Innovation in advance composites and rear-end optimization.
    From 2008 to 2011, Applus+ Laboratories participated in the project CENIT ICARO, led by Airbus Operations S.L. and funded in the 1st round of the CENIT Program of Centro de Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI). Within Applus+ this project was carried out by the CFRP laboratory team and the Applus+ Laboratories mechanical department. The main objective was to complete several viability studies about the new manufacturing processes of CFRP stringers and new composite materials characterizations for the aeronautic sector using virtual testing.
    Such studies were included in a general objective, consisting of a global research of the new composites materials used in the aeronautical structures manufacturing, able to provide an excellent response to the fatigue and impact tolerance tests and providing a relevant weight reduction, much more environmentally friendly. In addition, new manufacturing technologies for composite material structures development have been planned as a challenge for reducing the production costs and promoting the use of advance simulation methods and virtual testing techniques, as an evolution of the classic tests of structures.
    The project was performed in cooperation with the Research Group AMADE from Girona University (UdG) and the Technological Centre of Manresa (CTM). In partnership with Amade (UdG) many experimental studies were performed using simulation methods for certain damage and behavior tests of structures of CFRP materials and aeronautical subcomponents. This experience has placed our structural test laboratories in an advantaged situation in order to be ready for the technological jump through the virtual prediction of the material behavior. In addition, CTM contribution, leaded the study of the state of the art of the forming process and different tests were performed, using the specially designed test benches.
    Regarding to the automation and optimization of the manufacturing and assembly processes, many experimental forming processes in test benches were validated along the project execution. Pressing and rolltrusion systems for the fabrication of stringers of different geometries were successfully tested.
    Experimental results of the CENIT ICARO project have disposed Applus+ Laboratories to tackling other research projects to improve rolltrusion, forming and other manufacturing techniques to reach structures with the desirable dimension and mechanical features.