Material benefit

Swansea University has expanded its research into high-performance composite materials after receiving a £655,000 grant from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Over the next three years, a team of six researchers at the university will work with local companies to develop innovations in composite materials for use in the next generation of buildings, aircraft and sports equipment.

The research will be undertaken at the Welsh Composites Centre (WCC) and will initially focus on long-lifetime composites for sporting applications, with plans to expand work into the use of composites from bio-sources. An additional area of study will include the use of particulate composite materials in insulation and biomedical applications.

Dr Cris Arnold, co-director of the WCC, said: ‘The grant will help us undertake specific research and development projects with Welsh industry, particularly small and medium companies, through which we can develop products and processes that will lead to economic competitiveness.

‘We intend to begin by improving and predicting lifetime performance of composites used in sports.

‘We also want to focus on computer modelling of composite performance, particularly for construction and the aerospace sector, and the development of an online capabilities-matrix to share industry expertise across the UK and make better use of our existing infrastructure.’

Ellie Zolfagharifard