Georgia Tech Leads Effort to Tackle the Composite and Hybrid Materials Challenge

Jarod Weber, CHMI project manager, and Chuck Zhang, CHMI director, perform and monitor plasma treatment surfaces of composite panels before they are bonded in GTMI’s Composite Joining and Repair (CJAR) Lab. Photo Credit: Candler Hobbs, Georgia Tech

Based at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta), the Center for Composite and Hybrid Materials Interfacing (CHMI) intends to dramatically improve how composite and hybrid structures are joined and repaired. The Center is one of four active National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRCs) at Georgia Tech. Funded for five years with an NSF IUCRC grant, the Center will reportedly work closely with an industry consortium of leading manufacturers and government organizations that will underwrite research projects.

Housed in the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI), the Center incorporates three university research teams from Georgia Tech, Oakland University (Detroit, Mich., U.S.) and University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT). Each research and development partner are said to bring decades of composite and hybrid materials research focus in specific industries: Georgia Tech in aerospace, Oakland University in automotive composite systems and UT in infrastructure and medical devices.

“The study of the interface between composite, metallic and other electronic materials is really the future of manufacturing,” says Ben Wang, executive director of GTMI. “The Center amplifies the thought leadership of Georgia Tech advancement in composites. It also puts us in the nexus of three areas: advanced manufacturing, innovative materials and data analytics.”

Center director Chuck Zhang, Harold E. Smalley Professor in Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), will drive CHMI’s vision to transform the current labor-intensive, experience-based joining and repair practice into fast, automated and reliable processes.

“Using advanced computation, experimental, data analytics and digital techniques and tools, we hope to reduce by 50% the overall cost, cycle time and variation of these processes in the next 10 years,” Zhang says.

Read the full article in CompositesWorld, August 2021.

Complete article also posted at Georgia Tech - written by Anne Sargent

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Walter Rich