Enabling Integrated Lightweight Structures In High Volumes (ENLIGHTEN).

29 november 2019

The Materials innovation institute (M2i) and the Technical Universities of Delft, Eindhoven and Twente have taken the initiative to submit a proposal for a new NWO-funded research program on the fusion bonding processing of thermo-plastic composites (TPCs). The aim is to start a program of considerable size (ca. 50 manyear of research) so that it will have a serious impact and enable the increased use of TPCs. A consortium of companies, covering the complete value chain in the aerospace and automotive sector, has expressed support for this proposal. The consortium partners are willing to help to organize the limited industrial contribution (cash and or in in kind) as required by NWO.

Thermoplastic composites are on the verge of unprecedented growth in structural applications in the aerospace sector, in large airframes and in urban air mobility, which is likely to be followed by high volume automotive applications. While the manufacturing of individual parts is at a proper level of maturity, the integration and assembly of these parts is far less well developed. This urgently calls for rapid technology development, particularly in fusion bonding, which cannot progress without significant improvement in accurate material and process modelling, combined with well controlled and monitored manufacturing processes leading to predictable structural performance. This program will establish the scientific principles for advanced assembly and integration manufacturing methods of TPCs at an industrial scale. Additional research will be carried out by Hogescholen (Saxion and HAN) and by TNO and NLR, ensuring that the results can be adapted in practice by the participating industry.

The draft proposal program will be submitted to NWO in the first week of December 2019. By mid-February 2020 NWO will inform us if the proposal is selected for the final stage. If the evaluation is positive a full proposal has to be prepared and submitted in May 2020. At that moment there is room to fine-tune the program and to include new industrial partners.

In the case that you are interested in the topic, or would like more information,  do not hesitate to contact:

Bert van Haastrecht | Director Programs | Materials innovation institute (M2i)
Direct: + 31 6 572 913 90 | b.vanhaastrecht@m2i.nl
Van der Burghweg 1 | 2628 CS DELFT | The Netherlands