Composites

The AMRC Composite Centre is a state-of-the-art facility for advanced composite manufacturing research and development.

Based in a dedicated extension to the AMRC Factory of the Future, we extend the AMRC’s expertise in metals production into the new generation of carbon fibre composite materials. These materials are increasingly used in aerospace, marine, automotive and other high-value industries for their combination of light weight and high strength. But they also present a host of manufacturing challenges.

Our research focuses on the production and machining of composite components, including hybrid parts which combine high-performance metals and composites in a single structure. Such structures can provide significant weight savings while maintaining the highest material and structural performance, offering improved fuel efficiency for aerospace and other transport applications.

Our main research area themes are:

The AMRC Composite Centre is a member of the Composites at Sheffield partnership.

Contact composites@amrc.co.uk for further information.

Composite equipment

The Composite Centre facility includes a general workshop and 900 sq m of high-spec clean rooms. It houses a range of state-of-the-art design, development and processing equipment and as part of AMRC we also have access to the wide range of machining centres in the main Factory of the Future workshop, including a large five-axis waterjet machining centre, and the specialist services and resources of the other AMRC research groups.

Our key resources include:

  • ADC robotic fibre placement system with thermoplastic tape/tow, thermoset tape and multi-tow thermoset capability, 1.2m diameter x 2.75m.
  • MF Tech robotic filament winding machine with wet/dry and prepreg capability, 1.2m diameter x 4m.
  • Isojet Combi RTM equipment.
  • LBBC autoclave, 3m x 5m, 10 bar, 210°C.
  • LBBC autoclave, 1m x 2m, 20 bar, 400°C.
  • Caltherm curing oven, 3m x 3m x 3m, 230°C.
  • Vötsch microwave curing facility, 1.8m x 2.8m, 450°C.
  • Langzauner laboratory press, 300 tonne, 400°C, 1m x 1.5m platen, suitable for  thermoset/thermoplastic processing, thermoforming, RTM etc.
  • CMS 5 axis machining centre.
  • Eastman NC ply cutter, 2m x 4m.
  • WardJet GCM waterjet/milling centre, 1.5m vertical x 4m cross-beam x 8m horizontal travel.
  • Mega 5 tooling capacity.
  • ISO class 8 clean room, 900 sq m with integral freezer.
  • Patran and Nastran FEA software.
  • Modelling, design and simulation software, including WiseTex, Catia V5 and PolyWorks.
  • SimaPro life cycle assessment software.

You can download our capabilities directory, which tells you in detail about our equipment and our technology themes.