Areas of Interest for RFPs2017-08-16T09:28:38-07:00

IACMI Areas of Interest Supplement to Request for Proposals (RFP) v3.0

IACMI is announcing a new project opportunity for their members. IACMI Technology Area Directors and the IACMI staff  reviewed the IACMI Technical Roadmap to examine the current portfolio of projects and to identify current gaps in topics that present excellent project opportunities. The team then developed 10 Areas of Interest that serve as an opportunity to immediately address the composite field’s challenges.

Project teams can submit projects under one of the 10 Areas of Interest using the current process outlined in RFP v3.0. By combining the new streamlined RFP v3.0 process with these 10 Areas of Interest, IACMI has provided a path that enables private industry to rapidly contribute to innovations in the composites field.

In addition to accepting Project Idea Papers for the 10 Areas of Interest for RFPs, IACMI continues to have an open call for projects.

For more information, register for the Projects Webinar on August 23, 2017 at 2PM, and work with your project’s Technology Area Director (TAD) to submit Project Idea Paper to IACMI staff by October 10, 2017.

Register for IACMI Projects RFP v3.0 Webinar

Areas of Interest Include

Multi-material joining of composites adhesive bonding is a project area that seeks to link surface pre-treatments (Plasma, UV, Chemical) with pre-Coatings/Sizings, adhesive type with mechanical (strength and toughness), and durability performance (environmental and energy absorption) all within a three-minute process cycle. Projects are linked with modeling and simulation and are adhesive composition agnostic. The focus of these projects will be on solutions for robust adhesive bonding options. This project area combines integrated experiments and simulations to assist in developing novel joining techniques and associated measurement tools that validate the models and development of design tools.

A major potential advantage of composites is the delivery of multiple functions. These functions usually include a structural function and at least one other function, such as thermal or electrical management. With the impending transformation to a world of connected and automated vehicles, there will be a huge need for extensive sensing and communication functions that could be integrated into composite structures on vehicles. Project proposals are invited that either (i) integrate multiple functions into composite structures or (ii) demonstrate multi-functional composite materials. These multi-functional composite structures should deliver cost-performance combinations that are superior to those of metallic or other incumbent structures that deliver the same combination of functions.

The vast majority of megawatt scale wind turbine blades are bonded together with adhesive. Proposals are invited to investigate novel materials and new blade production methods that enable thermal welding of wind blade components.  Areas of interest include wind turbine blade resins, infusion technologies, surface preparation, fixturing, heating methods, and nod-destructive evaluation (NDE).

Design, Modeling, and Simulation (contact R. Byron Pipes)

The simulation of the multiple impregnation processes from prepreg formation to pultrusion share many physical and chemical processes, yet no comprehensive simulation suite exists.

Impregnation of fiber arrays with thermoplastic and thermoset polymers is achieved by multiple approaches. These approaches include:

  1. Hot melt impregnation of thermoset continuous fiber systems is accomplished by pre-coating a carrier sheet with a thin layer of polymer and then compressing fiber between two such sheets while lowering the viscosity of the polymer with a short duration rise in temperature. Flow is perpendicular to the fiber direction and is governed by Darcy Flow.
  2. Powder impregnation of both thermoset and thermoplastic systems are accomplished by polymer powder deposition on the fiber surfaces with impregnation accomplished through melting the powder and applying pressure to accomplish flow. Powder particle size distribution is a primary variable.
  3. Pultrusion impregnation for both thermoset and thermoplastic polymers is accomplished by melting the polymer and pulling the polymer-fiber assembly through converging dieor over cylindrical surfaces to create impregnation pressure. In both cases, the system must be rapidly cooled to achieve enhanced prepreg speeds.
  4. Solvent impregnation is accomplished by lowering the viscosity of the polymer through the addition of a solvent to the polymer. Extraction of the solvent after impregnation is the rate limiting step in the process and is typically achieved through drying ovens.

The goal of developing simulation for the multiple impregnation approaches is to provide models of all the key physics-based phenomena so that they may isolate and then integrate to model the four specific impregnation processes stated above. These phenomena include:

  1. Darcy flow through unidirectional and woven fabric fiber forms
  2. anisotropic heat transfer of polymer fiber systems
  3. rheo-kinetics of thermoset and thermoplastic polymers
  4. diffusion of solvents in thermoset polymers

Materials and Process (contact Cliff Eberle)

Rapid, inexpensive and robust composite repair is a critical need for IACMI markets. Repairability, especially of primary and/or safety-critical structure, may be very important to the insurability of composite-intensive automobiles. While repair technologies are relatively mature for many aerostructures, they do not satisfy the cost or speed requirements for repair of composite structures for automotive or wind energy applications. Also repair technology must be implementable in repair infrastructure, such as typical automotive body shops and portable wind blade repair kits, implying that repair equipment must be inexpensive, reliable, and easy to operate. Proposals are invited for the development and demonstration of rapid, robust, inexpensive composite repair technologies, including methods for evaluating needs of repair and whether the repair satisfies specified requirements.

Textile carbon fiber production technology appears to promise significant reductions in carbon fiber cost. Production is expected to commence between 2018 and 2019. However, there are challenges in utilizing the large tow (> 10 grams/meter) for producing intermediates and composites. Proposals are invited to develop technologies for packaging, handling, and/or utilizing large textile carbon fiber tows for production of intermediates including molding compounds, prepregs, and fabrics as well as for production of composites such as pultruded or molded components.

A major gap in recycling is the lack of knowledge and confidence in utilizing recycled fibers. There is a particular need for developing manufacturing processes that utilize recycled fibers, which are typically discontinuous and present handling challenges; and for the production of intermediates or composites meeting the requirements of high volume industries. A high priority is the development of an inexpensive, high-rate, scalable process for aligning recycled fibers to make aligned, discontinuous fiber intermediates. Proposals are invited to develop and/or demonstrate technologies to manufacture intermediates or composites, using recycled fibers, and addressing the needs of high volume industries.

Open to all Technology Areas (contact Ray Boeman)

Prototyping molds, while not as expensive as production molds, still pose significant cost and schedule impact in vehicle development programs. Inexpensive, rapidly fabricated prototyping molds could accelerate vehicle development programs or enable multiple design iterations during vehicle development programs. Proposals are invited that deliver prototyping tool fabrication technology with significant reductions in lead time and/or tool cost, while meeting performance requirements for molding 200 to 1,000 composite components with surface areas of at least one square meter. Tools may be relevant to either structural or Class A components. Both metallic and non-metallic tools will be considered. Tool production, primarily by additive manufacturing processes, is being addressed elsewhere and therefore will not be considered under this topic.

Project proposals that investigate and validate novel processes and material approaches for large-scale components are solicited for execution on HP-RTM, Compression Molding and Injection Molding equipment at the Vehicles Scale-Up Facility. Emphasis is on HP-RTM, prepreg compression molding, and/or overmolding of geometrically complex, discontinuous fiber reinforced features onto continuous fiber reinforced structures with ≤ 90 s button-to-button cycle time for components with surface area ≥ 1 m2. Utilization of reclaimed or low-cost carbon fiber is also of particular interest.  Projects may include multiple other IACMI technology areas, for example, modeling and simulation.

Tooling costs and lead times are major inhibitors of composites penetration into high-volume vehicles. Long lead times inhibit late design changes, or drive up vehicle cost, and high tooling costs pose a high-risk in implementing new materials. Tooling cost and lead time have proven to be a challenge in many of IACMI’s vehicle projects. Proposals are invited that deliver metal tool fabrication technology with significant reductions in lead time and/or tool cost, while meeting performance requirements for molding at least one million composite components with surface area of at least one square meter. Tools may be relevant to either structural or Class A components. Tool production, primarily by additive manufacturing processes, is being addressed elsewhere and therefore will not be considered under this topic.