As part of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research's Mobility Development Program, the Retention project fosters IVW’s scientific cooperation with Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The cooperation between both institutions in the fields of materials science, process engineering and process simulation has been existing since the early 1990s the current cooperation is strengthened by the participation of a new generation of young scientists.
Goal of the funded project, which includes research stays, is to evaluate the potential of an innovative new manufacturing concept for the industries of both countries. The new concept aims for a high degree of process robustness: a combination of impregnated and dry fiber structures are stacked together and resin transfer is subsequently initiated via a vacuum build-up.
In January 2019, three members of IVW visited CACM. Together with their hosts Simon Bickerton (Director of the CACM), Graeme Finch (CACM’s Business Development Manager) and Tom Allen (Senior Researcher), IVW scientists David May, Miro Duhovic (Competence Field Managers for "Impregnation and Preform Technologies" and "Process Simulation", respectively) and Matthias Bendler (Technology Transfer) were able to come into contact with New Zealand companies. During an industrial workshop as well as by several company visits, the German scientists were able to get an idea of the possible uses of the new concept and of the challenges of its implementation. In parallel to the industry talks, cooperation on a scientific level deepened with the involvement of Piaras Kelly (Professor in Engineering Science, University of Auckland) through the joint construction of a process simulation model, which depicts the complex hydrodynamic compaction behavior that occurs during resin transfer in the newly developed manufacturing process.
The results so far as well as the feedback from the industries on both sides of the globe are very promising, hence, IVW and CACM are preparing a follow-up project involving the industry. The next step will be a, CACM scientists’ visit of IVW in Autumn 2019 to attend an industry workshop and to visit a selection of German companies.
The German guests thank the team at CACM and University of Auckland as well as Core Builders Composites, Gurit, Jackson Industries, McMullen and Wing, Southern Spars and Waikato Milking Systems for their hospitality during their stay. We would also like to thank BMBF for funding the project "Retention" (grant number 01DR18005).