With ‘’POPCOM’’ IMT Lille Douai expands its R&D platform on advanced manufacturing processes of composites
The ELSAT2020 by CISIT programme (Ecomobility, Logistics, Safety, Adaptability in Transportation at 2020 horizon 2020) is one of the flagship projects of the Hauts-de-France region, co-financed by the European Union with the European Regional Development Fund, the French state and the Hauts-de-France Region Council. It is divided in several key actions, one of them, POPCOM, being dedicated to structural composites (polymers reinforced with continuous fibres) which are key materials to fulfil weight saving requirements of vehicles while warranting performance, reliability, safety and comfort. Regarding automotive applications in particular, the development or structural and semi-structural composite parts has moreover to satisfy cost constraints (and thus high production rates) and recycling ability; hence manufacturing processes of textile-reinforced thermoplastic composites, enabling both high production rates and high performance, are preferred.
Launched in January 2017 and coordinated by the research centre and engineering graduate school IMT Lille Douai (France), POPCOM project aims at implementing a research and development platform for the optimization of novel composites manufacturing processes, including (i) high production rate processing technologies of thermoplastic structural composites (RTM-TP, HS-RTM, C-RTM, stamping/thermo-compression, overmoulding ...), (ii) virtual engineering numerical tools (modelling and simulation of manufacturing technologies, mechanical sizing of parts submitted to severe loads), (iii) advanced testing of usage performance and (iv) non-destructive structural health monitoring; a step further towards an integrated ‘’design/manufacturing/performance control’’ chain. In particular, new investment will complement and extend the facilities available on the 7500 m2 ‘’plastics and composites engineering’’ platform of IMT Lille Douai by mid-2017.
Merging Mines Douai and Telecom Lille from 1st January 2017, IMT Lille Douai is a research centre and engineering graduate school of Institut Mines-Télécom, attached to the French Ministry of Industry and focusing on materials, energy, environment and digital sciences and technology. IMT Lille Douai will showcase his expertise for the first time at JEC World on 14-15-16 March 2017 in Paris (Hall 6 Booth N32). As MINES Carnot Institute member and representative, IMT Lille Douai will also be present for a conference on process simulation on the “Composites in Action” spot (Hall 5A Booth M81) together with the French Institutes involved in the SME-dedicated ‘’Manufacturing’’ initiative.