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Research on efficient integrated systems for the manufacturing of complex parts based on unidirectional tapes for the automotive and aeronautical

More and more industrial sectors are demanding high-performance composite materials to face new challenges demanded by the transport sector. Carbon and glass fibre unidirectional continuous tape reinforced composites are one of the most promising options. It would be reasonable to expect that the manufacturing methods to obtain composite parts made of this hybrid material will be capable to tailor-made and optimize even more the advantageous properties given by the tapes nature. However, at the moment, these technologies are not mature enough for a full industrial implementation. Main existing barriers are related to the high consumption of resources, lower rates of automation, high production of defective and the subsequent growth of the manufacturing costs.

FORTAPE aims to solve these drawbacks through the development of an efficient and optimized integrated system for the manufacturing of complex parts based on unidirectional fibre tapes for its application in the automotive and aeronautical industry, with the minimum use of materials and energy.
To achieve this objective, three main routes for fibre impregnation will be researched to manufacture the unidirectional carbon and glass fibre tapes: novel heating up technologies, melted supercritical fluid-aided thermoplastic polymers and fluidized bed of powders. Novel combination of process-machine approaches will be applied in overmoulding and in-situ consolidation to manufacture the composite parts for the targeted sectors. Novel mathematical modelling and computational simulation concepts will be developed to support the structural optimization and the failure prevention and new instrumentation strategies for process control will be implemented for the selection of the best process.
The FORTAPE consortium, led by CTAG, gathers 10 partners from 5 different European countries, and covers the whole value chain needed to develop new composite technologies with efficient use of materials and energy.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 636860

Project website

Start date:01.02 2015
End date:31.12 2018

Funded under:

EU contribution:
€ 5 030 003,96

 Innovative Technology for Fingerprint Live Scanners

The objective of INGRESS is to research, develop and validate innovative technology to take fingerprint images by looking at additional biometrics associated with the finger. The project will pave the way to the manufacturing of innovative fingerprint scanners capable of properly sensing fingerprints of intrinsic very-low quality and/or characterized by superficial skin disorders. The project focuses on capturing sub-surface fingerprint and delivering a high-quality image. The technology stream of the project focuses on medical imaging technique, such as ultrasound and Full Field Optical Coherence Tomography (FFOCT), to acquire the fingerprint matrix in the dermis. Furthermore, INGRESS studies the use of Printed Organic Electronics (POE) technologies and components, such as the passive matrix of Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) and Organic Photo Diodes (OPDs) to create a new generation of high resolution fingerprint sensors. We propose to evaluate the INGRESS’ mock-ups in laboratory to compare them with legacy sensors. Tests in the field will evaluate the technology performance, the usability and user acceptance of the solution. INGRESS exploits both standard approaches and novel metrics to evaluate the operational quality of fingerprint scanners.

In parallel of the technology stream, the project will investigate the potential ethical, legal and societal issues for these novel technologies. The R&D process will integrate, all along the project, the results from this investigation, to guarantee that all end-products will be fully compatible/compliant with current trends in European and international privacy and data protection standards, following the internationally-endorsed foundational principles of Privacy by Design.
INGRESS will both validate the developed technologies and propose a technology development roadmap for the purpose of using fingerprints from the identity document in border control and law enforcement applications.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 312792

Project website

Start date: 01.11.2013
End date: 30 .04.2017

Funded under: FP7-SECURITY

EU contribution: € 3 233 782

 Intelligent Monitoring System based on Acoustic Emissions Sensing for Plant Condition Monitoring and Preventative Maintenance

Unexpected failure in an industrial production chain does not only involve the costs of failed parts replacement and the associated man-hour labour, but downtime costs have also have to be considered. To keep a machine functioning well it is a must to have good predictive maintenance, as it helps to reduce operating risk, avoids plant failures, provides reliable equipment, reduces operating costs, eliminates defects in operating plant and maximises production. Acoustic Emission (AE) is a phenomenon of transient elastic wave generation in materials under stress. When the material is subjected to stress at a certain level, a rapid release of strain energy takes place in the form of elastic wave which can be detected by transducers placed on it. Plastic deformation and growth of cracks are among the main sources of AE in metals. Though AE can came form any system under movement, the main source is doubtlessly from rotating machinery. Sources of AE in rotating machinery include impacting, cyclic fatigue cracks, friction, turbulence, material loss, cavitation, leakage, etc. In most cases the SMEs machine owner would be satisfied with a simple affordable device that is able to warn them from critical equipment failure.

Recent developments in sensing technology, microprocessors, and miniaturised radio transceivers has enabled a new generation of Wireless Sensors Networks. The future of these sensors is to have an ubiquitous sensing nodes that will autonomously report on operating conditions, and that this data will be used to facilitate structural health monitoring, embedded test & evaluation, and condition based maintenance of critical industrial rotating machinery without the use of expensive cabling. In addition, in order to provide sensing networks which are truly autonomous, chemical batteries must be eliminated from the sensor and some kind of energy harvesting has to be foreseen. Piezoelectric materials have demonstrated their ability to convert vibration energy from vibrating machinery and rotating structures into electrical energy for powering a wireless sensing node. Hence, an acoustic emission self-powered wireless sensor is one of the main objectives to be achieved in this project. The sensor will measure using frequency as opposed to time which is an advancement from the state of the art.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 285848

Project website

Start date: 01.10.2011
End date: 30.09.2013

Funded under: FP7-SME

EU contribution:    € 1 243 199,90

 Autonomous Robot for an Automatic Inspection of Nozzle Welds in Nuclear Environment

Regular in-service inspection is important to verify the integrity of welded nozzle sections in nuclear and other safety critical facilities. Nozzle sections made from austenitic steel can be susceptible to rapid crack growth due to thermal fatigue and stress corrosion. Early detection of cracks is therefore essential to ensure the continued safe operation of the facility in question. In order to reduce the time and cost of such inspections there is an urgent need to develop a system capable of performing a full inspection of nozzles without the need to change probes. The aim of NozzleInspect project is to design an autonomous robot system that able to: reduce the inspection times, Improve defect delectability and sizing, Reduce human intervention which will reduce workforce radiation uptake and Reduce requirement for robotic manipulation and consequently reduce size and cost of robotic deployment system. The goal of NozzleInspect project is to improve the reliability of the inspection of the welded nozzle sections in nuclear and other safety critical facilities. The robot will carry out a new and novel flexible phased array probe to allow a full inspection of nozzle weld areas and an advanced navigation system that follow the weld in nozzle. The presence of defects in these parts could lead to catastrophic component failure.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 232523

Project website

Start date: 01.07.2009
End date: 30.09.2011

Funded under: FP7-SME

EU contribution: € 1 104 400

 Neural Net based defect detection system using LRU technology for aircraft structure Monitoring

This project will develop an integrated system to monitor the condition of aircraft components, using integrated transducer arrays for improved long range ultrasonic testing (LRUT) optimised to maximise UT wave-defect interaction in order to boost sensitivity. The project will: •Improve the defect detection capabilities of guided waves by generating / selecting wavemodes on the basis of optimised wave-defect interaction, rather than selecting one non-dispersive mode facilitating visual signal interpretation, as is the current practise. •Make use of Neural Nets for data interpretation and defect classification. Neural Nets are, in a monitoring type system, ideally suited to detect minute changes in signals, caused by defect initiation and subsequent growth, and separate them from changes in signal caused by other factors. •Develop and validate novel flexible MFC transducers / magnetostrictive transducers suitable to be bonded to / integrated into aircraft components to form LRU sensor arrays enabling detection, localisation and sizing of flaws. •Development of Focusing thechniques such as Time reversal focusing and Time delay focusing in complex materials used for aircraft component manufucturing. •Develop, train and validate the Neural Net defect detection and classification system using LRU technology for aircraft components Monitoring. •Develop a central software program with high-level functions comprising data collection, signal processing, data analysis and representation, information storage and user interface. Additional software will be developed to enable focusing of LRU to identifiy significant potential failure sources. •Undertake modular integrations of the sensors/transducers, signal processing and software functionalities to develop the prototypes and demonstrate its the capability to monitor , to reduce the maintenance costs and increase the safety of aircraft components.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 232212

Project website

Start date: 01.02.2010
End date: 30 .04.2012

Funded under: FP7-SME

EU contribution: € 1 085 150

 In-situ wireless monitoring of on- and offshore WINd TURbine blades using energy harvesting technology

This project will develop an integrated system to monitor continuously the condition of wind turbine blades, without human intervention on site, using a novel integration of acoustic emission (AE) and long range ultrasonics (LRU). The system will use flexible light weight sensors. It will not be hardwired, deriving its power from energy harvested from the continuous flexing of the blade and transmitting its data to a unit housed in the nacelle using Bluetooth technology. The nacelle unit will transmit data by wireless to the wind farm’s central control base. The project will: - • Develop novel flexible transducers suitable for embedding in composite turbine blades with integrated AE and LRU capability enabling detection of flaws in the blades. This will be the first time that the same transducer array has been used for both AE and LRU functions. • Validate the reliability of the sensor/transducer systems and associated electronic modules through a stringent environmental test scheme. System assembly and potential manufacturing routes will also be established. • Develop a central software program with high-level functions comprising data collection, signal processing, data analysis and representation, information storage and user interface. Additional software will be developed to enable focusing of LRU at the point where AE has identified a significant potential failure source. • Undertake modular integrations of the sensors/transducers, signal processing and software functionalities to develop the prototypes and demonstrate its the capability to monitor and to reduce the maintenance costs of large scale wind turbines. • Develop an system based on the use piezoelectric actuators to harvest energy from the flexing of the blade and to use this energy to power the AE/LRU system • Develop wireless communication systems between the sensors on the blades and a unit in the nacelle and between the nacelle and a central control base.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 232190

Project website

Start date: 01.07.2009
End date: 31.08. 2011

Funded under: FP7-SME

EU contribution: € 1 103 300

 Development of an ultrasonic technique, sensors and systems for the volumetric examination of alumino-thermic rail welds

In 2004 an estimated 5 billion passenger journeys will be made in the UK, France and Germany and the market in the three countries is worth approximately €40 billion. [Ref. 1] . Based on the extrapolation of data relating to the UK, French and German railways [Ref 1], the 500,000 kms of rail [Ref. 2] on the European rail network has an average estimated 5000 rail breaks annually with about 1500 due to weld failure. Although the number of weld failures is relatively small compared to the estimated 11 million alumino-thermic welds on the European network, it still accounts for about 20% of the total 7000+ rail failures each year [Ref. 3]. There is no current available NDT method for the economic and reliable volumetric examination of alumino-thermic welds. This proposal describes the development of a rapid ultrasonic method for the safe and reliable NDT examination of the entire volume of in-situ alumino-thermic welds. The proposed ultrasonic system could be quickly deployed on track using a clamp-on device. The inspection scans will be carried out in a pre-determined sequence, and then the results compared with defect acceptance criteria that will be generated in the project. To achieve this objective, a rigorous analysis of the material properties, the defect interaction with the ultrasonic beams and the design of optimum scanning procedures will first be carried out. It is expected that the scans will be implemented by means of electronic scanning using novel phased arrays and multiple probes. The acceptance criteria will be generated by both Engineering Critical Assessment and fatigue tests on rail samples.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 222425

Project website

Start date: 01.09.2008
End date: 31.12. 2010

Funded under: FP7-SME

EU contribution: € 1 120 350


HIDE (HOMELAND SECURITY, BIOMETRIC IDENTIFICATION & PERSONAL DETECTION ETHICS) is a 36 month coordination action that aims to create a PANEUROPEAN DIALOGUE PLATFORM ON ETHICS AND GOVERNANCE OF PERSONAL DETECTION TECHNOLOGIES AND BIOMETRICS. THREE KEY IDEAS LED THE CONSORTIUM TO PREPARE THE HIDE PROJECT: ** Ongoing societal concerns about the use of biometrics and personal detection technologies for improving European security are legitimate. Research focusing on ethical, privacy and normative challenges posed by these technologies in the context of EU 27 is needed. **The ethical aspects of security technologies and the issue of data protection cannot be any longer addressed in the context of a particular technology alone. Research is needed with a more comprehensive approach to the continuum between personal detection, authentication and identification. **International controversies can be faced by promoting structured conversation. These controversies are often based on diverse interpretations of shared principles (e.g., proportionality principle, right to privacy, right to security, etc.). Structured conversation may allow a better understanding of others’ perspectives and commits all parties to dialogue. HIDE aims to create the best environment where this dialogue is possible and may progress.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 217762

Project website

Start date: 01.02.2008
End date: 31.01.2011

Funded under: FP7-SIS

EU contribution: € 963 762,50

 Biometric identification technology ethics promoting research and public debate on bioethical implications of emerging biometric identification technologies

The BITE Project is a specific support action that aims to stimulate research and to promote international dialogue on bioethical implications of emerging biometric identification technologies. Biometrics is the application of technologies that make use of a measurable, physical characteristic or personal behavioural trait to recognise the identity, or verify the claimed identity, of a previously registered individual. Biometrics evoke several social, legal and ethical concerns.

Concerns are based on a variety of factors, including fears about the centralization of biometric identification information and the potential for misuse of these data. The evolution of information technology is likely to result in intimate interdependence between human bodies and technology, the so-called informatization of the body. Bioethical implications of emerging biometrics are crucial to determine the future acceptance/refusal of this technology.

The BITE Project aims to prompt research and to launch a public debate on these issues. Considering the recent EU-US controversy on air passenger records and biometric passports - and in order to compare different perspectives - the project will pay special attention to involve also non - European actors.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 6093

Project website

Start date: 01.10.2004
End date: 28.02.2007

Funded under: FP6-SOCIETY

EU contribution: € 290 000

 Development of a Guided Long Range Ultrasonic Inspection System for the examination of offshore subsea Risers, Steel Catenary Risers (SCRs) and Flowlines

In the ever-increasing search by oil majors for new fields and with the advent of advanced drilling and extraction technologies, very deep-water offshore fields are now being developed in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and offshore West Africa. There have been significant engineering difficulties to overcome to make the development of deep-water offshore fields possible. However, there are still Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and inspection problems to solve. One such significant concern is the in-service NDT and inspection of the subsea risers, steel catenary risers (SCRs) and subsea flowlines. Once installed in their subsea environment, conventional NDT techniques will be impossible to apply to these components. Although the pipes comprising these components are manufactured and welded to the highest standards, they nevertheless need to be able to operate for 20 years or more without failure. Fatigue analysis shows that the 'start of life' defect size to ensure that failure will not occur is small (in the region of a mm or so through thickness dimension). It is inevitable that some welding defects of that size will go undetected at the manufactured weld NDT and inspection stage. Some parts of the SCRs (particularly in the least accessible seabed region) will be subject to fatigue loading that could ultimately cause premature failure and significant environmental pollution. In this project, guided wave ultrasonic testing developments are proposed that will overcome the limitations of the current technology and greatly increase the applicability and productivity of the technology. These developments will lead to increased business for EU inspection and maintenance SMEs. Recent business trends have seen oil companies outsource their entire inspection and maintenance requirements to specialist service SMEs. This will significantly increase business opportunities for these SMEs.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 18267

Project website

Start date: 15.10.2005
End date: 14.04.2008

Funded under: FP6-SME

EU contribution: € 1 036 224

A Novel Tare Identification and Corrosion Detection System to Improve Filling Accuracy, Productivity and Safety for SME LPG, Butane & Propane Gas Vendors)

The principle technological objective of this project is to develop a novel tare identification and corrosion detection system to improve filling accuracy, productivity and safety for the 7,500 SME LPG, butane and propane gas vendors. The proposed technology development targets the more than 7,500 EU SME gas filling and test stations, and the principle objective of this project is to develop a novel, proactive and cost effective ultrasonic based, simultaneous tare identification and corrosion leak detection system for pressure cylinders during filling. Accurate tare identification will help reduce the EUR1.2bn waste problem among the SMEs, while simultaneously increasing productivity by 5% and the frequency of corrosion leak detection, thereby significantly increasing the safety of pressure cylinders.

Our project aims to develop a novel product that can be manufactured and distributed globally through a network of European SMEs, creating 66M pa of new sales and exports for the European NDT sector and safeguarding 550 jobs. Our provisional analysis of the target market size indicates that within the EU alone, there are potentially 7,500 prospective users of our system within the pressure cylinder sector alone valued at more than EUR300m p.a. and an additional 45,000 globally equalling a market potential of EUR2.1bn in this sector alone based on a selling price of EUR80,000.The objective of this project is to develop a novel proactive and cost effective, simultaneous, tare identification and corrosion leak detection system for pressure cylinders during filling by developing a novel non-contact Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) hybrid Laser EMAT/Air coupled Ultrasonic testing system capable of performing simultaneous tare identification and corrosion leak detection in steel and composite pressure cylinders.

Project information


Grant agreement ID: 17331

Project website

Start date: 01.07.2005
End date: 30.09.2007

Funded under: FP6-SME

EU contribution: € 648 178

 A Novel Integrated Ultrasonic Brush and Sonically Activated Lotion to Provide a Full System Approach to the Eradication of the European Head Louse Menace

Except for the common cold, head lice infestation is more common than all the other childhood communicable conditions combined (20 million people in the EU become infested each year with a treatment cost of approximately 375EUR million and untold contamination problems). The current treatment fine-tooth combing, which is unpleasant and difficult to administer, and pesticides, to which resistance is building rapidly have failed to solve the problem. Our proposed ClearBrush system is based around a full system approach to eradication of head lice. It aims to develop these innovative features and benefits:
Active Brush to remove eggs and lice
The brush will be usable in the same way as an ordinary brush. The ultrasonic bristles will vibrate in a carefully designed lateral mode, so that the bristle spacing can be greater than 0.5mm, allowing all hair to pass through but exerting a destructive force on the attached eggs.
The brush will be large enough to capture, kill and remove any lice that can still move. A specially designed bristle profile will ensure that the scalp is not hurt. Active Lotion to immobilise lice, penetrate and kill eggs, and lubricate their removal
A novel complex thixotropic lotion, guided to the target area and given highly increased penetration by the ultrasonic brush bristles.
Naturally active Neem compounds, to give a new mode of pediculicidal (louse killing) effect, optimised through a patented high efficiency extraction process.

The consortium spans a supply chain of healthcare product producers and distributors, brush and ultrasonic hardware manufacturers, and active natural ingredient specialists, complemented by expert RTO Innowacja Polska, to develop the manufacturing technologies, and the UK's Insect Research and Development centre, to carry out the testing. The consortium includes representatives of the user and wholesale chains, to accurately target this important solution.

Project information


Grant agreement ID:

Project website

Start date:01.09.2005
End date: 29.02.2008

Funded under:

EU contribution:
€ 517 667

Program Phare Science & Technology (SCI-TECH II)

Złotoryja Technology Transfer Zone - the stage of building the foundations of the entrepreneurship centre.

Project information


Grant agreement ID:

Start date:1999
End date:2001

Funded under: