Industrial manufacturing needs to be competitive to persist, often on a global market. Competitive products often demand the edge in manufacturing technology. This is certainly the case with lightweight materials, like fibre reinforced composites and light alloys.
The properties of these materials are closely related to the way they are manufactured. The understanding of this relation is therefore essential in a successful engineering design using these materials.
Research in the Production Technology group addresses the engineering issues of new processes related to lightweight materials, and their related performances. This means that the research topics cover the whole lifetime of a product.
The research within Production Technology covers different aspects of an engineering structure, from its design, its manufacturing, to its performance and to its ‘in use’ condition. All these aspects are interrelated.
‘Processing’ and ‘Product performance’ of lightweight advanced materials in structural applications characterise the main research themes of the Production Technology group. Recently, two complementary research themes emerged and support the on-going subjects: ‘Smart materials & structures’ is directly related to the type of advanced materials considered, and ‘Condition Monitoring’, to the performance of the designed structured while in use.
In our view processing and performance can be optimised after thorough analysis and modelling in combination with a solid experimental programme. The experimental programme identifies the operating mechanisms, establishes relevant material property data for the modelling steps and provides data to test the accuracy of the models proposed. An integral approach is pursued, taking into account the interrelations between the geometric design, the production process and the material properties.
The research in Processing and related Performance in Thermoplastic matrix composite materials has recently led to the creation of the ThermoPlastic composites Research Centre (TPRC), an open research centre founded by Boeing, Fokker, TenCate and the University of Twente.
Find in the following links more details about the projects running around the PT research themes, the output and the engineering tools developed in the group.