NERO will develop advanced monitoring systems based on non-invasive embedded sensors that allow manufacturing and reparing of composite structures in a more efficient and environmentally sustainable way. Simultaneously they will provide insight into the performance in service of the manufactured structures.
NERO steems from the need to control the manufacturing, reparing and performing in service of composite based structures, in an exponentially growing market in the last years. Composite materials are considered one of the key materials in the future of manufacturing processing, thanks to their functional impact and the reduction of weight that fits in a wide number of fields. In this way, the monitoring systems that will be developed within this project will contribute to overcome the main hurdles, such as the high resource consumption, low automation ratios and a high returns percentage, to introduce these materials in the industrial field.
In base of previous studies, NERO will develop monitoring and controling systems for manufacturing and repairing composite materials used in different fields by employing ad hoc monitoring techniques based on fiber optic and ionic mobility sensors. NERO will apply this technology in various renown companies from Galicia which use composite materials in different sectors: watercraft manufacturing (naval industry, Triñanes), liquid tank manufacturing (chemistry industry, FIBERGLAS) and wind turbine blades repair (renewable energy, GALVENTUS).
On top of that, it will be designed a monitoring system for the structural behaviour in service of the tanks to detect leaks by designing a warning system.
The expected results that should be achieved by NERO are:
- Establish a good correlation between the main parameters of the manufacturing processes of composite materials and the signals registered by the fiber optic and ionic mobility sensors to be able to measured the arrival and curing degree of the resin in a precise manner.
- Develop a specific monitoring software that correlate the signals from the sensors with the manufacturing/repairing critical points to obtain online information of the manufacturing processes and the adequate operational behaviour of the manufactured parts.
- Characterization of composite material with embbeded sensors and correlation of the fiber optic sensor signals with the phenomena that is ongoing in the material, in order to detect microdeformations that take place in the material to be able to monitorize the behaviour in service and create a warning system to detect leaks.
- Generate a warning system for leak detection in storage tanks by the analysis and interpretation of the signals through Machine Learning techniques.
- 10% savings on overall costs of watercraft parts manufacturing and wind turbine blades reparation and 20% on manufacturing of corrosive chemicals storage tanks.
- 15% energy savings and emission reduction up to 20% of volatile organic compounds and waste material in watercraft manufacturing and wind turbine blades reparation processes.
- 30% consumption energy savings and emission reduction up to 40% of volatile organic compounds and waste material in storage tanks manufacturing processes.
To achieve this ambitious project, it has been establish a consortium with multi-sector Galician companies, being SMEs all of them, with complementary facilities and the necessary knowledge to cover all the value chain of the project.
GALVENTUS SERVICIOS EÓLICOS, consortium leader, with broad experience in inspection, manteinance, repair and expert of composite material parts in the wind energy sector. In the scope of the project they will be the final user for the wind turbine blades reparation.
ASTELEIROS TRIÑANES, shipyard involving manufacturing and reparation of wide variety of composite watercrafts (dorna, fishing boat, aquafarming). They will be the final user for watercraft manufacturing.
FIBERGLAS, pioneering company on manufacturing of fiberglass reinforced polyester, reinforced plastics and thermoforming. They will be the final user for manufacturing and monitoring system for the manufacturing and structural behaviour in service of the liquid storage tanks.
RESINAS CASTRO, company specialized on manufacturing and commercialization of a variety of products related with the composite sector. They will provide the know-how in the behaviour and monitoring of these materials.
TECDESOFT, specialized engineering in data processing generated by sensoring systems or by development of real-time monitoring platforms. They will be encharged of the software integration for the control monitoring systems.
This five companies mentioned aboved will be supported by the Technology Center AIMEN, research center especialized in design, characterization and development of high performance materials, development of sensoring systems and data analysis for advanzed manufacturing processes.
NERO is within the program CONECTAPEME 2018, founded by ´Xunta de Galicia´ through ´Axencia Galega de Innovación (GAIN)´ and the support of ´Consellería de Economía, Emprego e Industria´ and co-founded by FEDER (FEDER Galicia 2014-2020)