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Structural Composites: Projects

Current Projects

InterComp: Integrated Compression Moulding Process (2016-2018)

Funder: Innovate UK

The focus of the InterComp project is to develop an integrated production process for the manufacture of compression moulded CFRP structural components, to address the need for affordable lightweighting in the Automotive sector. InterComp is a 24-month project between Aston Martin, Expert T&A and WMG aimed at tackling a number of critical R&D gaps and directly creating innovations in: automated lay-up of pre-cut forms, automated material management, control of layer orientations and overlaps, moulding and preforming development, material waste reduction and automated interaction between all processes associated with converting prepreg materials to a finished part in a competitive cycle time.

Large Scale Project - Composites (LSP-C)

High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC)

This HVMC cross-centre collaborative project aims to develop high volume structural composite manufacturing solutions for the Automotive Industry in the continuing challenge to reduce vehicle weight to meet emissions targets. AMRC, MTC, NCC and WMG are partnering to develop each centre’s industrial scale capabilities to demonstrate Automated Preforming, Weaving, Stitching & Tufting, Design & Simulation, Formability & Permeability, and High Pressure Resin Transfer Moulding (HP-RTM).

CLASS: Composite Lightweight Automotive Suspension System

CLASSFunder: Innovate UK

The CLASS project is a 24 month research project led by Ford in partnership with Gestamp Chassis, GRM, and WMG. The project aims to overcome the technical, financial and environmental challenges of high volume production of a lightweight composite Tieblade-knuckle for a wheel suspension and lower the vehicle CO2 emissions by reducing vehicle weight. Using the industrial scale, state-of-the-art manufacturing and materials evaluation facilities at WMG, the manufacturing development phase of the project will generate demonstrator part proving part design and material combination and automated manufacturing processes allowing high volume production.

Recent Projects

ENLIGHT: Enhanced Lightweight Design (2012 - 2016)

Funder: EU FP7

ENLIGHT aims to accelerate the technological development of a portfolio of innovative thermoset, thermoplastic, bio-based and hybrid materials which together can offer a strong potential to reduce weight and overall carbon footprint to enable their application to medium-high volume electric vehicles (EVs) in 2020-25. Five demonstrator models of a future EV architecture will be developed, validating the performance of the materials in structurally demanding parts of the car. The demonstration and evaluation of the lightweight potential will be supported virtually with a full vehicle model.

ENLIGHT Project Site >>


Funder: Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) / Birmingham City Council

UK-THERMOCOMP, one of the 14 Composites Innovation Cluster (CIC) projects brings together a UK supply chain with the ultimate aim of delivering high performance, high volume carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic components to global end-users. UK-THERMOCOMP’s objective is to develop a short cycle time, high volume manufacturing process for carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic (CFRP) components, aiming to develop production technologies for the rapid “stamp-forming” of CFRP parts similar to the stamping of sheet metals. In addition to providing the automotive sector with a viable processing route for high-performance composite components, the technology should also be transferable to medium volume aerospace parts. Building upon recently UK-developed carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic materials, the vision is to develop and integrate the supporting tooling, consolidation and simulation technologies, as well as the associated supply chain, to provide a UK capability for high volume carbon fibre composite component production.

More information: Composites Innovation Cluster>> 

VARCITY: Vehicle ARchitecture for CITY cars (2012 - 2016)

Funder: Innovate UK

The VARCITY project delivers new vehicle body architectures for the premium city car of 2020 which will utilise the structural performance and weight advantages of advanced Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) based composites, whilst delivering a sustainable and economically viable proposition for volume production. The project targets a series of technology developments and innovations that currently prohibit wide-scale, volume implementation of CFRP based composites for vehicle body construction. A major goal of the project is the establishment of a leading UK supply chain comprising the core industry partners. VARCITY drives the technical capability developments of this fully integrated supply chain and will deliver major commercial benefits for wider market opportunities. Furthermore, the project also acts as a catalyst to stimulate the science, engineering and technology base to support the CO2 and sustainability challenges facing the UK's automotive industry.

More information >>

Composites Projects

Composites Projects

Structural Composites Group:

Professor Ken Kendall

All group members

Further information:

ACRC Facilities
WMG centre HVM Catapult