Zaragoza hosted COMPOSIFORUM 2016

Over 140 participants from companies and research centres gained first-hand knowledge and insights into properties and potential industrial uses of composite materials from leading world experts at COMPOSIFORUM 2016. This is the first edition of the International Forum on Composite Materials, organized by the Aitiip Chair at the University of Zaragoza (Spain), being held at the Auditorium of the University in the Aragonese Capital. It is a free and open session aiming to disseminate and raise awareness of the latest breakthroughs and developments in composites, materials that are taking over the role played by traditional materials in almost every industry. This is, to a large extent, thanks to their strength, mechanical properties, light-weight, an absence of corrosion or even their potential adaptation to an almost unlimited range of tailor-made shapes and designs. It is no surprise then that they have gradually been gaining ground, though still much needs to be done on recycling and cost-reduction.

The Forum session was officially opened by Juan Manuel Blanchard, president of Aitiip Technology Centre; Cecilia Hernández, official in charge of the Department of Health, Bio-economy, Climate and Natural Resources at the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI); Ramón Tejedor, Managing Director of the Aragonese Institute for Development and Pilar Zaragoza, Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Technology Transfer at the University of Zaragoza. All of them concurred on the significant inroads made in the field of composites research in the last years as well as the need to encourage their dissemination and knowledge-transfer into industry with returns for society as a whole, by taking advantage of existing public-private partnerships”.

Composiforum

Aittip Technology Centre´s field of specialization in composites and their applications, as well as its leading position at the national, European an international level has led to Aittip´s organization of the First Edition of the International Forum on Composite Materials. One of the strongest points of this session is the opportunity to visit Aitiip´s facilities in Empresarium Industrial Estate in Zaragoza, as well as the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with the Technicians from the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017 and which devotes 12% of its annual grant budget to Research & Development & Innovation into materials.

COMPOSIFORUM 2016 took place in partnership with the Spanish Association for Composite Materials (AEMAC) and COMPOSITEAS. Founded in 1993, AEMAC is comprised of a group of companies, research centres, universities and professionals that develop activities related to composite materials. As for COMPOSITEAS, it is an alliance between AITIIP, a technological centre with a long track-record, and SISPRA, a company involved in innovation and development of new technologies and their transfer into industry (building, transport, aeronautics and space) in the field of composite materials and its transformation processes.

Both entities and their respective teams working alongside, with professionals with over ten years’ experience, make it possible to provide a wide range of services from design to end-product, with a positive impact throughout the whole value chain of the composite material. Among the services offered, we find design, simulators and prototyping; moulding and tooling; manufacturing of pieces, validation, test trials and industrial transfer; training and Research and Development and Innovation projects.

World renowned panellists on composite materials have participated in COMPOSIFORUM 2016

World renowned panellists on composite materials´ research and their utilization in a corporate context have shared their knowledge and experience at COMPOSIFORUM 2016, a forum, whose following editions will be held on a biennial basis. Amongst them we find:

  • Stephen W. Tsai, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Standford, (USA).
  • Brad Berkson, CEO of N12 Technologies, a nanotechnology company based in Massachusetts, (USA).
  • Gerry Boyce, founder of EPL in 1992, a company specialized in the design, development, trial and certification of composite materials and structures for energy, infrastructures and transport (UK).
  • Luc Ruys, Head of R&D at Centexbel, Centre of Scientific and Technical Research of the Belgian Textile Industry
  • Ed de Jong, Vice-president for Development at Avantium Chemicals (The Netherlands).
  • Pere Castell, researcher and Scientific Manager at Aitiip, specialized in nanotechnology, (Spain).
  • Antonio Miravete, Tenured Professor at the University of Zaragoza and director of the Aitiip Chair (Spain).

Composite materials comprise two or more components; their main characteristic being the superior properties the end material has, as opposed to those of each individual constituent on their own. They are ever present in our daily lives. The most common composites consist of a polymer and a reinforcement. We find these composites in modern aircraft as well as in cars, trains, buses, ships, sports equipment and construction elements with which we interact on a daily basis.As Antonio Miravete, director of the Aitiip Chair stated,

“the fact that we can already find urban automobiles entirely designed with composites such as carbon fibre on the market, or that composites can be found in commonly used sports equipment, or even on the floor of the tram we take every day to commute in our cities, is not only proof of the enormous potential of these materials, but also the fruitful research conducted for over three decades and the specialization reached by our industries and technology centres”.