UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM (UOB), United Kingdom 

Contact Information 

  • School of Metallurgy and Materials
    University of Birmingham
    Edgbaston
    Birmingham B15 2TT
    UK
  • T: (+44) (0) 121 414 8244
  • M: +44 795 25 88 411
  • e: g.fernando@bham.ac.uk

 

 

UOB website

Description of the organisation

University of Birmingham is one of the top 100 universities in the world with higher education, training, research & innovation and consultancy as its main activities. The School of Metallurgy and Materials at UOB is one of the European materials research centres equipped with world-class materials research facilities. Two research groups within the School at UOB will collectively contribute to the project: Surface Engineering Group (SEG) and Composites and Sensor and Composites Group (CSCG).

 

 

FIBRALSPEC Project

UOB will undertake a study to screen precursors that can be mechano-electro-spun into fibres. The mechano-electro-spinning technique will be developed in this study to enable a wide range of viscosities to be electro-spun without the reliance on excessive solvents.

UOB will assume responsibility for determining the Weibull tensile strength distributions for the individual filaments and fibre bundles. The samples will be end-tabbed as appropriate and tensile tested. Conventional piezo-electic acoustic emission transducers will be surface-mounted on the end-tabs to enable the fracture of each filament to be determined.

UOB will utilise the recently developed eco-filament winding technique to manufacture unidirectional flat-panel preforms of specified thickness. These performs will be autoclaved using the vacuum bagging technique. The resin system to be used will be a high-performance aerospace-grade epoxy/amine. Test specimens will be manufactured to enable the following tests to be carried out: tensile; flexural; inter-laminar shear; and compression. The target fibre volume fraction is 60%. UOB will also process the fibres manufactured by NTUA.

 

UOB  will work predominantly within Work Packages:

  • WP1: Development of new precursors – (i) precursor development with NUTA (ii) development of a precursor delivery system based on mechano-electro-spinning, (iii) screening of precursors.
  • WP2: Production of carbon fibres – (i) standardisation of processing regimes with NUTA, (ii) tensioning, oxidation, carbonisation and graphitisation and (iii) production of carbon fibre composites – autoclave and eco-filament winding.
  • WP3: Characterization of Materials and Mechanical testing – materials characterisation, micro-creep & mechanical interlocking testing.
  • WP4. Materials development (supply), hybrid materials – active-screen plasma surface functionalisation WP5. Dedicated modelling of process and properties – (i) Weibull strength distribution of filaments and bundles, (ii) cross-linking kinetics and (iii) micro-mechanics modelling.
  • WP6. Qualification, standardization, production of (certified) reference materials – methods for determining Weibull strength distribution and e interfacial bond strength
  • WP7. Proof of concept– Manufacturing of intra-ply hybrid composites
    WP8. Recycling – (i) developing strategy for the various waste streams, (ii) demonstrating reuse and recycling approaches.
  • WP9. Life Cycle Assessment – Application of commercially available software to quantify the green credentials of the CF manufacturing process developed in this study.

 

Key persons for FIBRALSPEC Project

<b>Prof. Hanshan Dong</b>
Prof. Hanshan DongResearcher

Prof. Hanshan Dong, Professor of Surface Engineering and Head of SEG, is a world renowned expert in plasma surface engineering. Prof Dong is the PI at UOB. He has successfully managed and completed 6 EU projects and coordinated a FP7 project, thus contributing greatly to the surface engineering research in European dimension. In addition to 7 patents, about 250 peer reviewed papers have been published. He will be in charge of active-screen plasma surface functionalisation of carbon fibres and management of UOB activities.

<b>Prof. Gerard  Fernando</b>
Prof. Gerard FernandoResearcher

Prof. Gerard  Fernando, Professor of Polymer Engineering.  He has published over 180 peer reviewed journal articles in the areas of process and health monitoring of fibre reinforced composites.  He has previously secured 14 EPSRC and 5 TSB research grants in these two primary areas.  He will be in charge of precursor development at UOB with a focus on hybrid starting chemicals, eco-friendly composites processing, modelling of fibre process and mechanical property and recycling of waste carbon fibre performs and composites.

<b>Dr. Xiaoying Li</b>
Dr. Xiaoying LiResearcher

Dr. Xiaoying Li is a senior researcher specialised in microstructural characterisation, surface/interface analysis and micro- & nano-mechanical property assessment. She will be responsible for microstructural characterisation of fibres and surface/interface analysis of composites using cross-sectional TEM, AFM and FIB/SEM; micro-creep, mechanical interlocking & nano-mechanical property evaluation using novel environment nanoindentation probing.