ICC is conducting a range of projects to promote a dramatic increase in the use of composite materials. The scope of these projects is not just limited to research into the materials themselves and development of efficient manufacturing methods, but also extends to such areas as increasing the appeal of the materials as products and research into creating markets for the products.
Development of new polymer materials and application to composites
With the aim of providing various properties required from the viewpoint of FRP’s performance pursuit, high functionality and matching to process, we are developing new resin materials by covering even the molecular design of monomers. It is expected that the composites using these new resin materials as a matrix will be clearly different from ones of conventional composites and will achieve excellent performance.
Secondary processes and joining dissimilar materials
Along with the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) in various fields, comes the need for creating technologies that can join CFRP together or join CFRP to other materials. Carbon fiber reinforced thermo-plastics (CFRTP) can be deformed through the application of heat, which enables joining through this interlocking effect.
At ICC, both ultrasonic waves and electro magnetic induction are employed as the heating medium in exploring effective mechanical bonding methods utilizing CFRTP.
These methods are then used to develop equipment for practical joining of members.
Usage for large structures:wind driven vessels with large rigid sails
As one concrete initiative studying the application of fiber composite materials to large structures, the University of Tokyo and others are conducting a research project into practical application of large wind driven vessels equipped with large rigid sails. Our group has already assembled a 20-meter tall glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) panel and metal frame structure in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture. We are currently operating this verification test device, which employs principles of expansion and contraction, to examine aerodynamic performance, durability and other characteristics.
We have a number of tasks ahead of them, including establishing a plan to equip an actual ship with these sails, developing technologies for manufacturing large sail structures using carbon fiber composites, and developing structure monitoring technologies.
High-volume, low-cost recycling of large structural members
Establish reuse technologies and recycling systems capable of handling high volumes at low cost.。