The Fraunhofer Project Centre (FPC) for Composites Research @ Western will be equipped with a hydraulic press with a maximum clamping force of 2500 tons suitable for research on industrial scale parts.
Research will be carried out on processing technologies such as Direct - Sheet Moulding Compounds (D-SMC), long fibre reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) and high pressure resin transfer moulding (HP RTM). The aim is the accelerated adoption of these high volume composite technologies in the automotive and other transportation industries, as well as the machines and equipment supply, renewable energy, construction materials and aviation sectors.
“We are very pleased to be able to partner with a leading North American university such as Western to offer an independent research platform for North American industry to investigate the potential and adoption of lightweight materials and technologies,” says Dr Frank Henning, Director, Fraunhofer Project Centre.
The University of Western Ontario is based in London, Ontario, which is at the heart of the Canadian automotive industry and a short distance away from the major North American automotive assembly and R&D centres in Detroit.
“This unique project will make London the leading site for advanced composite materials research and testing at the manufacturing scale in North America, and promises to create jobs throughout the region," says Dr Ted Hewitt, Western’s Vice-President (Research & International Relations).
The Fraunhofer Project Centre will run for an initial period of 5 years.