IMS&CPS .Innovative material synergies and composite processing strategies.

Preimpregnated materials

IMS&CPS .Innovative material synergies and composite processing strategies.

IMSEuropean CommissionSeventh Framework Programme

IMS&CPS is a Nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies (NMP) Large-scale integrating project of 36 months funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), which begun in October 2010.

IMS&CPS consortium is composed of 16 partners, which are located in seven different European countries; amongst them are the following: 

  • four Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) : Coexpair S.A. (coordinator of the project, Belgium), Nanocyl S.A. (Belgium), Composites Testing Laboratory Ltd. (Ireland), Quickstep GmbH (Germany) 
  • three large industries: EADS Innovation France (France), Alstom (France), SLCA (France) 
  • four universities: INSA-Lyon (France), Queen Mary University of London (UK), University of Cambridge (UK), KULeuven (Belgium) 
  • five Research Institutes: VZLU (Czech Republic), IVW GmbH (Germany), Fundacion IMDEA Materiales (Spain), FIDAMC (Spain), ENSAIT (France)

Mutation of transport industry to Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) is now ineluctable in order to reduce the 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. A combined development of materials and matched processes is the main strategy of IMS&CPS project; only such a concerted effort may favour best synergies in the final part within a cost-effective process. The main challenges for definitive conversion of transport sector to CFRC remain the following: 

  1. the improvement of the mechanical and electrical properties.
  2. the development of cost-effective manufacturing processes.

IMS &CPS addresses both of these challenges by: 

  • manufacturing CFRP by closed mould technologies: adapted Resin transfer moulding (ARTM, SQRTM and quickstep processes, the current most competitive processing alternatives to autoclaves. 
  • positioning of Carbon nanotubes (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 modelling tools for optimised properties 
  • low cost or automated Three-dimensional (3D) preform are also developed for offering highest and easiest part integration in order to reduce at maximum the assembly costs, which counts for one third of a CFRC part costs. Material performance improvements are studied in IMS&CPS. A special effort is focused on the CFRP electrical conductivity enhancement by CNT insertions for lightning strike degradation prevention, for Electromagnetic (EMI) shielding, which are today transport important issues. Sensing properties offered by CNT insertion are also investigated.

FIDAMC contribution to the project includes the development of manufacturing processess suitable for the introduction of carbon nanotubes within the composite material as well as  the assessment of the performance of the solutions proposed by the consortium against a lightning strike.

IMS&CPS  IMS&CPS  design of interlocked woven fabric  Thermographic camera image during a lightning strike test  NDT inspection: C-scan in a ARTM panel lightning strike tested at zone 1A