Technical Services

Advanced Materials
Composites

Composites

Description

“A composite is any material in which two or more separate materials are combined to make a single entity, producing an entity with more desirable properties than the individual materials.”

Modern Composites consist of a fibre and a matrix, in a similar manner to traditional composites; however, modern fibres are generally glass, graphite, aramid, silicon carbide, etc. Modern resins (or matrices) are generally polymer based, however, ceramics and even metals such as aluminium.

Composites are widely used in modern engineering and it is difficult to find any industry that does not utilise them in some way. Such industries include the aerospace, automotive, marine, construction, energy, industrial and consumer goods industries. The expanse of the composite market can be attributed primarily to the reduction in raw material prices; notably the reduction in fibre costs.

BMC currently have laminating facilities at their Millfield Campus and have vacuum bagging, oven curing and resin infusion capabilities as well.

In March 2012, as part of BMC’s new e3 campus located in West Belfast, a state of the art composites training facility will be opened to provide support to the composites industry on the Island of Ireland and abroad.

The composites workshop will include the following capability:

  • A 1.5m diameter x 2m length autoclave
  • A single-part epoxy RTM injection machine
  • A two-part epoxy RTM injection machine
  • An RTI dual channel vacuum pump
  • An Iso class 7 clean room
  • A small hot drape former
  • Composite dedicated portable A-scan equipment
  • A freezer room
  • Small rapid prototyping equipment

Area(s) of Expertise

In March 2012, upon opening of our new e3 Campus, we aim to have accredited training delivered to meet the current industry needs in a wide variety of areas on differing pathways. We will offer

  1. Short courses for industry
  2. Units for courses within BMC (further education)
  3. Modules for university degree courses (higher education)
  4. Units on apprenticeships

Within these 4 key areas, we will offer expertise and education in:

  • Wet Lay-up
  • Vacuum Bagging
  • Resin Infusion
  • Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding
  • Composite Repair
  • Composite Assembly
  • Pre-Preg Laminating
  • Bespoke training

Institution

Belfast Metropolitan College

Key word(s)

Composites, manufacturing, prototyping

Current Funding / Grants

Innovation Vouchers are designed to assist small businesses in Northern Ireland to access expertise and knowledge in order to develop an innovative solution to a business need.
BMC are a ‘knowledge provider’ for these vouchers in many areas, of which composites is one.

For more information, please see http://www.innovationvouchers.com/ or contact us. 

Project Funding

We have access to a range of potential funding mechanisms to support your business collaborate with this project including

ktp Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are based on partnerships between academic groups and companies who need access to skills and knowledge in order to innovate. The academic and industrial partners jointly devise and manage a two or three year programme to achieve the advances the company needs. This programme of work is carried out in the company by a KTP Associate and the resulting relationship can be very challenging and rewarding to all parties www.ktponline.org.uk
4k-vouchers Innovation Vouchers are designed to enable small Northern Ireland enterprises to access knowledge and expertise to develop innovative solutions to business issues. The programme provides a voucher of up to £4000 to enable small enterprises to engage with one of the 41 universities, colleges and other publicly funded research organisations throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland www.innovationvouchers.com
If you are interest and would like to find out more including potential funding mechanisms, please complete your details below