ICERP – JEC Innovation Awards 2023 and India outlook

ICERP is one of the largest events in the Indian composites sector, hosted every alternate year by the FRP Institute. Moreover, it also honors innovative advancements throughout the industry through its “Innovation Awards by ICERP and JEC Group.”

ICERP – JEC Innovation Awards 2023 and India outlook

7 minutes, 10 secondes

The innovation awards strive to foster research and progress in the composites industry. They promote collaboration and competition among professionals, allowing for an exchange of knowledge that results in enhanced products for consumers.

Dr. A. Selvam of FRP institute kick-started ICERP event with his keynote address, highlighting the Indian composites industry’s resilience against the COVID-19 shock. He emphasised how Renewable energy, Defence, and Electric Vehicle (EV) domain were expected to contribute significantly in driving growth of this sector over the next half decade. According to Starview Research, India is estimated to register 6.1% growth in terms of volume, comparatively higher than Global average of 4.7% by 2027.

The global composites industry can be broadly classified into three clusters, depending on per capita consumption. The US leads the cluster of highest composite usage with 11.5 kg per capita, Germany and other matured markets are an example of the second cluster with 4 to 9 kg consumption, while India has the lowest consumption at 0.37 kg per capita. This indicates the large potential for growth in India’s composites sector through increased penetration of SMEs and quality sustainability.

ICERP – JEC Innovation Awards 2023

1 . Indigenous design & development of prepreg tape winding machine capable of winding varied tape width
National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) used the indigenously developed winding machine, the company used co-cured structure to develop CFRP torque shaft assembly. The entire sequence of manufacturing concept is shown in Figure 6. The parallel path fiber placement concept was adopted for tube and horn assembly. The most critical part was winding of tube and horn assembly of torque shaft. The torque shaft tube has thickness variation from 6 to 20mm. The spindle of titanium is embedded within layup of UD carbon. The winding of 14 layers follows over the spindle. The insert bottom and top horns are then placed on the precise position using fixture. The horns are also bonded with UD prepreg with film adhesive. Subsequently hoop winding is done in +45 and -45 degree, on the metallic parts of horn and other areas of tube. The entire assembly is cured together in the oven.

More informaton: www.nal.res.in

2. Development of prepregs for stealth applications
The aerospace products are steadfast entering into a new era of engagement. The defence aviation increasingly desires to get stealthy. The present innovation award is for the development of prepreg, to manufacture composites part that have low RADAR signature. The company claims, that the product comprises of RADAR absorbing or RADAR scattering materials to obtain camouflaging effects in 2-300 GHz region. A minimum reduction in RADAR cross section (RCS) of 4 dB can be achieved and maximum attenuation of 23 dB. This innovative formulation is claimed to consist of RADAR absorbing ferrites, doped ferrites, nano particles of carbon in various forms like graphene, CNT, etc. The binder system consists of specified reactive hotmelt resin system.

A part was manufactured dovetailed to end user’s requirement from this material as shown in figure 6. The typical test coupon level properties are summarized in figure 7.
More information: www.bhor.com

3. A patented adaptive tow placement technology to integrate continous carbon fibre into 3D printing process
FabMachines is an innovation for 3D printed machines. The machine uses companies’ patent adaptive tow placement technology to integrate continuous carbon fiber into 3D printing process. This technology claims to 3D print parts 20 times stronger than conventional 3D printed thermoplastic parts. The parts can be as strong as Aluminium, while being as light as plastics.

The technology can be used to built drone frames in one go, parts for robots, automotive parts, and others. The X series platform of Fabheads can serve several functions. The CCF printing can be used to print high performance large components. The pallet-based printing can print cost effective moulds in minimal time. The FDM head can be used to print the details. This technology offers 30% cost saving when compared to traditional carbon fiber manufacturing processes. The machine can also achieve 5 times faster printing.

More information: www.fabheads.in

4. Development of light weight composite product for automotive / truck applications, Front Underrun Protective Devices (FUPD)
The existing FUPD (Front Underrun Protective Devices) for commercial vehicles are manufactured from conventional steel. However, APPL global infotech executed a project to manufacture FUPD from composites. A typical FUPD is shown in figure 9, along with the placement on the truck.

APPL approached organic development process. The initial idea of hybrid layup beam, was to meet strength and displacement criteria based on the AIS-069 standard. The initial beam design was analyzed in Altair FEA. The pre-processing is done in Altair Hypermesh. The structural analysis, followed by layup optimization is done in Altair Optistruct. The quasi static impact analysis is performed using Altair Radioss. The post processing is done in Altair hyperview. These can be seen in figure 10. The final layup sequence is shown in figure 11. The properties obtained from laminate tests were used for analysis.

The beam is manufactured using metal-composites hybrid structure. E glass mats and fabrics were selected as the reinforcing material for the structure. The different layers have different directions for optimal performance. The highest bending stiffness is achieved by using sandwich sections, instead of monolithic composites. The core used for sandwich structure also helps in high energy absorption, during impact. The metal inserts at the bolting location, improved the fatigue performance.

The FUPD was manufactured using resin infusion process. The weight saving by strength-to-weight ratio was complemented by reduction in number of parts in the assembly. The final part was tested at ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India). The results of tests vis-à-vis predicted by software as shown in figure 12.

The final product is 35% lighter than existing while demonstrating similar mechanical properties, This has implications in making vehicle more fuel efficient too. The future can see more such structural members like rear and side underrun protection device with composites.
More information: www.applinfotech.com

5. Natural fiber based composites
The natural fiber based hot melt prepreg and end use composites attracted eyeballs interested in biodegradable composites. The jute fabric from 200 to 500 GSM were used as reinforcing element. Bleached or raw jute, both can be converted to prepregs. The jute is treated with biocides and UV stabilizers. The hotmelt epoxy system is used as matrix. The epoxy can also be pigmented as shown in figure 13. The properties of neat resin can be summarized, as in figure 14.

The final product developed is as shown in figure 15. The cure temperature is about 100°C. It achieves non-cosmetic finish with low void content.

More information: www.bhor.com

6. Composites for infrastructure application, booth for traffic police
Triovision alongwith Gaha innofab undertook the idea of development of composites booth for traffic police. The aim was to protect the personnel from direct heat, dust and pollution. The development phase of project is completed and is under execution by Bengaluru municipal corporation (BBMC – Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike).

The company designed two variants of Ø 6.5 feet and Ø 4.5 feet. The design is optimized to have light weight, lifting points, easy ventilation, rain water drain, inbuilt electrical equipment, fire safety equipment, digital lock, CCTV monitoring channels and foldable seat. Figure 16 shows the conceptual design of the booth. The final product was made fiberglass composites panel of 4mm thickness. The panels are painted, and fitted with toughened glass for commuter visibility. Figure 17 shows the actual booths manufactured. The booths also survived the car crash.

More information: www.gahainnofab.com

7. Composites for medical application
The company claims to have design, developed and manufactured orthopedic traction device along with sacral test. This is done while partnering with National Institute of Technology (NIT) Karnataka. The traction is a technique for realigning, or reliving pressure on spine and skeleton system. This is done with precision use of weight, ropes and pullies. The product also needs to be radioluscent, which is achieved by carbo fiber composites. The product can be seen in figure 18.

More information: www.carbon-light.com

8. Low bend FRP rod
The globe is under an ever-increasing demand for high-speed internet connectivity. The OF (Optical Fiber) cables need to evolve commensurate to this expanding demand. The cables manufacturers need to achieve higher throughput, with a constant improvement in flexibility and attenuation parameters.

The company has developed proprietary radiation curable resin system. The company uses it to manufacture FRP rods, with better flexibility. The production speed higher than 100 m per minute could be achieved in high speed pultrusion technique. The rods have improved flexibility, making them capable to bend at diameter less than 18 d (d being diameter of the rod).

At present FTTH (Fiber To The Home) cable applications require ARP (Aramid Reinforced Polymer) rods. E glass rods are 70% cheaper than ARP rods. The latter is also moisture sensitive compared to E glass. Despite these, ARP rods are preferred owing to there higher flexibility. The new “Low bend FRP” rods have better flexibility, are moisture insensitive and also 30% cost effective compared to ARP rods. The image of low bend rods are as shown in figure 19. In figure 20, a comparative result of attenuation of ARP rods and Low bend FRP rods are shown. While figure 21 shows comparative bending of the E glass rods,  ARP rods and Low bend FRP rods.

More information: www.indore.co.in

9. Resin infusion machine with online degasser
The traditional IBC material heating has its challenges on pot life of the compound. This reduces the bulk that can be degassed, and operations time available of the resin. The company claims to have developed resin infusion machine, with an online degasser. The capacity of the machine is 40 litres. The individual degassing allows higher operation time. The degassed resin also increases the mechanical properties of the product. Figure 22 shows photograph of one such machine.

More information: www.twinengineers.com

More information www.icerpshow.com