Researchers aim to make UK a global competitor

Posted on 15 Jul 2018 and read 605 times
Researchers aim to make UK a global competitorA team of leading engineers is working at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) ( to drive forward cutting-edge capabilities for manufacturing composite components in ways not currently available in the supply chain.

The newly formed Advanced textile composites (ATC) team currently consists of Prasad Potluri, who is professor of Robotics and Textile Composites at the University of Manchester, and Chris McHugh, who has joined the AMRC Composite Centre with decades of textile experience under his belt, having previously worked for James Dewhurst, NWTexnet and Sigmatex. They will be joined by: Richard Scaife, head of the AMRC Composite Centre; Hannah Tew, partnership lead at the AMRC Composite Centre; and Hassan EL-Dessouky, a senior research fellow with the AMRC.

Ms Tew said the team will be the driving force behind new capabilities coming to the Composite Centre that will be used by the centre and its industrial partners to bolster the UK’s position as a leader in composites and aerospace.

“We have pulled together a team of the country’s leading engineers and textile engineers to develop complex architectures that will secure jobs and address future opportunities within the supply chain for advanced composite applications, such as aerospace and automotive.”

The AMRC won funding from the Aerospace Technology Institute to purchase new ‘state of the art’ equipment for the Composite Centre.

This includes a braiding system, a Jacquard loom, through-thickness permeability testing, tailored fibre placement, a high-temperature and high-tension filament winder, a tow-spreading machine and robotic end effectors for automated handling.

The new equipment will be used to manufacture pre-forms and to develop the enabling technology for commercialisation (including joining, automation and impregnation).

Composite materials are increasingly being used in aerospace to make aircraft lighter and more environment-friendly, and there are huge opportunities to adopt composites in many other industries in order to reap economic and environmental benefits.

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