Project: CIMComp EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Hub
Partners: University of BristolInvestment: £10.3 million
The Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub was created in 2016, following a multi-million-pound investment by the EPSRC. Its main goal is to engage academics from across the UK to deliver a step-change in the production of polymer matrix composites.
Led by the University of Nottingham and University of Bristol, the Hub has:
• 16 UK academic members,
• 23 international academic institutions
,• 47 industrial partners,
• 30 researchers, 120 EngD/PhD students trained, and,
• 4 High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres.
Over a seven-year period, the Hub will drive the development of automated manufacturing technologies that deliver components and structures for demanding applications in various sectors, such as aerospace, energy, transportation, and construction.
To achieve its vision, the Hub collaborated with industry partners to identify five research priority areas:
1. High-rate deposition and rapid processing technologies
2. Design for manufacture via validated simulation
3. Manufacturing for multifunctional composites and integrated structures
4. Inspection and in-process evaluation
5. Recycling and re-use
Each area has its own corresponding ‘Grand Challenges’, around which a series of projects are being conducted. So far, more than 30 projects have been funded by the hub, with 39 projected to be completed within the seven-year timeline.