Xavier Martinez (CIMNE) and Daniel Sá (CompassIS)
Project Coordinator and Technical Leader
João Silva (INEGI) and Julio-Cesar De Luca (IRT Jules Verne)
Leader of FIBRE4YARDS WP2 and European Technical Coordinator
Question 1 (Q1): You are involved in the FIBRE4YARDS work package (WP) called "Assessment of advanced FRP manufacturing and joining technologies to be transferred to the shipbuilding industry" (see the project structure here). Can you describe your involvement in the project?
Answer 1 (A1) João: In this work package, I have two different roles. Firstly, as a workpackage leader, I gather all the contributions from the different parties involved in the WP and coordinate all the efforts for the pursuit outcome, which is the easy part since we have an excellent and experienced team.
Additionally, I manage the INEGI's FIBRE4YARDS activities. We are responsible for the study of the feasibility of using innovative FRP manufacturing technologies and the approach that should be followed to incorporate and combine them in the production processes to be easily implemented/transferred into the shipbuilding industry. Furthermore, INEGI will be highly engaged in the definition, validation and demonstration of the strategy for the joining processes.
Julio: In FIBRE4YARDS, we will bring our expertise in composite structure functionalisation. For this purpose, we will use a quite innovative technology known as Acoustic Black Hole (ABH), which allows adding structural damping without adding mass to plate like structures. The ABH will soon become an engineering tool to produce smarter structures with added value, specially to improve noise/vibration comfort in transportation.
Q2: What are the main steps in transferring the technologies investigated in FIBRE4YARDS to the shipbuilding industry?
A2 João: Composite materials are already applied in shipbuilding for vessels up to 50 m. Still, the lack of automation reduces the production capacity. FIBRE4YARDS aims to unlock the full potential of FRP materials in this sector.
The Shipyard 4.0 concept under development in FIBRE4YARDS will require parties in the supply chain to cooperate (co-design) in a digitised manner. It is necessary to update the current manual-dependent manufacturing processes to high-automated technologies. The adoption of the proposed technologies must consider a flexible up-and-down technology scaling approach. In addition, the implementation of an IoT powered production is essential for process and quality control.
These strategies will require new skillsets for a large part of the workforce. The training and qualification of engineers and technicians are crucial to qualify the shipyard workers to use new assembly and manufacturing procedures. Therefore, FIBRE4YARDS will assess the shipyards players' skills and specific training needs.
Q3: What are the main achievements so far?
A3 João: As part of the work package "Assessment of advanced FRP manufacturing and joining technologies to be transferred to the shipbuilding industry", the partners of the FIBRE4YARDS project have been able to benchmark the current state and interests of the European shipyards together with the mapping of the current FRP manufacturing and connection technologies. Furthermore, a detailed study of the different technologies was carried out, enabling the creation of a Comparative Matrix of FRP Manufacturing Processes. A dedicated laboratory test campaign is being carried out to assess samples manufactured by the technologies in the project.
Likewise, a major focus has been placed on the connection technologies study. A thorough definition of the testing plan was devised, and the first phase study of the connection technologies is well underway. It is being carried out in parallel with real-scenario connection techniques development.
Lastly, the ABH state-of-the-art review and the preliminary modelling of ABH to simulate vibration behaviour of a plate functionalised with the ABH has been reached.
Q4: The Acoustic Black Hole has been developed very recently. How do you plan to apply this innovative technology in FIBRE4YARDS?
A4 Julio: The first step is to capitalise from the state-of-the-art and the benchmark of current structural prototypes using the ABH, that is followed by the development of a structure modelling that will assess damping added by the ABH in composite structures like a thin plate. The plate-like demonstrators sized of 1m² in composite GFRP will be functionalised with this technology and tested to prove its capacity of adding structural damping, which will be vibro-acoustically assessed. These demonstrators will allow to better market this type of solution to potential users, mainly the transport.
Q5: Could you tell us how your organisations are planning to exploit the results generated in FIBRE4YARDS with regards to current market and technology trends?
A5 João: The production of composite components benefiting from the greater repeatability and reliability of advanced manufacturing processes is a key aspect of industry competitiveness. The outcome of the FIBRE4YARDS project will allow a deeper understanding of the current and advanced manufacturing technologies by controlling the complex interactions between the raw material, the process and the final part microstructure, quality and functionality. As a result, new components can be designed and the manufacturing systems self-adjusted. All the acquired know-how will help us in our ongoing mission to constantly improve INEGI’s ability to convert knowledge into value and to confirm our solid institutional identity as a technological partner for companies.
Julio: The demonstrators produced and functionalised with the ABH technology will be used as proof of the capacity to add damping and value to composite structures, with measurable vibro-acoustic gains. Together with the modelling and these demonstrators, we will be able to approach end-users that need to improve acoustic comfort and at the same time reduce weight and propose the engineering tool that was developed and proven.
Julio-Cesar De Luca
The information, statements and opinions in the above interviews are personal views from the individuals involved in the FIBRE4YARDS project, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the FIBRE4YARDS consortium as a whole, nor of the European Commission. None of them shall be liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.