UK's National Composites Centre (NCC) and Composite Integration Ltd., have released details of the newly-developed Large Scale Resin Infusion (LSRI) technology.
Developed by Composites Integration and now acquired by the NCC, the LSRI will support related component R&D in the aerospace and renewable wind energy sectors.
The LSRI was developed as part of the iCAP programme, a £36.7m investment to support composites innovation in a range of manufacturing and R&D applications.
Peter Giddings, chief engineer, iCAP at the NCC, said: “Our Large Scale Resin Infusion equipment is game-changing for large infusion projects and, as part of the iCAP programme, takes us significantly closer to achieving our ambition of automating the infusion process to help reduce costs and production cycle times.”
The new LSRI leverages liquid composite moulding (LCM) technology, one of the core competencies of the NCC. As with some smaller composite parts, production involves a dry material being infused with resin before the component is vacuum bagged for curing under light pressure (+/- 1 bar). The process does not require an autoclave, a heated, pressurised oven, to cure the resin.
Using the LSRI will help to reduce risk and improve final part quality of the high-value composite infusions. The system is capable of analysing data from previous infusion cycles in real time to adapt related parameters and ensure that the mould is sufficiently filled.
Parts produced using the bespoke LSRI system can be up to 120m in length. The first application for the LSRI will be to complete aircraft wing components as part of development for next-generation wing designs.