Textile composite materials consist of a polymer matrix (thermoplastic or thermoset) combined with a textile reinforcement. Materials of particular interest to the group include:
- commingled glass/polypropylene fabrics
- dry fabrics (woven, warp-knitted or braided) combined with thermoset resins via liquid moulding
- carbon/epoxy thermoset prepregs
Typical applications range from high performance aerospace components to structural parts for high volume cars.
The TexGen modelling schema activity has been funded primarily by EPSRC in collaboration with industrial partners, through a range of funding mechanisms from EPSRC including Responsive Mode, EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites, two Platform Grants, Nottingham Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (NIMRC) and also an EPSRC Research Software Engineering Fellowship.
TexGen open source software information and download
Our current activities are focused on prediction of processing, mechanical and functional properties of textile composites. Here predictive models are developed based on our textile modelling schema, TexGen. These are then implemented within macroscopic models for manufacturing processes and subsequent performance.
Defect Generation Mechanisms in Thick and Variable Thickness Composite Parts – Understanding, Predicting and Mitigation (DefGen)
EPSRC CIM Comp Project
This project addresses the formation of defects in parts manufactured from polymer matrix continuous fibre reinforced composite materials. Predictive numerical models will be developed to study the effect of variability in the defect formation process.
Discovery of Optimum Textile Composites
Principal Investigator: Andy Long
Co-Investigator: Xiaoling Zeng and Ian Ashcroft
Context and aims:
This programme aims to discover new 3D textile preform architectures for processing via resin transfer moulding. Computational modelling or “virtual testing” will be used to evaluate the utility of different textile designs within an optimization Framework to determine the best solution for a particular application.
Principal Investigators: Peter Schubel
Researcher: Zeng Xuesen
The Propound project aims to create a UK nacelle structure centre of excellence. The University of Nottingham is partnered with SAFRAN Aircelle (UK) and Composite Integration, with a grant of £4.6 million from AMSCI (Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative).
Damage Modelling of Composites (Variability in Textile Composites)
Researcher: Mikhail Matveev
Textile reinforcements are widely used in composite manufacturing in automotive sector. Predictive models which support a modern product development usually impose idealised meso-scale geometry on the textile reinforcements. However, composite manufacturing introduces defects into the structure of textile reinforcement making it irregular. This study aimed to implement a more realistic meso-scale model which included structural variability of the geometry (defects) in order to create better predictive models for mechanical properties of the composites. Case studies included analysis of 2D and 3D textile composites. Understanding of effect of the defects on mechanical properties will result in higher confidence of predictive modelling of composites.
Friction in composites forming
Principal Investigator: Andy Long
Co-Investigator: Nick Warrior
A wide range of forming techniques have been developed for composites. There is a correspondingly large number of composite materials available, e.g. dry material or material pre-impregnated with resin, while the textile architecture can take many forms such as unidirectional or woven.