Composites offer great potential for reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. For example, they contribute up to 70% of bodyweight reduction compared to steel and at least 30% compared to aluminium. The development of composite materials is quite complexed, due not only to its components structure but also to its various fabrication processes, and to its durability, deformation, and damage and fracture modes in the case of an impact or crash, for example. Textiles could be considered as the skeleton of the composite parts; a wide-range of knowledge is needed regarding their behaviours in order to correctly model composites. Industrial partners should be informed about the different processes for manufacturing complex preforms, as well as how to implement them, to create composite parts at an affordable cost.
One of the most promising and efficient ways to fulfil the objectives for the development of the composite industry is to investigate solutions which have already demonstrated their potential in other sectors. Replacing specific parts traditionally made of metal with new composites depends on the expected safety requirements. The study will feature composites and hybrid assemblies (metal + polymers structures) The objective of this project is to organize a cluster of private and academic laboratories supported by key manufacturers from the sectors of automotive, aeronautic, railway and marine transport, and to investigate the possibility of benchmarking specific composites through the creation of a dedicated European Association:
- From the aeronautic sector: Identify safety requirements for new materials and determine appropriate composites, depending on the application targeted
- From the automotive sector: Develop processes to produce affordable and cost-effective composite parts for the industry
- From the railway sector: Create, implement, and harmonize standards across Europe
Madmax’s main objective is to promote composites from a scientific and technological platform. Through this platform, the scientific goals will be achieved: to build solid links between aeronautics, automotives and railways industries through the MADMAX pan-European cluster, transfer knowledge from one field to another, and develop new technologies.
The crosslinks of these different fields will allow Key Enabling Technologies (ATM, high added value composites) to combine with traditional techniques and as a result reach technical breakthroughs.
The scientific focus of the MADMAX project is the joint effort of scientific and technical items on the following interdisciplinary topics: material science, interactive materials, simulation, composites and sensoring:
- Development of high-performing functionalized materials in 3D complex performs
- Development of an autonomous system to monitor the composites structures, incorporation of sensors inside the performs
- Development of standards to certify composites and their lifetimes
- Development of a model using advanced simulation tools in order to enhance the fundamental understanding of the relationship between a structure and its properties
The ultimate goal is to ensure the development of highly innovative textile processes and high-performing flexible materials with significant improvements in mechanical behaviours and integrated functions, (e.g. structural health monitoring for composites structures).
These approaches will enable industries to shift from their current positions in high-cost, small-scale, niche markets, to cost-effective, mass produced composite-based products.