REFORM Technologies

REFORM is divided into a number of technical workstreams, each of which will focus on a different area of composites production.

Work will start by defining the the industrial requirements and business models (our Demonstrators), and benchmarking the environmental footprints of the current manufacturing processes.  Eco-efficiency bottlenecks in current processes will be identified, and the key constraints and technology requirements of industrial partners will be defined.

Partners will then investigate three manufacturing techniques in parallel: forming, machining assembly, and look at ways of making these greener and more efficient for composite production. 

  • Forming is defined as the activities that give shape and structure to the composite components.  REFORM will investigate two main eco-friendly processes, laser assisted thermoplastic tape-laying systems and the use of virtual and augmented reality for ply positioning systems.
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  • The machining work will focus on the use of abrasive waterjet machining (AWJM) for cutting and trimming composites.  REFORM will develop a hybrid, multi-tasking cutting head to be integrated into the AWJM and investigate water-recycling techniques.  These will be integrated into a novel AWJM system and CAM modules will be created which optimise cutting and milling parameters for eco-efficiency.
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  • REFORM will also develop modular, reconfigurable fixtures to allow large, monolithic composite parts to be built.  Particular focus will be placed on thermal stability and a vacuum-tight surface.  Methods of aligning, supporting and fixing joints will also be investigated.
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  • At the same time, disposal and recycling techniques will be developed for FRP composites.  This work will look at dismantling composite parts and recovering fibres with as-new mechanical properties.  Energy-recovery will be investigated for epoxy parts and methods of generating marektable products from thermosets will also be developed.
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Finally, all this work will be brought together into a number of demonstrators, and the new processes and techniques will be validated against the production benchmarks measured at the start of REFORM.  A business plan will be developed to show where REFORM technologies can be used.  This will include life-cycle assessments, health, environment and reliability assessments.


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Project Co-ordinator.

Funding

REFORM is a collaborative project of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission.


For more information, visit the Cordis website »