TWI is one of Europe’s largest independent research and technology organisations. TWI is a non-profit distributing, membership-based company, with 3,500 members from sixty countries around the world. With over sixty years of service to industry, TWI has worked in almost every conceivable sector, adding value to such disparate areas as offshore wind turbines and oil-platforms, motorsports, bridges, microchips, nuclear power plants, advanced aircraft, both civilian and military, medical implants, solar panels and many more. TWI’s business is built around the development and exploitation of advanced technologies. It is a company on the cutting edge of technological advancement and is recognised as one of the world’s leading research and technology organisations. TWI’s technologies fall into the following areas:
- Structural Integrity and Corrosion Management cover a wide range of area, focused around reliability assurance and failure resistance.
- Non-destructive testing (NDT) and condition monitoring cover all methods of testing and inspection which are performed without damaging the test subject.
- Welding and joining technologies range from the familiar, such as laser and arc welding, to the more specialised, like ultrasonic and diffusion bonding.
- Materials processing includes cutting, surfacing and surface engineering, and use of specialist materials.
- Manufacturing support provides an integrated approach to consultancy on all aspects of manufacturing, advising on both business and technical aspect.
The Adhesives, Composites and Sealants (ACS) section of TWI has several dedicated engineers in the field of composites. The section excels in three technology strands: i) MW processing of composites, ii) induction welding of thermoplastics and iii) adhesive bonding of composites to dissimilar materials. The section has played a major part in the development of joining processes for performance thermoplastics and continues to expand its expertise in this area. TWI is one of the front runners in the development of MW processing of polymer composites at its composites dedicated laboratory. The composites evaluation facility at TWI includes mechanical testing machines, specimen instrumentation, access to one of the largest fatigue laboratories in Europe and a complete thermal analysis suite including DMA, DSC and FTIR. Recent project activities include projects related to MW processing of thermoplastics, process monitoring of autoclave thermoset cure and joining of polyimide polymers to dissimilar materials.
To support member companies, TWI has developed a composites testing capability which embraces standard test procedures, to enable testing at elevated temperatures, and accurate testing on non-standard material specimens.
Key tasks and expertise
TWI will act as the coordinator of the SIMUTOOL project and the leader of the consortium management. TWI will also lead WP2, significantly contributing to the development of the dielectric measurement equipment for low conductivity materials, and the subsequent measurements. TWI has years of experience in thermoset resin modelling and testing, and thermoplastic processing. Their participation in several EU projects in the areas of composites process using MW heating as well as the well-equipped thermal analysis and NDT laboratories guarantees the successful accomplishment of the MW heating experiments (in order to test the process simulator output, the thermal response of the CMC tool and the manufacturing of the demonstrator parts).