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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/T03383/01
Title: Exploiting functional fibres in advanced composite materials
Principal Investigator: Bond, Professor IP
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Aerospace Engineering
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Advanced Fellowship (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 July 2004 Ends: 30 June 2009 Value (£): 236,274
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Eng. Dynamics & Tribology Materials Characterisation
Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
21 Apr 2004 Materials Fellowships 2004 - Interview Panel Deferred
19 Mar 2004 Materials Fellowships 2004 Sift Panel Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
The principal aim of this Fellowship will be to develop a variety of innovative fibres and approaches which convey functionality to fibres in reinforced composite materials beyond their current structural role. This opens up a whole new area of research for the UK.In the initial stage of the Fellowship three related approaches, Self-Repair, Fibre Shape and Optical Sensing, will be developed. These will suppress, mitigate, sense, and repair damage arising from low velocity impact or out-of-plane loading in fibre reinforced plastics. These topics build on existing studies using unique facilities at Bristol and directly address problems which currently limit design allowables by tackling the fundamental issues of matrix damage and delamination detection, prevention and repair.Self-Repair will adopt a biomimetic approach and develop hollow fibre reinforced plastics which enhance damage visibility and perfom healing of damage via a 'bleeding' mechanism. Fibres are designed to fracture after a damage event initiating repair by outflow of uncured resin from within fibres to infiltrate the damage zone and thereby reduce it's critical effects.Fibre Shape will study specific fibre geometries to improve through-thickness strength and resistance to delamination. The through-thickness strength improvement occurs intrinsically during consolidation of the laminate. These shaped fibres will discourage ply delamination and increase the overall work of fracture via tortuous crack paths. This approach offers a simple and elegant method to enhancing composite performance.Optical Sensing will develop novel, small diameter optical fibres as damage/deformation sensors which can be embedded, with minimal disruption, in a fibre reinforced plastic. Fibre diameter affects optical efficiency but structurally embedded fibres only require efficiencies suitable for tens of metres. In addition, a small diameter fibre offers a higher sensitivity to strain measurement. Thus, such fibres offer a wide potential benefit.In addition to three topics above, flexibility will be retained in the Fellowship to allow exploration of other exciting areas of functional fibre reinforced composite development. Magnetically active fibres have the potential for application in novel electrical machine development providing low weight and high strength with tailored electromagnetic properties. A Self provide a passive method for damage indication by emission of light upon fracture. Similarly, Magnetostrictive fibres offer exciting opportunities for developing active damping materials.Total cost for the 60 month project (including the Fellows salary contribution, Fellowship support fund and associated research grant) is calculated to be 360,162The EPSRC/IOM3 International Review of Materials recently identified functional materials as one of several critical areas for further activity . Furthermore, the whole program concurs with the findings of the 2003 Foresight Smart Materials Taskforce in seeking to establish `Centres of Excellence'.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk