Damage-resistant Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) with tailorable Herringbone microstructures

Reference number 10702

Sectors: Engineering

Industries: Advanced Polymers, Aerospace, Automotive, Materials

Summary

A novel technique to manufacture Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) with improved damage tolerance

Proposed use

Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) are materials with high strength-to-weigh ratio, with applications in aerospace, automotive, marine transportation, wind energy, sport, leisure and protective equipment.

Problem addressed

FRP are part of the architectural structure of many components, and they are susceptible to damage. Catastrophic fibre failure affects the performance and safety of the laminate materials.

Methods to tackle the poor damage resistance of fibre reinforced composites are widely investigated. Inspired in microstructures found in nature, this new technology presents a solution to enhance the damage resistance of fibre reinforced composite materials by tackling their inherent brittleness and tendency to fail, avoiding delamination and enhancing energy dissipation.

Technology overview

Researchers in the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London have developed a novel technique to manufacture FRP with improved damage tolerance. This method consists in locally tailoring the through-the-thickness orientation of the fibres at the ply-level in a laminated FRP, mimicking the microstructure found in the mantis shrimp’s dactyl club (Odontodactylus scyllarus), to create controlled out-of-plane patterned features to avoid large delaminations and sudden fibre failure. Laminates with locally tailored Herringbone structures within a region show an:

  • improvement of the damage resistance through-the-thickness and impact resistance;
  • enhancement of the energy dissipation;
  • increase safety of the composite structure by contain the in-plane damage within the region and not spreading to neighbouring areas.

Comparing materials with analogue microstructures, the Herringbone FRP bear 10% higher loadings, 13% increase in the energy dissipated and 71% reduced projected delamination area.

The patterned features can be used with existing manufacturing technologies such as Automated Tape Placement (ATP) and Additive Manufacturing (AM).

Intellectual property information

An international patent application is filed (WO2022/058702) to protect the method to manufacture the Herringbone engineered structures.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL):

4

 

Inventor

Professor Silvestre Pinho

Professor in the Mechanics of Composites
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Aeronautics

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Contact

Dr Laura Cabo-Fernandez

Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Officer, Engineering

Dr Laura Cabo-Fernandez is Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Officer for the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London.

Contact Laura

+44 (0)75 9025 0597

l.cabo-fernandez@imperial.ac.uk

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