Composite Materials and Processing

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Today’s use of advanced composites is limited to moderate production rates at relatively high costs per part. Our group is working on novel ideas and approaches aiming at reducing cycle time and costs in the production of high performance composite parts. To achieve this target we consider the entire value chain from the constituent materials to the processed part. In this context, we investigate resin impregnation phenomena on micro-, meso- and macro-scale. Our investigations are supported both by accurate numerical simulations of the chemical and physical processes involved in composite manufacturing and by experiments.

Research Projects

Continuous Fiber Lattice Fabrication

The scope of this project covers the investigation of a novel manufacturing technology for the extrusion of continuously reinforced thermoplastic material, ranging from processing modelling and optimization all the way to depositing complex geometries with a robotic additive manufacturing (AM) system. Read More

Bicomponent Fibers for Thermoplastic Composites

This project aims to develop new intermediate materials for the manufacture of thermoplastic composites based on bicomponent fibers by investigating coating methods for the production of such fibers and by analyzing their performance in rapid stamp forming processes. Read More

Manufacturing of Thermoplastic Composite Profiles

In this project we study the processing conditions required for the manufacture of high quality, void free thermoplastic composite profiles by pultrusion methods from commingled yarns as intermediate materials. The main focus will be on the design, modelling, and testing of thermoplastic composite profiles with large diameters. Read More

Combined OOA prepreg/LCM process

Combine the prepreg and the Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM) technologies in a single hybrid process would permit to expand the concept of integrated structure, being able to exploit the advantages of both techniques and reducing the manufacturing cycle time. Read More

Research Projects - Concluded

Combined Approaches for LCM Processes

The research aims at developing and investigating novel methods that combine virtual modeling and experimental data in order to improve robustness, automation and quality of Liquid Composite Molding (LCM) processes. Read More

DOW; Advanced Epoxy Resins for Structural Liquid Composite Molding Applications (AERoSLiM)

Epoxies are brittle by nature and require toughening for use in structural applications. A wide range of toughening techniques exists, some more effective than others. The choice of suitable toughening techniques can be constrained by operational requirements of the epoxy and implementation. Read More

Development of a Quality Control System and integrated Quality inspection for Liquid Composite Moulding

Today manufacturing of LCM parts mostly rely on experience, i.e. on expensive and time-consuming trial-and-error procedures. This project aims at combining process simulation, optimization and control to an efficient system for the development and production of composite parts. Read More

Robust Resin Transfer Molding: Process Optimization by Evolutionary Algorithms and Online Injection Feedback Control

Resin flow in RTM processes is dominated by the preform permeability. Robust injection processes can be developed using stochastic permeability models. During the injection, the real permeability distribution can be estimate on-line using sensor data, and process parameters can be optimized. Read More

ringosites - Hochleistungsräder für die Automobilindustrie

Ziel des Projektes ist die Entwicklung von grossserientauglichen Automobilrädern aus kohlefaserverstärkten Thermoplasten.
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VANTEX Vanishing Textile

In producing fibre reinforced plastic structures by resin injection processes sewed preforms are used. A thermoplastic sewing yarn has been developed that resolves during the curing cycle. This project investigates the effect of the yarn on the mechanical properties and on the injection process.
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Oligomere technologies for cost-effective processing of high performance composites lightweight structures

This project aims to develop new technologies using intermediate materials impregnated with reactive oligomers, which in-situ polymerize to thermoplasts, makin possible to reduce cycle time and processing costs of high-performance, high temperature resistant thermoplastic composites
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Space Frame

SPACE FRAME is a cooperation project of the Centre of Structure Technologies with Josef Meyer Waggon AG, Rheinfelden and the Institute of Plastic Technology, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Windisch under funding of the Swiss Confederation’s innovation promotion agency (CTI).
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New Generation Icehockey Stick

Composites Busch SA is looking for advanced structural solutions to establish the company as a global supplier of high-end composite icehockey sticks. Scope includes application of optimisation algorithms to achieve optimum stiffnes behaviour and durability, manufacturing and experimental validation.

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Investigation of the influence of meso-flow effects in liquid composite moulding processes on the laminate quality

Goal of the project was to develop models based on micro- and meso-flow observations to predict the local laminate quality (content, size and distribution of voids) of composite parts manufactured with LCM techniques. 

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LCM-Simulation and Optimization

A Liquid Composite Molding (LCM)-simulation software was developed and coupled to Evolutionary Algorithms in order to achieve optimal process parameters.

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Rapid Thermoforming of Hybrid Yarn Preforms

The direct stamp forming of previously unconsolidated discontinuous aligned carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites made from commingled yarns was studied. 

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Development of technologies for the cost-effective manufacturing of high-performance, geometric complex structures made of fiber reinforced thermoplasts

Aim of this project was to develop technologies, which allow the production of high-performance, geometric complex PMC structures in a cost-effective manner. Read More

Three-Dimensional Permeability Measurements based on Direct Current and Ultrasound Monitoring Techniques

The work aimed at the characterisation of the principal values of the permeability tensor in a single three dimensional flow experiment. Suitable monitoring techniques were developed and integrated in a measurement cell to characterise the three dimensional flow front progression. 

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