, wireless and integrated vehicle condition monitoring. This system will address vehicle to vehicle monitoring such as axle, wheel and bearing condition monitoring.

Project Summary

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