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Element Hitchin to test self-healing aerospace composites in European research project

News International-French

17 Feb 2014

The company has been chosen as a materials testing partner in HIPOCRATES, a three year Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) research project worth over €3.7 million that is designed to develop state-of-the-art self-repairing composite materials for the aerospace industry. 

Preliminary work has already started on the venture, which brings together some of Europe’s foremost companies and institutions in a consortium of materials testers, aerospace manufacturers and universities from France, Spain, the Netherlands and Greece.

The research has the potential to transform the aerospace industry, as it seeks to adapt resins already widely used by aeronautical manufacturers and operators, utilizing nano-technology to turn secondary structural composites into self-healing materials. Aircraft incorporating this technology would be more durable and have a longer service life, leading to significantly lower operational costs.

Element’s role within the 11-strong consortium will be to design and develop impact, fracture and fatigue mechanical tests to assess the efficiency of the self-healing process.

“This research will also benefit all Element aerospace testing teams, as the knowledge gained and new test methodologies innovated will be shared across our global network of 1,400 engaged experts and 40 laboratories. Our Prime partners highly value Element’s ongoing role at the forefront of aerospace test development, recognizing that when they approach any of our laboratories worldwide, they receive a consistent service that taps into the expertise of our entire platform,” said Rick Sluiters, Element’s VP of Europe Operations.

To be concluded by November 2016, the pan-European endeavor is being part-funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme, which is contributing €2,774,148 to the project.

About Element:
Element is a company with a global presence; its laboratories are staffed by experts specializing in materials testing, product qualification testing and failure analysis for the Aerospace & Defense, Oil & Gas, Power Generation, and Transportation sectors. Element’s team of 1,400 scientists, engineers and technicians work in 40 laboratories located throughout the U.S. and Europe.

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