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Chalmers University of Technology opens composite and manufacturing laboratory

News International-French

7 Jan 2019

​The demand for lightweight construction materials is constantly increasing, which has led to an increased use of fiber-reinforced polymer composites in weight-optimized structures. Chalmers research is now strengthened with a new laboratory for composite manufacturing.

Chalmers University of Technology opens composite and manufacturing laboratory

Chalmers University of Technology opens composite and manufacturing laboratory

Chalmers new laboratory for composites and manufacturing was opened on December 19. Maria Knutson Wedel, Vice Head of education and lifelong learning, and Anders Palmqvist, Vice Head of research and postgraduate studies, began the ceremony by launching a vacuum resin infusion where Chalmers logo appeared.

"It feels good that we have now started and we are looking forward to utilizing the new facilities as soon as possible. It really strengthens our research to be able to have a lab this close" says Leif Asp, who is the director.

Leif Asp, Anders Palmqvist and Maria Knutson Wedel inspect Chalmers logo after vacuum injection of resin.

Several ongoing research projects are in line to use the new facilities. One of these projects is the highly noticed study that has shown that energy can be stored directly in carbon fiber as battery electrodes. This opens up new possibilities for so-called structural batteries which could halve the importance of future vehicles. The discovery was listed by Physics World as top ten scientific breaktroughs of 2018.

A bobbin of carbon fibre yarn
The aviation industry has also shown great interest in the use of carbon fiber composites. This imposes high security requirements, and methods need to be developed to control the strength of carbon fiber composites over time. there is ongoing research to provide methods for the materials themselves to send signals when exhausted.

The research is mainly conducted by researchers and postgraduate students in Chalmers Material Science field, but the purpose is to make the lab available to all who are part of Chalmers. Chalmers initiative for Sport & Technology is one of the players who have shown interest in the development of lightweight composite materials for everything in skiing, sailing and motorsport.

The facilities
In the lab there will be equipment for the manufacture and characterization of multifunctional composites, especially structural batteries and the lab will be used both in education and research. Students in Chalmers Formula Student will be especially active in the lab.

Manufacturing and processing of fiber reinforced polymer composites are some of the main areas. The business focuses on carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites, which are manufactured using injection technology or molding. There are also equipment for the manufacture and characterization of multifunctional composites, especially structural batteries.