The competence center for composite materials & processes meets the challenges of industrial competitiveness to develop lighter aeronautical and spatial structures that are both resistant and multifunctional by using high performance composite materials. It focuses on the development of materials from thermostable organic matrices (PEEK, PEKK, PAEK, high temperature polymers), thermoplastics or thermosets, and from ceramic matrices (aluminum oxide Al2O3, silicon carbide SiC) resistant at very high temperatures.
The applications targeted are the critical mechanical structures of aircraft, launchers, satellites and motors whose reliability has to be guaranteed in all circumstances.
The competence center designs, develops and operates on a semi-industrial scale. Going beyond the technological error testing approach often found in industry, the competence center develops modeling tools for materials and processes to understand the influence of setting parameters of development means on the micro-structure and properties of materials.
It develops the skills of technicians, engineers and PhDs, and trains PhD students for careers in the formulation and the implementation of new generation high-performance composites.
The research deals with:
- the formulation and the deposition of sizing adapted to thermoplastic matrices
- the formulation of high temperature heat hardened prepregs and thermoplastics
- the integration of electrically conductive particles
- the introduction of piezoelectric charges in the polymer films (vibration damping)
- the integration of sensors for structural health monitoring or electrical power conductors
 A prepreg is a half-finished product formed of a matrix impregnating a reinforcement that ensure high breaking strength. The matrix may be thermoset or thermoplastic resins impregnated with reinforcement fibers (glass fibers, fabric, carbon fibers) This highly charged composite is earmarked for hot molding under pressure to manufacture a finished product. In the case of CMC the matrix is a ceramic powder the reinforcement in ceramic or carbon fibers). This composite highly charged in ceramic particles of low gran size is then consolidated at high temperature to manufacture a finished product.
 Structural health monitoring
Head of Composite Materials & Processes Competence Center
- State-of-the-art, technical synthesis, technological and scientific watch
- Specific technological platforms
- Demonstration specimens (lightening impacts, damping structures, reinforced welded panels)
- Know-how on ways of formulating materials and innovative elaboration
- Semi-finished products
- Databases on materials and behavior models
- Contribution to technology readiness level
A look back at one of the activities of the IRT’s composites division: thermoplastic CMOs.
Draw me a project : Pierre-André Baudart, Technical Director @ ArianeGroup
[Portrait 10] Karine Labastie, technical advisor on impregnation processes for high-performance multifunctional composite materials
[PRESS] AddimAlliance wants to convert manufacturers to 3D metal printing with 6 platforms including the additive manufacturing platform of the IRT Saint Exupéry
[Portrait 06] Ludovic Barrière, aeronautical research engineer specializing in structures, computational mechanics and numerical methods
[PRESSE SIAE2019] Additive manufacturing MAMA Project: the future of aeronautics is at stake in Pamiers
Marion Broutelle defended her thesis on composite materials with ceramic oxide/oxide matrix
[Portrait 03] Laurent Ferres, head of materials platforms and the Bordeaux site