Metalmorphosis’ final seminar

The 30 months Metalmorphosis Project is really close to its end. In order to show and demonstrate the results achieved a final seminar is going to be held in the headquarters of the Belgian Welding Institute in Gant on the 24th of February 2016.

The admission to this event is free subjected to registration: http://goo.gl/forms/H0qr2ud0zY

The project has been focused on the development and optimization of hybrid joints between metal and composite hybrid parts in order to obtain enhanced automotive components with integrated functions. The joints are obtained thanks to the application of electromagnetic forces. This technology allows joining composite materials that are not weldable, eliminates the heat affected zone, is a clean process and reduces the cost of the joints. In the first half of the project, important innovations have been introduced in tubular and flat joints working with laboratory specimens, while in the second half, the knowledge generated has been applied to the development of automotive components.

The consortium is formed by nine partners. BWI, Centimfe (leader), Cidaut and Cidaut have focused their effort in the research and development activities. STAM is the responsible of the LCA analysis. Poynting is an SME specialized in the development of electromagnetic joining devices. Regeneracija, Tenneco and Toolpresse are the industrial partners of the project; each of them has developed, with the support of the consortium, a demonstrator to apply the knowledge and demonstrate the advantages of the electromagnetic joining.

Regeneracija has designed a bumper, where the crash box is designed in CFRP, and the cross beam is a sandwich of CFRP and aluminum. All the parts have been assembled attending to the technology developed for flat joints.

Tenneco has improved the design of its shock absorber reducing the number of components and simplifying the assembly process thanks to the integration of functions through electromagnetic tubular joints.

Toolpresse has created a new concept of hybrid pedal brake where both ends are manufactured by plastic injection to fulfill the geometric requirements and the central part is extruded in aluminum obtaining a stiff light component.

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Remaghic general meeting

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The REMAGHIC project continues its journey. On the 1st of February started the sixth month of work. Work packages 1 and 2, are in full swing, with the analysis of the main sources of waste, and at the same time preliminary work with the life-cycle assessment (WP5) has begun. All these tasks have been accompanied by the management and dissemination and communication works (WP6 and Wp7).

On 24th– 25th of February 2016 the general meeting of all the consortium will be held at CIDAUT Foundation facilities, CIDAUT is the project coordinator. The meeting will focus on reviewing the status of the work performed and planning tasks for the next 6 months including an overview of next year.

Complementing all these activities, this meeting will be used to perform two workshops, one about LCCA and other about risk management.

In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the facilities of CIDAUT Foundation.

VRUITS project is assessing the commercialization of three different projects regarding pedestrian and cyclists

CIDAUT is a member of VRUITS project consortium which, among other activities, is assessing three different technologies regarding pedestrian and cyclists’ safety.

The main target is further developing and enabling the commercialization of these technological initiatives based on pedestrian and cyclists’ safety, which have been experimentally applied in Valladolid, Alcalá de Henares (both in Spain) and Helmond (the Netherlands). These initiatives are derived from the work performed within VRUITS project (“Improving the Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users through its Applications”).

In Valladolid (Spain), a smart pedestrian crossing was launched thanks to this project. In this crossing a camera allows counting the number of people waiting to cross in a traffic light and lets them pass if the number of people and the waiting time reaches a certain value. Thanks to this system urban agglomerations can be avoided, as the threshold is set to 17 people, and the mobility and safety are improved for pedestrians.

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Another location of VRUITS project is placed in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain). A technological system has been implemented at a urban intersection in which a traffic light detects the pedestrian trajectory and decides whether to extend the green light duration or not. This way, people with special mobility needs can be detected and as their crossing will take longer time, the traffic adapts to their safety. Additionally, a smartphone app has been developed in which the user can ask for a traffic light to turn green, which has been very favourably viewed by users with disabilities who can not access some traffic lights buttons.

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The final project location is situated in Helmond (the Netherlands), where VRUITS project has set up the third initiative, which relates to cyclists’ protection. There is an infrastructure element that detects cyclists and send a signal to a vehicle, which processor can communicate if there is a risk of collision both for the driver or the cyclist, and if the crash is imminent, an emergency braking system is activated.

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It is important to remark that some of these advanced technologies systems pass almost unnoticed in Spain, but whenever they are showed and explained, the acceptation becomes very good in cities and for those people with special mobility needs. These initiatives can be transferred to any other country, and several industrial partners have been contacted for further research actions. All these measures have been thought with vulnerable road users in mind.

CIDAUT: Dissemination session of VRUITS project results.

VRUITS (Improving the Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users through ITS Applications) is a research project co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program. The Project VRUITS investigates how safety, mobility and comfort of vulnerable road uses can be improved with intelligent transport systems. 12 partners from 8 different countries take part in this research project.

On September 23rd, CIDAUT Foundation, as VRUITS project partner, organized a session for dissemination of the results obtained from pedestrian demonstrators developed in Spain within the project. In the session also participated SICE and POLIS, as project partners, and Valladolid City Council, as project Associated Member.

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The session intended to be a country-based dissemination event as a way to promote demonstration activities as well as the project as a whole on the local and national level to authorities and ITS industry. The aim was to the establish the session as a disseminator towards other cities in the country and also served as a way to get the necessary local, regional and national stakeholders on board for the implementation of VRUITS concepts. The event counted on the participation of more than 30 attendees belonging to authorities, ITS industry and research-oriented organizations, among them, the Major of Valladolid. Moreover, local and regional media mentioned the session, including press news, radio interviews and a short filmation included in local TV within daily news.

At the start of the session, POLIS presented Key mobility trends in Europe, focussed on cyclist and pedestrians. Afterwards, Valladolid City Council showed actions focussed on mobility in Valladolid within the last years. Then, CIDAUT Foundation presented an overview of VRUITS project to the attendees. Finally, systems oriented to pedestrians located in Valladolid and Alcalá de Henares were explained by CIDAUT Foundation and SICE, and results of the trials as well as conclusions drawn from the statistical analysis of the data collected during pilot tests performed within VRUITS project were shown by CIDAUT Foundation.

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Main conclusions reported during the season were:

  • Implemented systems allow for collecting accurate data on pedestrian flows and tendencies, thus enabling a better traffic management in the surroundings of the installation.
  • It has been demonstrated that pedestrian mobility was improved. In Valladolid test site, waiting time of the pedestrians at the crossing dropped 20% after system implementation and, accordingly, pedestrian congestions were also reduced.
  • Most users do not consciously perceive the implementation of the systems, neither the mobility improvement that has been reached due to said implementation. Nevertheless, it has been established that the users unconsciously perceived aforesaid mobility improvement through a comparative analysis of the questionnaires filled prior and after the implementation of the system.
  • Once the objectives and benefits of the systems are explained to the users, they value them quite positively, although mistrust has been occasionally detected as some users are afraid of the potential use of the systems as penalising devices.
  • Some specific vulnerable user groups value particularly well the systems, as occurred with disable people that gave their opinion about the system implemented in Alcala de Henares.

CIDAUT at the European Researchers’ Night: The X National Congress: “Científic@s para un futuro mejor”

27/08/2015 by cidaut

On Friday 25th of September the Valladolid Science Museum presented the 10th congress “European Researchers´ Night”. This event is an initiative from European Union organized by Valladolid University under the motto ‘Scientifics for a better future’. This event offered a delightful evening with educational activities for all the attending public, being the main objective to bring closer the researchers and their knowledge to the general public, achieving a general improvement in the research environment. In this congress, universities, research centres and museums of fourteen cities around Spain have taken part.

Within the “European Corner”, researchers of several universities and some companies have shown and explained innovative projects funded by European commission. CIDAUT has exhibited to the assistants the different activities developed in the EVolution project.

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EVolution is a research project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. The objective of the project is to develop new materials which will significantly reduce the weight of the new generation of hybrid and electrical vehicles.

The EVolution project started in November 2012 and has a duration of 4 years. It is funded by the European Commission under the NMP Programme of the Seventh Framework Programme. The project is organised into ten Work Packages which each play a crucial role in the implementation of the project.

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CIDAUT is in charge of one demonstrator, the structural node, the main objective, is to implement an innovative solution for aluminium components, a co-cast joint between different elements produced with different manufacturing processes.

The technology developed by CIDAUT, a green sand mould casting process, provides the media to link different parts when they are placed into a sand mould and then molten aluminium flows around them. After casting operation, a heat treatment process could be applied in order to improve the microstructure obtained during the slow solidification process. This process required the absence of pores inside the component and in order to maintain a good fluidity, thick sections and addition of silicon are necessary.

REMAGHIC project kick-off meeting held in Brussels.

Last September 10th, the REMAGIHC consortium met in Brussels to kick-off the project. All partners gathered at Covenant Building, headquarters of DG RTD, to present the working plan and the tasks to be carried out during the first year of the project.

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.

All partners introduced their companies to the EC Project Officer, highlighting their respective role in the project: Fraunhofer ICT, Fundación TECNALIA, Catholic University of Leuven, Grupo Antolin, Relight, ITRB, Piaggio Aero, Pininfarina and Meotec are coordinated by Fundación CIDAUT.

During the meeting, all work package leaders presented their work plan for the first year of the project. REMAGHIC will start by defining the best way to recover the rare earth elements from industrial wastes, and the magnesium alloy from the scrap, dross & slug. The specific REE will be then used to alloy with recycled magnesium in order to obtain cheaper alloys to be used by Grupo Antolin in their casting facilities and tested to check they achieve with the end users request.

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At the same time, the dissemination activities started by defining the project logo and the contents on the public website. This work package is also responsible for setting the Advisory Board; this is formed by industries interested in REMAGHIC results, and will act as test ground for the application of the developed framework and specific applications.

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On the following month REMAGHIC consortium will start updating the public website with news related to REE recovery as well as the partial results achieved by the project. Once the public deliverables are approved by the EC, they will also be uploaded in the website. So do not forget to follow from December 2015 on our website in order to be updated on REMAGHIC!

 

Freemoby Project Second Year Update.

Freemoby project has just passed its second review evaluation by the European Commission. Focused on the implementation of easy to deploy micro fully electrical vehicles (up to 650kg) and city EVs   (650-1000kg), freemoby is counting on renewable energy installations like solar energy in roof houses, solar parking and photovoltaic battery installations to attract a wider number of EV users impacting on efficiency, reduced energy waste and lowering the dependency on hydrocarbon.

During this second year, the project has achieved the main objective of demonstrating the technologies for home recharging and battery swapping. Three demonstrators have been built and tested for functionality in the recharge of electric vehicles.

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Moreover the project has performed successfully recharging from on-board PV and the demonstration and the testing of a ASILC-compliant BMS with outstanding performances in terms of computational power.

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Moreover, the project is following-up the dissemination of the results with the continuous participation in to events, fairs and conferences. Amongst them the most important have been a presentation in the USA at the Printed Electronics conference in Santa Clara, the participation to the European Nanoelectronic forum in Cannes and the Motor Show in Torino

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At the same time, during this period CIDAUT has designed a structure that will act as building/home for validation purposes. This structure allocates twenty five photovoltaic panels, connecting them to the EVSE and the rack system, allowing the user to either charge the vehicle or make use of Freemoby’s partial swapping system. In order to design this structure, a load analysis has been carried out, including computer fluid dynamics calculations in order to evaluate the loads the panels are submitted to under different wind conditions. The selected loads have been used in the mechanical calculation and design cycle of the structure, thus resulting in the following.

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In the upcoming period, CIDAUT will build this structure to use it as demonstrator in the Freemoby project. Keep informed of the project events and dissemination activities at http://www.moby-ev.eu/event/.

ACCUBLADE project (CLEAN SKY): CIDAUT contributes to the validation of Active Gurney Flap systems for rotorcraft blades through innovative research on composites process and tooling design

One of the most challenging areas of research leaded by the Green Rotorcraft Consortium (GRC) within the Clean Sky Program was the development of Active Rotor Technologies as the Active Gurney Flap (AGF) systems, which enable a helicopter to operate with a reduced tip speed of its main rotor whilst preserving the current flight capabilities. The on-going validation of innovative AGF systems by the GRC required the manufacturing and testing in wind tunnel tests of small scale composite model blades before their implementation at full scale. The integration of the AGF systems into the model blades (figure 1) demanded a precise process and tooling design in order to allow an accurate assembly for an efficient performance.

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Figure 1 Scheme of rotorcraft model blade with AFG system

Due to the small scale, the dimensional tolerances of the model rotor blade were very tight (less than +/- 0,1mm on the aerodynamic profile). This fact represented a great challenge for process and tooling design. Actually, to fulfil those tight tolerances, not only the mould had to be machined with very high precision means, but also the cavity design had to be designed with special consideration for minimizing any shape distortion induced by the process due to the different thermal and chemical shrinkage of the materials.

In close collaboration with the GRC consortium, CIDAUT contributed with its expertise in composite materials processing, and an innovative tooling design methodology. This methodology was based in process simulations capable of predicting distortions and solving process related issues from the early design stage. The methodology also avoided the need for expensive and long lasting trial and error procedures. Process simulation models developed by CIDAUT in the ACCUBLADE project included thermal and impregnation simulations for the analysis and optimization of critical process related issues, such as shape distortions caused by the different CTE of the materials, temperature gradients, or potential resin flow defects.

Laboratory characterisation tests were carried out with the selected materials in order to determine the required input data for the modelling of the most relevant causes of distortions when processing composite materials, including the warping and spring-in phenomena. Process simulation models were well correlated with experimental results obtained through the processing of flat and C-profile coupons with different layups and curing conditions (figure 2).

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Figure 2 Simulation of process induced distortions: warping and spring-in phenomena

Based on the results of process simulations, the design of the suite of tools required for the processing of the model blades was optimized. This included the selection of the optimum tool materials, the definition of the proper alignment and clamping systems, and the integration of an efficient and homogenous heating and cooling system with in-mould sensors. Also, with the aim of evaluating potential improvements in the manufacturing process in terms of quality and costs, the mould was designed and manufactured allowing the evaluation of two alternative processes, both aimed at producing the same net model rotor blade product: compression moulding and SQRTM.

All tools were manufactured by CIDAUT using very fine milling means, and inspected to guarantee the fulfilment of the requirement specifications before putting them at the disposal of the GRC consortium for the processing of the model blades. The first three model blades produced with the tools (figure 3) were used for the validation of process and tooling designs, being subjected to destructive and non-destructive inspection tests including mechanical substantiation tests with fully satisfactory results.

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Figure 3 Rotorcraft model blade produced for the integration of AGF systems

3, 2, 1… Countdown for EVolution Prototypes Manufacturing

The EVolution Project is nowadays crossing its midterm on its amazing journey. Our itinerary began with a Pininfarina city car concept (The Nido, a Full Electric Vehicle and with an Aluminium BiW), and hopefully will arrive to a vehicle prototyped with the most representative components (Under body, Structural node, Crash cross beam and crash box, Suspension mechanical sub-frame, and Side-door) developed in advanced metallic materials and reinforced composites. Joining and manufacturing technologies, as well as recyclability, modularity, ergonomics and safety are main topics considered within the developed activities. All of this without forgetting the main premise in all Electric Vehicle design: weight reduction.

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Evolution work efforts are distributed in different Work Packages; those are related as the following graphic shows:

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The first block is already reaching its final step: up-scaling of manufacturing technologies for components selected as real demonstrators in this project.

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Once the first large block of work is finished, the prototypes will be manufactured and assembled for real test to validate previous stage design.

At the same time, an important work for Dissemination and Exploitation activities was developed during these last months. The impulse came from the Exploitation Strategy Seminar received.

It has been a short but interesting time; all partners are eager to start developing the prototypes and achieve the next stage. In the following months Evolution partners will demonstrate the potential of the designs and the materials in order to achieve the ambitious weight reduction target. Don’t forget to follow Evolution progress on our web site: http://evolutionproject.eu/

CIDAUT in MATCOMP 2015: The XI National Congress on Composite Materials

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The XI Spanish National Congress on Composite Materials is organized by the Rey Juan Carlos University, AEMAC and FIDAMC, and its main sponsors are AIRBUS Group, ACITURRI, AERNNOVA, HEXCEL, ALESTIS Aerospace and TEAMS. CIDAUT participated presenting two different papers, one dedicated to development of material models for short fibre reinforced materials entitled “Implementación de una Metodología para considerar el Proceso de Inyección en el Diseño de Componentes Reforzados con Fibra Corta”, and a second one focused on the implementation of design methodologies for continuous carbon fibre composites for automotive safety components entitled “Procedimientos de Optimización para el Diseño de Componentes de Seguridad Activa en Materiales Compuestos”.

The MATCOMP series of National Congresses is one of the most important meetings between the academic, scientific and industrial communities within the composite materials field in Spain. The main objective was the establishment of a communication channel between the industry and the technical and scientific community to promote research, development, innovation

This year CIDAUT’s contribution was focused on the design of automotive components. Nowadays everything turn around weight reduction, new environmental standards, less emissions, therefore all this inputs are calling for sustainability in mobility, which will be achieved with less pollution power trains and 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 design methodology. CIDAUT research goes through combining complex material models with thermal and mechanical behavior in order to fulfill the OEM requirements and offer a light and high performance product.

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If weight reduction is considered, then advanced composite materials, and especially those combining continuous fibre with plastic matrix are very well poised for growth. In this context our research carries out the development of a suspension arm, continuous fibre and plastic matrix is rarely found in active safety components. The most critical load cases have been selected from the most common maneuvers of the B segment vehicle. The packaging and manufacturing requirements have been taken account during the development. Besides, new joints have been developed between the control arm and the surrounding components, due to it has not been possible to apply the same solutions that in metallic parts.

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Finally we have accomplished the objectives, developing a control arm with a mass reduction over 40% and the same performance of a metal predecessor.

If you want to know more about our researches in the field of composite materials, get in touch with us, we are always happy to share our experiences and find new collaboration opportunities. www.cidaut.es/en/contact