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.
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.
Dr Terry McGrail
Director of Irish Composites Centre (IComp)
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.