The FLEX proposal answers to the scope of JTI-CS2-2017-CfP07-AIR-01-33 call on the topic “Flexible RTM tool concept for composites with spring back adjustments capabilities”. The high-level challenge FLEX project will be addressing is to develop the next generation RTM tooling that can be easily adjusted to account for part spring back effect. The main aim of the project will be to design an RTM tooling system that will feature decreased lead times and increased productivity. It will feature a novel distortion compensation capability based on actively changing the mould shape.
The process is driven by accurate modelling of the spring back effects thanks to simulation of the phenomenon by analytical surrogate models. The mould will feature automation procedures in every production step. Areas of investigation will be the preform/fibre placement, the resin injection process and mould cleaning. It will also feature an advanced monitoring system that will offer unparallel quality assurance. The technologies will be initially demonstrated on a small-scale mould that will feature all complexities of a real production piece. The final tool will be built according to the specification of the Topic Manager, verified for compliance and functionality and delivered to its premises.
Overall, FLEX will advance its technologies from TRL3 up to TRL5 and potentially reach TRL6. Within the project, the integrated system (tooling and technologies) will be developed and validated in relevant environment, thus TRL5 will be achieved upon its completion. The Call requires, the delivery of the demonstrator at the Topic Manager premises, so that TR6 will be achieved post- project within the Airframe ITD.