Denroy leads Aerospace Overmoulding Project
Denroy Plastics is pleased to announce that it is leading a team on a 3-year, £3.8M project aimed at furthering the innovative use of thermoplastic composites in aerospace applications. Composite materials are vital to the Aviation Industry because they provide structural strength comparable to metallic alloys at a lighter weight, capitalizing on their exceptional strength- and stiffness-to-density ratios and superior physical properties. This leads to improved fuel efficiency and performance from an aircraft.
We are collaborating closely with Spirit Aerosystems, and the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC) at Queen’s University Belfast and will explore the processes and design techniques necessary to create thermoplastic structural parts capable of application in aircraft wings and other critical areas. Denroy’s unrelenting passion to enhance the performance of commercial and military aircraft is constantly driving the development of improved high performance structural materials. Composite materials are one such class of materials that play a significant role in current and future aerospace components. While working with industrial and academic partners, Denroy aim to increase their capacity to innovate, increase productivity and enhance the skills of the work force, ultimately strengthening their world class offering.
Gareth Deering Denroy Commercial Sales Manager said
“Denroy has always had a focus on innovation so we are thrilled to be leading this project at the cutting edge of thermoplastic technology. With the aerospace industry’s increased focus on sustainability, lightweighting and cost as well as a need for faster methods of manufacturing we expect to continue to see a significant move to thermoplastic composites by OEMs over the next 5-10 years. Denroy plans to be front and centre in that move as the go-to expert on thermoplastic component manufacture.
The hybrid moulding technology at the centre of this project is particularly exciting because it combines Denroy’s 50 years of expertise in injection moulding with the company’s capabilities in thermoplastic composites. The materials, stress and design work we are doing, and ultimately putting parts made from composite overmoulding to the test in some very harsh test conditions, will enable us to prove out the technology’s viability for critical structural applications.”
The project is being funded through the Aerospace Technology Institute, with the strong experienced team to produce parts capable of application in aircraft wings and other critical areas. The proposed technique focuses on combining short and long carbon-fibre reinforced composites to provide efficient, integrated, structures that take advantage of the complementary strengths of both material types. The project output will provide an innovative process supporting the advanced design of more efficient, more sustainable aircraft parts in line with UK aerospace needs.
There is little doubt that the considerable benefits offered by composites have yet to be fully exploited and as knowledge and understanding grow, composite materials will play an increasingly significant role. This role will expand not only because of improved material performance, but also as human ingenuity finds more and diverse areas where composite materials can be beneficially employed and leveraged and that is what makes this project so exciting.
The High Performance Thermoplastic Structural OverMoulding for the Aerospace Industry, “SOMA” project is supported by the ATI Programme, a joint Government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacture. The programme, delivered through a partnership between the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK, addresses technology, capability and supply chain challenges
Foot Notes for Editors:
Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI)
The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) promotes transformative technology in air transport and supports the funding of world-class research and development through the multi-billion pound joint government-industry programme. The ATI stimulates industry-led R&D projects to secure jobs, maintain skills and deliver economic benefits across the UK.
Setting a technology strategy that builds on the UK’s strengths and responds to the challenges faced by the UK civil aerospace sector; ATI provides a roadmap of the innovation necessary to keep the UK competitive in the global aerospace market, and complements the broader strategy for the sector created by the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP).
The ATI provides strategic oversight of the R&T pipeline and portfolio. It delivers the strategic assessment of project proposals and provides funding recommendations to BEIS.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS) is the government department accountable for the ATI Programme. As the budget holder for the programme, BEIS, is accountable for the final decision regarding projects to progress and fund with Government resources, as well as performing Value for Money (VfM) assessment on all project proposals, one of the 3 ATI Programme assessment streams.
Innovate UK is the funding agency for the ATI Programme. It delivers the competitions process including independent assessment of project proposals, and provides funding recommendations to BEIS. Following funding award, Innovate UK manages the programme, from contracting projects, through to completion.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.
UKRI is the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UKRI brings together the 7 Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England