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Leading European pultruded profile company ICCO Composites is participating in the DECID2 Project for the creation of smart profiles. The project involves a dozen partners, including manufacturers, laboratories and the EMC2 competitive cluster all working together to create a demonstration footbridge with a double structural health diagnostics capability using embedded optic fibres and ultrasonic sensors.
ICCO Composites was chosen for its expertise in the field of complex profiles. “As part of this European project, we incorporated optic fibres into our pultruded composite profiles. This innovation makes it possible to monitor the structure of materials for greater safety. We help our customers build customized profiles to meet new criteria or for specific applications. The demonstration footbridge can continuously monitor the structural integrity of the composite materials over time,” says Bertrand Vieille, marketing director of ICCO Composites.
Composites replace the steel that is used traditionally in this type of construction, although it is highly vulnerable to corrosion. Sensors embedded in the composite profiles monitor the material’s state of deformation to detect any failure before break occurs.The footbridge is 20 m long and 7 m wide. A world first, it should be installed at the EMC2 Technocampus in Bouguenais in 2012.
A large number of applications could benefit from this technological advance, including civil and industrial construction, aerospace, boating, and railway.
ICCO Composites: a global approach to meet high industrial requirements
ICCO Composites is also taking part in another ambitious European project on smart profiles, called Hypermembrane. The project involves making customizable profiles for roof-type constructions, incorporating energy criteria, in particular. “We use new technologies to innovate: with glass and thermoplastic pultrusion, we can help our customers to create smart, ultra-strong structures. In doing so, we make use of our four core activities: pultrusion, machining, moulding and metal-working,” points out Bertrand Vieille.
ICCO: positioned as a tier-2 equipment manufacturer
In 2011, ICCO Composites started to focus on four complementary composite activities: profile pultrusion, machining, moulding (compression, RTM and cold-press) and metal-working.
The company is one of the only tier-2 equipment manufacturers to propose complete industrial solutions. The ICCO group’s main markets are railway, environment, transportation and energy. ICCO Composites has 85+ employees working at two sites. It has sales of €9 million and an annual production of 1,200 metric tons, making it Europe’s leading pultruded profile company. Its brand names are DFC, DCP and Idreva.
More information: www.icco.fr