Composites Materials Cluster
A major aim for composite materials research in the Bernal Institute is to help develop new industry in Ireland based on our new IP. To meet this aim the Composites cluster will focus on two main application areas: renewable energy and sustainable aircraft transport. Research will focus on three areas that involve a combination of material development, manufacturing technology and design methods where each will be pursued in balance and harmony with each other so that equi-fidelity contributions to technology are made. Considering renewable energy Bernal is already pursuing the development of new carbon fibre materials from sustainable resources (lignin) and once sufficiently largescale production is reached, composites will be developed with thermoplastic matrices from natural, sustainable supplies. Regarding manufacturing and design methods research they both contribute in a complementary manner to application areas, i.e. renewable energy and sustainable transport. We will develop new IP in composites manufacturing technology that will help reduce the cost of energy for wind turbine blades and lead to cheaper, better-performing aircraft (less fuel burn). Design methods will focus on advanced stress analysis development and subsequent tool development that exploits our new combination of materials and manufacturing technology. The Bernal Institute will encourage a combination of spin-outs, start ups and overseas companies to locate in the Shannon region to exploit our academic IP.