Printed Self-Ameliorating Technology for Aircraft Structures

The Materials KTN is working with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Composite Systems Innovation Centre at The University of Sheffield to identify collaborators to work with their team, to develop an innovative ink-jet printing technology into a self-ameliorating system for aircraft structures so allowing the expansion of the use of smart lightweight structures in the industry. 

We are looking for expertise in the following areas:

  • Printed electronics
  • Polymer physics, physics of printed droplets
  • Chemistry of polymers and polymer processing on the micrometer level, inkjet printing, 3D printing
  • Composite materials, hybrids, mechanics of composite interfaces

As a start we held a one day workshop at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on Wednesday 26th September 2012 which included presentations relating to the technology funded by US Air Force, and interactive sessions where all delegates had the opportunity to discuss the challenges being faced in making the technology a commercial reality.

The presentations were given by Professor Alma Hodzic, AMRC Research Director and Dr Patrick Smith, Lecturer in Inkjet Printing at Department of Mechanical Engineering, and included an introduction to the AMRC within the AMP and its role with its industrial members and the recently formed High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

This was followed with an introduction to ink-jet printing and some details of the work done to date with the printing of self-healing technology between the plies in composites. Copies of the presentations will be available soon.

 A report on the day, which includes brief summaries of the presentations as well as details relating to the open discussion which includes thoughts relating to 3 areas: testing, manufacturing and multifunctionality, is available to members.

The next steps were agreed to be to continue to focus on potential collaborators in order to move the technology forward.

If you would like to find out more about collaborating with the AMRC on this technology then please contact Steve Morris.