NETZSCH and USQ join in research partnership to advance automated composite manufacturing

NETZSCH and USQ join in research partnership to advance automated composite manufacturing

Selb – Accepting challenges and creating solutions: these are the goals of NETZSCH Research Partnerships. Research Institutes and NETZSCH cooperate intensively and in close exchange with one another in order to advance new and emerging technologies.

A new research partnership between NETZSCH Analyzing & Testing and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Australia, will focus on advancing the automated production of composite materials using dielectric sensor technology.

A newly developed sensor by NETZSCH enables the characterization of the critical material properties during the manufacturing of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP), allowing for reduced cycle times and lower manufacturing costs. “The new sensor is the first of its kind that is able to deal with carbon fibers without the necessity to shield the sensor against the fibers”, says Dr Alexander Chaloupka, Business Field Manager Process Analytics, NETZSCH Analyzing & Testing.

USQ’s Centre for Future Materials (CFM) lead by Director, Professor Peter Schubel, is recognized nationally and internationally as a Centre of excellence in advanced materials and manufacturing. CFM has a world-class research team with key competence in novel composite processes, automated manufacturing, composite repair, civil composite structures, ballistic impact, nano material, morphing material, thermal electrical material, geopolymer, and high performance concrete. The Centre has strong industrial links with local, national and international SME’s and large companies. “USQ’s strategic partnership with NETZSCH will support the delivery of smarter composite manufacturing processes for our industry partners“, Professor Schubel says.

As part of the research programme, USQ and NETZSCH will implement dielectric sensor technology in the following industry lead projects:

  • Pultrusion of construction materials (Wagners Composite Fibre Technologies)
  • Out-of autoclave composite repair (Defence Science and Technology Group)
  • Development of composite railway sleepers (Austrak)
  • Filament winding of composite pressure tanks (Gilmour Space Technologies)

NETZSCH visited USQ Springfield Campus in Toowoomba, Queensland in December 2018 to commemorate the new partnership.

Andrew Gillen and Dr. Alexander Chaloupka

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