Our laboratory

Our fully equipped and staffed laboratory is the beating heart of our organization. The state-of-the-art processing and testing equipment, tailored for thermoplastic composites, is essential to our research roadmap. Similar to our member base, the processing equipment spans the full thermoplastic composite processing chain, going from part manufacturing by autoclaving, stamp forming or fiber placement, via various joining technologies, to assembled (sub)structures.

Laboratory

The in-depth scientific understanding of the materials and processes at hand is created in the mechanical and thermo-analytical analysis laboratory. Here, dedicated in-house developed material and process characterization setups are used to identify, isolate and analyze the physical mechanisms underlying the manufacturing processes. We believe that a thorough grasp of the underlying phenomena forms a solid foundation for process and material optimization as well as technology innovation.

The roadmap research work is performed by PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, assisted by skilled technical staff for the experimental work. Internship and graduation students work on smaller research projects to scope new technologies or assist the scientific staff with their roadmap research. Apart from our staff, TPRC members also have access to our facilities to use the equipment for their own research activities outside the joint roadmap research.  All this excitement results in a vibrant and inspiring environment in which innovation comes easy.

Key equipment

Processing equipment

  • Pinette 250 tons consolidation and forming press
  • Autoclave from Italmatic
  • Laser-assisted fiber placement equipment from Coriolis
  • Krauss Maffei 160 tons overmolding machine, with robot for blank handling
  • Robotized induction welding set-up using KVE technology
  • Branson ultrasonic welding equipment

Testing and analysis equipment

  • Two fully-equipped 100 kN universal testing machines from Instron
  • Several standardized testing fixtures
  • Highly instrumented mini-press
  • Dedicated setup to characterize frictional properties for forming purposes
  • Microscopy lab
  • Thermo-analytical testing equipment
  • DMA with high temperature oven to characterize forming behavior

A detailed equipment list is available upon request