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EPSRC composites hub to fund 5 feasibility studies
The EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Hub has selected five new feasibility studies for funding. The call for proposals was issued in November 2018. Each award of £50,000 will fund a six-month project, expanding the national research effort for composites manufacturing in the UK. The call received proposals from academic institutions across the UK.
Proposals were invited from UK academic researchers for projects that addressed fundamental, step-changing research in five key composites manufacturing areas, which were identified in conjunction with the Composites Leadership Forum: High-rate deposition and rapid processing technologies; design for manufacture via validated simulation; multifunctional composites and integrated structures; inspection and in-process evaluation; and recycling and re-use.
Awarded funding will support new research projects at two existing hub institutions and will welcome three new Spoke members at the University of Sheffield, Wrexham Glyndwr University and Ulster University.
The studies chosen for funding are “Controlled Micro Integration of Through Thickness Polymeric Yarns,” by Dr. Edward Archer from Ulster University, “Microwave in-line heating to address the challenges of high rate deposition,” by Prof Richard Day of Wrexham Glyndwr University, “Virtual un-manufacturing of fibre-steered preforms for complex geometry composites,” by Prof Stephen Hallett of the University of Bristol, “Manufacturing Process Simulation for Pre-forming of Complex Composite Tubular Structures,” by Dr. Shuai Chen, University of Nottingham, and “Evaluating the potential for in-process eddy-current testing of composite structures,” by Dr. Robert Hughes from the University of Bristol.
Proposals were reviewed by a panel of independent industrial and scientific experts, who followed the EPSRC standard peer review panel guidelines on confidentiality and conflicts of interest. The process was overseen by Dr. Tracy Hanlon, EPSRC senior portfolio manager, Manufacturing the Future.
The hub employs a flexible funding model to ensure research responds to opportunities highlighted by technology road mapping, industry needs, or the National Composites Strategy, as defined by the Composites Leadership Forum. (SV)