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SEER Project Supports New Research

Tue, 25 October, 2022

The SEER project has supported two (more) MSc Individual Research Projects at the Cranfield Composites Centre.

The Composites and Advanced Materials Centre at Cranfield University has been developing a process for the integration of SEER sensors into the composite tooling. Having defined and characterised this static insertion process, we needed to examine what effect the insertion of sensors in this way would have on the mechanical and thermomechanical performance of the finished composite tooling. As part of the 2021-2022 intake of MSc students, two individual research projects were devised and supervised by Dr Geoffrey Neale and Dr Alex Skordos. Two students were recruited, Mr Vinodhen Saaran and Mr Yu Fu, who conducted 12-week projects on:

Characterisation of large diameter through-thickness reinforcing pins in composites – Vinodhen Saaran

Vinodhen’s research characterised the material behaviour of composites reinforced with large diameter metallic pins (1.2, 1.5 and 2.0 mm diameter pins). A series of mechanical tests were carried out to compare the in-plane (tension and compression) and out-of-plane (interlaminar toughness) of the unpinned and pinned composites. These results were then analysed in the context of the fracture mechanics and failure modes experienced. A finite element model was also developed to simulate Mode I delamination to better understand the effects of the pin on delamination response. This research discusses the effects of the pin towards the microstructure change of the composite, where tow deformation, crimping and resin-rich areas contributed to the failure modes experienced.

Thermomechanical behaviour of composites with embedded metallic pins – Yu Fu

Yu’s work investigated the influence of metallic through-thickness reinforcing pins on local thermo-mechanical composite performance through the development of a macroscale (layer-level) representative volume element (RVE) thermomechanical model, validated against analytical and experimentally generated data. The development of this model included the thermal and mechanical characterisation of the composite tool material (BX180-220) using Laser Flash Analysis (LFA) and Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA).

SEER and Cranfield University are pleased with the outputs of this work and are confident that the results will feed into the SEER project goals. Vinodhen and Yu have both completed their projects and are moving on to bigger and brighter things. We wish them the best of luck with all their future endeavours.

Want to know more about the work that we do at the Composites and Advanced Materials Centre at Cranfield?

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