Automotive Composites Research Centre
- - Key Capabilities - -
As we cater for a variety of processes and products, our facilities are flexible to adapt to different project needs.
Recognising the key to high volume automotive composite manufacture is automation, we're equipped with an automated cutting table, robotic pick and place for automated lay-up and automated systems for press-loading of materials.
- SMC Compounding
Our Schmidt & Heinzmann SMC Production Line gives us a unique, independent and small batch capability dedicated to Innovative R&D. Fully equipped with in-process areal weight measurement and heated line, we can compound carbon and glass fibres with a range of resins in a variety of formats.
- Materials Characterisation
We offer both mechanical and analytical materials characterisation using state-of-the-art facilities. This characterisation capability is critical in the optimisation of manufacturing processes and is also used to provide high-quality input data for predictive CAE activities and subsequent validation of models.
- Compression Moulding
Using the multi-functional Engel v-Duo 1700 tonne press, we perform R&D and demonstration activities for all high-volume automotive candidate processes: prepreg compression moulding, SMC compression moulding, thermoplastic rapid stamp forming and multi-material compression moulding.
- Automated Composites Manufacturing
Our Automated Composites Manufacturing line provides the capability to produce composite components in a single forming-moulding stage using open-edge moulding processes with either diaphragm membranes or gripper systems.
- Complex Preforming
With a dedicated 150 tonne preforming cell with a high level of automation and advanced material handling, the focus is on complex preforming of dry fabrics, dry NCF and pre-impregnated thermoset or thermoplastic composite materials.
- High pressure resin transfer moulding (HP-RTM)
Our Hennecke Streamline system is suitable for HP-RTM with seamless integration with the Engel v-Duo press.
- Process Monitoring
Our equipment and moulds are equipped with instrumentation to optimise process parameters for reduced cycle time and cost. All key equipment is monitored to provide energy consumption data for cost modelling studies & LCA.
We are developing reliable process simulation capability for the key manufacturing processes: SMC compression moulding, complex preforming and resin transfer moulding.
- - Recent Publications - -
- - video - -
Learn about our award-winning project, Composite Lightweight Automotive Suspension System (CLASS), led by Ford Motor Company, in partnership with Gestamp Chassis and GRM.
We worked with Aston Martin Lagonda and Expert Tooling & Automation on the Integrated Compression Moulding Process (InterComp) project, watch the video to learn more.
- - testimonials - -
We are currently involved with an APC composites project with WMG. We have found the team to be extremely capable and knowledgeable in the area that we are working with them. They are easy to contact, will always return calls/ emails, even when the news isn’t good. The reports we have received are concise and professionally written. We would certainly work with them again - Henry Sarel-Cooke, Business Development Manager, GKN Wheels and Structures
WMG were the manufacturing partners for the award winning CLASS (Composite Lightweight Automotive Suspension System) project. This was an aggressive 2 year project co-funded by Innovate UK that devised a carbon fibre hybrid rear suspension member. WMG’s world class materials and manufacturing expertise made the project viable and allowed the team to progress rapidly and develop the component that met the targets - Alan Banks, Suspension Manager at Ford Motor Company
Working with WMG since the installation of our equipment has been a tremendous experience. The R&D environment in which WMG use the machine has led to a better understanding on both sides, with respect to a number of critical elements of process control. This mutually beneficial result has been a consequence of an outstanding cooperation between the two technical teams - Graeme Herlihy, Regional President Europe West, Engel