CIDAUT attended to the Kick off Meeting of the funded by the EC’s Horizon 2020 Programme SafetyCube project held at Loughborough last May the 19th and 20th

SAFETUCUBE_1Funded with €5.8m by the EC’s Horizon 2020 Programme, and leaded by Loughborough University, SafetyCube will develop an evidence-based road safety decision support system (DSS) to enable policy-makers and stakeholders to identify the most cost-effective measures to address the most pressing road safety problems.

The project brings together 18 partners from 15 European countries and spans all elements of road safety from infrastructures and speed limits, to vehicles, road users, and driver behaviour. The team of transdisciplinary experts will bring in-depth road traffic accident data resources together with detailed injury databases, trauma registers, insurance data and information on road user behaviour.

SafetyCube is the first systematic pan-European in-depth study of accident causation. As well as providing data on existing technologies, it will also enable predictive estimates to be made of the effectiveness of new technologies which may only be on the road in small numbers or not yet in use.

The project work plan is based around the core areas relating to the three components of the transportation system, i.e. road user behaviour, infrastructure design and operation, and vehicle safety, to facilitate the application of the results.

Participating organisations:

Loughborough University (UK), CIDAUT (Spain), SAFER Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre (CHALMERS) (Sweden), Laboratory of Accidentology, Biomechanics and Human Behaviour (LAB) (France), Centre Européen d’Etudes de Sécurité et d’Analyse des Risques (CEESAR) (France), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Belgian Road Safety Institute, SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research (Netherlands), Austrian Road Safety Board, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks, Institute of Transport Economics (TØI) (Norway), European Road Federation (Belgium), Centre for Transport and Logistics at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy), Agency for Public Health, Barcelona (ASPB) (Spain), Medical University of Hannover (Germany), Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency (AVP), DEKRA Automobil GmbH (Germany).

Cidaut starts REMAGHIC, a H2020 project on the recycling of Rare Earth Elements applied to produce Magnesium alloys

At the end of April, the EC officially communicated Cidaut the outcome of the evaluation for REMAGHIC proposal. It was favourably evaluated within the H2020 SPIRE-07-2015 call, and the grant preparation process started immediately.

REMAGHIC, New Recovery Processes to produce Rare Earth-Magnesium Alloys of High Performance and Low Cost, aims at contributing to Europe’s rare earth recovery and magnesium recycling technologies, improving the efficiencies of these processes and advancing the technology readiness levels for a new generation of industrial processes that will produce new low cost competitive alloys for a wide variety of sectors across Europe’s manufacturing value chain.

The project motivation lies on the fact that magnesium alloys can offer a significant weight reduction when compared to aluminium alloys. Weight reduction is a cross sectorial key design driver, if a superior energy absorption and vibratory behaviour is added, magnesium is a promising candidate for future application if some of its drawbacks are overcome, such as its cost, manufacturability problems, corrosion and creep behaviour and low allowable service temperature. Addition of rare-earth elements (REE) improves the performance of Mg alloys significantly, though a price increase has to be taken into account. REMAGHIC believes that by investing in recovery and recycling technologies, a new alloying process can be developed to yield low cost Mg+REE alloys.

REMAGHIC will contribute to the penetration of magnesium alloys in important sectors for the European industry (Transport, Energy, Biomedicine); it will foster the work done by Tier1s, and promote the interest of different OEMs on future generations of light structural components of competitive performance (that of primary Mg+REE alloys), low cost (that of primary Mg) and weight reduction (30%).This will encourage further improvements in these technologies thanks to finding new markets and applications that will foster the recovery of different REE.

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remaghic_2 REMAGHIC Work Plan Structure & Raw Materials Industrial Value Chain

Even though there are many Mg+REE alloys in the market, none of these is obtained from fully recovered/recycled raw materials. The development of an alloying processes that takes into account a different variety of recovered REE (which are expected to come in different forms), and includes recycled Mg (assessing its quality meets the same standards as a primary Mg) is totally unprecedented and will have a multifaceted impact, improving efficiency and competitiveness, promoting sustainable manufacturing, contributing to reduce the manufacturing processes environmental impact, strategically sheltering Europe from supply shortages and enabling better societal life quality.

The consortium includes Cidaut as coordinator, Tecnalia, Fraunhofer ICT, and KU Leuven as research partners, and Grupo Antolin, Relight, ITRB, Piaggio Aero, Pininfarina and Meotec as industrial partners. The EC has granted REMAGHIC a 3,253,442 € funding for this H2020 SPIRE project.

INROADS – Intelligent road studs lighting the way

The INROADS FP7 project led by TRL with seven European partners has developed intelligent road studs (also known as cats eyes) containing LED lighting, sensors and communication technologies, which will enable enhanced traffic management and road user information, representing a major advance over the existing retroreflective studs. During the development of the studs, several designs and technologies were considered for vehicle detection, with low power consumption and wireless communication as essential requirements to meet.

inroad_1For the final validation tests, some INROADS studs were installed in a closed test track at CIDAUT facilities. The aim of these tests was to validate their global operation and achieve some preliminary results and guidelines in relation to the installation of the studs and their effect and benefits on night driving. Thus, a thorough photometric study was carried, analyzing visibility and glare of the LED studs in use. Besides, drivers’ feelings and behavior have been evaluated by CIDAUT human factors team. An instrumented vehicle has also been used to record drivers’ speed and trajectory in order to compare the data with and without the studs.

inroad_2The result: a sensor network consisting of embedded LED studs able to detect passing vehicles and communicate with each other and with a central control in order to light your way as you drive along, highlighting the lane delineation and enhancing visibility without glare. So far, tests have demonstrated a very positive effect on night driving, increasing comfort, perceived safety and easiness of driving. Also, it has been proved that they cause no glare at all, while they have a greater conspicuity and visibility compared to standard retroreflective studs. This implies a significant safety benefit, particularly on unlit roads. In such situations, they offer an extremely attractive and cost effective solution to traditional street lighting, in that they offer many of the safety benefits, but with a much lower capital and operational cost.

inroad_3And in case you are worrying about energy and power consumption, there is no need to: they are also able to harvest renewable energy from their environment thanks to some integrated solar photovoltaic panels. Thus, not only are these studs intelligent, but also energetically self-sufficient.

So after three years of hard work of all seven partners involved, we are proud to present the first intelligent self-powered LED studs. Now we can say that we have enlightened a little the way to intelligent roads. Future is drawing nearer.

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CLEANSKY: CIDAUT develops an optimized simulation model for the optimization of Liquid Resin Infusion (LRI) processes

One of the aims of Clean Sky is to develop new technologies for green manufacturing through Integrated Technology Demonstrators (ITDs) within the frame of both Green Regional Aircraft (GRA) and Eco-Design (ED) platforms, with the objective to realize low weight/eco-friendly aircraft components featuring competitive manufacturing costs. To achieve this purpose ALENIA AERMACCHI, (Leader of the GRA ITD and Member of the ED ITD) has conducted several studies and launched initiatives aiming to develop, optimize and industrialize Liquid Resin Infusion (LRI) processes. Executed out of autoclave (without pressure), the required solution shall reduce weight, related environmental impact and reduce life cycle costs, for the one shot manufacturing of wing box stiffened panels in composite material.

Under these initiatives, CIDAUT has led the research project named “Panel Liquid Infusion Technology” (PLIT), (Topic Manager SICAMB), which was launched within the GRA “Low Weight Configuration” domain, and was set up to provide a scientific approach to the physics of the LRI process by the development of a “process simulation numerical model”, to study resin flow during the impregnation stage.

The PLIT project consortium was led by CIDAUT Foundation, in charge of development and validation of simulation models and the test bench. ITRB was involved in the tools detailed design and PBLH International Consulting was in charge of dissemination activities.

The LRI simulation model set up by CIDAUT allows identifying potential causes for non uniform distributions of resin flow that may cause injection process faults like dry spots, poor saturation of the pre-form, partially filled composite parts and other defects. An outcome of the model is shown in figure 1. Filling time was used to correlate experimental and simulation results.

plit_1Figure 1 Correlation between simulation and laboratory tests to determine permeabilities

Two main technical objectives were addressed by CIDAUT in the PLIT project:

  • Development of an optimized LRI process simulation methodology especially suited for analyzing large parts and stiffened wing skin panels.
  • Research to gain in-depth understanding of the flow phenomena based on experimental data and try-out.

The simulation model development required full understanding of the most significant phenomena in flow processing and development of dedicated methodologies in laboratory to characterize key material parameters of carbon reinforcements, epoxy resins and distribution media affecting resin flow in LRI processes (an example is shown in figure 2).

plit_2Figure 2 Correlation between simulation and laboratory tests to determine permeabilities

Compared to a full 3D resin flow computation, commonly used in infusion processes analysis, the optimized numerical model developed by CIDAUT leads to significant reduction in computation time, while accurately predicting resin flow from the distribution media through the laminate thickness. The model is parametric and user friendly. Case studies can be parametrically defined depending on the resin viscosity parameters, carbon fiber permeabilities, infusion process parameters (resin pot and oven temperatures) and impregnation strategy (i.e. number, location, diameter and length of the inlet and outlet pipes, location of distribution media, sequential fillings, etc).

The simulation model was numerically verified and experimentally validated against experimental LRI tests, carried out in large stiffened wing panel demonstrators manufacturing. For that purpose, a complete test bench was manufactured and delivered to the topic manager premises in Italy, where infusion tests were conducted and filling times were accurately measured at critical locations along panels. Experimental characterization of permeability and viscosity parameters were key factors for achieving a good correlation between experimental and simulation filling times.

plit_3Figure 3 Stiffened wing panel made by LRI (Courtesy of ALENIA AERMACCHIand SICAMB)

CIDAUT will be at MATCOMP 2015: The XI National Congress on Composite Materials

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The XI Spanish National Congress on Composite Materials (http://matcomp15.org/) is jointly organized by the Rey Juan Carlos University, AEMAC (The Spanish Association of Composite Materials) and FIDAMC, and its main sponsor is AIRBUS Group. CIDAUT will participate presenting two different papers, one dedicated to development of material models for short fibre reinforced materials, and a second one focused on the implementation of design methodologies for continuous carbon fibre composites for automotive safety components.

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The MATCOMP series of National Congresses have, ever since their founding in 1995, become the most important meeting between the academic, scientific and industrial communities within the composite materials field in Spain. The main objective has always been the establishment of a communication channel between the industry and the technical and scientific community to promote research, development, innovation, as well as the use and spreading of composite materials.

CIDAUT has taken part in these congresses in the past, and this year our contribution is focused on the design of automotive components. Nowadays it’s all about weight reduction, new environmental standards are calling for sustainability in mobility, which will be achieved with greener power trains and optimized light weight designs.

Short fibre reinforced components have considerably improved mechanical properties in terms of stiffness and structural strength thanks to the fibre contribution to their performance. Though used in the automotive industry for a long time, the influence of the manufacturing process is seldom taken into account because of the lack of an easy to implement design methodology, as current research goes through complex material models or expensive and very specific software packages.

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BMW i3 Profile (Source: BMW Group Press Club)

If weight reduction is considered, then advanced composite materials, and especially those combining continuous fibre with plastic matrixes are very well poised for growth. In this context, several continuous carbon fibre components can be found in the automotive industry, from bonnets, front end structures, underbodies, side pillars or roofs, to the ambitious BMW i3 passenger cell. Our research deals with designing a suspension arm, which is probably one of the lesser found examples in the sector. A list of critical load cases has been selected from the suspension arm of a representative B segment vehicle. The packaging requirements have been taken from the same vehicle as well, imposing a limit on the available design volume. The challenge in this design lies mainly in taking into account manufacturing requirements such as the desirable symmetry of the staking, the correct combination of biaxial non crimp fabric plies with UD reinforcements, the limits on the possible orientations if the curvature radius grows imposed by the manufacturing process, together with the mechanical load cases and the available design space.

Meet us at MATCOMP the 6th-8th of July 2015 to know more about our research in the field of composite materials, or get in touch with us, we are always happy to share our experiences and find new collaboration opportunities.

On March 26th, Cidaut had the opportunity to participate in the workshop “Lean & Learn” about applying Lean Concepts in Project Management

It was organized by the Association for Organizational Learning SoL Spain (www.solspain.org). SoL Spain, is a community that share an interest in developing skills necessary for organizational learning to achieve fundamental changes in people and their organizations.

Persei Consulting, TECNALIA and CIDAUT share their business experiences in Lean Projects Management. Persei Consulting described their experience applying Scrum and agile methods in the management of software development projects, Tecnalia went into detail explaining the adaptation of these methodologies in their projects and pilot areas, and CIDAUT shared our experience deploying the Lean Project Management methodology.

Lean Project Management (LPM) is the application of Lean principles in the context of project management. LPM has many ideas in common with other lean concepts. The fundamental principle is based on creating more value with less “waste” using Lean tools such as standardization, visual control, daily Kaizen, etc.

The debate generated interesting conclusions for the companies got involved in a cultural change through the lean thinking and agile methods.

Start by enthusiasts

When an organization is facing a change, there are always three kinds of people: “Enthusiasts” (10%) who take easily the proposed changes, the “Silent majority” (80%) formed by neutral people who will adapt progressively to changes as they become consolidated and are extended, and finally “Reluctant to change” (10%) who tend to reject any proposal.

We agree that the best option is to start applying these methods in a pilot project with a good group of enthusiastic people involved. The following challenge is how to extend it to more people, more projects, and more departments. It is necessary to keep encouraging them and trust that enthusiasts will extend it to the rest.

Managers involvement, is it important?

Managers involvement is necessary to succeed in changing the management process?

We agree there are different degrees of involvement. The “laissez faire” management style to lead change as one priority. No one doubts that the rate of progress is higher when the Management is really involved.

But we agree that the degree of involvement or not is never an excuse for not promoting change initiatives from other non-hierarchical leadership when it takes sense to work according to this philosophy of work and applying agile methods.

Lean Tools

An advantage of the tools used in the application of agile methods is its simplicity.

Everybody learn how to use Lean tools without any problem. This can lead to the mistake of thinking that learning to use the tools, the change will occur by itself. This is not true but tools provide a way to initiate the change.
When we use the tools we need to adapt them to our type of work, to our reality, change tools conveniently and the real change occurs providing benefits when we change, when change the way we feel, the way we think and how we interact with our peers and customers.

Cultural change as main conclusion

As main conclusion we can say that the application of these methodologies is not an aim in itself, the ultimate goal is a change in the culture of our organization. Create a culture of collaboration and involvement of persons.

The change in the conditions a person does his job leads to a change of attitude in people. When people are involved they appreciate learning and action.

We agree that when an organisation improve working methods and workflow view, people change their attitude and that’s when the culture changes.

For more information about the content of this event visit the blog www.innpulsos.com

Lean

Valladolid has launched the world’s first smart pedestrian crossing

Maybe some of you have already seen it on the media, but for those still unaware… Valladolid has launched the world’s first smart pedestrian crossing!!!

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Within the framework of the VRUITS European Project (Improving the safety and mobility of vulnerable road users through ITS applications), and thanks to the close collaboration with the Valladolid City Council, CIDAUT has installed an intelligent system that solves the problem of people detection and counting in all kind of environments using a brand new technology. This idea of measuring and monitoring people flow was found very appealing in order to improve urban mobility and the system quickly found its way on the crossing between the streets Claudio Moyano and Santiago, one of the most crowded spots in Valladolid city centre.

The aim of the installation was on one the hand detect and count pedestrians on Calle Santiago, to measure people flow and see how it varies depending on the time of day and from one day to another. The system is also able to distinguish different directions, allowing making statistics of people following one sense or another separately. On the other hand, Calle Santiago is the main pedestrian street in the city centre, being Claudio Moyano the only road crossing it. This means this particular crossing supports daily a huge amount of people. Taking pedestrian flow into account to adapt traffic lights in real time is crucial to improve pedestrian’s mobility and safety in the crossing.

This new smart system counts all passersby, determining how many people are waiting to cross, and it sends all the information to the traffic lights control to adapt the green phase accordingly if there are too many pedestrians on the waiting areas.

And what is the difference with the traditional push-buttons? Well, this system provides two main advantages over the old-fashioned buttons. Firstly, it does not depend on users to be activated. Sometimes people are oblivious to the need of pushing the button in order to activate the pedestrian green phase on some crossings, while others are impaired and unable to push it, leaving the most vulnerable road users aside. Secondly, this system allows resuming traffic flow if pedestrians are no longer waiting to cross. Haven’t you ever been retained needlessly in some traffic lights just because someone pushed the button and then left?

In addition and in order to increase pedestrian safety even more, a smart lighting module has been also implemented to illuminate pedestrians on the zebra crossing, providing an enhanced visibility so that drivers can perceive pedestrians better and react accordingly.

After all these months of hard work, here is the system installed:

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 Installed equipments

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C/ Santiago, towards Plaza Mayor                         C/ Santiago, towards Plaza Zorrilla

So if you happen to be in Valladolid and walk around that area, remember… we are watching over you!

WASIS: Vibro-acoustic characterisation of the CFRP fuselage section

As one of the last activities carried out within the WASIS FP7 Project, Cidaut performed the vibro-acoustic characterisation of two components, firstly one test panel and secondly the largest fuselage section (1m diameter prototype). In both cases the study covered low and high frequency ranges. The aim of this activity was to validate FEM/BEM models for low frequency range and SEA models for high frequency.

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The panel dimensions correspond to the real scale size of the aircraft fuselage. The idea was to learn about the panel behaviour before addressing the 1:2 scale aircraft fuselage. Two test methods were used to identify the behaviour at low frequencies: inertance tests and experimental modal analysis. For the high frequencies the Transmission Loss and Radiation Factor were obtained. Trough these parameters coupling loss factors associated with each phenomenon can be derived.

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To characterize the barrel, two different tests have been designed aiming to reproduce the noise field and acoustic loads the fuselage section would be exposed to in real conditions. In these tests the transmitted energies between different parts of the specimen are measured. Besides, the Transmission Loss and radiation factor were obtained.

To complete this task, vibro-acoustic models of filament winding structures were developed. The results of these models have been correlated with the results of structure characterization. Once the validation of both models was finished, a new model of a full scale filament winding fuselage was carried out.

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All these models have helped characterize the vibro acoustic performance of Wasis Composite Prototypes, enabling the project Consortium to assess not only the mechanical performance, but also other factors such as the transmission loss and radiation factor.

Advanced Composite Integrated Skin Panel Structural Testing – Results from Clean Sky ACID Project

Stiffened panels are required in structures which can be obtained by different processes. They can be made by attaching stiffeners to a thin panel or by producing integrally stiffened panels. An innovating manufacturing process based on Liquid Resin Infusion (LRI) can be employed for obtaining integrally stiffened panels. It is based on moulding a dry NCF (Non Crimp Fabric) pre-form of Carbon fibre plies, which is bonded by a one-shot injection process to high stiffness, pre-cured pre-preg T-section stiffeners. This method presents benefits like lower costs in machining and fewer assembly operations.

 

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The structural behaviour of integrally stiffened panels is normally better than those panels with attached stiffeners, but the difference is difficult to quantify by analysis, and is dependant on the manufacturing technology. Especially, the major interest is to clarify the structural behaviour of the panels, and more specifically their critical mode of failure.

The immediate solution could be to carry on comparative structural tests on different coupons moulded by different manufacturing methods, but it must be taken into account that habitually employed strain and stress measuring systems are limited to specific predefined points or have limited resolution. As the manufacturing process and materials are expensive, and last a long term, few coupons are available. Therefore, carefully combined measurement systems must be employed to obtain as much information as possible during the test, and also recurrent information is desirable to correlate results obtained by different sources.

As an answer to this scenario, the ACID project was launched to explore and analyze some of the previous factors, trying to study comparatively the mechanical properties and behaviours of different panels obtained by different manufacturing processes.

 

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To achieve this goal, a testing matrix was accomplished, based on 3 LRI coupons. Two of them are panels with attached stiffeners and the other one is an integrally stiffened panel. It is expected that the results obtained in the tests help to clarify the panels’ behaviour and allow comparing the mechanical advantages versus economic benefits of the manufacturing processes.

The main objectives of the project were described as follows:

  1. Carry on large scale structural tests for obtaining ultimate properties and failure modes of components manufactured by different processes.
  2. Measure strain and stress information during the test in a recurrent manner to combine and correlate the obtained signals which define the structural behaviour of the panels throughout the test.
  3. Analyze the obtained results, establishing a comparison between the behaviours of panels with attached stiffeners and integrally stiffened panels.
  4. Analyze the obtained results, establishing a qualitative comparison between the mechanical advantages versus economic benefits of the manufacturing processes.

The main achievements of the project were the validation of the novel techniques for composite manufacturing due to the result obtained in the tests. The final mechanical response of the differently implemented panels shows great similarities in the main mechanical characteristics (failure load, stiffness, failure mode).

This validation serves as a starting point for further methodologies development and means a widening of the possible applications or fields of Composite materials.

At the same time, the cross comparison of the measurement devices is useful when deciding the most convenient measurement system for each project. The pros and cons are highlighted and an estimative error between systems is obtained.

The major environmental benefit is the validation of the novel cleaner manufacturing composite methodologies (less energy needed, less wastes, lower costs) against conventional procedures in representative playground.

On the 24th of March, CIDAUT will hold an Exploitation Strategy Seminar in the frame of METALMORPHOSIS FP7 European Project

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In a few weeks, the nine partners of METALMORPHOSIS will meet to celebrate the forth Steering Committee Meeting. The overall aim of the project is to develop a new range of novel metal-composite hybrid products for the automotive industry, using the new and innovative electromagnetic pulse technology, which is highly suitable for joining dissimilar metal products. The current application range of this technology will be extended during the project towards joining of composite and metals. Mechanical joints like bolting or riveting are reliable and widely accepted, but they create local stress concentrations which reduce the strength of the components by as much as 50%, enough to eliminate the envisaged weight gains in many designs. Bonded joints are effective, but require very secure engineering, clean production environments and well-trained personnel to ensure reliable joints. Moreover, companies, and specially SMEs, lack the skills to design and produce reliable bonded structures.

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Attending to this scenario, METALMORPHOSIS proposes the design of three automotive components: a shock absorber, a brake pedal and a bumper support. Research efforts have been applied to optimize all the parameters of the joining process combining experiments and simulation by finite elements methodology. The project has recently passed its midline and is evolving as expected.

One day before the meeting, the Exploitation Strategy Seminar will be celebrated at CIDAUT facilities. The working day will start with an ”ice breaking” session and will cover all the aspects and activities of exploitation from the state of the art to the intellectual property rights. The ESS will be driven by an expert and all the partners will attend: Belgium Welding Institute, Centimfe, Cidaut, Ideko, Poynting, Regeneracija, Stam, Tenneco and Toolpresse. The main aim of this Exploitation Strategy Seminar is to have an expert evaluating the list of exploitable results and assessing the partners on the best possible strategies to exploit them, solving the possible ownership and conflicts that arise in the process.