The Aciturri facilities in Boecillo have hosted the last biannual progresses meeting of the European ComMUnion R+D project, in which Aciturri Engineering participates as final user member.
The meeting was attended by representatives of AIMEN Centro Tecnológico, the organization that leads the project, and the other participating entities: Autotech Engineering, New Infrared Technologies and TECNATOM (Spain); AFPT, Philips, Fraunhofer IPT, Fraunhofer ILT and LUNOVU (Germany); Motofil Robotics and Universidad de Coímbra (Portugal); Universidad de Patras and CASP (Greece); Missler Software and ESI GROUP (France).
They reviewed the main advances of the joint research that they carry out since 2015, which is focused on the development of 3D hybrid components of thermoplastic / metal composite for both the automotive and the aerospace sectors.
To this end, the organizations collaborate to create a novel solution for manufacturing new complex 3D components with better properties, thanks to the combination of CFRT automatic taping processes with controlled laser-assisted heating, high-speed laser texturing and metal surfaces cleaning.
This new system will also allow on-line monitoring and inspection for defects and for layer-to-layer self-adjustment of the process.
Thus, it is intended to reduce up to 30% the consumption of critical materials with high cost, as well as to increase (by the same percentage) the mechanical performance of the products developed, thanks to the use of reinforcements of composites on metal surfaces. These impacts will be achieved through a highly automated process.
During the last months, several of the developments of the project have been perfected, reaching milestones such as the manufacture of a textured surface by functional laser that allows the effective union of metallic materials and thermoplastics of composite with values of structural resistance without using adhesives. This connection is achieved by a thermoplastic strip placement head with temperature control and a novel heating system (VCSELs).
Likewise, it has been achieved a multi-scale simulation of materials and processes that will predict the behaviour of the different components, and have been developed almost all the prototypes that will make up the multi-material ComMUnion junction cell, which is already in integration process in the MOTOFIL facilities.
The last six months of the project, whose completion is scheduled for May 2019, will be devoted to testing the developments that comprise it, as well as the whole itself.
This cell, whose final prototype will be installed in GESTAMP, will allow the manufacturing of new hybrid metal-composite components that will integrate the demonstrators for the impact of the project, one for automotive and the other for aeronautics, demonstrating the scalability of the new union process proposed by ComMUnion.
This Project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 680567.
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