Centres & Groups – IComp2018-06-21T14:05:18+00:00

IComp

IComp is the link between industry and the extensive resources dedicated to composite materials in Irish third-level institutions.

IComp is the link between industry and the extensive resources dedicated to composite materials in Irish third-level institutions.

The centre provides world class R&D, consultancy and networking opportunities for industry sectors across Ireland, where there are opportunities to use composite materials and associated technologies.  The IComp team is helping to develop knowledge and necessary skills within the Irish composites community, enabling it to take advantage of the latest technology and be competitive in the growing global market.

R&D activities include materials innovation and processing, the design of composite components and structures, joining technologies together with damage detection and repair.  All areas are supported by a comprehensive programme of modelling, testing and in-depth characterisation. Continuous investment ensures that IComp is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.  IComp is funded through the Enterprise Ireland and IDA technology centre programme.

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Projects

Liquid Resin Infusion

There is an urgent demand in the composites industry for alternative processing strategies that will reduce overall costs and increase the speed of manufacture of composite parts.  Liquid resin infusion techniques make it possible to achieve this goal by eliminating the prepreg manufacturing process and autoclaving requirement and reduced labour costs.  The primary objective of the liquid resin infusion research is the modification of selected resin systems to manufacture composite materials with improved toughness while retaining other critical properties.

Processing of Thermoplastics

There is a growing interest in thermoplastic composites for applications ranging from wind-turbines and automotive parts, to aircraft and space vehicles.  This interest is driven by several factors including excellent material properties, potential for out-of-autoclave, low energy, rapid-throughput manufacturing processes, and recyclability into valuable products.  Within IComp, we have several strands of research on thermoplastic composites processing.  Our purchase of a €1M automated tape placement (ATP) machine has enabled us to begin research aimed at developing this method for production of high-performance materials with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for post-processing in the autoclave.

Adhesive Bonding

The research on adhesive bonding carried out at UCD aims to understand and enhance composite-to-composite joints and composite-to-metal joints.  The link between lab-scale and real-world component level behaviour is also investigated, with the objective to improve component and /or material design.  This work is relevant to many industrial sectors including aerospace, automotive, energy, materials manufacturing, and transport.

People

Dr Terry McGrail

Director of Irish Composites Centre (Comp)

Terry is Director of the Irish Composites Centre (IComp) founded by Enterprise Ireland in 2010. Prior to joining IComp he had a very successful career as an industrial scientist specialising in polymers and composites.  He has received awards from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Materials for his contribution to composites science.  Through IComp he is using his experience and expertise to lead a broad programme of R&D spread across four different Research Providing Organisations in support of the Irish composites industry.

Prof. Paul Weaver

Bernal Chair Composite Materials and their Structures

Paul is an authority in the field of structural mechanics for composite materials, a pioneer in the emerging field of morphing composite structures, and an expert in the structural mechanics of buckling and postbuckling of optimised composite structures.  He has also contributed to the development of a novel manufacturing technology for composites (Continuous Tow Shearing).