RISE and Topic manager GKN Aerospace are collaborating on a new Clean Sky project, ProTHiC - Process Simulation and Tool Compensation Methodology for High Temperature Composite Processes. The project is a step in reducing air emissions from carbon dioxide and NOx and reducing noise.
In the open call for partners in the EU's Clean Sky 2 this project won in competition with several other European consortia. In ACARE Flightpath 2050 there are several ambitious targets, among others, to reduce, by 2050, the amount of carbon dioxide by 75%, NOx by 90% and noise by 65%, compared with base year 2000.
The aero engine sector is investing heavily to develop technology that will enable this. One way to reduce aero engine weight is to replace metallic materials such as titanium with carbon-fibre-reinforced composite material. Conventional epoxy-based composites can only be used for applications with a maximum service temperature between 180 and 200°C. The focus of ProTHiC is on manufacturing of polymeric materials that can be used at temperatures over 200°C, a temperature range at which titanium is currently used.
The overall aim of ProTHiC is to develop materials, manufacturing processes, tools and simulation technologies that will enable further exploitation of carbon-fibre-reinforced composites for high-temperature applications. A demonstrator in composite material will be designed, built and tested to verify materials and simulation methods.