GKN Aerospace’s goal is to target improvements in impact design as well as manufacturing. It plans to focus on more integrated structures, co-cured assemblies and integration of additional functionality into structural parts.

The NCC and its partners expect the investment in high-tech equipment will lead to a new era for automation and composite wing technology.

What is the NCC?

The National Composites Centre in Bristol, England, was established in 2009 as part of the U.K. Composites Strategy to engage the composites community. The U.K. Composites Strategy was written by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. It invested $35 million in the industry, including $25.6 million to build the center at the University of Bristol. It was completed in June 2011.

The focus of the center is on advanced composites to increase the competitiveness of U.K. manufacturers. Some of its key objectives are to:

  • Provide direction and focus for fundamental research and collaborative links with U.K. universities
  • Provide manufacturing facilities on an industrial scale
  • Offer rapid manufacturing processes capable of building prototypes to validate design concepts
  • Develop and coordinate training to support the skills necessary for applying composite technologies

“The NCC is able to offer on-demand access to equipment, allied to multi-sectorial, world-class expertise, in a fully collaborative environment,” says Peter Chivers, chief executive at the NCC. “The research currently being conducted at the NCC could help give companies the opportunity test the technology out on their own products and processes.”