In 2014, Innovate UK awarded £1.25m in feasibility studies to bring emerging imaging technologies closer to commercial use. Simpact were one of 9 companies awarded funding and our project was carried out with academic partner University of Warwick. Led by Simpact, It investigated the extension of using digital volume correlation (DVC) in combination with images obtained by micro x-ray computed tomography to examine manufacturing strains within composite materials and strains within composites under loading.
Safety-critical composite components are frequently over-engineered with large safety factors as the strains introduced during manufacture are unknown and little is understood of the effect that these can have on the response of a structure to loading. Detailed analysis of material response is gained through FEA simulation and although some data can be obtained from experiments, this is typically quite limited.
With the successful completion of this project, Simpact are now able to gain a full internal strain analysis of a composite sample. This involves the sequential scanning of samples at subsequent stages of manufacturing. Whilst a number of challenges still remain, strain data is now being used to correlate our FEA simulations and to identify where design improvements can be made. This is playing a major role in the development of composite structures where strains have a major role in the manufacturing process. This is particularly important for high value businesses that manufacture safety critical components and assemblies made from high strength composite.
To celebrate the success of this and other successful projects, Innovate UK and the KTN will host an emerging imaging showcase event on the 26th January 2016. For more details on this event and how to attend, please click on the following link; http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emerging-imaging-showcase-tickets-19706404386?aff=erellivsim