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Innovative Material Synergies & Composite Processing Strategies (IMS&CPS)
Start date: Oct 1, 2010, End date: Sep 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Mutation of transport industry to carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRC) is now ineluctable in order to reduce our mobility environmental imprint. This sector is at a turn of its conversion from metal to composite, which should impose a radical rethinking of the whole supply chain. Combined developments of materials and matched processes is the main strategy of IMS&CPS project, only such a concerted effort may favor best synergies in the final part within a cost-effective process. The Main challenges for definitive conversion of transport sector to CFRC remains: (1) improvement of mechanical properties (mainly impact properties and interlaminar failure) (2) development of cost-effective manufacturing processes. IMS&CPS will address both challenges: - by positioning of CNT at specific locations (in the reinforcing fibre, at the fibre surface and/or in the matrix) and with specific orientations (random or 1D, 2D-orientated) as predicted by advanced engineering and innovative modeling tools for optimized properties. - by manufacturing CFRC by closed mould technologies : adapted RTM, SQRTM(RTM with prepreg) and Quickset processes, the today most competitive processing alternatives to autoclaves. Cheap and/or automated 3D-preform will be also developed for offering highest and easiest part integration in order to reduce at maximum assembly costs, which counts for one third of a CFRC part costs. CNT offers other opportunities to the designers: electrical, thermal conductivities, fire- and wear-resistance as well as sensing capabilities. Such performance improvements will be studied in IMS&CPS. A special effort will be focused on CFRC electrical conductivity enhancement by CNT insertions for lightning degradation prevention, for EMI shielding, which are today aerospace important issues. Sensing properties offered by CNT insertion will be also investigated. One highly-integrated part will be finally elected in order to demonstrate all IMS&CPS achievements.

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