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£1 million grant for National Composites Centre

News International-French

5 Nov 2015

Research carried out by University of Bristol academics together with composite manufacturing and training has been given a boost thanks to the installation at the National Composites Centre (NCC) of an autoclave and CT scanner.

The equipment was part of the £3 million grant awarded to the University from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Placing the CT scanner and autoclave at the NCC complements the extensive training facilities and facilitates the widest possible access for both academia and industry.

The Nikon XTH320 CT scanner uses x-rays to assess internal structures, and is capable of analysing large samples of up to 0.6m x 0.6m and 100kg, with a spot size of 10-40 microns. The ASC autoclave has been designed to be highly instrumented, integrated with a suite of sensing technologies, allowing NCC Members, customers and researchers to undertake detailed in-process monitoring. A better fundamental understanding of the manufacturing process will allow users to optimise both processes and products, leading to reduced cost and increased quality, ultimately increasing the take-up of composite materials.

The £28 million expansion of the NCC last year greatly enhanced the capabilities and capacity of the NCC, with the installation of the latest composites technology to enable a greater focus on supporting sectors such as automotive. The creation of the cutting-edge industrial learning facilities offers a unique opportunity for organisations to have staff trained in a realistic and safe workplace setting. The NCC offers a programme of training and workshops for a wide range of composites engineering and manufacturing disciplines.