The overall goal of REFORM is to reduce the environmental footprint of composites use. Composites are in-demand as they can produce large weight-savings without compromising on product quality. However, methods of machining and assembly have been taken from traditional manufacturing processes and have not been optimised for composite production.
The goals of REFORM are to reduce manufacturing scrap, waste and pollution and to develop methods to improve the recylability and reuse of composite components. Specifically, REFORM will
- Reduce scrap in the lay-up process through the use of laser templates or virtual / augmented reality
- Reduce energy consumption during curing by using low thermal mass tooling and fixturing
- Reduce waste in Abrasive Water-jet machining (AWJM) through process optimisation and water recovery
- Reduce overall machining, machining allowances and fastener count through smart component alignment and interfaces
- Reduce the number of parts by allowing large components to be built through the use of intelligent, lightweight fixturing
- Develop methods of recycling CFRP using new low-temperature, low-pressure processes