r-LightBioCom project held its 2nd Project Meeting

The r-LightBioCom project, funded by the EU, held its second Project Meeting on 26th-27th September 2023. The meeting, attended by more than 30 people, was hosted as an on-site and online hybrid event by the project partners Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH (Leibniz Institute for Composite Materials) and Hochschule Kaiserslautern (University for Applied Sciences) in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

The first day was dedicated to presenting and discussing the project progress. Work package leader gave an overview of all technical work packages, and the participants reviewed the achievements and results obtained since the project has started. All attendees had the opportunity to see and lay their hands on the first samples produced in the project. Following the technical project progress review, the meeting host Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH gave all attendees a tour of the research laboratories.

On the second day, the consortium welcomed the newest r-LightBioCom project partner Gen2Carbon, who had just recently become an official partner of the project. After that, all partners focussed on the impact measures of the project as well as the overall project management. The day ended with a visit to the research and development facilities of the project partner Hochschule Kaiserslautern.

STWIN project – Development of cutting-edge Friction Stir Welding systems supported by real-time monitoring techniques and Artificial Intelligence

The STWIN project, coordinated by CIDAUT, will develop a flexible friction stir welding (FSW) system capable of automatically fabricating complex structures, for a variety of joint configurations, and for a range of steel grades and thicknesses used in the metal construction, automotive and transport sectors.

The project will address the need to improve productivity in the metalworking sector, improvement of the working conditions for welders and operators and the shortage of skilled welding personnel in Europe. This will be achieved by exploiting the specific advantages of the friction stir welding process, in combination with real-time quality control, based on innovative non-destructive testing and their integration with artificial intelligent and smart digital twin solutions. This will lead to a zero-defect manufacturing approach ensuring robustness, stability and repeatability of the process.

In FSW, a rotating tool is pressed into the gap between two parts. The friction between tool and parts produces heat, which leads to plasticising of the materials. The tool is then moved along the joint line. The combination of translation and rotation of the tool transports the material behind the tool, thus creating the joint.

In STWIN, a novel real time monitoring and control system will be built and demonstrated. The intention is to use the measured process parameters like rotation speed, forces, complemented with the measurements by a smart combination of sensors. These relationships will be used by closed-loop AI control algorithms, which will enable real time adjustment of process parameters, guaranteeing an improved joint quality, towards a more sustainable and defect-free production.

The research leading to these results has received funding from Horizon Europe under Grant Agreement nº 101112504.

ESTELLA Project’s first year

ESTELLA project has just completed its first year of work. Therefore, the consortium met last 20th and 21st June its 2nd General Assembly.

During this period we have been working on different lines: we have worked on the functionalisation of cellulose and lignin nanofibres to subsequently form epoxy resins, on the reversibility of DA lace, on the treatment of fibres with CO2 technology and on the search for new enzymes with epoxy degradation properties, among many other things.

The meeting took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Our partners from NIC (National Institute of Chemistry) hosted the meeting and showed us their facilities, laboratories and the beautiful city of Ljubljana.

We also had the opportunity to meet with the partners of another European project, PROPLANET, with whom we had an interesting discussion on the search for synergies of action.

If you would like to learn more about the project, please do not hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter. And finally, don’t leave without taking a look at our first promotional video:

The research leading to these results has received funding from Horizon Europe Programme under grant agreement nº 101058371.

CIDAUT at the MATCOMP congress

From 13 to 15 June 2023 the XV NATIONAL COMPOSITE MATERIALS CONGRESS (MATCOMP) was held in Gijón, Asturias. Three works of the CIDAUT Foundation were presented at this well-known congress and also CIDAUT Foundation participated with the presence of a stand of the ORISIS project (CER-20211009).

CIDAUT were presented in the area of sustainability and recycling with the work “Chemical treatment of recycled carbon fibres for revalorization in new composites” showed the results of a CIDAUT-AITEX collaborative work within the OSIRIS project (CER-20211009). In this work, carbon fibres from recycled composites have been recycled by pyrolysis processes. For this purpose, sizing treatments were carried out with the aim of improving compatibility and adhesion with polymers in order to obtain new composites. And the work “Design of new sustainable polymer composites for packaging sector” showed the results of a research project whose aim was to design new formulations from bio-based and biodegradable polymers to produce foamed materials for packaging sector.

In the area of repair and joining techniques the work “Thermoplastic weld fatigue behavior analysis using structural health monitoring sensors data” showed the results of a research aimed to integrate sensors into thermoplastic welded joints for monitoring their status of health during operating conditions.

The right material in the right position

CIDAUT, together with the partners of Salient Project, is tackling the new challenges of the forthcoming connected and automated vehicles’ crashworthiness. The new skills of the connected and automated vehicles will allow to significantly reduce the number of accidents and fatalities in our roads, but the zero crashes scenario is still far away. In the meanwhile, the communication among vehicles, V2V technology, will be a useful tool to have some pieces of important information some milliseconds in advance of the crash event.

This information will allow the absorption elements of the vehicle to give an active response to the impact they are about to suffer. But to obtain this active response, a deep research and development work is needed in order to select the right material and the optimum geometry for each of the components that shape the structure of the vehicle.       

At the same time, the project aims to find a sustainable solution, and attending to this is looking for recyclable light materials, as composite, aluminum or the combination of both, taking into account the whole life cycle analysis of the components and looking for circular economy compliant solutions. In order to select the most suitable material a detailed characterization campaign of different grades of composite and aluminum is being performed to know their static, dynamic, cyclic, fatigue, thermal and impact properties, which will conduct to obtaining accurate material cards to be implemented in advances software tools that will allow to optimize the geometry of the different components involved in the passive safety behavior of the automated vehicles and also to use the right material in the right position.

The research leading to this results has received funding from Horizon Europe under Grant Agreement nº 101069600

Upcycling of recycled materials in construction to promote the circular economy

One of the most important challenges that the building sector faces is the reduction of energy consumption throughout the entire life cycle, i.e. from the manufacture of building elements, through their useful life, to their demolition. So much so that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that buildings consume approximately 40% of the world’s energy, 25% of the world’s water and 40% of the world’s resources; moreover, buildings are responsible for approximately 1/3 of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In Europe alone, more than 220 million existing buildings – approximately 75 per cent of the building stock – are energy inefficient indeed, many of them rely on fossil fuels for heating and cooling.

In view of the construction sector is responsible for more than 35% of the EU’s total waste generation, one of the main promising measures to tackle the high CO2 emissions of this sector and move towards a more circular economy is to encourage the use of secondary materials.

Faced with this situation, the CIDAUT Foundation takes part in PROBONO project, a European project in which the implementation of the circular economy in this sector is essential. In this line, the CIDAUT Foundation is going to use recycled materials in insulation and structural applications to achieve more sustainable and efficient buildings. This will avoid the use of materials of fossil origin as well as introduce recyclable and lightweight materials.

One of the strategies for reducing the heating and cooling demands is to focus on improving the insulation properties of building envelopes, in addition to enhancing the efficiency of appliances or modifying citizen life styles. The first action plays a decisive role, as it can lead to significant improvements with a short payback period. This action is aligned with the European strategy of introducing more efficient and environmentally friendly materials. This is why the PROBONO project is working on the implementation of insulating as well as sustainable materials and processes.