Since 2012, Heraeus has worked with the National Composites Centre (NCC) to investigate the potential of the Xenon flashlamp system in composites manufacturing. In particular, the flashlamp has been targeted at Automated Fibre Placement (AFP), where it has shown potential to surpass the performance of current heating solutions.
The collaboration brought together technical experts, in composites manufacture from the NCC and flashlamp systems from Heraeus, to build a strong team that has rapidly taken the technology up the TRL scale, from initial proof of concept trials to a full demonstrator.
The NCC has been able to assist Heraeus in finding collaborative R&D funding through the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP), and has been instrumental in helping form a research consortium from its wide member base that has given appropriate guidance to the project.
A highlight of the collaboration was a technology demonstrator event held at the NCC to showcase the benefits of the flashlamp system to potential end users of the technology.
“Working with the NCC enabled us to engage with the most up-to-date technologies used in the composites industry. Key expertise was deployed on the project, meaning the research progressed quickly, and gave clear access to the composites supply chain.”
Martin Brown, Applications Manager, Heraeus Noblelight Ltd