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A Smart Self-Monitoring Tool for Composite Manufacturing

Fri, 24 September, 2021

The 36-month SEER project is working to develop smart, self-monitoring composite tools for aerospace and automotive manufacturing. The tools will be designed to measure process and material parameters and provide reliable real-time process control.

The monitoring tools will use silicon photonic multi sensors embedded within composite mould tools representing a range of different geometries and locations. The miniature photonic sensors will be embedded via through thickness techniques to minimise alteration of the tool’s structural integrity.

The SEER approach to making the moulds smarter enables users to minimise the preparation time for injection and allows direct comparison regarding the quality of the final parts. SEER sensors will be compatible with existing composite sensing equipment for easy retrofitting and will be able to control the curing process for best results, while it will critically aim to provide a digital quality fingerprint for the manufactured parts, cutting down on the quality assurance testing.

Six companies and five universities and research institutes, each one an expert in their respective tasks, will develop the solution to TRL 7 (past the technological ‘valley of death’ and ready for launching into the market) to deliver a photonic based sensing system that will ultimately transform the moulds used in composite fabrication into smart, self-monitoring tools.


The SEER project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871875.