Two FP7 European projects ELECTRICAL and SARISTU aimed to develop methods to manufacture CNT reinforced multifunctional composites compatible with current industrial manufacturing processes. According to the results, three CNT integration strategies appeared as promising methods to be driven towards an industrial scale manufacturing process: buckypapers, CNT-treated prepreg and CNT doped nonwoven veils. Although each of the technologies can act separately they can be combined synergistically in a way enabling the achievement of a higher multifunctional level in line with the final requirements of the application. The PLATFORM project aimed to develop open access pilot lines for the industrial production of buckypapers, CNT treated prepreg and CNT doped non-woven veils for composite applications in sectors such as Aeronautic and Automotive. The purpose was to efficiently and economically manufacture components using novel methods developed at a scale suitable for industrial uptake. A European platform of nanobased pilot lines was created to which companies, and more precisely SMEs, can gain access and make use of the facilities as well as the experience and knowledge of the operating RTO.
TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS’ ROLE IN THE PROJECT
Development – in cooperation with the SME project partner, TMBK Partners – of a CNT-doped thermoplastic veil manufacturing process in semi-industrial scale. Assistance in setting-up of a pilot production line with a capacity of 30m2 / shift. Investigation of veils’ fabrication parameters and veils’ characterisation in order to understand the effect of CNTs on thermoplastic fibre and veil processing parameters, microstructure and properties. Assistance in fabrication of composite structures including CNT-doped veils for the aerospace and automotive industries. Characterisation of thermal, mechanical and rheological, as well as electrical properties.