The DEWTECOMP (DEvelopment of innovative Welding systems for structural joints of ThErmoplastic matrix-based COMPosites) is a 26-month European project that started on 1 May 2020, funded by the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the Horizon 2020 Programme. This project is led by CETMA – Technologies design and materials European research centre and involves as partner the French company Techni Modul Engineering – TME.
DEWTECOMP project proposal objective will be to develop an induction welding system to achieve innovative and efficient way of structural bond of reinforcement parts (gussets, wedges, fittings) to structural frames to obtain a highly integrated Door Surround Structure (DSS), as well as to be able to weld assembly clips on stiffened panel.
To achieve the main foreseen objective and system characteristics DEWTECOMP project will:
- provide at the beginning of the project a comparison of the state-of-the-art welding technologies (i.e. Laser, Induction, Conduction, Resistance and Ultrasonic welding-but not limited to them) with a benchmark of maturity to justify the use of Induction welding CETMA patented technology vs baseline resistance welding.
- Propose and manufacture the most suitable and innovative system design for the induction welding technology to be applied for DSS, including supporting tools, automated devices, heating systems, end effectors required to weld DSS frames to DSS fittings and clamping methods to ensure welding surfaces contact. The induction welding system will be based on CETMA patented technology.
- Generate process parameters in such a way that delivers the relevant information to Topic Manager but keeps the industrial secret that will be part of the exploitation plan of the consortia. For instance, welding parameters (temperatures, speeds, pressures, tolerances, and so on) as well as the tooling list and materials required will be provided to Topic Manager.
- Manufacture and test coupons to validate the equipment and tooling.
- Delivery of the Prototype System and tooling set for manufacturing to the Topic Manager facilities.
- Carry on different manufacturing trials to proof the welding system characteristics.
- Support set up in the Topic Manager premises.
- Follow up of the works performed by the Topic Manager until the end of the manufacture of a demonstrator compliant with typical aeronautical.
The kick-off meeting
The project kick-off meeting was held on May 25th, 2020. CETMA as Coordinator, chaired the meeting, which saw the participation of the partner Techni Modul Engineering – TME (France), a SME highly specialized in the automation of the production processes of composite materials, and the Topic Manager AERNNOVA, the largest Spanish tier 1 supplier in the aeronautics sector, leader in the design and manufacture of aerostructures and components.
Featured image: Thermal imaging camera applied to an induction welding process – Credit: CETMA